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5 Things I Learned About Breastfeeding

5 Things I Learned About Breastfeeding

Before getting pregnant, I never put too much thought into whether or not I would breastfeed – it always seemed like the obvious choice for feeding my someday baby.

I’d always heard that breast milk was the ultimate nutrition for your baby – it’s easy to digest, is a great source of fat and proteins they need for brain development, and has lots of antibodies that will keep them strong and healthy. So when I finally had Shai, I wanted to make sure I gave him as much of a head start as I could. I was super-lucky that he latched on so easily – I think I may have even cried happy tears when he did.

But, like most things new mothers face, breastfeeding has been a learning experience…

It’s Time Consuming

When I brought Shai home from the hospital, he was feeding every 2.5 hours. It made having any sort of life outside of the nursery pretty difficult – though I did get quite a bit of writing done between feedings. Eventually, that went up to every 3-3.5 hours, but at least that gave me time to pump. Or shower. Or throw on some mascara, if I was feeling fancy.

It Can Be Scary

I didn’t think anything could be scarier than having to size all the way up to a 34DDD bra, but then I discovered the joys of bleeding nipples and clogged milk ducts. I think my jaw dropped to the floor when I found a layer of nipple skin on the feeding pillow. Or my first week back home, my boobs went all lumpy and hard and I could hardly squeeze any milk out. Things like this happen. They’re alarming and painful, but you just have to work through them.

It’s a Great Way to Bond

I love being able to provide for my baby and the bond that it’s created between Shai and me. Even though I’m back at work, I still have him at the rehearsal studio with me so I can feed him on breaks. Having the help and flexibility to keep this consistency was important to me.

Did I Mention It’s Time Consuming?

Between leaking if you don’t pump soon enough and the actual feeding itself, it’s a commitment. One of the most time-consuming things is getting him back to sleep! Breastfeeding itself is actually pretty easy, but if they’re full of energy or fussy, it takes a while to get them settled down. Then sometimes you’ll get them fed and settled just in time to feed again. It’s a vicious, hungry cycle, I tell you.

It’s Not the Only Choice

For some, choosing to breastfeed (or not breastfeed) isn’t as easy of a decision. I had friends who were seriously weirded out by the thought of a little thing suckling from their boobs – which, when you put it that way, does seem a little off-putting. Then there are some babies that, despite their mothers’ best efforts, just don’t take to breastfeeding – which can be terribly upsetting to a new mum. Whether you do or don’t is between you and your baby.

You’ve got this, mamas.

Photo Credit: Shane Russeck

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  1. You are doing a great job mama! I breastfed my triplets for a year (via pumping) and while it is utterly exhausting, it’s definitely worth it. If you haven’t tried the hands-free pumping bra from Medella- you should. It enables you to multitask while pumping. Best wishes.

    Posted by: Tiffany Truchan on April 3, 2017 at 9:41 am
  2. I breast fed both my baby girls. The first one for 6 months and my second im still breastfeeding and she’s 9 months. Was easier with the second baby, I knew what to expect but it is time consuming …. yet it such a wonderful bonding experience.

    Posted by: Marie Josee Strazzero on April 1, 2017 at 12:31 pm
  3. I am a previous nursing mother a way long time ago and I nursed both of my boys and yes it is time consuming and lots of people don’t condon you nursing but I decided my boys needed a head start in life so like you I made the same decision. I like that you are sharing your experiences with other moms. I am now a Grandma and I follow your blogs you can make a difference and inspiration to other Moms!

    Posted by: The Grandmazoo on April 1, 2017 at 11:47 am
  4. So nice to hear your thoughts. I just brought home my baby boy last week and going through the feedings every 2 to 2.5 hours and still getting the hang of the breastfeeding schedule. Nice to hear other moms are experiencing the same. At the time you feel your the only one in the world having a challenge! Tks for your post
    Natasha

    Posted by: Natasha Clark on April 1, 2017 at 10:06 am
  5. Congratulations on having little Shai he is an angel god bless you are an amazing mother you inspired me so many times I am pregnant ( my first trimester) and after reading this article I am excited to feed my baby the national way
    Thank you for sharing your experience I am sure all the new mothers appreciate it

    Posted by: Sarah on April 1, 2017 at 2:05 am
  6. Have you been using The Anywhere Bra by Ollie Gray?

    Posted by: Bryce on March 31, 2017 at 9:23 pm
  7. So true! and all things I never thought of, or fully understood until I was in the thick of it!
    Ps I am very impressed with you on dwts. I had postpartum joint pain for months in my knees, wrists and shoulders. Getting back into exercise and running was a struggle. But I’m doing it!

    Posted by: Bridget Graves on March 31, 2017 at 8:41 pm
  8. Been there, done that. You are amazing! Keep it up!

    Posted by: Tracy on March 31, 2017 at 8:05 pm
  9. I have a 5 week old baby girl that I am exclusively breastfeeding. I failed miserably breastfeeding my son, and I have vowed to do better this time. And you are right it is hard!! She is upper lip tied, and we started out with a horrible latch, bloody nipples ( so bad that she actually spit up blood!), And sometimes while I’m doing it I think, gah formula feeding would be so much easier. But we’ve made it this far, and hopefully it will continue. Thanks for your encouragement!

    Posted by: Rachel on March 31, 2017 at 7:16 pm
  10. I was very amazed when I seen your posts on Instagram pumping back at work. I am a location consultant and I reposted your fabulous pumping area encouraging mom’s and employers that Brrastfeeding support will make our next generation healthy.
    I am sorry that you had those experiences and hope that if you decided to expand your family with another Lil one that you are able to reach out for help and support so there are less issues. Best of luck this season and to your beautiful family.

    Posted by: M_kempz on March 31, 2017 at 7:14 pm