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One of the biggest choice a mom can make: breastfeeding
Deciding whether or not to breastfeeding is a huge decision. Some are completely behind it and there are others who wouldn’t even try.
Growing up, my mom always tried to breastfeed first. After seeing her breastfeed/pump for all of my siblings ( there are four other than my self).
So the question everyone always asks…… Should I breastfeed?
It honestly does depend on circumstances, you have to ask your self these questions:
- How long do I want to breastfeed ( my ideal number is one year)
- Do I want to pump and store for later
- Do I want to do both the bottle and breast ( this is a tough one because of some end up wanting the bottle because its easier for them, and they don’t have to work for it so I held off as long as possible)
- Am I returning to work within the 6 week time frame or just stay home?
- Do I want to breastfeed, to begin with?
I refuse to say “should” because this is about you and your child. It is strictly your call at the end of the day regardless of what anyone tries to tell you. Your body will produce enough milk for your baby (as long as you eat and stay hydrated).
Some Pro’s of breastfeeding
- No harsh formulas
- Reduced risk of colic
- First milk (colostrum ) is super high in nutrients and are vital for immunity
- The milk comes from your body, which in turn doesn’t cost anything
- You can freeze the milk for later
- Healthier for your baby
- Strengthens their immune systems
- On-demand supply
- Milk is already warm
- Easily storable
- Hormones are released during nursing that creates a strong bond between mom and baby
- Helps in losing postpartum weight faster
Some Cons of breastfeeding
- Lack of sleep, consistent sleep that is
- Sore nipples
- Sore breasts
- Clogged ducts can happen
- If you have to buy your pump outright(without insurance) it can be expensive
- Must be hydrated
- Must eat balanced meals with a high-calorie intake
- No alcohol ( if you even like having a drink now and then … it’s really not a big deal)
There is quite a bit of pro’s, and there are quite a bit of con. Essentially, you have to make the call on what you would like to do, and how you plan on going about it.
My downfall was a lack of nutrition and not staying hydrated while trying to pump and feed consistently. Also, I was not very good about getting up at night to feed or pump regularly, so I would wake up engorged and have clogged ducts.
There are some things that made it easier for me, while I was breastfeeding and pumping.
- Storage bags – These were great for freezing my milk, they laid flat in the freezer and once they were frozen you could easily stack them vertically and they took up minimal space.
- HPA Lanolin- This was a life saver for me, my nipples would crack and get sore after constant feeding and pumping, the lanolin went right on and is safe to nurse with it still on the breast.
- Lansinoh pump( I prefer Medela from experience but this is what the insurance paid for and it’s relatively affordable. It does not have insane suction but definitely adequate.) – This pump was an affordable option paid for by my insurance.
- Heating pad- These guys saved me everytime I had clogged ducts and mastitis
- Nursing Bra– It made the pumping and nursing experience easier all around.
- Mothers milk tea- The main ingredient in this tea is fenugreek, a plant that has been used to stimulate milk production for as long as I can remember. Also will have you smell like maple syrup.
When we would have to travel I would use the single breast hand pump by Medela, that pump was great. The pump is fairly small and the whole assembly could fit in a handbag. The hospital provided me with one when I was engorged shortly after birth.
All in all, I wish I could have another chance to breastfeed again.
My biggest pieces of advice for new breastfeeding moms or any breastfeeding mom is:
- have a high-calorie intake, but not fast food
- don’t let yourself get engorged
- keep calm, to reduce stress(stress will hurt your supply)
- don’t allow your baby to nurse constantly, this causes them to burn too many calories.
- pump after each feeding.