Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Breastfeeding- Things I Hope To Do Differently This Time

Since it's World Breastfeeding Week, I figured no better time to write about my breastfeeding experience with Noah and what I hope to do differently this time around with baby boy #2. I only breastfed Noah for 4.5 months and those few short months were a struggle. I think a lot of it was just being clueless and exhausted. So I've compiled a list of things I want to differently this time around so that we last at least the first year instead of just a few months.

  1. No bottles the first month or so. This is one thing we did right away even though the hospital advised us not to. The first night home my milk hadn't come in yet and Noah was HUNGRY. So at 5am after no sleep, we gave in and gave him a bottle with formula in it. Once my milk came in I had plenty of milk but instead of nursing every time I pumped and bottle fed him some or let Brian or others feed him. By 4 months old he preferred the bottle, which was easier to suck than the boob. He would fight me when I tried to nurse him. He didn't want the boob..he wanted the easy bottle. Which led to lots of frustration and stress on my part. Which ultimately led to me giving up and giving in to formula and the bottle. 
  2. Don't be afraid to nurse in public! This is something I was so afraid of with Noah! I would go out to the car and nurse in the uncomfortable car before I would nurse in public. I  didn't have a good nursing cover though so I would have to use a blanket or jacket to cover up. That was always a total fail. Brian would have to sit next to me and hold up the blanket so it wouldn't fall down, etc. So most of the time I just didn't even try and either fed Noah a bottle or nursed in the car or got home as soon as possible to nurse at home. This is something I am determined to give another try. I am going to purchase a good nursing cover that covers me up well and won't fall down and I'm just going to do it! 
  3. Educate myself better.  I read up on breastfeeding with Noah but I never took a class or anything. I hope to take a class at the hospital I'm delivering at before baby gets here. Also after Noah was born the lactation consultant came and helped me at the hospital and even gave me her number to call when I got home if I had questions. But I never called her. This time I won't hesitate to ask for help or learn more. 
  4. Don't stress out so much about it! My goal is to breastfeed one year. Hopefully by doing things differently I can make it to that goal. But if for some reason it doesn't happen I'm not going to stress out about it. There are a number of reasons it just might not be possible so if I do everything I plan to do and it still doesn't work out, then so be it. Also, those first few weeks breastfeeding are the hardest, but I plan to just do my very best and try to stay as stress free about it as possible. If I'm stress it'll stress out baby and that's the last thing we both need. Brian will be home for 3 weeks when baby is born so he will be here to help with Noah and I will have the time to get the hang of breastfeeding again and even get the rest I need in between. So there should be no reason for me to stress out, right?! LOL! 
So those are the things I hope to do differently this time around. I REALLY hope I can get to my goal of one year and I plan to be better prepared this time around too! 

Feel free to leave a comment telling me about your breastfeeding experience! Is there anything you would do differently? Do you have any tips for me? How long did you breastfeed for? I'd love to hear from you! 


  1. I breastfed Brooke for 15 1/2 months... The beginning was a struggle and I had to see a lactation consultant in the hospital for 5 days and then twice once I was released but it paid off!!! I have a few "tricks of the trade" if you get stuck or need some advice.
    You can do this, girl!

  2. I didn't breast-feed my son but, now i wish i had! Good luck hun!

    Love your blog
    In our sea of love

  3. I have 2.5 year old twins, and tried breastfeeding them for a day or two. My daughter took to a few hours after birth and nursed twice like a champ. But then I could never get her latched on right after that. My son, her twin brother, was so small (5 lbs.) he just couldn't latch with his tiny mouth and screamed and screamed in hunger! I gave up after a day or 2...breastfeeding twins is TOUGH! With this baby, I was determined to do better, since it was only one baby and would be easier than breastfeeding two. Mason took to it right away right after birth, and had a perfect latch from day one. He was great in the hospital. We got home, and it went south. He was on me 24-7...I knew part of that was normal, but not at a week old. We finally discovered, after having our doula/lactation consultant come out and watch him nurse, that he was only actively sucking and eating for the first few minutes. The rest of the time, he was just pacifying himself or falling asleep and it was impossible to wake him up. He wasn't swallowing and actually eating to get full. So I started pumping for 10 minutes after each nursing session, and giving him what I pumped in a bottle, to help him gain weight quicker. I did that for a few weeks, but started to get burnt out quickly. I am a stay at home mom, and my husband had to be back to work full time a few days after Mason was born. With no friends or family to really help out, it was all me with the twins and a very needy breastfeeding baby. I made the choice to do half breastfeeding and half formula. I would nurse him all night in bed with me, and during the day nurse him on demand, and if he wasn't satisfied after that, I'd give him a few ounces of formula to make him go longer between feeds and allow me to rest or tend to the older kids. But, then he went on a nursing strike. I started pumping like crazy when he was on this strike, to keep my supply up and continue to give him breastmilk at least from a bottle, along with formula when and if he needed it, so he was still being fed. Part of his nursing strike was from beginning to teeth (he has 4 teeth now and he's just barely 5 months!), and part of it was because he liked the faster flow of the bottle better, even though it was a slow flow nipple. As the days went by, I slowly weaned him from the breast...or, rather, he never really completely came back from his nursing strike. It was sad, but we both are happier and less stressed now. This has not changed my mind about breastfeeding our next baby though. I know how to do it and know I can do it, I just hope it goes more smoothly next time and I can meet my goal of a year or more. Thanks for sharing your story. You have inspired me to share my story on my own blog, in honor of World Breastfeeding Week. :-)

  4. There were a lot of factors that kept me from breastfeeding my older daughter, and I'm happy with my decision to formula feed her because of them. That being said, I am still looking forward to the birth of my 2nd daughter and our attempt at breastfeeding. Hopefully this time we'll do better!

  5. Yay for you! Perseverance is an awesome thing in a mama.

    Breastfeeding is tough, so cut yourself some slack. I think because it's "natural," we assumes it will come naturally, aka, easily. It doesn't. Especially the first six months.

    As a mama still nursing my soon to be two year old, the best encouragement I could possibly offer is to take it one day at a time. Don't think further than making it through this one day. This is something I learned in those first few days: don't set long goals or else you get overwhelmed and discouraged. Just take it one day at a time. You'll be so surprised when a month comes and goes, then six months, then a year... just take it all a day at a time.

    As for nursing in public, I didn't use a cover, but did keep a blanket in case Paityn pulled off that I could quickly cover myself with. I did find that a lot of places have nursing rooms. Malls, for instance. Maternity stores will let you use their dressing rooms. A corner table in a restaurant is a lifesaver, too.

    I have found Kellymom to be a never-ending source of help, as well.

    All the best to you! I've only nursed my one, but it's the most amazing bonding experience. I love it, and will dearly miss it when we are done. It was definitely worth struggling through the hard times.

  6. I jsut stumbled upon your blog - but I have to say I love this post!

    I had the same struggles you did as a first time mom - and I vowed to make my second experience better. I used all of your points as my guideposts as well - no bottle, not being afraid to nurse in public, etc. - you did right away...and it was amazing success! My daughter lasted the entire first year, and after supplementing my son for the last 6 months, I was so incredibly happy to reach that milestone! I'm now on my third and he is doing great as well. It is great to be able to learn from those experiences!


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