How is Breastfeeding going?

Don’t worry, I won’t be posting any pictures of me that go along with this topic but I will post an adorable picture of Brooke.

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As you might remember, I was most afraid of breastfeeding while I was pregnant.  I had heard horror stories.  The idea of it made me cringe a little and it scared me more than labor and pretty much everything else in the world.  

Right after Brooke was born she latched on right away.  She came out a hungry girl (which was expected with my genes in the mix) but I was the one having issues.  In the hospital I had a lactation specialist come the day after she was born to help me which was awesome but it still didn’t feel right.  It was extremely painful and she wasn’t staying on for very long.  This is when she started sleeping A TON and we couldn’t even get her to wake up for longer than a few minutes, probably because she was so hungry… it broke my heart into a million pieces. The day after leaving the hospital we went to the pediatricians and that is where they worried me to death by telling me that she lost too much weight and she needed to go on formula.  I asked them if I could breastfeed first and then give her formula and they said that would be fine.  I became absolutely determined to do anything I could to be able to just breastfeed her (besides the emotional reasons I wanted to breastfeed, formula is just way too expensive for us right now).  When I want something, I will do whatever it takes to get it. 

She downed her first bottle of formula after feeding with me for about 25 seconds and I was super bummed.  That night my milk came in and I almost started jumping up and down on our air mattress because I was so stoked.  She ate like a champ and when I tried to give her formula after (I was so worried I wasn’t giving her enough) she didn’t want anything to do with it. 

The two things that I am loving:

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Breast pump (I use it when I get too full and she isn’t hungry and will be using it when I go back to teaching early morning cycling) and cream.

It actually isn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be anymore, it hurts for the first 10 seconds and then it doesn’t (is that normal?)  I kind of love it and look forward to getting up in the middle of the night with her and having that time together.  (Let’s see how long I will be saying that:) 

I am thirstier than I have ever been in my life.

I am hungrier than I have ever been in my life.

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Did you ever use a pump?

What was your breastfeeding experience like?

Did you have to avoid any certain foods while breastfeeding?

-So far I have tried most things and she has been totally fine.  I have stayed away from spicy things but she has even been fine on things like garlic and chocolate.  

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83 comments

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Sounds totally, totally normal! So glad it’s working out and don’t stress!

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That picture of Brooke made my heart swell in my chest. I could literally feel it. You must feel so incredibly blessed!! I’m glad that you’ve been able to work through your slow start and that it wasn’t as bad as you thought — as someone who hasn’t been through it, but has also heard horror stories, this is encouraging! Even though I’m still MANY years away from being a Mommy myself :)

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Good on you for sticking it out, I got told I’d have to stop breastfeeding when I got mastitis at 6 weeks but thankfully I got better advice and kept going with it. I tried to avoid so many different foods i was probably being over the top. My experience with breastfeeding two kids for eight months each was challenging but I was very fortunate to have great feeders from the get go, knowing other mothers who had/ were breastfeeding was really encouraging too. Your doing awesome!

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look at those chubby cheeks! She is just too cute :) So glad to hear your breastfeeding update to far. I love that you spoke up at the Dr’s and worked it out. I want to keep in mind the ‘good’ stories for when our little boy is born this fall, they are so inspirational . thanks!

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Been wondering how you were doing on this…I’m also wanting to breastfeed and it’s soo good to hear a story like this, where you stuck it out and it doesn’t hurt!! That’s how it is supposed to be!

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Brooke is BEAUTIFUL! Congratualtions!! And congratualtions on working through breast feeding. This stuff is HARD work! Unfortunatly, a lof of people are clear on actually HOW HARD it is and get frustraited unknowingly and probably quit too soon. I have the same pump, back pack and all- and I usually read your blog while pumping! A heat wave hit when my twins were first home and I was having a really hard time nursing both at once in the heat so I quickly became a pump-only-provider. I’m one with the pump- literally; at my kitchen table, 7-8 times a day for over 20 minutes…BUT I’m able to 100% provide for 2, 2month old babies so I’ll take it! It is hardest after feeding both babies alone, (this can take up to an hour!) and then having to go pump in addition to it but I use it as a chance to chatch up on e-mails, blogs, write in baby books, write a grocery list…It’s not the end of the world being attached to the pump- it’s just the end of my young, perky boobies! I have to say, because my kids came 6 weeks early and were in the NICU, the pump also allowed me to give them the colostrum immediately. At the hospital they encouraged me to nurse each baby for 15 minutes then pump for 15. I also think the pump encouraged my milk to come in slightly sooner, but that could be wrong. It’s not what I picture for my nursing experience but it’s working and nourishing H&L, so that is most important. Good luck!

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Janell, I had almost the same experience with my twins (who were 5 weeks early and are now 6 years old). Getting the technique down to nurse them properly (and tandem) just never clicked for them, even after working with private lactation consultants and the angel volunteers at LLL. But, I was able to exclusively pump for them for nearly 11 months, then had enough of a freezer stash to hold them past a year old. It gets more efficient and easier as they get older. Hang in there!

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Me too, ladies! I was able to pump for my twins for a full year and it was truly the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Even harder than being pregnant with twins, having newborns or any of it! Being chained to that thing was soo hard but I’m proud of myself for sticking with it. So you can do it..hang in there! Twin mama’s are tough :)

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I don’t have a baby, so I can’t answer any of the bf questions, lol. I love that picture of Brooke, she really is adorable! I’m glad it’s going well for you, I plan on breastfeeding when I have kids and I would be totally bummed if it didn’t work out!

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The thirst! I swear, it’s almost unquenchable. Pain is normal- don’t be surprised if it gets worse for awhile before it gets better. A little trick I learned- try putting some Lansinoh (the lanolin cream) on BEFORE you start nursing. I swear it protects like a charm and helps so much! Glad you are loving it. I love that bonding time with my babies so much.

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Good for you for sticking it out instead of immediately throwing in the towel! I BF’d both my boys (who are 8 and 5 now). I think the best advice anyone ever gave me was to always ask for help if I had a problem. I had mastitis 4 times, and that was way worse than anything I had ever experienced, but I nursed through it. I couldn’t bear the thought of working so hard to nurse then just giving up. I also pumped (I had the same pump as you, and it lasted for both boys) the whole school year (I’m a teacher) after each was born. It was tiring, and took commitment, but once I had a routine down it wasn’t so bad (Once my body got used to it, I would be able to pump 12-16 ounces in 15 minutes. I had to switch to full sized bottles so I didn’t suck the milk back up into the pump!!). I didn’t avoid eating anything, but I probably should have layed off the chocolate, as there was a definite corolation between #1’s fussiness and chocolate, but when he was fussy I coped by eating chocolate…so…. hahaha!
Brooke is beautiful, and you’re doing a greatjob!

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So proud of you for sticking with it! I breastfed both of my girls and the pain only lasts the first 2 weeks or so, then you should be golden! I tried “conditioning” before my first one, and didn’t bother the second time around and didn’t notice any difference in the pain level…I just had to tough it out through those first two weeks and then we were all set. Keep it up, You are doing great!

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Good for you for sticking with it! Breastfeeding made my toes curl in the beginning…baby was hungry, I was crying….we were just a big ole MESS! But, like you, I was determined & it turned out to be one of the greatest joys of being a Mom. The best thing I did was ask anyone & everyone who had breastfed for advice. I’d use some, ignore some, but I learned a lot! Brooke is precious! Keep it up!

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Way to speak up!! I am thankful the Dr listened to you and took your request seriously. Sign of a great Dr. :)

Breastfeeding is way harder than I imagined but we are still hanging on. . . almost 4 months now. I am totally jealous of your pump!! I am using my sisters old pump (a Medela about 10 yrs old) and while it gets the job done I would be lying if I said I wouldn’t LOVE to have a new hands free or backpack version. I typically pump first thing in the morning since that is when I (any maybe every nursing mom??) makes the most milk. It’s also helpful to pump a little after each feeding to store up a milk stash in the freezer – great for when you go back to work. Good luck!!

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I have three kiddos 4,5,6. I formula fed the oldest, breastfed the middle one for 8 weeks. I was given the wrong birth control by my mid wife and dried up. I was so bummed. It made me more determined to make it work with my youngest! Made it a year with him. I definitely had moments where it hurt so bad . I bought a book that helped so much…. I can’t think of the name. I definitely could not eat broccoli while a nursed. I tried a couple times and my poor peanut would scream for hours. I had the same pump (just an older model) I teach so it was a lifesaver! I also pumped right before going out on runs! Enjoy it! There are moments I miss that bond!

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Great that you’re sticking with it on breastfeeding. My first taught me–I was so very lucky she was a “natural” at it. The second and third were progressively harder, so it’s a good thing I already knew I could do it. But one thing I kept in mind is that it’s pretty rare that a mom can’t do it at all. Sometimes there’s a physical issue with nipples, milk supply, medications, baby’s muscle tone, etc. More often, I think moms are talked out of continuing by medical staff or family/friends who undermine their confidence, which is sad.

Sounds like you’re doing fabulous! It should get to the point that the initial latch doesn’t hurt at all. My third was a “nibbler,” who hurt me when he just wouldn’t open his mouth wide enough, and he had to work his way onto me–that was painful. As he got bigger, I’d keep unlatching and making sure his mouth was wide open enough before letting him try again. If his mouth was wide open, there was no pain.

LOVE all these Brooke pictures!! She’s totally adorable!!!

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Brooke is beautiful. I bf’d both go mine m nw 7 and 10. You brought back a memory- that pain when they first start. It would feel like pins and then it would stop. I think that’s normal! I also had one with thrush and I had mastitis. You just work through any problems and don’t get frustrated. I miss I would pick them up to feed in the middle of the night and they have that wild eyed starving look. I loved that the best.

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I initially breast fed for the same reason, formula is so expensive. I ended up nursing and the pain completely subsides at 3 weeks (unless there is a problem). I had the same pump. My son is now 5 and starts kindergarten today.

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That pump and I were BFF because I wanted fo keep breast feeding after I went back to work. I loved nursing, you feel so close to your baby and it seems way easier than warming up a bottle in the middle of the night! It was hard to quit…until she got too many teeth!

I think no one warned me about how much it was going to hurt when she first latched on each time. There are no words to describe that pain!

Congrats on that precious baby girl :)

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I nursed all 4 of my kids for the full year.

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Congrats on your adorable baby! and congrats on sticking with the breastfeeding! I had initially thought I would breastfeed my son until he was six months old, he is going to be ten months and we haven’t stopped yet. I work and so I’m well acquainted with the breast pump, breastfeeding comes with its hurdles but I feel its worth it.

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Good for you!! I think breastfeeding is WAY harder than labor and delivery. I nursed both of my kids over a year, but it was NOT easy with the first one. I’m so glad you’re worked through the issues. Sometimes I think doctors try to sabotage mothers by suggesting formula too early. UGH. Don’t get me started!

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Awe it broke my heart a bit to see you upset but I’m really glad you were able to get the breastfeeding in. I never realized how expensive it was until I did an awareness campaign for it with the health department.

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Breastfeeding is a tough job, and it’s awesome that you are copping to that (so many moms don’t want to admit it!). It’s also awesome that you didn’t give up. It’s so easy to just go to formula when things get tough, and I can tell you that the payoff is so worth it. My son was breastfed for 6 months, and though it was hard on me in lots of ways, I loved watching him grow and thrive on just what I was giving him. What a gift! I hope to do the very same with our little one arriving in January. Keep it going, Janae and Brooke! You’re doing great!

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It’s great that is going well for you. Yes I was super hungry and I remember needing two breakfasts every morning. Breast fed for 7 months with my son and I’m 35 weeks now and looking forward to doing it again. It’s such a bonding experience and I loved the closeness… I miss it. The let down is usually the painful part and then once the milk is flowing it doesn’t hurt. After awhile there is no discomfort at all…until she sleeps through or misses a feed. You will see what I mean(ouch).
Be persistent and if you ever get stuck ask to see another consultant. That one person can make all the difference. Good luck, you are doing so well xx

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I used the same pump and loved it. I breast fed my son for one year. I miss it! He is 15 months now. The first few weeks it did hurt those first 10seconds, I know exactly what you mean. That goes away soon. Keep up the good work, it is so worth it!

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Yea! Glad it is going well. My experience w/4 of 5 kids was like you at first, but then never turned the corner w/milk coming in. I pumped… and pumped… and pumped… and made it between 4-8 months with them all, but it was a struggle the whole time, and any exercise made it worse. For whatever reason I had NO trouble with my 2nd child. Milk came in like it should, no issues! Crazy. Again, so glad it is going well for you! :)

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The hunger and thirst that I had when breast feeding my babies was so intense, especially when they were newborns. I never felt full! So glad to hear it is going well.

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Yay! Glad it’s working and she is nursing well! That’s the pump I have been using since may. It’s a good one! 8 months pumping and counting!!! Only a couple more to go!!

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Completely normal to hurt at first! I forget when… maybe a few weeks in, it won’t even hurt then. I use the Medela Freestyle. What I’m doing is feeding my Dude from 5:30 to 6 before I go into work and then feeding him as soon as I get home from cross country practice (usually around 5:30.) Then I pump 3x during the day: during my 2nd period planning, at lunch, then right after school (before practice.) That gives me enough milk to send with him to the babysitter’s the next day. I absolutely love that that is my time with him. I used a “Milkie” milk saver while I was on maternity leave and the summer (and now) while I breastfeed, and that got me to store up about 200 ounces in the freezer before I started back teaching. RECOMMEND BIG TIME!

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I am a future teacher and this gave me hope that I won’t have to sacrifice my family or my career when the time comes! Thanks for sharing!

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I’m not going to lie-it is HARD leaving him in the mornings, and I’m not an emotional person. He’s almost 4 months old, and this is my 5th week back (we start early). I HATE leaving him. I’m glad I can continue nursing him, but working stinks… and I love my job! It’s too much time spent away from him. Yesterday I ran 15 on the treadmill with him in his bouncy seat next to me because I didn’t want to leave him because I spend so much time away from him during the week between working and coaching. I cry every Sunday night and Monday morning when I have to go to work.

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All of that it totally normal! I think media makes it seem like your child is going to latch instantly and it’ll never hurt, and it’s going to be all puppies and rainbows from then on. That’s so not the case! All moms and babies are different – it just takes time to find YOUR groove with nursing. We were made to do this! I had a rough start with Eva (5.5 mo) and it was so stressful but we pushed through it and now she nurses like a champ. It will hurt for the first few months just because your skin is stretching and getting used to it. Eva would nurse for 1 – 1.5 hrs every 2 hrs in the beginning! I was crazy but totally normal to get the milk supply she needed. Definitely use the pump as much as you can/need – it will help your milk supply, too! AND thirst and hunger are totally normal, too! Drink and eat up!

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both my boys were preemies so the pump and I were together every three hours. My youngest never did get the hang of breastfeeding so I pumped for him for a year! Most new moms start leaking when they hear a baby crying….I’d leak if I heard the blender (or any other mechanical whirring) – ha!

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So glad you stuck with it and its going so well..I’m almost four months into breastfeeding and I love it so much. Its such an amazing bonding experience. And yes i. drink so much water now and have an insatiable appetite!

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I’m so proud of you for sticking it out! It’s totally normal for them to drop that weight before your milk comes in. The 10 seconds of pain when she first latches on is normal. It WILL go away and nursing her will become so easy for you soon. When she learns some head control you won’t have to do anything to help her latch and then it’s really easy peasy! I also used to pump when I would get really full and since I needed a stash of milk for returning to work I pumped first thing in the morning since you’re always super full then (after your milk supply stabilizes and she starts sleeping longer at night). Great pump choice by the way, its what I used with both of my kids.

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I am also so worried about breast feeding. So many of my friends have had lots of problems – but they have all stuck it out. Even my sister who had horrible issues at the beginning bf her two daughters until 1.5 years. I will have to pump as I will be returning to work 3 months after the baby comes but my office is pretty bf friendly so I’m not too worried about it. I’m more annoyed with having to cart the stupid pump back and forth on the commuter bus!

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I pumped a lot with both of my kids. My son wasn’t able to breastfeed for the first 5 days because of a few health issues (he was 5.5 weeks early). I pumped a lot, but never established a good supply. We struggled with breastfeeding for a while, but by 6 months, I couldn’t keep up with him, even with pumping multiple times at work. He also never latched on right, we used a nipple shield for a long time. With my daughter (5 weeks early), she nursed like a champ from the very beginning. The doctors were worried since she lost some weight in the beginning, so they told me I needed to supplement. I asked if I could supplement with breast milk to avoid using formula, and they said we could. I pumped after every feeding and my supply was awesome! She always refused the bottle afterwards, so I knew she was getting enough milk. I had the same pump, but in the metro bag. It’s awesome. After a few weeks, I cut out pumping after the night sessions. I had a freezer full of breast milk. I had to avoid onions and probably spicy food with my son, but he had a pretty sensitive tummy and some reflux. My daughter didn’t mind anything. I’ve heard that broccoli can make babies gassy, but I never had that issue. Your blog can definitely come in handy with this. If Brooke is fussy or gassy, you can look at your blog to see what you ate! I’m so happy that this is working out well for you. I think every momma goes through a time where they want to give up (between hormones, lack of sleep, whatever), but it passes quickly and you go back to being glad that you are doing it. You’re doing an amazing job caring for Brooke. She is a lucky little girl!

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haha, I can’t say I have anything to comment about here, but I’m glad things are going well!!

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Your exact story is why after my 1st born, I waited until my milk came in to even try to breastfeed. I made myself SOOOOO sore with my 1st trying to satisfy him with nothing, ended up with huge blisters and pretty much quit because it was just way too painful (and those dangs blisters stayed around for almost a month). With my next 2, waited until my milk came in, just bottle fed for the first day or two and wow what a difference. No blisters, no supply issues and I was able to succesfully nurse for a year with each.

So glad you got it working for you… it really is the best gift you can give your baby!

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You are gorgeous Janae! I’m so happy for you and your precious little Brooke! Breastfeeding is wonderful huh? I didn’t know what I was doing with my first, and gave up at 2 months. With my second, I was determined to go longer, and was only able to breastfeed for 4 months, and then I literally ran dry. I was even more determined with our third, and I made it 11 months!! I just stopped a month ago and I was so proud of myself that I kept trying and I succeeded at something that was so great for my baby and me! Just make sure when you do start running again, to eat and drink even more to keep your milk supply up!! : ) You go girl!!!!

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So glad for you it is going well, you did a great job of making it work. It really is a hard thing, so many variables and the emotions/hormones/exhaustion make it so much harder. But is is worth the fight.

Your situation sounds super typical those first few days the milk just isn’t there yet. I had to give my daughter formula for the first few days as well and I hated it but we stuck with it and it turned into 15 months of perfect breast feeding.

I had that pump too, its great. Be sure to get a freezer stash going for if you want to have date nights with your man or if your supply takes a dip here and there, its nice to have the back up. Once she sleeps longer stretches in the night you will be very full in the morning so feed here and then pump to empty out and build your stash that way. Often once you get your period back you will have a slight dip in supply for a few days.

Good job!!!!

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I was never hungier in my life than when I was breastfeeding!!! the first month was extremely rough. she was having a hard time latching and not gaining weight. I wanted to give up so bad, but I didn’t. It took some patience and getting help from lactation consultants. I nursed her for about 13 months, pumping up to 3 times a day while at work.

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your thirsty/hungry comments made me laugh. SO TRUE. I am a ravenous beast while breastfeeding. I’m so happy that things turned around so quickly for you, that’s really fortunate! It’s tough, but so worth it. It’s cheap and convenient too, which helps! It’s completely normal for it to still hurt a bit. That will go away and you won’t even remember it hurting . . . until she starts to teethe!!!!

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The first two weeks are the most difficult. Be vigilant about your lanolin and it will help with the pain! You’ll probably notice a drop off in your milk around 4 weeks, once your body figures out supply and demand. Pumping AFTER you feed will help though. I have the same pump and it’s been a lifesaver since I have been back at work for two full weeks. I’m determined to bf for an entire year with this one!
I, too, feel like I’m dying of thirst most of the day. As soon as Jordin latches on, I must have water!

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The first week is the HARDEST. You are doing great, glad it is working out so much better now for you! The crazy madness of being so thirsty and hungry is totally normal, gotta work hard to feed another human being! I had to avoid caffeine and spicy foods. I always used a pump to relieve myself when I was too full, and i loved my Medela pump!

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Breast feeding worries me a lot, too. I really really really want to do it, but I’ve heard so many horror stories, and there’s so much that’s beyond your control. I just bought a pump-in-style I found on Craig’s list last week that I plan to use once I return to work.

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I was truly sad when my baby stopped waking up in the middle of the night to nurse. It was our special time together, just the two of us. I’m glad you feel the same way!

I rented a Medela hospital pump. It was the bomb. So fast and so quiet. I also bought the Medela Harmony manual pump because it is really small so I could just take with me everywhere and then I could pump whenever I needed to. I highly recommend it.

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breastfeeding has got to be one of the toughest parts about being a new mom! I rented a hospital-grade pump and it was the greatest thing ever — especially because I was working full time — and my son wouldn’t latch on. I pumped for 10 months!

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Yay for breastfeeding! I never had to buy formula for either of my kids and they both breastfed until 11 months and they both weaned on their own. That’s such a good feeling, knowing it’s the BEST you could do for your baby and it’s FREE! I worked and pumped in my office, and stored up frozen milk in the freezer so I always had a supply for the babysitter. I’m so glad it’s going well and you stuck with it! It gets easier and you will never regret that bonding time with your baby girl. She is so precious!!

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I’m so glad you shared this information. I am quite freaked out about breastfeeding as well because I’ve heard so many horror stories. It is going to be a while before I experience this, but I’m glad to know some of this information so I know what I am getting myself into.

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It does get easier! The first 2-3 weeks with my first were the worst. By the time I got to my third I was all this is no big deal and I can even make one handed sandwiches for my older two while I’m nursing little dude now.

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I had the same thing happen, my daughter dropped to 6 lb. 9 oz from 7 lbs. and I thought I was starving her :( but then my milk came in and it worked out great. …Around 6 weeks is when all 3 of my kids started eating a LOT more, that is when it mattered what I ate…. some things would make them uncomfortable.

The thirst is incredible, isn’t it? My husband used to laugh about the relaxed “purry mama cat” face I made when they would start feeding.

She is a beauty, your little one – enjoy every second!

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Congrats on your baby Janae!! She is simply adorable. I haven’t stopped by here in a while so I missed a lot!!

Aw I hate that docs put the “fear” in women like that. I got that too, at her 4 day appointment she had lost 10% of her body weight. He gave me formula and said to give it to her. I cried and cried (I am a failure! I can’t even feed my own baby!) and I talked to some friends of mine, one of which is a LC. She said absolutely do not give her formula, she told me to pump and when I did it was just colostrum, therefore I had no milk yet. On day 5 the milk came and baby started porking up :)

I had a hard time with breastfeeding in the beginning. It hurt a lot. My nipples felt like open wounds. After maybe 3 weeks or so I felt better and now i LOVE it (she is 4mths)

I have the exact same pump! It works well. So far I have been able to pump enough for her and have almost 200 ounces stored in the freezer. Start building that freezer stash now!

oh and I definitely was/am hungrier from breastfeeding even more so than when I was pregnant. Hey I’m feeding a person now, not just a fetus!

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So glad it’s going great for you. It went really good for me too. I used the exact same pump and loved it. I didn’t really avoid any foods. It’s the best not having to make a bottle after getting woke up in the middle of the night.

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When I went back to work I ended up pumping exclusively because my daughter stopped latching on. It was a lot of work but I did it until she was 11 months old and I needed antibiotics for a wicked sinus infection. I am so glad I saved all the money on formula because now she goes through one tub a week and that is $20! Keep pumping and freeze any extra because when she gets teeth, she might become a biter!

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Those doctors can really scare you – especially when you’re a first time mom. My son lost a pound and I was a mess, and agreed to feed him the formula they handed to me in the office.

With my daughter (16 mo later), I insisted they give us a few more days without supplementing. The next day my milk came in, and everything was fine (she was even quite the chunky little thing by her one month appointment).

Glad to hear that you stuck with it, and that all is going well.

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Used that pump and cream and loved both. I had the same issue with Peyton and once my milk came in, she was much happier. It took us about 2 to 3 weeks to get used to it and after that, it was simple. She is beautiful!

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I didn’t think I could love your blog anymore, but since you’ve had Brooke I have! I am really enjoying the HRG baby posts! Thanks for continuing them!

I hope to have a little one within a couple years and breastfeeding terrifies me as well. Glad it is going well for you :)

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Did you ever use a pump?

Yes! I pump 4 times a day- once in the morning before my son wakes up, 2-3 times a day at work, and once before I go to bed.

I HATE pumping, by the way. As much as I love breastfeeding my boy, I honestly can’t wait until I don’t have to pump anymore. It makes me feel like a cow.

What was your breastfeeding experience like?

I’m still breastfeeding and my boy will be 8 months in a few days. He gets bottles when I’m at work but has never had formula.

It was tough the first couple of weeks. He gained enough weight, but I was in pain! Thankfully I never developed mastitis or anything but it did hurt for me in the beginning because I could never get him to latch correctly. It hurt so bad for me that I dreaded the next feeding and would cry (I’m sure hormones had something to do with it, too).

We just went through a nursing strike last week. It wasn’t until he pushed me away did I realize that although breastfeeding was hard for me, I love love love love being able to provide nourishment (physical and emotional) for my boy. I couldn’t get him to nurse for about 5 days!

Today? All is good. He’s nursing like a champ and I’m confident we’ll make it past 12 months.

Did you have to avoid any certain foods while breastfeeding?

Coffee and Fenugreek (lactation supplement). Both make him very irritable.

I stopped taking Fenugreek altogether and now just space out my coffee treats between his feedings. He can go about 3-4 hours between nursing sessions so I sometimes squeeze in a mocha here and there.

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Good job sticking with it!
I have a billion breastfeeding stories cause I feel like I have a billion kids. Haha
They were all different and all came with there own set of challenges. The one constant is it did get easier and easier as the months went by. Stick with it for as long as you can because formula will put you in the poor house :-)
Non of my kids seemed to mind the food I ate but I did have one that didn’t nurse to well if I worked out to much. I would have to wait a bit after a hard workout. Something about the lactic acid is what I was told but who knows that could be an old wives tale. I just know he didn’t like to nurse after a long or hard workout. Even if I had showered. ;-)

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So glad to hear that you did not get discouraged and stop! What a wonderful gift you are giving her and you. Drink tons of water and enjoy every minute. I had that exact same pump and it was a dream! The next best thing to get is the hands free pumping bra. I found mine on Amazon for $15. It was a lifesaver. I strapped it on with the pump and had my hands free for the computer, reading, changing baby, etc.

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YES!! It hurts for the first couple of seconds. No one told me this and I was convinced I was doing it wrong. Such a weight off my shoulders when I was finally told that there might be sharp pain for a few seconds. I also used a “nipple shield” if/when it got too bad. They say that it can interfere with your milk production but I would use it for the first few minutes until he stopped sucking so hard and then take it off. Never had an issue with production, you just need to make sure there is some natural nursing as often as possible. It was a relief to know that I had an option if it became too painful, I think just knowing that I had options was enough so that I didn’t need to use it as often.

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Congrats to you on sticking with the breastfeeding – it is SO worth it, even though it is not easy at times. My son was born at 31 weeks and was in the NICU for 6 weeks, so I had to pump only for the first 3 weeks and then I finally got to breastfeed him when he was 3 weeks old. Luckily, he nursed like a champ and i was able to cut down on pumping to just a couple times per day when I was too “full” (I had major over-supply issues).

The “hurting” you describe sounds like your milk “letting down”…mine always felt like pins and needles or boob cramps, ha! And then it wouldn’t hurt anymore, just at the very beginning of the pump/nursing session. I had mastitis a couple of times but it cleared up with antibiotics – still no fun!

I breastfed my son until he was 16 months and then he was ready to wean (I could tell he was less interested in nursing and no longer needed it for soothing purposes, so I gradually started weaning him at 16 months). I found that I needed to avoid foods like onion, asparagus, broccoli and other “cruciferous” foods or it would give him bad gas. Oatmeal greatly increased my supply, just FYI! (A little old wives trick!) Keep up the good work, and congratulations, you are such a great mom!! :-)

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Also, one thing that might help with the pumping is to have it on a lower setting when you first start out and THEN work up to a higher setting as you go along – then it won’t pull on them so much, HA! I learned this through trial and error. Pumping every 2 hours for a preemie will teach you a lot of things. :-) Getting up in the middle of the night to snuggle/feed your baby is one thing, but getting up several times to pump and then having to wash/sterilize everything and then repeat again is not nearly as much fun!! The NICU nurses called it “feeding your ugly baby” when they would talk about pumping…they were just trying to help us preemie moms look at it with a sense of humor since there was no way around it other than formula.

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Yay I’m glad it all worked out for you! And Brooke just keeps getting cuter with every picture I see :)

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I was reading this post while nursing my daughter this morning but I couldn’t quite type a response on my ipad :) Nursing is the hardest thing I have ever done. It takes what seems like superhuman momma dedication. Pumping at work is the pits. I would have a lot less hate towards that pump if I only had to use it periodically instead of multiple times per day.

The pain on latching does get better eventually. Now there’s literally nothing when she latches on.

I agree about the hunger/thirst. Stay hydrated and eat those extra calories!

As for myself, I have a really hard time running anymore due to my already massive upperhalf being even more well endowed and the fact that if I run my supply drops like crazy. I figure I can get back into running more once I wean her in a few months.

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Oh my gosh Brooke is sooooo cute! I would just want to hold her all day!

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TOTALLY normal. It will get to the point that there isn’t that “pinch” at all when you let down :) So glad it is going well for you!!

Also, the hunger that comes with breastfeeding is like nothing else. Bonus? You burn 300-500 calories a day doing it. HA. I am almost 11 months into our nursing experience and STILL starving 24/7. And a camel.

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I am glad to hear breast feeding is going well!! I had a hard time with it at first. It was as if Anna just wasn’t getting enough to eat. I felt like I was nursing her around the clock. I had a cat scan and had to bottle feed her for 2 days (thankfully I had milk frozen) and I think that was the break we both needed. Now she nurses just fine and gets plenty to eat!

I am using the Ameda purly yours double breast pump. I usually pump after her first morning feeding but will be pumping when I return to work tomorrow. I am determine to never use formula. Nothing against those that do, its just my personal choice.

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Good for you for sticking with breastfeeding! It’s a wonderful experience – I’m SO glad we were able to do it for my son’s first year.

Another thing you’ll love (I wouldn’t have survived without them!): Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads. You keep them in the fridge and put them on when you’re done breast feeding. Heavenly!

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totally normal :) sounds like you’re doing awesome! and I LOVE the medela pump! I went to weddings, when everywhere and Colin loved being able to give a bottle every once in a while. I also bought freezer bags and froze milk – you can also pump extra just to store it – but apparently the milk changes as she grows so don’t hold onto it for too long. It’s just nice to have some in case you just want to walk around with Billy for a date night and then there’s milk if Brooke needs it :) glad you’re bf’ing :)

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We’re going to be weaning soon & that makes me sad…didn’t know if I would feel that way at this point, but I do! It gets easier & better over time, so keep with it! And yes, it is MUCH cheaper:-)

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Try the Madela cream, it is a few dollars more but worth every penny! When I switched to that kind it made a huge difference and gave me lots of relief in the beginning! You are the cutest momma and she is gorgeous! So happy for you girl! Miss you!

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You’re doing so great Janae! I hope everything continues to go good!
I pumped with both my kids – neither of them ever latched on. Actually, my son was born at 25 weeks and was too small and I actually had to seperate my milk for him because the milk that comes out first has more calories – who knew?!

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Breast feeding is hard the first month – sounds like you’re doing an awesome job. Keep making sure you feed frequently so your supply stays strong. Pumping is such a great thing to do when you’re full and the baby is asleep or not hungry (and husband can help you at night or when you need a break). We had issues with breast feeding at first – my baby was a preemie and had some latching issues until she was bigger. So I used a breast shield to help, and gradually got off of that (and also got a lot of professional help ). Now my little girl is 5 months old and breast feeding is going great. She doesn’t eat as frequently now as she first did so I get more of a break at night. She’s very healthy and plump now (she was only 5 pounds 3 ounces at birth) and has more than tripled her birth weight.

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Did the shield effect your supply?
I am going through the same thing!

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I’m still breastfeeding my almost 14 month old. The first few weeks were torture. It hurt so bad! But then it got better, easier and faster. Now I love nursing. I’m going to be really sad when we wean.
I will however not be sad when I’m weaned from the pump at work.

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I’d love to hear how breastfeeding things are going these days with that gorgeous little gal of yours! Whatever you’re doing, whether breast or formula or a combination, it seems to be working, because she is one of the sweetest and happiest babes I have ever seen (wonder where she gets that from?).

Also we are in a similar situation as you guys – 1 bedroom apt and just finishing law school – how is the sleep situation going? Are you planning to sleep train? I’d love some advice, because we’ll probably be in a 1bd for at least a year or two after little one shows up.

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I will do a post on that!!!! The one bedroom situation is totally fine! She just sleeps at the foot of our bed and we probably will be in a one bedroom until she is two:) I did not sleep train Brooke. She still gets up once a night to eat and that’s fine with me! Let me know if you have any other questions!!!

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Any advice on other nursing gear? I’m worried about having to buy nursing bras and shirts? Are they necessary? I’m due in less than 5 weeks and want to be prepared!

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Any advice on running & nursing? Any bras you find the most comfortable, etc? I had horrible problems with mastitis (x2) and plugged ducts with my daugther, and as a result couldn’t wear sports bras. I was bummed. I’m really hoping the second time around goes much better.

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Melissa- I’m no expert, but I have an almost 8 month old and I’m still breastfeeding. I have found that for whatever reason (I’m supposing some oversupply from the night, since she only wakes every 3-4 hours, but eats every 2 during the day) I prefer to run no earlier than early afternoon, usually I have to wait until we get the kids in bed. But I was very uncomfortable the few times I went in the morning, my boobs were heavy, my bra was too tight. But after 3-4 full feedings, my bra fits like it should and my boobs aren’t heavy. I’m a 34/36 D, and just wear a cheapo target sports bra I’ve had for ages- a new better one is next on my list!

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