Bre*st is best…?

My plan is to breastfeed. Why? Well, I’m cheap. Also, apparently becoming one with my inner hippie-ness*. And, well, it’s hard to artificially reproduce something (anything!) the human body makes, so there’s that.

I get that it’ll be tough. I get that breastfeeding will suck. (Ha.)  I get that it might not work and blah, blah, blah.  Though I seem to have been lucky in avoiding the horrid birthing stories people seem compelled to share, I can’t manage to avoid the horrific breastfeeding stories.

So, a request, then some info.

Request: if you have a positive breastfeeding story (happy ending, we’ll say), would you post it on your blog and link to this post somehow so I’ll see it? Or link to the post in the comments? Please? I can get the info and the pump and the yadda yadda, but I’m running low on inspiration.

Info: I’m going with this pump, the Hygeia EnJoye.

It’s FDA-approved for multiple users so when I’m finished with it, I can sell it, and the initial price isn’t bad. I’m a little concerned about it’s usability as reviews seem to either be fantastic or wistful of Medela, but I’m willing to chance it to keep a bunch of plastic out of the landfill (or worse, stored somewhere in my house because I can’t bring myself to part with something so expensive).

And for the near future, I’m going to confine my breastfeeding questions for a journal, the books I’ve bought, and perhaps a lactation counselor or La Leche League meeting. I’m over the horror stories.

*Yea, yea, I know it’s not just hippies that breastfeed, I was just making a quick easy joke. Also, my corporate self is a little uncomfortable at the depths to which I’m wanting to stay away from formula, hospitals, and hype insofarasthat’spossibleamen. So I joke. Badly.

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19 thoughts on “Bre*st is best…?

  1. I don’t have a blog to link to but wanted to tell you i’m at almost eight months of breastfeeding and it’s wonderful. Yes, it hurt at the beginning, sometimes it’s a hassle in public, pumping’s a pain etc. but it has been so worth it. I can’t really even describe how awesome it is to be able to do something for my little guy that no one else can. It soothes him when he’s upset and when he looks up at me while he’s nursing and smiles, my heart melts into a puddle of goo. It’s bonding in an amazing sort of primal way that I just feel so lucky to be able to experience. I know parents who bottle feed bond with and love their babies just as much and different things work for different families and heck, I often envy the convenience. But for us breastfeeding works. I hope it goes well for you!

  2. No inspirational stories since I failed at breastfeeding after only 2 months, but wanted to tell you that if your ob writes a prescription for a breast pump (they can even specify what it needs to have) then many insurance companies will cover the cost 100% or you might have to pay just a copay.

  3. I’m a mixed bag re: breastfeeding but even the bad parts aren’t really horrific. I had heard those, too. Baby fed like a champ from day one so that was positive. We’ve had no problems with her going from breast to bottle to pacifier and back. Positive. It’s free and you don’t have to pack a whole load of stuff when you leave the house. They make all sorts of things to remedy boob problems you may have. I haven’t had mastitis or any of those awful things you hear about. I like that breast is best, yada yada. All that being said, I don’t love breastfeeding. I’m fairly apathetic about the whole act of it (but hate pumping). My two cents is that while it may be best, it may not be best for everyone. That if something unexpected happens and you can’t do it for as long as you’d hoped, cut yourself some slack. I have no idea how it’s all going to work out with going back to work on Monday (like if pumping will be enough to keep up my supply) and I have to have my gallbladder removed here shortly and have no idea how things will be after that. Whatever. We made it 3 months and anything else we eek will just be a bonus.

  4. Done and done: http://www.whattoexpect.com/blogs/mamalogues-polka-dots-and-pearls/breastfeeding-and-pumping-no-longer-hard-to-handle

    I’m a featured blogger at WTE, which means I have keyword rules I have to follow so ignore the repetition of some phrases. I’ve written about breastfeeding at my personal blog as well (www.polkadotsandpearls.com) but I think my last posts about it were from the beginning when I was still getting the hang of it and pumping was troublesome, so if you’re looking for upbeat happy posts, don’t start there.

  5. That’s my pump! I am in the process of writing a review of it on my blog, should be up soonish. Anyways, I love it, and although I’m only 3 weeks in, breastfeeding has been going awesomely for us so far. It was uncomfortable (not painful) for about 24 hours- the gel pads were amazing during that time, as was lanolin. I haven’t needed either since. I’d recommend definitely taking a bf’ing class- my hospital had a great one and it made a huge difference- if I hadn’t known that pain is not normal, I would have tried to push through at the beginning (rather than fix a poor latch) and would have had a much harder time.

  6. My daughter is 2 months and I have been breastfeeding her since her birth. So far it’s worked really well: I like:
    1. the convenience (milk is always there at the right temperature, and I don’t have to pack anything when going out)
    2. the cost savings (beyond a breast pump and some bottles it’s free)
    3. the health benefits for baby, including the extra IQ points
    4. the fact that it makes her poop/spit up less gross (a big deal since she makes a lot of it!)
    5. that it helps me lose lots of weight without any effort! (burns 500 calories/day)
    6. that I am forced to take some quiet time and rest every few hours, since caring for a newborn can be tiring
    7. that I am providing her with something no one else can

    She uses bottles and pacifiers without any problem, although she prefers to eat from the breast (started with these after the first few weeks).I use a Medela pump, but it is really easy to use (it was also more comfortable than breastfeeding at first), so I can go out sans baby. The only thing I don’t like about pumping is that it takes longer than breastfeeding (since pumping itself takes about the same amount of time, and then she has to eat).

    Breastfeeding was somewhat uncomfortable initially: maybe the first week or so. Lanolin really helped with the temporary discomfort and now I don’t have any problems. She also had a little trouble latching on one side, but learned how to do it better over the course of a couple weeks (I didn’t see anyone for it), so just remember that it’s a learning process for both of you and don’t worry if it’s hard/awkward at first.

    The only drawbacks to breastfeeding now are:
    1. nursing in public, since I still feel uncomfortable doing this (worried people will yell at me)
    2. if she doesn’t eat for a while, my breasts start to feel uncomfortably full. Luckily pumping is a cure for this.

    I didn’t take any classes or hire anyone to teach me, but I did get a book (though I didn’t read the whole thing). I think trusting yourself and trying to read your baby’s cues will result in a good outcome 90% of the time.

  7. http://www.sloaneandpuffy.com/2011/01/21/one-month.aspx
    There is a little nugget in there about bfing but to be honest, when it’s going well there is not much to say! As with birth I would say, don’t believe the hype and have your own experience!

    For now, I give you my doula’s advice – starting now, don’t use any soap or lotions on your nips. If you get the chance to expose then to 5 min of sun now and then, do it. Sensitivity in this area is no longer your friend!

    Now I have started a blog entry on bfing in public which I hope to post… Sometime. So I will try to remember to come back and give you the link.

  8. I’m only at 3 weeks breastfeeding my son, but so far it’s going really well. I’m sure I’ll have bumps in the road, but we are doing well. There are weekly free breastfeeding groups in my town and a monthly La Leche League meeting, which I have attended and plan to keep attending. I didn’t have any cracking or bleeding, just a little tenderness now and then when he first latches. Lanolin is amazing when I remember to use it after each feeding. Air drying is great too when you have the freedom to let them hang out for a bit.

    Definitely make connections with lactation consultants in your area before you deliver. Also, find out if your hospital has a lactaction consultant on staff and what her schedule is. The nurses at my hospital were all trained in lactation, but the board certified lactation consultant didn’t work weekends and I didn’t know to ask for an appointment with her. Also, my pediatrician has a lactation consultant on staff, so I was able to meet with her at both of my son’s first two appointments.

    The best advice I had was that breastfeeding really shouldn’t hurt, aside from soreness or tenderness.
    I think that moms who have issues tend to write and talk about their experiences more. My sister had a great experience breastfeeding, as did my two friends who are moms. There are lots of woman who have great experiences breastfeeding.

  9. woohoo! i’m very glad you asked this and i can go read happy stories now. we’re still trying for a kid, not pregnant yet, but i’m still wondering how we’re going to do this. we haven’t decided if i’ll be going back to work (as a teacher) or staying home, but if i go back… i’m just not convinced it’ll work. although, i am cheap too, so i’ll do whatever i can to make it work.

  10. I’ll be interested in a solid review when the time comes. I’ve had my eye on this pump since we started trying. It was $100 off on Zulily about a month ago. I begged my husband to let me get it because of the awesome savings, but he talked me out of it because I hadn’t had a positive pregnancy test yet. Well now I wish I’d been more forceful with him.

  11. I’ve been breastfeeding my daughter for almost 8 months now and for me it remains one of the very best things about being a mother. Not that there haven’t been some bumps along the way (cracked nipples, clogged ducts, and an ongoing refusal to take a bottle included), but all of those things pale in comparison to the joy – yes joy! – of breastfeeding. To me, it feels so much bigger than just providing food for your little one… it is about connection and security and comfort and nourishment and peace. My advice is to get your self a tube of Lanolin (absolutely necessary!) and a good pump (I love the Medela Freestyle) and arm yourself with a good bit of patience and a sense of humor. Good luck!

  12. Breastfeeding taught me how to be a mom. Seriously…it forms such a bond and tunes you into your baby’s needs in a way that bottle feeding just can’t. If you make up your mind to stick with it you will succeed even though there will be stressful moments. I started applying Lansinoh Lanolin in the 3rd trimester of both of my pregnancies and I never had any soreness or bleeding. My La Leche League has been a great source of encouragement and support–it’s a great idea to seek them out.

  13. I’d like to add that after my first day back at work (sob), I think I’ll be ok with pumping while baby’s at daycare. Ok = not hating it. I think it was just a big change to go from my tiny boobies not seeing much daily action to now totally being the focus. I was starting to resent them (weird, I know). But only pumping instead of the feeding + pumping I was doing is not so bad. Woohoo!

    • @cjm, SO not weird!! I resented mine too, at times, and had to tell my (extremely supportive) husband a handful of times, “Hey! Can we not spend this time problem-solving my boobs?!?” And yes–if I hadn’t had to pump *and* nurse to try and increase supply, I may not have hated my pump the way I did!

  14. I didn’t have the success I’d hoped for with breastfeeding (because of inverted nipples & supply issues resulting from breast reduction surgery); *however* even though my kid decided she was done nursing around 4 or 5 months (and that was SO hard emotionally for me), I LOVED the time I was able to nurse her. It was such a special, incredible experience with her! There’s literally nothing like being able to do that for your kid. For me, I needed to learn that breastfeeding isn’t necessarily an all-or-nothing thing. I didn’t have any of the breastfeeding problems (eg mastitis) that make up the horror stories. I do wish I’d gone to a La Leche League meeting and/or met with a lactation consultant prior to giving birth, and will do that next time. My hospital lactation consultant was very nice, but not as helpful as I needed her to be; she was very “the baby will know what to do.” Mine did, but I didn’t and she had jaundice, so didn’t wake up to eat & no one said to me, “Hey! Wake her up to feed her and/or pump every hour!” or whatever. I also had a very visceral, unhappy, bovine-y relationship with my pump. Not to bring you down, but I may have had a less severe reaction to that if I’d been expecting that could happen, you know? I absolutely recommend breastfeeding for all the health, financial, convenience & bonding reasons; loved it!!

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