Breastfeeding – My experiences so far

I think the highlight of my “postpartum journey” was at our first pediatrician appointment…
When the doctor said to me,
“you really don’t need to worry about eating a bunch of vegetables,
you need to focus on eating a good amount of carbs to keep up your milk supply”
and it was in that moment that I knew I was made for this.
I always knew I wanted to be a mom,
but the whole “necessary carb loading” thing really just sealed the deal for me.

Okay, y’all BEGGED for this post, so here it is!!
Now, please keep in mind, I’m a total newbie. I’m a brand new mom and this is me just sharing my experiences, not what’s “right” or what works for everyone.
And honestly i’ve just been winging everything when it comes to breastfeeding and pumping.
My lactation consultant at the hospital wasn’t helpful whatsoever and I didn’t have the energy to ask for a different one…
{However, if this happens to you, I definitely recommend asking for a different one!}

Throughout my entire pregnancy I was so nervous about breastfeeding and how hard and painful and exhausting it was going to be…I read countless blogs and articles about breastfeeding, what to do and what not to do and how to get “the perfect latch” and how to prevent mastitis and ALL the other painful things that can happen while breastfeeding.
I had pretty much prepared myself for the worst and had already told myself that if breastfeeding didn’t work out that I wouldn’t beat myself up about it!
(which you should tell yourself too, fed is best!)

Thanks to the internet, I planned on breastfeeding being miserable and so incredibly difficult.
Well, I’m here to tell you that YES some people do have bad experiences with breastfeeding,
but some people have wonderful experiences, and I can say that overall my breastfeeding experience so far has been amazing. So if you’re currently pregnant, PLEASE do me a favor and stop scaring yourself reading horror stories about breastfeeding! Everyones baby and everyones experiences are so different, there’s absolutely no need in worrying/torturing yourself…Once your baby arrives y’all will figure it out together. And if it doesn’t work out, that’s OKAY!!

So let’s start from the beginning…
A few minutes after Hayes was born I decided I wanted to try to feed him and he latched immediately,
it was the easiest most natural most beautiful thing I’ve ever experienced.
After that happened, all of those scary articles and all of that worry just disappeared and
this new mama confidence came over me and I was just like, “YES, I got this”.
Of course things haven’t been that easy every time and I’ve already learned so much during my first two months, but I’m happy to say that breastfeeding has been such a positive experience for me.

{Before I really go into my experiences with breastfeeding I have to share this story with y’all in case any of you experience the same thing! It could save you a trip to the hospital and a wrong diagnosis that could keep you in the hospital and away from your brand new baby.
Six days after Hayes was born the 3 of us decided to take a midday nap in bed.
I woke up FREEZING and shaking uncontrollably.
At first I thought I was just shivering from being so cold, but once I realized the feeling wasn’t going away I started to panic. I woke Kyle up and told him I couldn’t stop shaking and felt like something was wrong. He bundled me up and cuddled me to try and get me warm and calm but nothing was working and I started freaking out. I had a really bad headache as well and my entire body just felt super heavy and achy. I immediately had this awful gut feeling that I had the flu.
Now, the flu sucks…but when you’re a brand new mama and have been loving on and cuddling and kissing your baby nonstop and realize that YOU could have possibly given your brand new baby the flu….it’s absolutely devastating and terrifying. We ended up checking to see if I had a fever and I did…needless to say I went into full on emotional breakdown mode.

I’m not going to go into full detail of this story, but I called my doctor and texted a friend telling them my symptoms and both of them immediately asked if it was mastitis, it wasn’t.
{Mastitis symptoms are also very flu like, as well as red spots on your breasts/pain/swelling etc}

We ended up at the urgent care to get tested for the flu. I was an absolute MESS. I couldn’t stop crying, the thought of Hayes having the flu and getting it from ME was the worst feeling in the entire world. For those of you who aren’t aware, the flu is BAD right now, tons of people are dying from it, mainly babies and older people…so to say my stress level was high would be an extreme understatement.
I remember sitting in the urgent care waiting for my test results just crying and praying nonstop that my baby would be okay. The doctor came in and told me that the test came back negative, which was a HUGE relief. But then she said that she was still going to prescribe me Tamiflu because she thought it might just be too early for the results to show up positive…which was not a relief…
We ended up chatting a little more and I had randomly mentioned that my lower back was hurting.
She decided to have me do a urine sample, and LONG story short, I ended up having a UTI and she put me on some antibiotics, and I was better within a day.
I tell all of you this because if she wouldn’t have checked my urine and I would have been mis diagnosed, the infection would’ve ended up getting worse and worse and gone into my kidneys and I could’ve ended up in the hospital for a week or more without being able to see or hold or feed my baby.
So if you happen to have these symptoms not long after giving birth and your boobs seem fine, it’s most likely a UTI, especially if you had a catheter during labor!

Okay – now back to breastfeeding..

Hayes has loved to do this SUPER annoying thing since he’s been born while he’s nursing, and apparently it’s pretty common!
He will just bob his head around my nipple and attempt to latch and will literally be right on top of it but won’t actually latch and then he’ll get extremely upset or fussy and sometimes start screaming while doing this and it is SO irritating to watch because you just want to yell,
“DEAR GOD IT’S RIGHT THERE JUST FREAKING LATCH ON”
At the beginning when he would do this I would let it drive me insane and we would both end up crying and just so unbelievably frustrated.
When he does this now, I take him off, will throw him over my shoulder and see if he needs to burp.
The majority of the time he will, but not all the time, but usually when we “try again” following that, he latches pretty quickly.
No clue why that is, but it seems to work every time.

The first few days of breastfeeding are interesting because nothing really comes out.
Of course everyone is different, but for most people their milk doesn’t come in until a few days after baby is born. But Lord have mercy when it comes in, it COMES IN.
And yes, it can be painful.
It’s funny because if someone were to ask me how breastfeeding is going or if it’s been painful,
My immediate response would be, “It’s going great!! Nope, not painful at all”
Because overall that’s 100% the truth.
BUTTTTT when I really think about it, there are definitely certain aspects of breastfeeding that are painful.
Like when your boobs get SUPER full and rock hard and feel like they weigh 93702 lbs.
This can happen if baby waits too long to eat in between feedings, or if you’re over producing.
I also dealt with some cracking/pain at the beginning, I think just because my body wasn’t used to what was going on and I wasn’t using nipple cream consistently like I should have been.

I also got mastitis when Hayes was about 3 weeks old, and yes it was pretty awful.
I had asked Kyle to give Hayes a bottle one night so I could get some rest,
I woke up about 5 hours later in SO much pain.
My boobs were so dang full I seriously thought they were going to explode…
That next morning I had noticed a small red spot on one of my boobs but didn’t really think anything of it because it wasn’t painful or anything.
But then that evening I started to feel like crap, flu like symptoms and chills.
I immediately knew it was mastitis (because I felt exactly how I did when I had my UTI),
and the red patch on my chest started spreading.
Thankfully it only lasted about two days…
Honestly, I think the worst part of mastitis is the flu like symptoms, at least it was for me.
I didn’t go to the doctor or anything, I just pumped and nursed and massaged as much as possible to clear the clogged duct.
I also used {THESE} & {THESE} and {THIS} religiously to help with healing/pain.

Okay y’all I’m going to go ahead and apologize because this post is totally all over the place and completely unorganized, sorrrrryyyyyy…

Anyways, when I think about my experiences with breastfeeding I’ve definitely had more positive moments than negative, and the more Hayes and I learn about each other the easier it gets!
And honestly, i’ve forgotten a lot of the hard patches we went through.

I definitely went through a phase of panic that I wasn’t producing enough for him,
the first time Hayes started cluster feeding I was prepared for it, my doctor had warned me that he may do it but it didn’t stop this new mama from being SO worried that my baby was starving and not getting enough milk.
Cluster feeding happens every now and then, and it is a total pain in the ass and exhausting and makes you feel like a literal cow and it will make you have irrational thoughts and this is all normal because,
well, cluster feeding sucks.

I’ve had good days and bay days when it comes to breastfeeding,
the majority of my “bad days” aren’t really days, more like moments!
Breastfeeding is a lot harder in the middle of the night when you’re exhausted and hormonal.
Especially when your husband is sleeping soundly next to you and you feel like you haven’t slept in weeks.
You will contemplate murdering your husband regularly, this is also normal.

But gosh, in all honesty, those first weeks were TOUGH, I definitely had a good amount of emotional breakdowns from being frustrated, or overtired or just wanting FIVE FREAKING MINUTES to shower without my child needing my boob! And I still have those moments every now and then!

One thing I wasn’t fully prepared for was the leaking, sure I knew it was going to happen.
But I didn’t realize just how much and how often my boobs would leak…
OH and sometimes your boob will literally shoot milk out like a water gun,
I’m not exaggerating this is a real thing and it blows my mind every single time.

Nursing in public is still something I’m getting used too, I’m not one to just pop my boob out.
I like to at least have a little cover. However, Hayes is SUCH a messy eater so it makes nursing in public difficult. We typically both end up covered in milk, and well that’s just the look i’ve been sporting these days. #momlife

I was all about getting Hayes on a nursing schedule at the beginning
but this kid is exactly like his daddy and is hungry ALL.THE.TIME.
Attempting a nursing schedule just wasn’t realistic for us.
I’m not going to lie, sometimes I do wish he would just eat at the same times every day so I could schedule my day better and it would be easier for me to block out times to get things done BUT I tried that and it honestly was more stressful for me…why? Because I would put SO much pressure on myself to force him to eat at certain times and would get frustrated/disappointed when he wouldn’t, and he just was not about that life at all.
This boy is stubborn, and he’s gonna eat when he wants to eat and he’s not going too when he doesn’t wanna.
So I’ve just been feeding him on demand and I’m hoping by 3 months it’ll be a little easier for us to try and get on more of a schedule, but for now, we’re just taking it day by day.
I can’t imagine trying to follow a schedule when Hayes is going through a growth spurt…
Honestly, each day is just so different so feeding on demand has been the easiest and most stress free way for us!
Us mamas gotta do what’s best for our babies and what works for us might not work for you and that’s perfectly fine!

Hayes is 7 weeks old and is eating about every 2-3 hours during the day (sometimes more)
and about every 4-5 hours at night!
Thank God for those longer stretches of sleep at night, they are AMAZING.

We have introduced him to a bottle and it actually made me really sad at first,
I LOVE nursing him and spending that time with him so I was super scared he was going to want the bottle over me. Well, that definitely wasn’t the case, he 100% prefers me over a bottle and it actually takes him way longer to drink a bottle which is so weird.
Apparently I have a fast “let down”, which is good because he eats fast BUT it also sometimes chokes him because the milk is coming out too fast which can be scary for a new mama.
I’ve gotten used to it now and when that happens I’ll immediately sit him up and pat his back.
While we’re on that topic, it seriously blows my mind every time I feel my “let down” happen,
I remember reading articles and people saying that the feeling disgusted them and it scared me.
But y’all, I think it’s the freaking coolest feeling in the world!!!
Like, my body is producing milk for my baby, and MY body is providing him with pretty much everything he needs to survive, how incredible is that?!

Anyways, I started pumping at the beginning and have just done it randomly, never on any kind of schedule. I just wanted to have a little stash in the freezer. Well, now that he’s getting bigger and I’m getting more comfortable leaving him I want to get on a pumping schedule so that I can really build a good stash for when other people watch him!

I’m in the middle of doing research on that right now and if y’all are interested I’ll definitely do a post on
a pumping + nursing schedule once I get that established!

This post wasn’t really meant to be “extremely helpful” it’s moreso just me sharing my experiences,
and hopefully calming the nerves of those of you that are going to have a baby soon and have been super nervous about breastfeeding!

If it was helpful I’m SO STINKIN’ glad!!
It’s been so much harder for me to get blog posts up lately since Hayes is awake more during the day
(and needy as all hell)

Please please leave comments or message me or comment on my instagram with blog topic ideas!
I love writing about things that y’all are curious about or interested in!

10 Comments

  1. Meg
    April 18, 2018 / 8:30 pm

    Would love a future post about your pumping schedule!

  2. Mare
    April 18, 2018 / 10:00 pm

    Very reassuring for a soon to be mom !! Thanks !! Keep them coming whenever you get some time, look forward to reading them every single time and then sharing info with my husband !

  3. Lodoe
    April 19, 2018 / 3:09 am

    First of all thank you for sharing your breastfeeding experience in this blog . I really enjoy reading your blog every time when you post . Indeed it helps me to feel much better whenever I read your blog. I have a small baby just like yours but two week older than yours one . So it’s very interested to know the truth of being a new mom experienced . I am loving it . It’s all relatable new experience of being a new mom. I feel like I am not the only one who struggle ….. I love your handsome baby 👶 he is super cute yet handsome as I mentioned. I followed on your Instagram just because of your cuteness baby 👶 you always pose in your insta stories . I enjoys watching every time … thanks for sharing ! With lot is love 💕 to your Baby.

  4. Carissa
    April 19, 2018 / 10:44 am

    Thank you so much for sharing!! My 3 week old boy does the same thing with bobbing his head directly over my nipple and gets frustrated when he doesn’t latch. And burping usually helps! Thought he was the only one! It is really reassuring hearing someone else’s story with breastfeeding and knowing I’m not the only one with bad days, too. Definitely would love to read your post on pumping schedule! ❤️

  5. K.
    April 19, 2018 / 12:50 pm

    I’m due in August and LOVED reading this. I love your “go with the flow” attitude and I really hope I can be the same way.

  6. Jessica Prince
    April 24, 2018 / 9:20 am

    Thank you for sharing, I think this is the first positive breastfeeding blog I have read. It has definitely helped since for some reason that is what I am most nervous about. I remember in one of your stories you mentioned these H&M nursing bras that you liked, would you still recommend them? If so, which ones are they?

  7. Lauren
    April 25, 2018 / 6:12 am

    My daughter was born in Feburary and our experience has been very similar to yours! Im so tired of all the articles that almost scare you about breastfeeding. And a lot of times people complain but its an amazing beautiful bonding experience with my daughter and its nice to see someone feels the same. I pump after almost every feeding session because im trying to save stash before i go to work. It tells my body more milk and completely empties my breast. Good luck! Thanks for the post!

  8. Tonisha Kidder
    April 25, 2018 / 9:48 am

    Thank you for sharing your story. I am also new at breastfeeding journey (4 weeks now), fortunately without mastitis story or anything so far. But I watched the same thing with latching! I was pretty well prepared for breastfeeding, after reading this guide my friend gave me (How to make breastfeeding pleasant and easy from http://www.parental-love.com/) and knew what proper latching should look like. At first I had a problem with painful, not-proper latching and than it evolved into this attempting to latch without real action… But I guess we both need some more time, it’s getting better every day.

  9. Beth
    May 1, 2018 / 12:24 pm

    I had no idea about the head bobbing! My first did this for a couple of weeks every time he nursed and I would get sooo upset and the two of us would both sit there crying because neither of us knew what to do. I was completely unprepared. After a rocky start we both got the hang of it and by the time he was 3 months we had a feeding/pumping schedule and had a great nursing relationship until he was 9 months old and I was 3 months pregnant with baby #2 and my milk dried up. I cried a lot when I nursed him to sleep for the last time. It is truly such a great experience and I am sad for the moms who don’t even want to try because of what they have heard 🙁 I am excited to nurse baby #2 until he decides he is done! I hope you continue to have a great experience and don’t stress over the schedule, ours just sort of happened not something that I planned out. I always just said I would feed on demand lol

  10. May 3, 2018 / 4:19 pm

    I love how honest this post is, Monica! OMG. My BF experience wasn’t the best but it helped me to grow tough skin and keep on truckin’. My daughter wouldn’t latch in the hospital. I had two lactation consultants in my room trying to help to no avail. I think I had become so frustrated my daughter could sense it and it would make her anxious. I regret not being more patient. I tried BF for a good 2-3 months and nothing. So, I just pumped and supplemented with formula.

    I used to get embarrassed and felt like a failure when older women would ask whether I was BF. But it’s no one’s fault why it didn’t work out. My daughter is just as healthy and intelligent as a child who managed to latch. She didn’t develop a third arm or end up with a million and one viruses. She’s absolutely PERFECT.

    One thing I would tell newly postpartum self is that it’s okay. And that there’s nothing wrong with my daughter or myself. As moms we can be really hard on ourselves. But we need to ease up and realize our bodies do AMAZING things and that’s something of which to be proud.

    Kudos to you and enjoy Hayes while he’s small. I used to long for the days when my little Regan would be able to feed herself and put on her own shoes. But now, at 2 1/2, I miss her being small and not being able to run from my hugs. LOL.

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