I remember when I first got pregnant, I got so many breastfeeding tips but nothing really prepared me for the journey ahead.
My eldest was born via c-section after 20 plus hours of labor. The recovery was brutal as it was my first every surgery. Although breastfeeding seemed to go well those few days in the hospital, it got very hard when we got home. I was in pain from the surgery, exhausted, sleep-deprived and sore from breastfeeding. He was colicky the first 6 weeks so you can imagine how that went along with recovery.
Breastfeeding Experience After First Baby
My first 2 weeks of breastfeeding consisted of fighting back tears every time my son latched because of the pain from cracked nipples. I remember him spitting up traces of blood sometimes which was very scary. I was advised to pump and feed him with a bottle till I healed.
However, I was determined to make it work. Society has made moms feel like they have to be super moms and manage everything. If one person could do it, so can you? No, because everybody is different. And being the perfectionist I am I couldn’t give up.
My eldest son was gaining weight normally so the pediatrician wasn’t worried about that at all. I got advice from a lovely sister in our local La Leche Group here, and also purchased some Medela Cooling Pads.
The Cooling Pads, along with Lanisoh Nipple Cream and Hot showers were what helped me get through that first phase. Eventually, I didn’t have any cracking and my son’s latch got a lot better and I wasn’t in pain. I nursed my son for 15 months before I decided to wean him when I was pregnant with my daughter.
Breastfeeding Experience After Second Baby
My second experience with my daughter was a lot better. She was also born via c-section after 40 hours of induced labor. I was in the hospital for 4 days after the labor.
With all that medication in my system, my colostrum was coming out in drops (much less than with my first) so it was a little bit of a struggle. She was constantly at my breast and it always felt like she wasn’t satisfied. It took 3 days for my milk to start coming in and when it did nursing got easier.
I didn’t crack and bleed as I did with my first. I was immensely sore from all the feeding (my daughter had a much stronger latch than my son), and in lots of pain from engorgement but with the cooling pads, Lanisoh cream, and heat treatment it helped a lot.
She fed lots during the day and wouldn’t take long naps so it felt like I was nursing lots more, however she slept for longer periods at night. They say every child is different and here I was with opposites!
Breastfeeding Experience After Third Baby
My birth with my 3rd was traumatic in its own way and ended up with another c-section. With my third who is now almost 10 months, breastfeeding has been so much easier. Nonetheless exhausting!
With all my kids I wanted to avoid any latching problems so before leaving the hospital I made sure to get the latch approved by the lactation consultants. They said I was doing great so I went home feeling pretty comfortable.
Things I learned & Tips for New Breastfeeding Mothers
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1 – Supply Concerns
With each baby, the breastfeeding journey will be different. This also means your supply may vary as it is affected by diet and other factors. We tend to freak out when our supply dips a little and forget to consider the factors that may attribute to the dip.
Firstly, it’s important to see if there have been any changes in how often the baby feeds. And whether we have drunk enough water that day, or whether maybe it’s that time of the month. I didn’t realize till 9 months into breastfeeding my son that supply dips when aunt Flo appears!
Also after a certain amount of time, our supply regulates and babies become more efficient at feeding. So their nursing sessions may be shorter, but that’s not a cause for worry unless you notice changes in their pee/poop or weight.
2 – Nursing Covers
With both the kids I used regular nursing covers as I nursed in public and also within public/family gatherings. After my second was born, I came across ones with more coverage (Covered Goods & MilkMaid Goods).
I learned the hard way that as they grow older and more mobile, flashing mama would become a norm!
3 – Breastfeeding Positions
After terrible back pain from hunching over nursing my first born, I decided to use the side lay down position as much as possible with my second & third. It worked well especially since I got her a little propped up.
My first would get reflux because of laying down flat when nursing. However, using a nursing pillow was extremely helpful as well when nursing seated.
4 – Burp Burp Burp
I think I was too lazy to burp my first, and it ended up causing severe colicky crying. However, with my second I made sure to have her burp after every feed no matter how exhausting it was.
She was pretty stubborn with her burping like her elder brother but as time went by she got better and it helped avoid gassy issues.
5 – Nursing Essentials
6 – Don’t Give Up & Offer your support
I have heard and read about many moms who give up because they don’t have the support they need. If you feel like breastfeeding is not going well, don’t struggle and try to manage it on your own. Stress affects our supply heavily.
Reach out to a lactation specialist, breastfeeding support group or even your mommy friends who might have some information.
If you aren’t having any issues but know of a new mom who might be, check in on her and ask her how it’s going. You reaching out to her gives her the confidence to ask for advice/help with a struggle she is going through.
7 – Pump it Up
A common difficulty amongst breastfeeding moms is that they can’t ever leave the baby behind if they go out. I was one of those moms but I didn’t pump nearly enough, so I would struggle at the last minute when I needed to have baby looked after.
Something I have heard from several moms that after about 6 weeks it’s a good time to start pumping every day/every few days to start building a stash for when you want to step out or let Baba feed the baby.
There is always the concern about the bottle and how it might affect breastfeeding. Whilst every baby is different I can only advise not to introduce a bottle too late.
8 – Negative comments in one ear and out the other
Most mothers will hear comments like, “wow you are still breastfeeding”, “your baby is so big you don’t need to breastfeed them so often”,”you don’t need to breastfeed after 6 months/1 year”, “why don’t you use the bottle instead”, “are you going to nurse again??” just to name a few.
Please ignore them. Some comments might even come from family members or close friends. Don’t take it personally or tell them how the comment makes you feel.
Your personal choice doesn’t need to be explained to everyone nor do you have to feel bad about it. It’s a natural beautiful bonding experience for most mothers and no mama should be judged for it!
Random places I have nursed my kids
Now for the funny part! Breastfeeding comes with its own fun and awkward moments too! There have been many places I nursed in/at that I never thought I would. Here we go, get ready to chuckle a bit:
- Changing Room
- Public Restroom because I had a dress at a wedding that wasn’t nursing friendly
- Back Seat of the Car while my baby is strapped into their car seat
- In the shower when I can’t console or make my baby wait any longer
- On the kitchen floor
- Walking around the mall in the baby carrier
- Cooking a meal,
- Cutting my hair at the salon (under the nursing cover of course)
- And there are many other more embarrassing graphic ones I shall spare you from hearing….
Here are some pictures of me nursing my babies:
My husband trying to help me keep my son warm while I fed him on a windy cold day at the beach.
We all know the multi-tasking breastfeeding moments when our other kids NEED something at that very moment! This was the MilkMaid Cover that has a gorgeous Design. Check out my review by clicking the image.
Nursing my son on a boat ride and my brother who was visiting snapped a picture. Wish I could go back to being that thin!
Nursing my son at Ikea Dubai on a bar on the floor because there were no seats available!
I hope these breastfeeding tips were useful for you Mama. Breastfeeding is such a beautiful bonding journey. It made me feel like I was able to provide them with what they needed to develop and grow especially in that first year.
Please do let me know if you have any questions and share what your most memorable breastfeeding experience is :)!
Full disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means that I may get a commission if you use it to make a purchase. However, it costs you nothing and enables me to keep bringing you great content. I only ever recommend products I use and love myself.