Confessions of a Breastfeeding Mom

In honor of National Breastfeeding Month, I thought I would share some of my breastfeeding confessions. Also, I am sharing 12 really great breastfeeding posts written by a few of the mamas from my Mom Blog Tribe. Make sure you scroll down to check them out – these moms have some great experiences and advice!

Ok, let the confessions begin..

Confessions of a Breastfeeding Mom - Breastfeeding Blog Post Roundup & Super Basic Breastfeeding Checklist included - Click to get it!

I didn’t enjoy breastfeeding for the first few months. 

The first day my son was born, I was in complete awe over how he nuzzled his way down to nurse within minutes of being laid on my chest. But once we left the hospital that awe went straight out the window. It hurt. It was awkward. And it hurt. When my friends would tell me that I would start to love it, I had serious doubts.

I constantly questioned my milk supply. 

There was no reason to, I just did. My son gained weight fine, he peed and pooped as he should but, still, I was always thinking I didn’t have enough.

I was too lazy to pump. 

The only times I ever pumped was during the engorgement stage and the few times that my son slept through a feeding. (I know there’s different school’s of thought on this but mine is, unless there is a medical reason to wake the baby for a feeding, I don’t!) Other than that, I was just way too tired physically and mentally to keep up with pumping on a regular basis.

I gave my baby some formula.

Being away from my baby and unable to feed him was extremely rare but for such events (since I didn’t pump) I had formula.

I hid said formula because I was ashamed. 

Yep. I have only ever told a couple of people (until now, that is) that I had formula on hand as backup because I felt so guilty and feared being judged.

I worried that my milk wasn’t good enough for my baby. 

Ironically enough, I often worried that my milk wouldn’t be nutritious enough and frequently thought that maybe I should just give my son formula.

I co-sleep because, again, I’m lazy. 

To me, one of the biggest perks of breastfeeding is you don’t actually have to get up to feed the baby. Just make sure the boobs are out and sleep tight. (I love my sleep!)

I’ve never worn a nursing bra. 

A friend of mine told me to buy nursing sports bras. So, I went to the store to get one and… yikes…  they’re expensive. I bought two regular old sports bras for less than the price of one nursing sports bra. I wore those for awhile then, eventually I just started wearing my regular bras again. I fill them in a little more than before but, to be honest, I kind of like it.

I have nursed my son while in a moving vehicle. 

Don’t worry, he was safely buckled in his car seat. I’ve also nursed while sitting in a kids’ playhouse at one of those little kiddie land places, in the bath tub and on the toilet!

I’m pretty shocked that I have breastfed so long, or at all. 

I initially set a breastfeeding goal of 6 months because mentally that felt much more doable than a year or more. But, honestly, I had little faith in myself that I would make it past the first two weeks (I’m pretty sure my support people had even less faith in me!). I was quite shocked that I even made it to six months let alone 14 months (and counting).

Please note, I am speaking from the experience of someone that had minimal challenges. We had a very small latch problem that was fixed in the first three days and my son had oral thrush for two months but there were no major difficulties for us. So, for me, the biggest battle was really and truly my own will and mindset.

What breastfeeding confession do you have? 





As promised, here are some really great Breastfeeding articles from my Mom Blog Tribe. Check them out! 

The Early Days of Breastfeeding – Sophia Says Hello

Intimacy and the Breastfeeding Mother – Lactivist in Louboutins

Breastfeeding My Biggest Nursing Surprises – Short Sweet Mom

5 Things to Include in a Distraction Free Breastfeeding Zone – SoLace in a Small Town

Challenges with Breastfeeding a Toddler – Healthy Happy Thrifty Family

Lessons in Breastfeeding – Momma Junebug

These are a Few of My Favorite Breastfeeding Things – Naturally Made With Love

Breastfeeding While Traveling – Tapped Out Travellers

Confessions of an Exclusively Breastfeeding Mom – From Nurse to Mom

Working Mom Breastfeeding Essentials – Fab Working Mom Life

15+ Recipes that Boost Lactation for Breastfeeding Moms – Fab Working Mom Life

Remembering the Last Latch – Fab Working Mom Life




One more thing! Are you a soon-to-be breastfeeding mama or know someone who is? 

Get a FREE Download of my Super Basic Breastfeeding Checklist. 

 Super Basic Breastfeeding Checklist - Click for a FREE download

Breastfeeding A Toddler

I wrote a post recently on things I’ve learned about breastfeeding but one thing I didn’t include, that perhaps I should have, is that when you reach a certain point in breastfeeding people will start to ask how long you plan on continuing. Or if they don’t outright ask they’ll ask and say other things.

Things like…

But he has teeth. What if  he bites you? (This one makes me laugh since he’s had teeth since he was three months old. Also, if he bites me it hurts.)

Can’t he drink milk? (I’m not sure what they think comes out of there.)

But he needs to eat! (For the record he does eat and not just from my breasts.)

And it’s not just the slightly skeptical that make remarks. 

Oh, good! I hope you’re going to go to 18 months. At least. You are going to 18 months, right? Two years old would really be more ideal.  (Whatever you say, lady that I barely know.)

My 6 year old still nurses sometimes. (Keep your eyeballs in your head, Inez.)

Well, I nursed my kids until three years old. (Well, probably won’t!)

Though I can make light of it, the point at which I stop nursing my son is something that has caused me a bit of inner conflict. Some days I just really want my boobs back (and I feel guilty about that). But, for the most part, I don’t feel that my son is ready to wean and I really have no plan as to when the nursing will stop.

I know I’m not the only mama “still” nursing and many are far beyond the point I am at. This is why I am totally loving this Real Moms Talk interview I’m going to share with you today! 

Jennifer from My Mama Project is sharing her experience with nursing her toddler and I can honestly say, her words were a big encouragement to me personally. And I know they will encourage you, too, whether you are nursing a toddler or not!

Breastfeeding a Toddler. Real Moms Talk. Diary of a New Mommy. Breastfeeding.

How long have you been breastfeeding? 

I started breastfeeding my son when he was less than an hour old and we have been going strong for 18 months.

Did you initially plan to breastfeed beyond one year? 

Well, the plan was always to breastfeed for at least a year and then to be honest, I planned to just see what happened from that point forward.

What made you decide to breastfeed into toddlerhood? 

I think the best answer to this question is nothing. As he is my first child, I am kind of making all this up as I go along. Ultimately, my son still wants to breastfeed and I believe that he is getting nutrition from it, so nothing has crossed my mind about stopping just yet. I think that he will make the choice to stop when the time is right and if I ever personally feel that it is time, I think I will know when we get there. Not a very specific answer, I know!

Have you found that some people are uncomfortable with your decision to continue breastfeeding your toddler? 

I have been very lucky to not have the experiences that many other people report having. I have never had anyone tell me to “cover it up” or give me strange looks (or if they did, I wasn’t looking!). I feel very confident in my choice to continue breastfeeding and I know my inner Mama Bear would come out in full force if anyone tried to make me feel bad for my decision to breastfeed my toddler. I think some people in my life probably wonder how long I am going to keep this up or think that at this point I am only doing it for myself and not for my son’s needs, but they are smart enough to keep those views to themselves.

What are some challenges of breastfeeding a toddler that you may not have experienced when your child was an infant? 

This is a great question. For starters, when my son was an infant he would calmly nurse under a cover (and I had a bunch of cute ones). On the flip side, there is no way my toddler will tolerate a cover put over him now while he nurses. He instantly grabs it and pulls it to the side, so there is really no option but to nurse out in the open. My toddler is also a very “active” nurser. I’m talking a – nose grabbing, stomach kicking, clothes tugging – kind of a nurser. I feel a little overly stimulated after a nursing session sometimes. Lastly, a toddler (at least mine) can ask to nurse. For my son that usually means putting his hand down my shirt and heaven forbid if I am wearing a shirt that isn’t conducive to that. He will find a way in!

What is the most common response you get when people find out you breastfeed your toddler? 

“Oh, you’re still breastfeeding? (insert slightly impressed and slightly confused face here) Wow!” is usually the response I get. Most people are respectful of my choice, some are even quite curious, but mostly people show their slight judgement in their face and not their words.

What is the best piece of advice you have for a mom who may be trying to decide how long to breastfeed? 

Do whatever makes you and your baby happy. Don’t give a second thought to what anyone else tells you or what you think others expect you to do. Trust your mom gut and always know that whatever you choose, you are doing the best you can for your baby and for you. Whether you are breastfeeding your 2 year old or feeding formula to your newborn, be confident in your choice and let your inner Mama Bear shine.




Meet Jennifer: Jennifer Hanson. My Mama Project. Interview on Breastfeeding a Toddler. Real Moms Talk. Diary of a New Mommy. First Time Mom. New Mom. Breastfeeding.

Hello, I’m Jennifer! I’m a wife, mama, and lifestyle blogger trying to raise my tribe with gumption and grace.  I love yoga pants, coffee, ice cream, and reality television.  You can follow my motherhood journey at www.mymamaproject.com and on Instagram @mymamaproject. I’ve always loved a good project.  My favorite one calls me Mama.  {I’m always tired and make it up as I go along!}

7 Breastfeeding Essentials

When my son was a newborn I had a couple of different friends ask me how nursing was going and both had told me that it was “beautiful”. I remember thinking, there is nothing beautiful about this. I will say that the way he knew exactly what to do minutes after being laid on my chest as a newborn was beautiful. It was amazing. But, days and weeks later? It was awkward. It hurt. And it hurt. Did I mention it hurt? Don’t believe those lactation experts. It hurts! Thankfully, I did get past the “this is not beautiful” stage and really began to love it. Breastfeeding is beautiful and it is something special that you and your baby have just between the two of you. But, yes there is a bit of a learning curve. And, now that I’ve done it, I totally get why so many women give up in those first few weeks. There are a lot of great products to help nursing moms. I have compiled a list of 7 Breastfeeding Essentials that really helped me out as a new nursing mom. 

(This post contains affiliate links; I may receive  commission for purchases made through these links.)

7 Breastfeeding Essentials - Diary of a New Mommy

  1. Lansinoh SoothiesOh. My. Word. These things are AMAZING! My sister is a lactation consultant (I know, how lucky was I?) and she swears by these. In the beginning when I was experiencing a lot of discomfort, she ran out and bought me some. Like I said, amazing. They instantly sooth nipple soreness. Seriously, get themLansinoh Soothies Gel Pads. 7 Breastfeeding Essentials - Diary of a New Mommy
  2. Lansinoh Lanolin – Also for the soreness (cracking, blistering… oh my!). In those first few days/weeks, you will be sore. Unless, of course, you have nipples of steel. I only had a small tube that the hospital gave me. I didn’t even use the whole tube but it was still very helpful to have on hand, especially for the first couple of weeks. Lansinoh HPA Lanolin. Breastfeeding Essentials. Nipple Cream. Nursing Supplies
  3. Sports Bra – A friend of mine suggested that I buy nursing sports bras as they are more comfortable. I have one that someone gave me but I actually ended up buying regular sports bras. I eventually started wearing regular bras but at first I only wore sports bras. And when I say “regular” I mean regular.  I’ve never purchased a nursing bra. (And only own the one that was given to me.) Sports Bra. Breastfeeding Essentials.
  4. Nursing Pads – For the leaking. Need I say more? I used Lansinoh Disposable Pads. They worked really well for me. Breastfeeding Essentials - Diary of a New Mommy. Lansinoh Disposable Nursing Pads.
  5. Ice Pack – In the event of engorgement, you will want an ice pack. I used a regular old ice pack but there are ice packs and cold compresses specifically for breastfeeding. Whichever you choose, make sure there is an ice pack in your house! Breastfeeding Relief. Breasfeeding Essentials.
  6. Water Bottle – Get the biggest water bottle there is. Nursing makes you thirsty. Really thirsty. I got a 32 oz.  hydro flask as a gift when I was pregnant and it was perfect! Breastfeeding Essentials - Diary of a New Mommy
  7. Nursing Cover – This is probably not something you will use right away, unless you plan on having lots of guests that you feel comfortable nursing in front of but not so comfortable that you don’t care if they see your breasts. But, when the time comes, you will may want a nursing cover. I don’t use a cover a whole lot, only because we’re pretty much always home. But I do have a cover. One of my biggest tips on choosing a cover, is get something lightweight. After all, it is going over your baby’s head! You want to make sure it’s not too heavy, so it doesn’t get too hot in there. There are a lot of different covers to choose from. You could go with the sheet/apron looking kind. I was given two of these. Free works for me. Or you could go with some of the more fashionable covers.  I was recently introduced to Hannah Grey Nursing Couture through Instagram. They have some really cute covers that can be used as ponchos, scarves and even car seat covers or blankies for baby. I really love their collection! Oh, and did I mention they’re offering us a discount? Use my code “diary15” for 15% off! This offer ends May 20. 

    Use my code "diary15" until May 20 for a 15% off discount.
    Use my code “diary15” until May 20 for a 15% off discount.

So, that’s my list. These are the things that helped me in my nursing experience. (Yes, I realize I didn’t include pumps. We’ll talk about that later.) What are your nursing essentials? 

 

Breastfeeding & Weight Loss (Real Moms Talk Interview)

bfBreast is best. This should be our motivation for nursing our babies but, hey, that whole “you lose weight faster” thing is pretty appealing, too. I can honestly say this was not my motivation for breastfeeding but I know for some moms, it is. Personally, I don’t really care what your reasons are. Breastfeeding isn’t easy, especially in the beginning weeks. So, if you are breastfeeding or have breastfed I say good for you!

Ok, back to the point.

Although, weight loss wasn’t at the forefront of my mind in my decision to breastfeed, I definitely liked the idea that I would lose weight “faster”. . As I’ve mentioned previously, weight has always been a struggle for me; the thought of getting a little help by nursing was most definitely reassuring.

Well, guess what?

It didn’t quite go as planned. I’m not saying nursing didn’t help me lose weight faster. There’s no real way for me to know that. But at 6 months postpartum I still hadn’t gotten back to my pre-pregnancy weight and I was not a happy camper. Maybe that was a lofty dream of mine but from what I had heard about breastfeeding and weight loss I really believed that this was highly probable without doing a thing. I also thought that there was little that I could actually do to lose weight since I was nursing.

I was wrong on both accounts.

There is a reason that breastfeeding moms lose weight faster. Our bodies are made to acquire some fat during pregnancy (approximately 5-9 pounds). That fat is then used for the baby. If a mom is not nursing then she has simply acquired a bundle of fat from her bundle of joy.

In theory, this is great news for us breastfeeding mamas but that would be assuming we stay within the healthy range of weight gain during pregnancy (I did, by one pound and I thought I was fairly “strict”). Also, I was not prepared for the fact that I would be starving. At all times. And, yes, I needed to keep my caloric intake up. So, as it turns out it wasn’t quite as “easy” as I thought. Sure, for some it might be, but for many women there are some obstacles to getting back to our pre-prego weight easily.

As part of Real Moms Talk Losing the Baby Weight, I put a call out to my Facebook friends for women that lost their baby weight while breastfeeding. I am really excited to share an interview with you of one of the women that responded. Melissa is a high school friend of mine. It is rare that I can hear a No Doubt song without thinking of Melissa (I know, I totally dated myself). I was really excited that she was willing to answer and let me share her story with you. I was personally inspired my her answers and I hope you are, too!

Interview with Melissa melissafogg

  • Did you have a weight loss plan prior to having your baby? I never had a weight loss plan prior to having Abby. I had tried Weight Watchers and did well on it years prior, but I just worked out and tried to eat healthier. I worked out at the gym until I was 7 months pregnant. Just light workouts like walking on the treadmill and elliptical. It made me feel good!
  • At what point did you actively start trying to lose weight? I started actively trying to lose weight when Abby was about 6 months old. The weird thing is, right after I had her, I was actually thinner than I was before I got pregnant. I know your body does weird things, but I never thought I’d look better after having a baby. It was awesome! But then it caught up to me…especially during the holidays. I was in my little “mommy happiness bubble” and just really let myself go during the holidays. My co-workers and I decided to do a 6-month weight loss competition to really get us motivated.
  • Did anything significant happen to make you decide it was time? Putting my weight back on during the holidays while on maternity leave is what finally made me decide it was time. I was so disappointed with myself. I also knew that my husband’s first wife had really let herself go with his first 3 kids and I DID NOT want that to happen in this marriage. I wanted to feel good about myself – my daughter was perfect, my husband is gorgeous, so Abby needed a HOT mommy!!
  • What did you do to lose the weight? In March 2015, I began crossfit with my co-worker and friend. She had been going for some time and really loved it. She was a wife, mother, and worked full-time just like me. If she could do it, I could do it. Another co-worker of mine started the 21-Day Fix and it seemed to work for her. Combined with the crossfit, I was able to lose 25 pounds and win the weight-loss competition.
  • Did you have any challenges with maintaining adequate milk supply? I did have a hard time keeping my milk supply up. At times I felt discouraged because I didn’t know if I was able to give her as much as she needed. I began to take Fenugreek and drink lots of water to get my production going and it worked. 
  • Do you feel you had any misconceptions about losing weight while nursing prior to losing the weight? I had always felt I shouldn’t try to diet or lose weight while I was nursing because you need to consume more calories than I normally would. These calories and nutrients were necessary for Abby and that wouldn’t make it easy to shed the pounds.
  • What tips would you give to a mom about losing baby weight while nursing? Make sure you exercise (taking baby for a jog/walk with the stroller and eat healthy). It can be done….I did it. I have ALWAYS struggled with my weight my whole life, but once I figured out a good plan and what works for me, it was absolutely possible and totally motivating. I felt positive about it for the first time in my life.

Did you have any misconceptions about losing weight while breast feeding?

 

Real Moms Talk NoviceMommy.com