Monday, April 23, 2012

Breastfeeding Pro's and Con's

I've been thinking about breastfeeding a lot lately. Mostly because it's finally become routine and doesn't feel so stressful anymore.

It has been fairly convenient-minus the time we were on the freeway and couldn't stop because Colton had to get to work and Tai was screaming. I definitely pumped in the car going 89 miles an hour. I am sure the other drivers loved the show. (kidding-I was totally covered people.)

When I was pregnant with Tai, breastfeeding was the HOT topic. I had people tell me do it, don't do it, it kills, it's gross, it is necessary, its pointless, it's easy.

My best friend got the hang of it right off the bat, and thought it was so convenient. She loved how easy it was.

For me it started WAY stressful. Like it would take twenty minutes to get him to latch and I had to be sitting in a certain chair with a certain pillow and him in an exact position to get him to eat. It seriously took 3 people. (only two adults live here, ya. Not easy.)

I would get so stressed and sad and feel bad he was hungry. I would sigh with relief the minute he finished eating and then panic when he woke up and got hungry again.

So I started pumping and giving him bottles. I still felt way guilty he wasn't "-"actually breastfeeding." Enter lactation specialist to tell me how bad pumping is and that I will lose all my milk. Greeeeeat.

So we tried to go back to latching. That was even worse and even harder. So I was determined to do it my way. I calls the hospital and told them I NEEDED a nipple shield (which basically elongates the nipple so baby can eat directly from you.) She told me all about how if you use a shield for too long you will lose your milk. Whatever. I picked one up from her and tried it out immediately.

When Tai latched in ten seconds, I started crying. It was so awesome and easy and stress free. It got a little annoying because the guard is silicone and doesn't stick very well, but even that was nothing compared to the panic of breastfeeding.

Then of course it got annoying when I wanted to go out or invite people over. It sucks to excuse yourself to go feed a baby for a half hour or leave a restaurant. I am NOT nor will I ever be one to nurse in public. Way too self conscious.

(I get it's natural and all that, but I think moms just get so used to exposing themselves multiple times a day they forget that not everyone loves to see
It.) And nursing covers, don't work much. I end up with a sweaty baby and he usually kicks it off and exposes me anyways. Combine that with trying to apply a shield in the dark. Pass.

So I started pumping again. Just for the times we wanted to go out. That sucked. I went from pumping 12 ounces every few hours to like 2 in 8 hours. It was HORRIBLE and TIME CONSUMING. Not to mention when I finally got done he was hungry, I was empty and he just gobbled down the bottle. But I kept trying and slowly built the supply back up.

Now I'm at a point where we do both. I mainly breastfeed him and if he's sleeping and there's extra I pump. It's always a little relieving when I have a few extra bottles in my fridge. :)

I would say I'm glad I kept going. It was stressful, there were tears. But we have saved so much money, he is healthy, and a good weight. Sometimes it would be so convenient to just make him a bottle of formula! (I watch moms do that enviously when they are shopping and Tai is fussy.) But I know if I have the ability, and the supply, breastfeeding is the only option.

A few pro's:

As long as you give them NO formula, they will stop having dirty diapers for days at a time. (We are at a week!) It is perfectly healthy, they aren't constipated, the milk is just so good it absorbs through their stomachs. a lot of people told me this is a myth, but it totally works for us. (Any formula will ruin this, because even one bottle coats their stomach for up to 2 weeks, so breast milk cant be absorbed. so if you have to supplement, that's why this probably won't occur for you.)

It's convenient at night, you don't have to get up and make a bottle or warm a bottle.

It's cheap. (Free actually!)

It's good for them! Tai has barely gotten sick since we have had him. And the one time he has, it's only lasted a short period of time. (I got it from him and I was so miserable for a week!)

It burns extra calories. (If only I could get the desire to exercise.)

I love the fact that I can just relax when feeding him. Sit and watch a show I like and just put my feet up. In our house, if I am pumping or breastfeeding, I get to choose the show/the video games go off. Since Colton usually hates what i choose, he will do dishes or tidy up. That's nice.

Some Con's:

It's time-consuming. Basically a half hour every three hours.

Even if your baby isn't up, or he has slept too long, you will wake up sore and engorged and needing to pump/feed. Pumping at 4 am sucks.

It's a huge commitment. It makes it hard to go out of town, especially when people want to do things away from home. It makes it hard to leave them with someone-you have to pump days in advance to have enough. You can't go anywhere (ya, honeymoon isn't happening anytime soon.)

So I'm definitely glad I stuck with it. It has paid off!

I would suggest that you follow your heart.

Lactation nurses are great but they don't know everything. Don't let them guilt you or scare you into anything. But do consult them before you quit. They really helped me.

Don't feel guilty for your choice (I beat myself up about pumping.) Your baby will get fed regardless.

If you pump, invest in a good one, you will use it so often! (Thanks Britt!)

Make breastfeeding something exciting. Watch your favorite shows while you feed baby, eat a snack. Love on your cute babe.

1 comment:

  1. I totally agree with you! I'm not one that will leave the room to nurse, but that's just me. If you're not comfortable with it, then you do what you need to! But, it is time consuming, but honestly, when he quits, you'll miss it. I miss it! It gives you a special bond!