(yes, I know the colloquialism is "my 2 cents"...I just have a lot to share)
Breastfeeding has certainly been a challenging experience.
I'm no expert on it, but I managed to keep Maddy alive for 6 months on breastmilk alone, then another several months of breastmilk and foods. (yes, foodS not food)
And Lillee, well, she's doing a little better than just surviving on the breastmilk. The Chunk weighs 16.5 pounds at 5 months old and has only eaten real food maybe 5 times in her life.
Anyway, my point is, I must be doing something right so I thought I should share what has made it easier for me.
Hopefully someone will happen upon my post one day and it will help.
First, I applaud anyone who has made the decision to nurse your child.
It seems silly to me to call it a decision because it's a natural thing. It's like saying "I'm choosing to breathe".
But that's how people are these days, so there ya go.
Second, I have some advice for you. Do what works for you. Do your research, but don't take what one mom says to be the holy truth of breastfeeding. And don't let the whole "lactation consultant" thing scare you. 1) if you don't have any issues with your baby latching on, you probably don't need the consultant. They're creepy anyway. Want an example?
Maddy Lee Pannell was sitting in my arms at the ripe old age of 7 or 8 minutes. I thought I HAD to see the consultant, so I was waiting for her to come in before I tried to feed Maddy. Mom and Scott were standing by the bed, admiring this beautiful baby girl.
Enter old lady with short gray hair, glasses, and a scrunched up face like she just couldn't believe her job was so terrible. She walked over to the supply counter, grabbed a pair of gloves and did the creepy stretch-and-pop technique you only see in movies to get her gloves on.
She immediately walked over, unsnapped my hospital gown at the top, grabbed my boob and stuck it in Maddy's mouth...
"hi, I'm the lactation consultant today".
Shouldn't you have said that as soon as you walked in? I mean, what the what? You can't just go around stretch-and-pop-ing your gloves and grabbing people boobs. Gah.
Anyway, when I had Lillee I just said I didn't want the consultant to come to my room unless I had a problem.
In all seriousness, unless there is some sort of complication with labor, breastfeeding just sort of comes to you. And here's the great part about it...if it doesn't, you ask for help. The most important thing about asking for help is to ask someone you're comfortable with cause you're gonna be saying words like "breast" and "nipple" and "leak" and "squirt" and as terrible as it sounds, you might even mention "biting", "bleeding", "self-expressing" and more.
The best advice I got about nursing follows:
1. Don't stop, even when it hurts. Now, some people will tell you that if it hurts you're doing it wrong. That's a lie. Nipples are sensitive y'all...it takes some getting used to.
2. Pump at least once a day if you can. I didn't do this with Maddy until she's was about 2 months but it was a huge help when I wanted to go out or needed someone to watch her. With Lillee...Chunk just accepted abottle for the first time yesterday so pumping was pointless up til now. It never hurts to have some stored up though.
3. Do what feels right. Hold your baby however YOU want, not how someone else tells you to. Be lazy about it...lay down and let your baby lay next to you. Don't fall asleep with your boob hangin out though...in just a few short hours your whole couch/bed sheet will be completely soaked through because your baby spit your boob out and the milk just kept on coming. It's actually traumatizing to wake up soaked in milk. That stuff is like liquid gold and wasting it should be one of the 7 deadly sins.
4. Be comfortable. In your decision. In your capability. In your 36DD. And especially in your ability to squirt the hubs fro across the room. It's amazing how a grown man will pitch a fit over a little of what he calls "boobie milk".
5. Drink lots of water. I'm talking like over a gallon every day. It matters. Just keep drinking. And taking bathroom breaks. And drink some more.
I have people ask for advice occasionally, and they're so caught up in all the things people tell them to do with their new baby they don't even have time to enjoy the baby. I absolutely hate it when people give "advice" as if it's the law. Guess what...there are a million ways to do everything. It doesn't matter what I say, or whether or not Bonquiqui wants you to "get it". Do your own thing. Let your baby show you what she wants/needs. Goodness.
Lastly, be prepared for your baby to quite enjoy eating. They may make noises like "mmmph" and "gulp" and "mmm mmm mmm" and drink so fast they can't breathe. Laugh at them. It's hilarious.