Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Breast Feeding

How hysterically funny is this thing? Not sure if it is real and purchasable or not, but its been circulating on Face.book recently. Actually, my dad of all people showed me this! Ha

This is a scheduled post for the PAIL blogroll, coordinated by Elphaba, on you guessed it: Feeding babies via the Ta.Ta's ;) I apologize ahead of time to my dad and brothers, or any other guys, who occasionally read my blog. Don't worry, the above picture is is graphic as it gets.

For starters, let's start with my favorite breast feeding products.
(These products are linked back to BRU's website. I have not been sponsored by the store. This is just where I purchased my supplies. These are my own thoughts and opinions.)

  • The Boppy: My mom is so jealous of this creation! This comfy little pillow is so helpful during those early days, after delivery, to keep the baby in an a comfortable nursing position, saving your back, arms, and shoulders until your "mom muscles" are nicely developed. It can also be used for tummy time for the baby, and as a positioner to help the baby sit up. I recommend getting the plain muslin boppy, and purchasing a cover(s). That way when life's little mishaps spew, spill, and squirt all over the much loved and used boppy, the cover can be removed and washed, and its as good as new

  • The Hooter Hider: Yes, this is really what they are called, and they are genius! The strap around the neck keeps the baby from batting the blanket down, keeping you modest and covered. The neck piece also has structure to it so that you and the baby can make eyed contact during the feeding, which I love. I also think it helps the babies not feel so isolated/smothered as they get older. I am a very private/modest person and wasn't sure how I would feel about breastfeeding in public, but I quickly realized/learned if I only breastfed behind closed doors, I would never  rarely be able to socialize. This thing goes everywhere with me, and Ellie and I have already eaten/fed in numerous social settings. I strongly recommend moms start using this early on in the nursing journey so the baby gets used to eating "covered." 

  • Soothies: these are pricey, but I would honestly pay twice as much for  them, they are that darn good. I realize lanolin is the "healer" of choice, but it honestly did not think it worked all that well for me. Soothies and vitamin E oil were my go to pain reducers/healers. The Soothies are usually good for up to 3 days. Most hospitals have samples of them, so be sure to stock up while you are there!

  • Medela Pump In Style Advanced Breastpump - On-the-Go Tote: Every nursing mother needs a breast pump - no questions asked! This pump came highly recommended to me by many moms and lactation consultants. Yes, it is expensive, however,  everyone who I  know that has one has been able to use them after all their pregnancies, for years. This is another item, I pack up and take everywhere with me. Don't worry... while I might be comfortable nursing in public, I am not going to be allowing the public to view this "cow-esque" experience anytime soon. Few things make you feel more animalistic then hooking yourself up to a breast pump.

  • Medela Bottles and Accessories: I think the Medela brand bottles/nipples are the best compliment to breast feeding. All their bottles attach to the breast pump as well. I am not a huge fan of the breast milk bags, as I think they are difficult to handle and very easy to spill. Once you start pumping, you view your milk as liquid gold and even just a few spilled drops can nearly bring on the tears. 


  • If you are going to be taking the time to pump, you need the hands-free options! This is what I use, and it is extremely comfortable and secure. While, I don't go around the house vacuuming or dusting while hooked up to my hands-free device, but I can do many sedentary activities while pumping, which is very nice/helpful when pressed for time.


  • Supplemental Nursing System: I recommend purchasing one of these and bringing it, unopened, to the hospital. You may not need it, in which case, you can just return it. However, if you are like me and your milk takes days to come in, this will save your sanity, life, and make your baby much happier. I did not have one, and luckily had a nurse who help us set up a makeshift system, but taping a feeding tube to your already sore bo.ob and attaching it to a syringe that someone has to hold over your shoulder is far from ideal. Either system gets the job done, and I credit this (and our 1.5 hour feedings until my milk came in - ugh) with keeping Ellie from having to use the bili-lights. Another cool use for this system is for adoptive moms who have to use formula but still want to experience the bonding that comes with nursing!

Those a my Product Pearls  to breast feeding success!

I used to tell my patients and their families all the time - Knowledge is Power - do your research!  As "natural" as breast feeding is, it doesn't just come naturally for many. Some babies are just not going to be good nursers, some moms realize they do not enjoy the process. It hurts, it takes time, and lots of planning. With all the post-pregnancy hormones swirling, breast feeding challenges can create the perfect environment for one stressed out mama!! Stress and breastfeeding are not good combinations, especially early on.

Find lactation consultants in your area before you deliver, and meet with them, if at all possible. Not all personalities are good fits. Do research on your own. Have support supplies (i.e sooties, mother's milk tea, etc..) bought ahead of time. 

Don't waste time reading/worrying about all the things that can go wrong - it will make you go crazy. Again, those hormones are not your friends at this point, and will drive you to the cliff of insanity. Instead, educate yourself on what's normal. This way when it is going good, you will great about yourself, and then when something isn't right, and you can take the steps to rationally and systematically deal with it. 

I am so thankful we chose the breastfeeding route and that, once my milk finally came in, Ellie was a nursing champ. It was hard at first, having to have help feeding her every 1.5 hours around the clock. It hurt way more then I ever expected, and way longer then I had planned (so so incredibly sore and cracked for 6 weeks, and still experience extreme, if intermittent soreness).

 It has been such an incredible bonding experience for me and Ellie. I adore the faces she makes as she comes towards me to eat - only nursing anticipation makes her express those faces. I love the way she looks up at me out of the corner of her eye while she eats. She even smiles sometimes during her few and brief breaks from gulping.:) 

I find it mind-boggling that God created my body to make the exact nutrients that my daughter needs. Its overwhelming at times and extremely humbling. Overwhelming in that, wow, how creative is our God?? Overwhelming in that, I have been given the gift to nourishing my daughter - a gift that I am responsible to guard and protect. Its a good practice for the how the choices I make now will affect Ellie in the years to come. Right now, the music I listen to or the TV I watch doesn't affect her all that much, although I am very mindful of what she is exposed to in the media realm. However, the simplest things, such as what I eat, do affect her in the here and now. These are baby practice steps for bigger decisions to come. Humbling, in that God trusts me enough to entrust me with the gift of nourishing my daughter, and the ability to do so. 

I know so many women long for those moments of feeding a baby at their breast, and have yet to experience it. I still find myself looking at my daughter, especially during our feeding times and saying "Wow God, why me? What did I ever do to deserve such an amazing gift?" And the truth is, I didn't do anything to deserve it. For some reason, I was one of the ones God chose to show His love to in the form of a child. If you are one of those who has yet to experience this gift of God's love, it doesn't mean He loves me anymore then He loves you, although trust me, I know it can feel like that times! He loves and treasures you so much, and has the best and perfect plan for your life. A plan that will display His perfect love for you over time!

Nursing isn't the right choice or option for everyone, and I sincerely wish moms wouldn't make other moms feel guilty about either choice. Parenting is about making the best choice for you and your family, and being secure in that choice. 

So there are my thoughts on Feeding Via the Ta.Ta's! I have been blessed to be surrounded by several lactation consultants and other nursing moms, and I feel like Ellie and I have experienced great nursing success, so feel free to ask me any questions!

And just because she is so stinking cute...


  1. Great post! I'm still working on mine - need to get that finished today. Yikes.

    We couldn't use the medela bottles for feeding - the nipples were just too fast for Stella and she puked a lot. Just as an FYI, the Brown's Bottles we ended up using have the same necks as the Medela, so you can pump straight into them as well.

  2. Brown's Bottles are my second favorite for BF babies!:) Good to know they attach to Medela pumps.

  3. Thank you for the statement that it isn't for all moms. That has been my biggest challenge. With my 1st I gave up around 2 weeks. It was so painful. With my 2nd I pumped for 5 months. I actually had a mom tell me bottle-fed babies don't share as close of a bond as breast-fed babies AS I WAS FEEDING HIM WITH A BOTTLE. I wanted to punch her. Good thing I remembered my southern, christian upbringing.