I’m going to warn you that this post is about breastfeeding. So if you’re not interested in reading about it, here is a video of a really cute puppy:
Now move along.
As for those of you who are still reading, I thought I’d answer some breastfeeding questions that you guys have from time to time.
First of, I honestly thought that breastfeeding was going to be this wonderful, bonding experience that will make me feel like a real mom. And it is. But I didn’t realize how stressful it would be. From latching on (or rather, correctly latching on for me) to getting my baby to actually eat to everything else.
The first two weeks were just painful. The baby and I both had to learn how to do this correctly. It took time. And pain. A lot of pain. Accompanying this pain was also our struggle to actually wake the baby up. And worse – keep her up. Peanut hated being awake and loved to fall right back asleep almost immediately, eating for 3-5 minutes at a time. This drove us insane because everything we read told us to keep her eating for 10-20 minutes. But after the first couple of weigh-ins we learned that the baby was gaining weight beautifully so we stopped freaking out and timing it.
The next couple of months went by better. Peanut and I learned to get along. Aside from some cluster feeding during the growth spurts (2 days, 1 week, 2 weeks, 1 month, 2 months, 10 weeks, 3 months, and 4 months so far), we had a rhythm down. She was still only eating between 5-10 minutes at a time, but she was developing and growing and gaining weight. Our pediatrician recommended that we introduce her to a bottle (she would be going to daycare at 3 months) and give her expressed milk for one meal each day. Jon and I were both thrilled – this meant that I could have a glass of wine in the evening while Jon would get to feed the baby.
I started pumping – just in am and pm for starters. I pumped from one breast at a time after Peanut finished eating (same side) after the first feeding in am. And same in the evening when Jon fed the baby. Once Peanut started sleeping longer during the night, I started pumping from both breasts in the evening to “empty” them out and give myself a good night’s sleep. I only pumped for about 5-10 minutes on each side and saved any excess to be frozen for future use. This is when my “stash” got started.
At 12 weeks Peanut went to daycare and I went back to work. I continue to feed Peanut in the morning when we wake up (around 6 am), then pump both breasts simultaneously for about 15-20 minutes. The first couple of weeks I pumped 3 times during the work day, but couldn’t keep it up and switched to just 2. I pump around 10:30am and again around 2pm. When we get home I offer Peanut a “snack” and then feed her from the breast in the evening before bedtime (around 7pm). At first Peanut was still only eating for 10 minutes at a time, but lately she’s been staying on for 20-30 minutes, eating from both breasts. After Peanut finishes, I pump the remaining milk out and call it a night.
I’m not going to lie to you – I did not learn all this quickly or easily. Thankfully, I have a best friend who just went through all this and feels comfortable telling me every single detail as I poke and prod her. I ask her dozens of questions a day, comparing how I’m feeling or how Peanut is doing to make sure I’m doing things “right.” I ask her for advice on every single thing from how long to pump for to what bottles she uses to how to store the milk.
I also use (per her advice) this amazing website that has answers to almost every single question you would have about breastfeeding, pumping, and storing:
or you can always check out Medela’s website:
and, as always, you can ask me!
Feel free to comment with follow up questions and I’ll do my best to answer them in future posts or e-mail you.