- Breastfeeding is natural. It doesn’t mean it is easy for everyone.
- It does get better.
- Get informed and surround yourself with knowledgeable people. It can make a whole difference.
- It is OK not to get it right the first time. Baby and you will learn together.
- Carpe diem. It is very hard to see the big picture when you are in pain or going through something difficult. Just try to make it through the day. And reevaluate tomorrow.
- It is not as bad as it looks to nurse during the night when you get the hang of it. Just keep doing what you were doing (sleeping) and baby will do the rest. Lying down position to nurse is my favorite!
- After a good nursing session, that ”I had too much of this turkey dinner but damn, that was good!” look is so precious!
- It is both practical and not. No need to own, wash, store, prepare bottles. Milk is at the right temperature and it is perfectly adapted to your baby’s needs. But you are the only person that can feed him/her. Which is a beautiful thing but makes it difficult if your baby nurses often and you would like to go somewhere without him/her.
- It gives you a sense of pride and empowerment. I can’t explain, it just does. It is also extremely relaxing.
- Growth spurts are kill-joys. When you think you and baby have adjusted well…think again. We are going through the 6-week growth spurt and I am not surprised to hear half of the women who breastfeed stop right there. It is not easy. It is extremely exhausting (I will let you picture how wonderful I feel today being sick as a dog and juggling with a toddler who’s favorite word is “no”). But I read somewhere it would get better so I am hanging in there (even though last night at about 1am I kinda wanted to cry. Oh, no wait! I did cry!)
- Victoire and I are very fusional. She is happy to stay by herself for a few minutes after a good feeding but will most likely cry in someone else’s arm for over 5 to 10 minutes. I don’t think I like that.
- She is growing very well. And I couldn’t be prouder!
- I want to wear a badge saying: “Cracked nipples survivor”.
- When your baby cries, people will automatically assume he/she is hungry. Even though he/she just ate. That is majorly annoying.
- I don’t know if it has anything to do with breastfeeding but I lost all my baby weight. It doesn’t mean I am back to looking sexy but the weight is gone. It is a good start.
- Breastfeeding Victoire helps me to be healthier.
- It makes you thirsty. I have recently been dreaming of swimming in a sea of Peach Ice Tea or Orangina.
- Finding ultra-absorbent nursing pads was life changing.
- Had never heard of “forceful let-down” now I wish I didn’t know what it meant! To think I thought spraying my baby’s face with milk was funny at first…doesn’t make me laugh anymore.
- Breastfeeding in public isn’t as well seen as bottle-feeding in public for some reason.
- I think breastfeeding is going better this time because I was better informed and knew who to turn to if I had concerns or questions. But also because labor and delivery went extremely well. I didn’t feel as “broken” as I was postpartum with Sixtine.
- It is an ongoing learning.
- Breastfeeding more or less “successfully” Victoire has made up for the bad experience I had with her sister.
This time around, I will take things as they come. I won’t read all the books, and the blogs, and the forums, and I won’t put too much pressure on myself, wanting to be perfect. This time around, I will ask for help earlier if I have troubles breastfeeding but I will also let it go without regret if it doesn’t work out. I won’t think of myself as a bad mother. This time around, I will love you, and give you my all, and that will be enough.
Sixtine is formula-fed. Discuss.
Breast-feeding vs formula-feeding seems to be a very hot subject lately. I want to tell you the story of my breastfeeding experience.
I became a mum on the seventeenth of October, at 9.08am. My body was naturally ready to feed my baby. Me, not so much. I never really gave a big thought about breastfeeding. I had breasts, I would produce milk, breastfeed my daughter and all would be well in the world. When Sissi was born and they had made sure she was fine, they put her on my chest. And we cuddled. It was a very special moment. She was so little. This skin-to-skin experience was amazing and I will always remember it. Then they put her to my breast. And she started to suck. It felt different but in a positive way, and I felt happy and empowered to be able to provide for my daughter. It wasn’t always easy to find the right position to feed her, but the nurses and lactation consultant were there to help. I started to feel confused after a few hours when different opinions were voiced and that the lactaction consultant told me that if baby was awake, she was hungry which led to a 6-hour (I may be exaggerating but slightly – I was tired so my memory is a little foggy) feeding (on and off) or at least, she was on the breast for those six hours. She was not sleeping, so she was hungry?
We returned home and the real challenge started. Oh dear…! I was beyond exhausted and baby was eating every 2 hours. I wasn’t always confident in the way I was doing it (is she getting any, is she latched on properly…) and it started to hurt. It went from mildy painful to oh-my-god-she-will-probably-wake-up-in-ten-minutes-please-don’t-wake-up-yet.
I loved the emotional aspect of breastfeeding but it wasn’t comfortable for me at all. It hurt a lot. I was always wet. And was somehow disturbed by that new function on a physical aspect: nipple hurting when seeing baby, extreme leakage, wet bed, shirts, everything…
It became very stressful, and extremely painful as in tears and ahh-ohhhs, and sobbs and crying so much one night I had to call a friend. I couldn’t keep my calm and told her how hard it was for me (she was still breastfeeding and I felt comfortable “confessing” myself. She’s not the judgemental type. That helps.) and she advised phoning Public Health which I did.
A nurse came in and checked me out. I felt very vulnerable at that time. Labor and delivery, an episiotomy and breasts in fire, anything she would have said would have made me cry. Even the word “sandwich”. Anyways, she checked my nipples and said: “no one could breastfeed with nipples like that.” It made me feel better because I thought I was being a “baby”. I saw a Dr who prescribed a cream Dr. something (can’t remember – baby brain anyone?), nipple shells, I was all geared up. The plan was to pump for a couple day until my nipples would get better so I could go back to breastfeeding Sixtine. I did feel better. Much better. So I decided to give it another try. My mum was home with me for the first two weeks of baby Sixtine’s life and saw how I was struggling and really highly suggested I formula-feed her seeing me in such pain. When I put Sixtine to the breast after two days off, I said to my mum: “I am scared, she is gonna bite me.” She answered: “You are scared of your own child” and laughed it off. I tried and she made a funny face. A look that said: “don’t want it”. After a couple more times, I assumed she didn’t like being on the breast anymore and I felt hurt but relieved. I decided then to pump my milk and give her expressed milk in a bottle. It worked wonders ! Didn’t hurt at all (anyone has noticed how big nipples get after pumping !?) and I felt good about the fact that she was still getting expressed milk. I was very good at it and was even able to freeze some. After a bit, I wasn’t home much and wasn’t able to pump as much as I used to and ended up producing less milk which made me wonder if I should buy my own pump or stop pumping completely. (The pump I was using was borrowed to the Public Health.)
I decided to stop. Formula was introduced once the frozen breastmilk ran out. I felt guilty at first and slowly, I started feeling somewhat ok with it. I think the feeding choice is a very personal one and I wish it wasn’t looked up or down so much.
My baby got a month and a half of breastmilk and I just want to hear: it is ok, you did your best.
When we brought our daughter home from the hospital, we decided to co-sleep with her as it was easier for me. I was exhausted and having her by my side while I was breastfeeding was our best option at the time. Long story short, I stopped breastfeeding and my husband was able to help with the feedings but after a month and a half, I started to feel overwhelmed. I couldn’t do anything as my daughter was only happy in my arms, on my chest or her father’s. I couldn’t rest, and I couldn’t get anything done.
So one night, I decided that was the end of it. My daughter would sleep in her own bed, in her own room. We bought a set of three baby monitors and when my husband was away for a couple days, I started “sleep training” her (I am not talking about sleeping through the night here – she still needed to eat every 3 to 4 hours). The first night was really hard for both of us. She was missing me, I was missing her and I felt guilty. After about an hour, I took her back with me. The second night, I waited three hours. And she was less unhappy about it than the night before. The third day she made very little noise and seemed ok with the idea. After a week: the “sleep training” was over. I missed her at first but got used to sleep better very quickly !
About a month ago, I started to space out the feedings by putting her soother back in her mouth instead of feeding her. 15 minutes the first time, then 30…and so on.
Now, she usually goes to bed at 8.30pm and won’t wake up until 5 or 6am in the morning. She does wake up some time during the night, but it is rare enough. She has been a bit off lately – teething ! – and her routine has been a little different but she slept from 8.30pm last night to 9am this morning. I was on duty for early feeding this time and didn’t have to wake up early ! Haha !
I am hoping that this post won’t turn against me and make my baby girl a night owl…I know that sleeping routines are not set in stones, especially at such early age (growth spurt, teething, etc) but I will do my best to make it easy for everyone. She seems to enjoy life much better after a good night sleep, just like we do !
How about you and your little one(s)? Have you tried co-sleeping? Did it work for you? Do you have any advice for other parents?