As I sat down to write this I decided to reread this post from a month after Finley was born. Boy! Have we come a long way. I can honestly say I’ve learned to really love breastfeeding since then! It was not a quick or easy road by any means. I hope I can give some hope to even one mama out there that you can make it to the other side if you were like me. Not everyone gets it right away and not every one loves it right away. That’s totally ok. I was one of those ladies. Over the past 9 months though, we’ve become a well oiled machine (or milking machine?). We both know what we are doing and we do it well. We’re still going strong with no plans to stop anytime soon either. Actually the thought of stopping stresses me out. Ha. who am I? Again, it’s not for everyone and that’s ok. Whatever your choice is there should be no guilt attached to it. Be confident in what you need to do for your baby.
It took us a while to get here that’s for sure. The pain really didn’t stop at 3 weeks like everyone told me it would. Her latch was right, but it was just plain painful. It did get better over time and slowly but surely we found our groove. I would say like 7-8 weeks the pain starting going down. I’ve still stuck with the no hooter hider thing like I mentioned in the other post. I hate them. If my shirt is loose I usually just lift up and cover boob parts that way (babies themselves really cover more than you think) but if I am in a particular situation that I feel I need a little more cover you know what has been my life saver? The aden and anasis swaddle blankets. We literally take those things with us every where. They are my number one recommended baby item. You can pretty much use them for EVERYTHING.
I was super stressed at one point when we had to leave Finley for 5 days to go to the conference in TX back in August. I was scared she wouldn’t want to nurse when I came back. I pumped like a mad women out there. At least 5x a day, took fenugreek daily and drank a crap load of water. Let’s see… I pumped in the airport, on a plane, in a moving car (no, I wasn’t driving), during a cocktail hour, in between sessions at the conference, almost in a Savers but I just couldn’t get comfortable enough, the list goes on and on. Thank goodness for battery powered pumps and public restrooms. It all worked out though! Thank you Shaynah for your helpful tips! It was an awkward minute or two at the beginning when I got back, but she latched right back on and it was like we both sighed in relief. She is quite the Mama’s girl so I think that was to my advantage. She refused to take a bottle or sippy cup the entire time we were gone. My mom had to feed her milk from a cup. Silly Baby.
Nursing Finley has really helped slow life down a bit for me. You have to stop periodically through out the day and just be there with your little one. I actually really look forward to it. As easy as it is for me to grab my phone and start doing a million things like checking emails, twitter, etc… When I nurse her I try to enjoy her. To watch her. To breath her in. She won’t be this small forever. I use the time to pray for her, for our family. To thank God for all the he has blessed us with. I love laying in bed in the quiet of the night and nurse her there beside me. All cuddled up under the blankets. What a blessing it has been. I am so very thankful to have had his chance to nurse her. I hope that if we ever have another baby that maybe, just maybe I will have an easier time now that I’ve made it through with one.
I’d love to hear your journey. Please share below!
I actually had my little girl… Maybe two weeks after you had yours and have been breast feeding exclusively (plus solids at six months) and I agree- I love it and have no plans to stop. I do remember the first few weeks being painful until we learned how to help her latch better. My girl was little (just over six pounds) and completely healthy but just didn’t want to open her mouth wide enough and wait until it was in far enough to latch on- she was a little too eager. wow, was I sore! I have heard of so many of my friends trying and giving up after two weeks and I know that is their decision to make, but it seems that for most women who choose to bf that it takes a while to get into a rhythm that they are comfortable with (no pun intended). I love just holding her and the way she cuddles up into me and falls asleep when she’s full. She’s already becoming so independent and I know when she’s too busy someday to pay me any attention I’ll be glad that I had these moments with her. It did take me a while to get comfortable with nursing in more public areas but I do try to be very discreet; I think I’m much more self-conscious when family is visiting than with strangers. I guess it finally came down to she wants to eat and won’t do it with a blanket over her head, so let’s just do this already! Thanks for sharing, so glad you are finding such joy with your daughter!
i so resonate with you! don’t do anything that later in life you might regret…doing or not doing…and don’t should on yourself, nurse that baby for as long as you want! so sweet 🙂
I nursed my first for 22 months, and seriously hated almost every minute. I was scabbed over and in pain for the first 15 months or so.
This baby has been like a dream come true – nursed well from the very first minute. Took a bottle and now a sippy. Before I got pregnant I figured I’d give him a year, not much more, and now I’m feeling like I’m okay going closer to 2 again. HIPPIE!
My daughter and I only made it six weeks in to our nursing journey due to medical reasons and I was nervous that now that I know how convenient bottles are that if we are blessed with another tot soon, I wouldn’t be able to stick it out. This post gives me hope. Thank you!!
So, I clearly know nothing about having a baby and breastfeeding but this post was really sweet. You just sound content and blessed and it comes across:)..xoxo
As a pregnant nursing mother of a 2 year old (expecting our 2nd in 14 weeks) I have never been more proud of my body and I am looking forward to nursing BOTH my children. I never thought I would be here (nursing a 2 year old AND pregnant) and the idea of tandeming is slightly terrifying, but each day we encounter teaches me I’ve made the right decision for me. The challenges make the success that much sweeter. It’s such an amazing bond.
Congratulatuions on your journey, every minute of it!!
As a ftm, I’m not a great fan of breastfeeding too. My baby is 4 months old and as each day passes, I’m learning to love it. I really cherish those moments… Thanks for your post, it really encourages me to keep going! It seems that it only gets better!
First of all, THANKYOU for sharing. I strongly believe that breast feeding is one of those things that women need a strong supper network for, I was lucky because I had an amazing lactation consultant who was always a phone call away when I needed support or questions answered. I never had the troubles that some women have with supply or latch. I did, however have trouble with the life change. It took me about 2 months to really appreciate breast feeding but at the beginning I truly felt that I had lost my freedom completely. And I felt guilty for this way of thinking. It was like breast feeding had taken over my life and I resented others who could just run off at the apple orchard picking apples for instance while I was sitting in the car nursing my babe. I had to wolf down dinner to nurse my inpatient babe, felt like I had no time to blow dry my hair or even put on clothes for that matter. Once I went back to with though I began to realize that the bond of breast feeding is like no other bond and I began to appreciate it so much more. It’s definitely a big change in life, but as you pointed out, it’s short lived. Breast feeding is a personal decision, it’s not easy but it’s important. I agree that every woman has a choice and I see the pros and cons of both breast to formula. All I can say, as women we must keep on keepin on, we are amazing heroic and strong creatures for just plain giving birth. It’s beautiful what we are able to do and we should feel proud of all of it.
I’ve always been very greatful that you talk about the difficulties of breastfeeding on your blog. I think that when things don’t go smoothly in the beginning women (like me) often blame themselves- if no one talks about it being uncomfortable then you think you are the only one! I had a rough and painful start, but in the end I am so greatful I nursed my daughtet. We made it a year before she decided she was done. It’s so easy to spend all day rushing around and not taking the time to sit and focus and enjoy your child and breastfeeding really made made sure my daughter had quiet time together.
i love this. with my first, coming down with pneumonia while still in hospital, he had to be supplemented with formula since my milk supply never quite got up to what it needed to be. i still enjoyed every single second i had with him nursing and dreaded the day we would wean. when my second baby was born, three months ago, i was so ready to nurse again. it hurt, more than with my first, but i was just so excited to have that one-on-one time with a baby again. nursing is probably my most favorite thing about babies!
i’m really happy to read that finley didn’t want to stop nursing when you left for texas and that you were able to manage keeping your milk supply up! we have a trip planned for when my daughter is about eight months old and i’m stressing about having to leave her with family (we didn’t leave my son for the first time overnight until he was about 18 months). i’m so worried that she won’t want to nurse when i come back, or my supply will diminish, plus a lot of other worries like how am i ever going to sleep train her by then?! she’s currently co-sleeping with us and i don’t want her to co-sleep with anyone else (for obvious reasons) but i really don’t want to lose that special time with her either. i just keep praying that when the time comes, both of us will be ready and the transition will go smoothly.
Thank you for sharing your story. We breastfed for a year and it was HARD in the beginning. I stayed at home with our daughter and I remember saying to my husband at 6-weeks “I don’t have this figured out! I don’t know how moms go back to work and do this!” I said the same thing at 8 weeks and at 12 weeks I remember thinking “Ok, I could kinda see how this could work…” BUT I had supply issues (thank GOD for an amazing lactation consultant!) and had to feed and pump for those first 8 weeks–it was so much work and so overwhelming to think about all the pressure of your child’s growth and health being on you. But then I got to enjoy our time together and like you said/suggest didn’t use my phone but rather used the time to soak up our time together.
YAAAYYY! I’m happy to hear you’re still nursing. I’ve loved nursing my little guy who is now 11 months and don’t plan on stop. I look forward to our quiet time together when he nurses. It definitely changes your perspective and teaches you to be aware and present. I also love co sleeping – and thankful dad loves it too. My poor guy will throw up if he cried hard so CIO wasn’t even an option. Good job, Mama!!
Also, love your sweater! Where is it from?
I’m so glad for the encouragement to moms who have trouble breast feeding. It is not easy and so many moms are not encouraged to keep working at it. I failed miserably with my firstborn, and read everything I could for the second (and third). It was the best time ofy life (after the first weeks…:-) I worked full time, but neither of my breast fed babies ever had a bottle or pacifier. They wouldn’t have it! My advice is to read everything you can on nursing before the baby comes, because doctors and nurses often give the wrong advice (unless they’ve nursed.) Find a friend who has breastfed for support. Go to a class. Find a lactation consultant. Just don’t give up! It’s so worth it! Jen, thanks for telling your story! I’m happy for you!
Thank you for sharing this! I’m 2.5 weeks into nursing my first little babe – and it’s hard. I had expected the discomfort and the adjustment, but not some of the other things – like the misery when my milk came in, feeling like I need to hide from my in-laws every couple of hours, feeling like a pacifier when she gets fussy. Oh, and having no hope of fitting into my pre-baby tops now that my boobs are the size of melons.
So! It’s great to hear that there is still time for it to get better. I really like your attitude of gratefulness and using the time to pray for those around you. I think I’ll try this tonight when we’re up a few times.
Glad it is going well. I love nursing, too. My daughter is 14 months (time flies) and we had our own stumbling blocks. An incorrect latch at first (she was getting milk and gaining but it was very painful for me. Can I get an amen for lactation consultants?) And some supply issues here and there. Probably the hardest part about nursing was pumping at work. I am lucky. I have my own office and I have a husband who cleaned my pump parts. But man, doing that for 9 months was a drag! I am glad I did it though. These days I nurse in the morning and before bed. And, at this point, I see no reason to change that.
I will say that even though I have been well supported it was a huge sacrifice. As a working mom, my life would have been a lot less hectic had I opted out of nursing/pumping sooner. Not everyone has the support I had and I don’t blame someone for choosing not to breastfeed. What I hope for every mother is to have as much support as possible and for people to women them to make decisions that work for their families.
p.s. cute sweater!
While I had whole heartedly hoped to BF for the longest time after 4 months my milk dried up. I was pretty devastated and it took me a long time to learn that it doesn’t make me a bad mom for what happened. Now that I am pregnant again I have immersed myself into reading up and have easily spotted why it was so difficult to keep my milk up and going and where I messed up. I feel better prepared for our next baby and hope to enjoy the time together. At the hospital with my first I saw and was observed by three different lactation consultants and they each told me very differing things which made it immensely stressful to figure out which I should follow being a first time mom. Also I had spinal headaches and with all the pain I wasn’t always on target with waking the baby to feed every 3 hours. I am in awe of the women that work and pump and the moms that chase other kids and still nurse, it takes diligence and a lot of sacrifice. And completely sympathetic with women that choose to do differently for their families. We have to support each other as we make decisions for what is best for our families.
My son is almost 15 months and we’ve been nursing since day 1. We were extremely fortunate to never experience a problem with pain, latching or supply. I cry when I consider giving it up.
I’m going to TX for a bachelorette Party in 2 weeks without baby! How did you pump on the plane? I’m terrified of all the pumping and how to do it! Please help!
My son Finn is almost 11 months old now. I can honestly say it took 8(!) months for us to find our rhythm breast feeding. We had a tough time with the latch from day one. Finn lost a lot of weight in the first two weeks of his life and we used a supplemental nursing system – basically a tube scotch taped to my breast that fed him formula along with breast milk to help him gain weight. Once he was back to his birthweight again he was still having latching difficulties so we used a nipple shield to help him latch. A lactation consultant said he might be tounge tied buy we never had the expensive laser surgery that she recommended. Going against the advice of almost everyone we talked to we continue to use a nipple shield to a whopping 8 months. And for the record, it had no effect on my milk supply nor did it prevent Finn frm getuing enough to eat. One day we just stopped needing the nipple shield. I noticed Finn sucking harder than usual and took it away. We are still nursing and will eep at it until Finn is ready t stop.
Love this post! I’m currently nursing my six month old, my goal was six months but now I plan to breastfeed until he’s two years old. I love nursing him and I love the relationship it has created between us. I agree with Erin though that at first I thought this would be all that I would do for the rest of my life. The first two months are tough, growthspurts and establishing the milkproduction but then all of a sudden it’s in a nice groove and you know exactly what you’re doing.
Love reading this! So encouraging. As a first-time mom of a 3.5 month old who I plan to nurse as long as possible, I’d love your advice on what to wear in the winter. I’m a Florida native who now lives in Colorado, and I’m struggling on how to dress for cold-weather breastfeeding/baby wearing. Summer was easy; I lived in tank tops. Fall is proving to be a struggle, and I can’t imagine what full blown winter will be like! I’d love a post on your best advice! TIA, momma.
I’m nursing my almost one year old as I’m reading this and so glad you’ve been so open about your breastfeeding relationship. I had so much trouble with my first and it was absolutely devastating. A lot of research, befriending breastfeeding mothers who were happy to show me their favorite nursing positions and give me tips for dealing with different stages, and a ton of stubborn has brought us through a year that was more difficult and rewarding than I had imagined. We are still nursing on demand and while he’s regularly eating meals with us, he’s still mostly breastfed. As of right now, the plan is just to see how it goes and as long as we’re both happy (because breastfeeding a toddler has turned out easier than breastfeeding a baby for me) then we’ll keep going 🙂
I had a hard time with breastfeeding too. My baby is 4.5 months old. The first few days he would not latch. I think it had something to do with having two epidurals…he was just sleepy! Then, like you it hurt. Finally I hired a Lactation Consultant to come to my home in Pickering and she was incredible. She encouraged me and helped me with positioning. She said all the things I needed to hear. But she also told me that my son had a tongue tie! She said if this was clipped, the pain during feedings would go away. So, I found the best pediatrician and she referred me to a ENT Specialist who snipped the little piece of skin under the tongue. It was really hard to give him over to the doctor, he cried for about 30 seconds and it bled a bit but I nursed him right after and he was fine. After the tongue tie was clipped feedings became so much easier and my nipples weren’t so sore. you should look under your babys tongue….maybe a tongue tie? Also the LA LECHE LEAGUE book called the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding is a valuable resource. Take care!
We are now in week 6 with baby & I’ve been so determined with out breastfeeding, even if the only way we have been able to feed for the last 3 weeks has been with shields. My poor little boy has a major lip & tongue tie but it is being fixed tomorrow so fingers crossed he will be a champion feeder after that (even though I’m sure it will still take some hard work and effort to get it 100%).
I feel so blessed & lucky to have my little boy and I want to provide him with the best in life. I’m just completely grateful breastfeeding is extremely supported to being almost pushed in New Zealand were we live & a lactation consultant has been made easily available to us in our first 6 weeks.
Keep up the fantastic work Jen, you have 2 amazing and gorgeous wee girls.
I absolutely love this post and your blog! I am a FTM to a 6 week old baby girl. We were very blessed that she had a good latch from the beginning. It was still a learning period for the both of us though. She would get in such a frenzy and choke almost every time & then would scream when it came time to burp. It was so disheartening because I so wanted to feel that special feeling and bond that women talk about. I’m glad to say we are slowly but surely getting there. I plan on nursing for a while and want to really enjoy the time with my sweet girl. I am currently trying up master the art of nursing in public. I’ve gotten being covered up down but the latching and unlatching is the tricky part. Are there any tips or tricks you can share so I don’t flash anyone in the process of taking her on and off the breast? Thank you so much!
Thank you for sharing! I have a nine month old little boy and I’m still nursing him. The first three months were incredible hard. I cried everyday because it was so painful. There was a couple of times I felt angry at God because I didn’t understand why it had to be so painful. I felt hopeless. The lactose consultant would tell me I was doing everything right, and baby was latching correctly. That would only make me feel more hopeless. I felt like my pain had no solution. I tried only pumping for a week or so to allow some time for my nipples to heal, but pumping made me feel more stress because I would not get as much milk out, and there was a couple of times I got clogged ducts. I’m so glad I didn’t give up. Not only does it feel great to know in giving my baby the best but it’s also so easy now. And like you, I love to use those moment to bond with him and to thank God for allowing me to be his mother. He fills our hearts with so much joy!