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Breastfeeding in Real Life

October 18, 2009

When I was pregnant, I was so sure that breastfeeding would be a piece of cake. I didn’t anticipate the teary nights at 3am, wondering if I was enough for my baby or having severe pain. Breastfeeding got off to a rough start for me and Evangeline. She was born with a recessed chin and very small little mouth and I apparently have nipples that are on the flatter side. She had so much trouble latching on in the first few days that she would only get a few little sips and then fall off the breast. I was also in extreme pain because she was only getting the very tip of my nipple which can really hurt!

So we called in the specialist- a lactation consultant. This lactation consultant happens to be my mother, Holly Newman. I might be a little biased here, but mother or not this woman knows her stuff! She was endlessly helpful and encouraging. New mothers need all the support they can get, especially in those first few weeks when you’re so tired and feel discouraged all the time. If I can offer one piece of advice to new moms it is this: get a lactation consultant the day after the baby is born even if there are not problems! If you are worried about the cost, think of the money you could save on formula if you are able to breastfeed successfully! A lactation consultant will help you with learning to breastfeed, with offer resources, and most importantly give you confidence in your body. I found learning to trust my body and my baby to be so important to my breastfeeding experience.

first time breastfeeding

first time breastfeeding

Evangeline ended up using a nipple shield for about six weeks which was tremendously helpful to our experience. She weaned herself off of it like a champ and now can even self latch when I offer her my breast! She eats every two hours except when sleeping (although most books say every three hours, I have never been able to go this long and keep her happy), I know she is getting food because she is gaining weight and poops often, and we both are so “fed” by our breastfeeding bond.

Breastfeeding in our little family has become a way of life for us rookie parents. Our little five month old is going strong on her breast milk only diet. She loves the closeness of being to Mom, the warm, sweet milk, and the availability of her never-ending food source. Kyle has always been wonderfully supportive and even refused to buy formula one very dismal evening. This has also helped to make me a successful breastfeeding mother. Evangeline is now is a pro, and according to most breastfeeding gurus I am too. However, there are still many times when I feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. It’s at these times when I remember to trust my body and my baby. And it always works out.

My favorite breastfeeding memory to date is when she was super fussy in the car one day and I was sitting in the back seat with her. We were on our way to Berkeley and were only about 40 minutes into the drive. I finally just took out my breast, leaned over her car seat and breastfed her to sleep WHILE in a moving vehicle! It worked like a charm:)

Here are some amazing resources!!

http://www.kellymom.com – everything you ever wanted to know about breastfeeding. So practical and very user friendly!

http://www.llli.org– La Leche League International. Gives info about support groups and puts you in touch with LLL leaders who you can contact with questions or advice (even if you don’t want to attend meetings).

http://www.ilca.org -International Lactation Consultants Association. Find a lactation consultant in your area

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. October 25, 2009 6:55 am

    This is a fantastic post, Elisabeth. Breastfeeding certainly wasn’t easy in the beginning for me either, but I’m so glad that I stuck with it. I breastfed my older daughter until she was almost two and am currently nursing my 7-month-old.

    P.S. I definitely have done the “breastfeeding-in-moving-vehicle” thing too. It’s a bit uncomfortable, but it works!

  2. December 11, 2009 10:12 pm

    Hello again! Perfect entry, you are so lucky to have a mom who is an IBCLC. That is what my goal is to become in the next 5-6 years.

    I wanted to add that Kellymom has a forum it’s really hard to see, it took me a year of searching the database to find this http://forum.kellymom.net/.

    • December 15, 2009 9:40 am

      Good for you for wanting to become an IBCLC! It’s such a great profession and we need more of them! Best of luck!

      • January 11, 2010 12:53 pm

        Thx Elisabeth, it’s going to be hard but I will try, Just trying to find the better options now 🙂

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