Breastfeeding 101

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Last night was my first baby related class, "Breastfeeding 101".  I went by myself because my husband didn't think he would really be needed (or benefit) and wanted to go to, where else, but C.rossfit.  I didn't complain because he has been really helpful with the house this past weekend and in general.  He has been in full-on nesting mode, which I think is so awesome.  Fixing small things here and there.  He even lined up someone to come and take a look at our unfinished house projects.  Yay!

The breastfeeding class was held at a local hospital (not my hospital) and had 2 couples and then 3 other ladies attending solo (including me).  Before we started the class we all gave our names, due dates, and the sex of the baby (if known).  There were 2 girls that were farther along than me and 2 girls that were about a month behind me.  One girl was expecting twin boys!

The class instructor was a delivery room nurse at the hospital who was also a lactation consultant.  She had two babies of her own and had breastfed them both.  She was really nice and had good speaking skills so it made the class pretty interesting.

I learned quite a bit, although I am sure that it will just take practice to figure everything out.  I had no idea that there were "different types" of milk.  I figured it was all the same, but I learned that it is quite the opposite.  We learned different types of holds and how to get a proper latch.  We practiced the different holds with some dolls.  I think I have them down pretty well.  :)

During one of our breaks, I started chatting with the girl next to me who I found out was delivering at the same hospital that I will be delivering at.  As we continued talking, we found that we had a lot more in common.  She also had 3 miscarriages in a row before getting pregnant with her baby.  She also had GD and was struggling with  the same things that I was, even though she had been on bed rest for bleeding and then developed clots in her legs (poor thing!).  She also goes to the same MFM practice that I do and we both have appointments next Wednesday!  I figured that everyone in the room had a charmed pregnancy, but it was so nice talking to this girl who totally understood where I was coming from.

Overall, I am scared to death of breastfeeding.  The WHO recommends 2 years.  The APA recommends 1 year.  I have to go back to work after 12 weeks so I am hoping that pumping goes ok, but what if it doesn't?    Will I be able to pump at work every 3 or so hours for even 1 year?  What if I have meetings?  What if I don't produce enough?  I actually have nightmares about this all the time (my baby is crying and hungry and there is just nothing coming out).  I know that now is the time for breasts to be leaking, but mine have not leaked for many, many weeks.  Does this mean I am doomed?  Maybe I am over-thinking it all.  I have friends who breastfed with no issues and others that struggled.  I guess only time will tell if I have issues.  My mom didn't have any.  Hopefully that works in my favor.

In other news, this past Sunday was my proxy-shower in my hometown.  My Mom, little Sister, and Grandmother planned and held it for me at my Mom's house.  I was able to S.kype with everyone that was there (and there were over 30 people!).  I answered lots of questions and showed people my basketball bump.  It was so nice that people showed up even though I wasn't there.

This weekend is my 3rd baby shower (I feel very spoiled).  Two of my sisters are throwing it for me near my house.  My Mom, little Sister, little Brother, and Grandmother are all driving up, too.  They are bringing all of the presents from the other shower.  This 3rd shower will be my local friends and and some family.  I am so excited to see everyone this weekend!

I can't believe that I am 31 1/2 weeks.  I'll try to post a pic over on my other page this weekend.  The first few months seemed to drag on so slow, but lately it seems like time is flying.  I hope that I can get everything done before he gets here.  :)

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6 Responses to “Breastfeeding 101”

  1. From "Melis"-

    You know I had to chime in about this because it is a topic near and dear to my heart.

    First off, let me say that no matter if you have struggles out of your control or not (e.g., low supply, over supply, poor latch, etc…), breastfeeding is hard. Just a few of the reasons it is hard…it hurts (a lot) at first, it takes time to figure each other out (position, pattern, etc…), and it is incredibly demanding of you as the mother because you are essentially the only one that can feed the baby, so you are up around the clock (and sleep deprivation is no joke!). It is also so rewarding to have that bonding and know that you are nourishing your baby with the best food for them. And pumping is a whole different topic in and of itself, which I won’t even get into here.

    With all that said, breastfeeding was probably the single most stressful element of my girls first months (especially A). I put WAY too much pressure on myself to breastfeed and felt like a huge failure when factors out of my control prevented me from breastfeeding as much and as long as I had hoped to. I sincerely hope that breastfeeding goes beautifully for you, but please, please, please don’t put too much pressure on yourself if it doesn’t work out the way that you are hoping. Take advantage of the resources available to you (i.e., books, support groups, lactation consultants, lots of patience) to give yourself the best chance, but please know that ultimately the most important things are that your baby is fed and that you keep your sanity in those early weeks and months. If nourishment has to come from formula occasionally or full-time, you will NOT be failing your baby or yourself in any way. Breastfeeding is certainly a wonderful thing for your baby (and it doesn’t hurt that it’s free!), but formula is not the devil. I guess what I am trying to say is it is OK no matter how it works out. I really wish that I had that perspective back when I started out because I could have saved myself a lot of heartache if I had just cut myself a break.

    Regardless, please know that I am always here to offer advice and support on this or any other topic anytime you need it.

    1. This!! Is so damn true. Brilliant advice :)

  2. It's true that breastfeeding can be hard, especially in the early weeks. There is a learning curve and it takes time to adjust. I hated it at first, but it did get easier (and even become enjoyable) with time. Be prepared for that, and willing to work through whatever problems you encounter that are within your control. And don't be afraid to ask for help, just be sure to do it before it's too late. With that being said, there are some people that it just doesn't work for in the long term. And that's okay! Any amount of breastfeeding that you do is better than none.

    Also, I'd say that the fact that your mom was able to breastfeed without problems is a really good sign! My mom was able to successfully breastfeed me as long as she wanted to, just as I was with my daughter, even though I have PCOS which can often cause supply issues. Just be gentle and patient with yourself and flexible as you can. Good luck!

  3. Attending that course will go a long way to a great start with breast feeding! I have been feeding for 7m with one bottle from 5m because little miss wasn't gaining enough weight. Until the USA gives mothers a better chance with maternity leave it is always going to be hard to feed. The first two weeks can be hell but after fab. It is hard to keep supply up and you need a good healthy diet but remember ther date only rare circumstances that you can't do it so persevere!!

  4. Good for you for going to the class. As for pumping and working you can do it. Once you become a mother you can do anything. That's my motto. You will do anything you need to do for your child. Get creative. Don't give up. It WILL be hard. Don't worry so much about the "holds" they teach you in class. That was my problem. I was like - OMG I'm not holding the baby exactly right for the football hold or whatever. Doesn't matter! Hold the baby upside down to your breast if that's what works. Do NOT go into breast feeding with the thought "Well, I try it out and see how it goes." Nope. Not gonna work. You have to be 110% dedicated. As for DH not going to the class, I think that's a big mistake. It is extremely important to have support when it comes to breastfeeding. You do not want anyone pushing formula at your time of need and pain. And the fact that you're not leaking means nothing. You'll be fine! Once you start BFing remember - don't quit on your worst day. Wait until it that passes to make your final decision. There were so many times when I literally screamed... threw the damn boppy pillow across the room and told DH I wanted to STOP! But thank God I didn't. I went 22 months and plan to BF again this time around. Best thing ever!

  5. Thanks for the great advice, ladies! You all have some really, really, great points that I am going to try to remember in those first few days/weeks. :)