Monday, April 13, 2015

my breastfeeding experience + lactation specialist giveaway

Breastfeeding seems to be a battle for most.. ok maybe I'm just totally assuming that but seriously breastfeeding isn't one of those things that ever was super simple for me. I thought I learned a lot of what not-to-do's from when I had Lexi (who I only lasted almost 4 months with... and majority of that time I pumped and fed her with a bottle) but I could not believe how much knowledge I was lacking from 1st baby to 2nd. Luckily I was at the taj mahals of labor & delivery hospitals and there lactation consultant compared to my first delivery were mind-blowing. I need hands on learning, visuals, examples, etc.. and they helped open my eyes up to the needs of a newborn baby and guided me through those first 3 days in the hospital leaving me more prepared when I got home for the challenges I would face. Not everyone is so lucky to have great lactation specialist at their hospitals.. so stay tuned I have something for you at the end of this post!

This second baby I was bound and determined to make it work.
Can I be honest.. two of my main reasons were kind of more selfish reasons.
1. It supposedly burns calories.. I have major self motivation problems and I can't cut chocolate out for the life of me.. or eat "healthy" nor can I seem to make myself go work out so breast feeding to burn calories to cut the baby weight seemed like the most ideal plan for me!
2. Did I mention it's free? Money is tigther.. having a baby and buying a house and all.. yes I could think of many more things I would want to put formula money towards!

Ok, ok... so it is hard work. it's no joke. Luckily my milk came in much stronger than when I had Lexi so my milk supply wasn't my first obstacle in the beginning.
My 1st main obstacle was engorgement and clogged milk ducts.

Over the first 2 months I probably had atleast 10+ clogged ducts which always seemed to be on my right side. At first they freaked me out because I thought I was going to get mastitis.. thankfully none of them turned to that point. I pumped out a lot of milk just to relieve my boobs. It took a lot of time and work to get those suckers unclogged but I finally learned how to manage them and take care of them. They would just come and I would have to deal with working them out some painful some not as painful. (that process could be a whole post in itself)

So at about 3-4 months (around the time we moved) my next breast feeding obstacle came.
Low milk supply.. or so i thought.
She had plenty of wet diapers which means she was staying hydrated.
One good thing that came from my new milk supply amount was no more clogged ducts!
I'm not sure how I went from one end of the scale to the other (engorgement to almost deflation) but it came.. and so did Zoey's fussiness. I assumed I had low milk supply that was making her more fussy because she wasn't getting enough to eat.. but now I'm not quite sure if that was the case. I did plenty of googling.. learned about let down.. started realizing I maybe had a slow let down (took a while for the new milk to start flowing from the time she latched on). A lot of stressing to figure out what I could be doing to help.

I ended up going to the store and bought Fenugreek to help with my supply.. It worked almost immediately within 24-36 hours.. somewhere I read that you atleast need to be taking 4-6 pills a day for it be working noticeably.. so I did 6 :) -- another thing I read was that the down side was that you kind of had to keep taking fenugreek to maintain your supply. Well that kind of stinks but I figured it would be better than having to buy formula.. plus I couldn't bare the thought of doing away with breastfeeding since we had gotten so far and things had been so good (clogged ducts and all). There was a bond there that I never knew existed. A couple of days after I started fenugreek I got my first clogged duct that I hadn't had in quite a while.. so I ended up cutting back how much fenugreek I took -- so i went down to a couple a day.. or every other day just to maintain what I felt like was a good supply for feedings. Fast forward I finished off that bottle of fenugreek.. and I didn't run out to Whole Foods and go buy another bottle I kind of just waited to see if I felt like she was struggling to feed and she wasn't.. that was probably three weeks ago and my milk supply has been just fine!

SO, whether or not my milk supply was lacking or she was just going through a fussy period.. I am not sure on. But my second obstacle of low milk supply has wrapped up and we are doing just fine at feedings.

Sadly my obstacles aren't quite done..  even at 5 months. I'm still trying to figure out what to do about my future obstacles such as weaning off night feeds and attempting to get her to take a bottle every once in a while instead of relying solely on my boob. Momma's gotta get out every once in a while! 
But my point is, it's nice to talk to someone who knows what they are talking about and today, I'm teaming up with Lactation Link over on my instagram page (@pillowthought) to give one lucky winner a free online ️Breastfeeding class registration.

Lindsey Shipley is a registered nurse, certified lactation specialist, and mom of 2.  She does in-person and online ️Breastfeeding classes, home and hospital visits (in Utah), as well as phone and email consults! You can check her out on instagram or facebook!
Don't forget to head over to my instagram for details on how to win a free class!
Giveaway Details:
Free sign up for her breastfeeding basics, OR intermediate breastfeeding, OR returning to work and breastfeeding class. All class descriptions are on her website
These courses are streamed via google hangout

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