As the title suggests, this post is all about breastfeeding with a few adorable pictures of William scattered throughout to breakup the wordiness. So for those of you who this isn’t your cup of tea, I will gladly see you tomorrow. (I’m really talking to you Dad, Poppy, Daddy Bob, Jack, Jason, and possibly Justin.) I have received some questions about how breastfeeding is going now, six weeks (exactly!) after William’s birth, so I thought I’d give you all a breastfeeding update since I never really mentioned it much after my first week of breastfeeding post.
all photos by Stephanie Cotta Photography
William’s doctor and the lactation consultants kept telling me that when William hit his due date, he would most likely be nursing just fine. While that was difficult to keep in mind when breastfeeding was so challenging the first couple weeks, it turned out to be completely true. Almost exactly on April 30th, William started breastfeeding almost exclusively. I was still giving him one bottle a day, mostly just out of convenience, but I noticed that he takes in a lot more air when drinking from a bottle compared to nursing. (Bottle suggestions, anyone??) Plus, it takes a few minutes for my stored milk to warm, and little man is usually pretty impatient when he’s hungry. Itz much easier just to whip out a boob. Just saying.
While breastfeeding is going well, I’m still learning as is William what works best for both of us. Itz a full time job – twenty four hours a day and William nurses anywhere from every two to four hours (rarely four). So you can imagine my desire to improve and learn more when I can. That being said, I emailed my dear blog friend Lindsay of Lindsay’s List who gave birth to an adorable Porter just days after William. Porter is her third and she’s a pro, to say the least. She’s also incredibly open, so I knew she wouldn’t mind my five thousand questions. Her sweet self wrote an entire blog post titled Breastfeeding Q & A. I highly suggest pregnant ladies, new mommas, and anyone nursing or considering nursing check it out! I’m going to use her format and post the same questions with my answers and/or why I asked Lindsay that particular question.
being a baby, being a new momma, and breastfeeding is all hard work!
Breastfeeding Q & A
Q: At night, where do you nurse William? obviously I changed Porter’s name here haha
A: William sleeps in a bassinet right next to our bed, but I take him out and bring him either to his room or our living room to nurse mostly just so I don’t wake up Jonny in the middle of the night. (You’re welcome, babe.) Lindsay mentioned that she “side nurses” Porter in the middle of the night. First, I was absolutely amazed reading this. Then, that same morning, I was super tired and decided to give it a try, and guess what?! It worked! We’ve only done it twice, and I do it at either six or seven in the morning. Lindsay says she dozes off during it, and I’m definitely not at that point. Plus, I need a little light to be able to get everything lined up. 🙂
Q: What do you do about middle of the night diaper changes?
A: I change William every time I get up with him. Itz been a game to figure out the best time to change him as he falls asleep when he nurses and wakes up when I change him. Because of that, I tried changing him before nursing, but often he poops when he eats. Now, I nurse him, try to burp him, and hold him upright for at least ten minutes to prevent him from spitting up before changing him. Some people don’t change the diapers if they’re just wet, but at this point I do. Yes, we go through a million diapers a week.
Q: At night, do you keep him swaddled when you nurse or do you unswaddle him?
A: I unswaddle William. He literally almost always falls asleep when he nurses, so I have to not make him quite so comfortable. Plus, whenever I get him after he sleeps or naps, itz become habit that I bring him to his crib, lay him down, and unswaddle him.
Q: I know you nurse him in public. Any tips or advice on using a nursing cover?
A: I asked Lindsay this question (like many others) because I am yet to nurse in public. I tried using my nursing cover about a week ago over at my parents’ house and was super uncomfortable. Even though itz been a few weeks, I still feel pretty new to breastfeeding, so I need to be able to see what I’m doing. William often becomes unlatched throughout feedings, so I’ve got to plop him back on the boob. I know nursing covers have that boning at the top to make it so you can see the baby, but I still found it difficult. I just don’t think I’m ready for it yet. Hopefully soon. Advice welcome.
Q: I know all babies are different and it depends on your supply, but how long does he nurse for?
A: If William makes it for ten minutes, I consider that a success. I asked the lactation consultant about this, and she said if he is satiated for a couple hours and since my supply is so grand, this is probably sufficient. There are some times that he will only nurse for five or six minutes, and naturally he’s hungry sooner when this happens.
Q: Does he nurse on both sides? If so, how did/do you know when to do that?
A: William only nurses on one side at a time. The following session, I put him on the other breast. Again, I asked the lactation consultant about this and she said one side is probably sufficient for him due to my supply. Plus, I’m pumping so that helps to “empty” my other side occasionally.
Q: Can you feel a letdown? What does it feel like?
A: I did not ask Lindsay this question because OH YES I can feel a letdown. When I first started nursing, my sister asked me if I’d felt it yet at which point I hadn’t. She said I would definitely know when it happen and that’s completely true. Itz like a whoosh feeling that’s not particularly comfortable.
Q: Are you pumping?
A: Yes, I’m continuing to pump. I’ve cut down from eight (!!!) times a day to anywhere between four and six. I’m worried to pump less because I don’t want my supply to go down.
Q: Do certain foods make William gassy?
A: None that I’ve figured out. I notice more of a difference between breast and bottle than foods.
Q: Does William fall asleep when he nurses? If so, do you try to keep him awake and HOW?
A: Like I said before, William falls asleep almost every time at the breast. I rub his back which keeps him awake for a little while. Some people have suggested I strip him of his clothes, but I don’t find that practical in the middle of the night. Instead, I just let him nurse as much as he wants (or as little) and as often at this point.
Q: What do you do when he is nursing? Sometimes we listen to music, sometimes I talk to him, sometimes we sing, sometimes I read and other times… I play on my phone – just curious what other moms do or what I “should” be doing during that time.
A: Ok, this was my question, and I feel silly about it, but let me explain. Especially at the beginning, William slept ALL.THE.TIME. So, those few precious moments when he was awake, which happened to be at the beginning of each breastfeeding session, I felt like I should interact with him. During the day, I do still talk to him, sing, or listen to music, but at night I keep it quiet so he knows he’s going back to bed right after. What do other nursing moms do?
Q: What type of nursing bra do you recommend?
A: I love my Leading Lading nursing bras and tanks. My absolute favorite is the seamless wirefree nursing bra (I sleep in it) and the Modern Square Neck Nursing Cami (I wear it way too often to the point where my sister asked if I owned any other clothes).
So that’s it in a
nutshell really long post.
What other questions or pieces of advice do you have for me?