Everything That Helped Me On My Breastfeeding/Pumping Journey: #NationalBreastfeedingMonth

By Lizzy O. - 6:10 PM

Hello World,
The month of august is National breastfeeding month and this week is World Breastfeeding week, so I thought to myself, what better time than to post about everything that helped me on my breastfeeding journey
A few weeks ago, I shared with you all how I weaned my baby off breastfeeding and there were comments on how helpful that post was, so I hope somebody reads this post and finds it helpful as well. 

Before my baby was born, I prayed that I would have enough milk production to be able to breastfeed her. Thankfully, a few months before she was born, I started to notice that if I squeezed my breast a little, some liquid would come from it (I knew that this wasn't the "real milk", but it gave me hope).

After she was born, She latched on really well (as I shared in my birth vlog here) and she continued to do great with latching and breastfeeding. I did not take this for granted because I know that some women want to breastfeed but just weren't able to due to one reason or another. 

I want to use this moment to praise the wonderful mothers who wanted to breastfeed but couldn't. I  know the world is full of unkind people who make you feel like it's your fault you couldn't breastfeed your baby, but please know that you are still a champ as long as you feed  your baby and care for your child. Some people couldn't breastfeed because they were unable to produce milk, or they had a lifestyle that didn't leave room for the TIME it takes to breastfeed.
A well fed and happy is the goal and I'll forever stand by that.  Formula is not the devil. 

That being said, I want to get into some of  the things I consider as being essential and helpful on MY breastfeeding journey.

Do you guys see how she's holding on to my  thumb in this photo? Ahh I miss her being this Tiny!

Anyhoo, Let's gooo! These are in no particular order. Just  writing as it comes to mind. 

1. Breast pump from Medela : This  was a complete lifesaver. I got the Medela Pump In style double breast pump through aeroflow breastpumps and it was wonderful. I could pump both breasts at the same time and the pump was powerful enough to ensure that I got all the milk in my breast out. Yes I directly breastfed my child as you can see in the photo above, but I was VERY happy to have pumped because this made life a bit  easier (to an extent).
Click here for the Medela pump in style pump


2.  Lasinoh nipple cream:  Are you even breastfeeding/pumping if you don't get sore/cracked nipples? Now I was very lucky because I didn't get any horrible nipple cracks or bleeding and all those other gory stories I've heard happening to  other people, BUT I still had some soreness and I realized that having some nipple cream on my breast helped me tremendously when it came to pumping. I would apply a little of  this nipple cream before and after pumping. It also helped with the nipple in the pumping shield and made my nipples less prone to cracking. CLICK HERE to buy.


3.  Appropriate/accurate nipple shield: speaking of pumping. I am SOOO grateful I found out earlier on in my pumping days that the right nipple shield was ESSENTIAL when pumping. A lot of  women don't know this but you actually need to make sure you  are using the right nipple shield with your pumping machine. It needs to be fitted rightly for your nipple so that you can pump easily and  express every ounce of milk inside your breast. So many women go on thinking that their pumps are not good enough or that they don't have enough milk production when the real issue is  the size of the shield  they are using. The little funnel thing you see in the photo below (where your nipple enters, is the shield). Click here to see how to measure your nipple size to better get the right Shield. I'll be honest with you all and say that  Medela didn't have my right size shield and I had to buy one on amazon from a different brand. CLICK HERE for the brand I bought. Nenesupply and Maymom are some brands on amazon that sell different sizes of breast shields that work with almost every brand of breast pump.


4. Kiinde milk bags: These were THE BEST. I love how easy they made my life. Once I was done pumping, I would pour my milk in these for storage in the freezer/fridge. They have a easy twist to open/close cap and you can even buy an extension to pump directly into these. As you can see in the photo below, I was up most nights pumping milk and that's just one of the sacrifices of a breast feeding mom. I don't miss those days. LOL

5. Dr Brown 8oz bottles for pumping: I got annoyed using the 6oz bottles when I was pumping. Imagine having a great milk let-down session - your milk is coming out so nicely - but  you NOW have to stop pumping because the six ounce bottle is full! It's like stopping as the session is FINALLY  bringing forth GOOD result. Oh my goodness, I was always SO ANGRY. Then I realized I needed to use a bigger bottle size when I pumped. Switching to this was amazing! My baby didn't actually drink from this bottle, but it helped me  with pumping.


6. Comotomo bottles (from 6oz to 8oz): Oh yes! I directly breastfed my baby, but introducing her to bottle at about 3 weeks old was THE BEST. Her dad could help with feedings and other loved ones could feed her as well. Initially I was afraid that she would not do well with direct breastfeeding anymore if I introduced her to bottle, but my worries were irrelevant because baby girl had ZERO nipple confusion and I have to thank the comotomo bottles for this. Before she turned 6 months old, We used the 6oz bottle. But after six months, we switched to the 8oz bottle cos lil girl wanted MORE food.
 While were here discussing bottles, I want to  mention to somebody.... PLEASE change the nipple on your baby's bottles as they get older. Most bottle companies have different bottle nipple sizes corresponding to the child's age. Usually you  need to change bottle nipples every 3-4 months. AND NO, this isn't just because of sanitary reasons but because the nipple sizes have different "FLOW". As your baby gets older, they can swallow faster and suck out more milk. Stop using the slow flow nipples for a nine months old. It's frustrating for the baby.



7. Boppy pillow: Whewwww chile!! The ultimate!!! This right here? LIFESAVER! If I was posting in order of relevance, this would have been NUMBER 1. I don't know about you, but I have back problems. LOL. Bending down for my breast to get into babies mouth is not  good on my back. OK?
The boppy pillow helped with raising baby up to a comfortable level for latching and good posture for Me. Not to mention, this pillow was also helpful when baby girl started practicing sitting down. Oh my goodness, I'm nostalgic just thinking about those days! See the first photo...baby is comfortable on it and mama is happy.


8. Medela pillow: This one is wonderful as well. I like it because it's longer and can curve around me. I could  rest my elbows on this and I ACTUALLY  still use this after breastfeeding. I didn't have it while I was pregnant BUT I can tell it would be a great pregnancy pillow.  It's long and can wrap around your body, help with your back while laying down and also good to use with guarding a sitting baby.


9. Bottle sterilizer: I don't have photo I personally took of mine, but it's THIS ONE HERE. With pumping milk comes a lot of parts to wash and sterilize. Bottles, shields, and everything! Phewww the stress! But sensitization is ESSENTIAL. We still use this till TODAY.

10. Water! Lots of it: I would be lying to you if I didn't mention this one. YOU NEED  TO  DRINK WATER. How do you expect to  produce breast milk (that is 88% water) if you don't drink water? I had my blue jug of water with me 99% of the time (you can see it in the first photo on this post).
Oh, since we are here, I want to mention, Please eat! You'll lose weight later. This is NOT the  time to diet. If you  want breastmilk, you need water and FOOD. Good food.


11. TV (REMOTES)/YouTube: I know you're thinking at this point, what is she talking about? Well, hear me out. Breastfeeding in the early months of your baby's life will TAKE YOUR TIME. Pumping also is a chore. Watching TV or your favorite  youtuber (like THIS GIRL), can really help make the  time go faster. I could never really  use my phone while breastfeeding, so I relied on my TV or youtube a lot. The remote control always had to be near me. Seriouslylook up at the first picture on this post. I had my laptop and all the remotes next to me.. and it was NOT staged. lol


12. Amazing support system: I am soooooo grateful I had a huge support system not just for baby care but also  on my breastfeeding journey.  Making the decision to exclusively breastfeed my baby for six months was truly only possible because I had people around me that supported that decision. Nobody forcing me to formula feed on days when my child was clearly Cluster feeding.
Nobody saying that she will lose weight or lack nutrients when she lost  a few pounds after we left the hospital (this is common with most babies you know?)
Nobody making me feel bad when I was TIRED of waking up to  breastfeed, pump or just having a bad day.
A good support system that helps with washing bottles, sterilizing, putting milk bags in freezer and organizing them, bringing out milk bags from freezer to thaw for baby  to drink and so much more. 
I am so thankful for my big mummy and a husband who respected my decisions and cheered me on even on days when they didn't understand some of those decisions.

I don't know what others are saying about breastfeeding/pumping, but it wasn't all fun for me. I was happy to do it all, and will do it over, but I will admit that it was challenging. It was full  of moments of doubts and lots of prayers. I gained a lot of weight because I was always hungry, and I kept wondering why people said  you lose weight when you breastfeed. Yeah, that was NOT my story.
I loved the bonding moments with my baby and I was happy to have enough milk production to feed her exclusively for six months and supplement up till 9months old.

Some people will  try to discourage you - whether in real life (loved ones) or online/TV, but you must persevere. Let whatever decisions you make be FULLY yours, because God has blessed you  with a gift of discernment as a mother.



Well that's it for now you guys. I hope you find this post helpful. Please let me know if you have any questions for me below.
Till Later, God Bless. 

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2 comments

  1. You didn't lie on the breastfeeding matter. My baby lost drastic weight right after she was born so we had to start supplimenting nwith formula and my milk didn't come in till almost a week plus later. Thankfully the nurses and public services encouraged me to pump and establish a pumping schedule. This helped as I could sleep and I knew my baby would be fed. I learnt to use my phone while breastfeeding thanks to my popsocket lol. Well done Lizzy

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should have gotten a pop socket. LOL But well done to you too mama.

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