Breastfeeding Update

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.

william newborn2

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.

William Jack

that face

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.

william yawn

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).

william1

So that’s it in a nutshell really long post.

What other questions or pieces of advice do you have for me?

39 thoughts on “Breastfeeding Update

    • I’ll tell you some things I do, but I don’t know if itz directly correlating to my large supply. I had my placenta encapsulated and I’ve been taking the pills, I don’t skimp on calories at all and I eat a lot of healthy fats, and drink TONS of water. I also eat oatmeal fairly regularly which some people seem to think it helps with supply. Again, not sure if/what makes a difference! 🙂

  1. This is all great info, Linz! My plan is to breast feed the babies, so you’ve definitely given me some great tips. But I guess, in the long run, it just depends on trial and error and what works best for us and the babies. We’ll see…

  2. Great post! Breastfeeding can be such a challenge! This will be so helpful to new Moms. I wish I had read advice like this when my daughter was born. Sounds like everything is fantastic and what a sweet peanut!

  3. I love this post so much — great work, mama!

    Audrey used to guzzle milk from the bottle and then have a lot of painful gas. I sort of forced her to take breaks, even when it made her mad, and asked daycare to do the same (it was actually more important there, because I almost always nursed at home and she only got bottles of pumped milk at daycare). Do you have slow-flow nipples on the bottles? We used Tommee Tippees after some trial and error and they were the best, in our experience.

    Lots of burping breaks, and play around with how propped up he is when taking the bottle — I liked to sort of make Audrey work for it, rather than just lay back with the bottle in her mouth.

    • That’s really great advice! Thanks so much, Katy! I’ll look into those Tommee Tippees – I actually have never heard of them! I’m going to try and play around with taking breaks and how he is propped up!!

  4. Great post! I am not a fan of the nursing cover either. I have nursed Jennie a few times in public and I just throw a receiving blanket over my shoulder. It works well and I can peak under!

  5. Reading this post while pumping at my desk 🙂 You’re doing a great job, mama! With my first I was very self-conscious in public about nursing and always had my cover. Now with my second I just nurse him wherever we are without a cover. Sometimes I try to find a quiet corner but more often than not I’ll just nurse him wherever we are. It’s kind of liberating–you’ll get there!

    I second what Katy said above about taking breaks with the bottle. I read that the best way to bottlefeed a breastfed baby was the mimic the flow of milk from the breast, which means taking the nipple away and giving it back over and over again. Worked well for my first, my second it was a fight to get him to take bottles but he does now without a problem.

    I found the first 6 weeks of breastfeeding to be the most challenging with my daughter and then I started to settle in and really enjoy it. I felt so much more prepared the second time around and ended up with a completely different experience. I could write a looong post about that, but I won’t do it here in your comments 🙂

    Bottom line, you’re doing an amazing thing, keep it up, mama!

    • Thanks so much, Lisa! I do feel like it’s getting better and better everyday. The last several days we’ve done no bottles at all and he’s been way less gassy. I know he’ll need to eventually have bottles, so I should probably start trying to figure out what works best for us!

  6. Reading while nursing! You’re doing great! Both my kiddos only nurse(d) one side per feeding, too. And I have yet to master the side nursing. Hadley is a super quick nurser – 5min a time- because she chugs so I have to keep her upright so it stays down.

  7. This is a great post, girl!

    It took me a bit to want to nurse in public too…my sis in law gave me a nursing cover she had made. I love it! Maybe look online for great reviews of nursing covers?

    Later on you won’t change the diaper every time you feed-but for now it’s a great pattern to have! We only began changing it when it was poopy around 2-3 months, and it helped slow the diaper buying! hah

    You’re doing great, mama!

  8. Great job momma!
    We’re still BF too and I love it. The first couple weeks were a challenge for us but then fell right in the groove.
    I had to buy Dr Brown bottles and get their premie nipple bc baby G would take too big of gulps with the level one nipple and end up spitting out a bunch of pumped milk. I’ve learned that “slow flow” isn’t a regulated term so every bottle can vary. We’ve had the best luck with Dr. Brown despite trying Born Free (which work ok now for us). I’ve heard good things with Tommee Tipee and MoMma bottles, too.
    As for nursing in public, I haven’t gotten comfortable whipping out my boob just yet but I like the Nuroo Nursing Scarf as my cover. Pretty versatile and super soft, too.
    He’s so handsome! Congrats again!

  9. First, William is adorable!

    I nursed E until she was 21 months and plan to nurse Baby 2 as well. Nursing in public can definitely take some practice. I did have a nursing cover but didn’t always use it because, like you noticed, it can be a pain AND it was hot under there in the summer! I think E found it distracting sometimes too. Often what I would do is wear a nursing tank or a tank I could tug under the boob underneath another shirt. Top shirt would go up and bottom shirt down, so that very little flesh was actually exposed. E would latch pretty quickly and I was on constant alert for her unlatching so that I could quickly cover and avoid any nip-slips. It made my husband a little uncomfortable but E and I were more comfortable that way than with the cover. I also learned to nurse E in the baby carrier and that worked well for in public! I’ve written a number of posts on breastfeeding as well as nursing in the Ergo.

  10. You are doing awesome – I was like you with our first, taking the kiddo out to another room to nurse – I also needed more light the first time around too – but to be nice to your significant other, but I found it made me even more tired as I was on my feet way more that way than when we started co-sleeping around 6 months out of necessity. This time around when the baby comes, I am not being so nice to my significant other and he knows this, he can get his beauty rest another time ;).

  11. This was a good refresher for me- I forgot about side nursing! Lindsay’s post was awesome. There is definitely a learning curve with the first baby and it’s so helpful to have seasoned moms to answer those questions! Glad he’s doing so much better since he hit his due date!

  12. LOVE LOVE LOVE you (and this post!!). I’m just so happy for you both!
    I used to wear a headlamp on my head at night to get Henry latched during those first few nights learning how to side nurse. Like a miner. 😉

  13. Great post! I’m currently breastfeeding my almost 11-month-old daughter. One thing I was wondering… What correlation is there between the length of feedings and supply? Now my daughter is very fast to nurse, but she was so slow (like 45ish minutes) when she was a newborn. She gained weight like a champ though. At her two month appointment, she was 13.5 pounds, which was almost double her birthweight! I’ve been lucky to have no issues with supply, over or under, so I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t think if a baby is slow to nurse that means there is a low supply issue. Possibly that’s the case, but it wasn’t that way for us! Again, awesome post! It’s seems like I’ve been reading more and more posts on the topic of breastfeeding, which is just wonderful!

    • Babies tend to get more efficient at nursing as they get older, so they are able to get in a whole “meal” much quicker when they are a few months old and older than they do as newborns. I think most newborns take a while to finish a full nursing session.

  14. I think in time you’ll be ready to bf in public—I fed B at the Cards game last night in our seats 🙂 It becomes easier as they get older and better at feeding and you don’t have to readjust or relatch so much!

  15. Fantastic post! My little guy is 9 weeks old, and I nursed him in public with a cover for the first time when he was only 6 days old (first mom’s group meeting!) I like to be out and about lots to keep my sanity (I’m an extrovert for sure!) so I chose to force myself to be comfortable with it. Not super easy at the start when we were still figuring things out, but now I don’t even give it a second thought!
    For bottle suggestions, I only have a nipple suggestion – Medela Calma. It’s a $20 investment, but oh so worth it. It’s the only nipple that they have to suck as hard as they do at the breast, so there is very little air that gets in because it doesn’t just flow (causing them to gulp)
    In the middle of the night I go on my phone while nursing, in large part to stay awake! During the day when he’s wide awake and he smiles and looks at me I’d much rather pay attention to him than anything else 🙂
    Sounds like you’re dong a FANTASTIC job mama!! Keep up the great work!

  16. What a great post about what to expect after having a paper. I bet that every pregnancy is different and breast feeling ranges. Some cannot breast feel while others can. It’s great to read about how others learn thru the process.

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  18. Next time you take William for a check up it may be worth asking the doctor or a skilled lactation consultant to check him for tongue and lip ties. It may just be prematurity (been there done that), but some of the issues you are having may be due to tongue or lip ties. You can google it and take a look yourself, but it really is a harmless thing to have checked at your next drs visit. I have 5 years of experience nursing. One of my kids was born early and a different one had a tongue and lip tie.

  19. You are doing a wonderful job and it will just keep getting easier. It will feel less and less like a 24/7 job and in no time he will start eating as well. All goes too fast! Side nursing is totally possible and makes nursing when you are tired so much easier, but with my first two I couldnt do it until they were at least 4 months old. This time round we were doing it by day 3. Nursing under a cover will fet easier as you feel more comfortable nursing. Then he will get big enough to pull the cover! My girls hated being under the cover. My newbie is constantly under a cover or blanket but she is too tiny too complain.

    PS he is adorable!

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