≡ Menu

True story:  This morning, I was at a mom’s group, sitting in a circle with four other women and their babies, when I reached down into my diaper bag to pull out a blanket.  I stood up, shook it out, and out fell a bright blue thong.

IMG_0526

Of course, I was mid-sentence so everyone was already looking at me.  Ugh.  Hello, my name is Caitlin, and I’m a sleep-deprived new momma.  At least I do my laundry, right?  I just apparently just can’t sort it…

 

Henry had me up bright and early – 5:15.  We had breakfast on the deck (I had leftovers from dinner  and a peach) and then kicked off our big day out.

photo

We had a doctor’s appointment at 8, which went well, and then we chilled at Earth Fare for an hour or so to kill some time before the mom’s group.  Earth Fare is one of those places that I can’t visit without spending at least $30 – kind of like Target.  Ah well.

IMG_0516

Had lunch from the deli counter (veggies, potato salad, and edamame).

IMG_0520

And then it was time for the mom’s group.  The group was actually for breastfeeding mommas, and it was held at the hospital that Henry was delivered at.  I was pretty excited for the meeting because I always feel like I have a million questions relating to breastfeeding. 

 

Lots of people have asked for details on how breastfeeding is going, and everyone is SO different that I was hesitant to share my story, but I think I’ll go for it… One of the things that I’ve realized about nursing is that is really can be difficult and trying (both physically and emotionally), as well as totally amazing, and it helps to hear other people’s stories.

2

Crazy nursing eyes – He never blinks

 

After 5 weeks of nursing, my breast best piece of breastfeeding advice is reach out to local resources like a breastfeeding group or the La Leche League.  The morning after Henry was born, I called a lactation consultant and scheduled an appointment for three days later.  I scheduled the appointment for three days later because 1) in the hospital, they had lactation consultants on staff to help me, and I would be discharged from the hospital soon; and 2) I was pretty sure my milk would be in by then.  I didn’t know this before pregnancy, but your milk doesn’t instantaneously appear after delivery (you do produce colostrum).  I wasn’t having any problems with nursing in the hospital when I made the appointment – I made an appointment because every single woman that I had spoken to told me they had some problem with nursing.  I considered the appointment my preemptive strike against nursing problems.

 

Turns out, by the time my consultant showed up on my doorstep, I was having issues!  I was using a silicone nipple shield (which compensates for things like oversupply or inverted/flat nipples and helps with latching), grappling with what would become oversupply, and Henry was feeding for very short periods of time around the clock.   I was very concerned about his short feeds; however, I realized within a week or so that it was just the way Henry wanted to feed – he was healthy and gaining weight.  Thankfully, his feeds have gotten longer and slightly more spaced out.  Instead of eating every 45 minutes to 1.5 hours for 8 minutes at a time, he’s now 2 hours apart and 15 minutes at a time (on average – we still cluster feed back-to-back in the evening, and he goes longer in between feeds during the night).  The consultant was so helpful on all fronts.  I’m still using the shield because it really helps ‘protect’ Henry from my oversupply.  Otherwise, he ends up choking on the milk (to put this in perspective for other nursing mommas, I can eaaasily pump out three ounces per side in five minutes or less after a feeding).  So, although my issues haven’t been entirely resolved, they are improving… slowly but surely.  

 

One problem that I encountered last week was that Henry started to react negatively to what I was eating.  This entire time, people have been asking me if he’s bothered by my coffee, beans, broccoli, spicy foods, whatever – and I could honestly say that nothing I consumed irritated him.  It didn’t seem to matter what I ate or drank, he was still happy and healthy and appropriately sleepy or alert.  Then, about ten days ago, I could tell something was up – his poop was suddenly not normal (greenish and spotted with blood).  Of course, I was very concerned and called my pediatrician and the lactation consultant.  They both agreed that the symptoms, while scary, weren’t necessarily an emergency, and that the most likely culprit – and the easiest thing to rule in or out – was a food allergy.  The most common one for little babies?  Dairy.  So I cut out all dairy and within four days, his symptoms went away totally.  Whew!   Then, I accidentally ate some butter, and his symptoms re-appeared in the next diaper, which confirmed his little tummy did NOT like my dairy consumption.  This means that I’m currently not eating any dairy, which is very difficult for a gluten-free vegetarian but worth it.  I’ve read most babies outgrow this allergy from three to six months, so we’ll see what happens. 

 

The even newer issue that I’m having is balancing nursing with exercise.  Lots of my friends have told me they opt to pump immediately before exercise, as this removes a lot of the milk and makes exercise more physically comfortable.  However, pumping when you have oversupply can be a double-edged sword because demand creates supply, and pumping can trick your body into thinking you need even more milk.  I end up having to be very, very methodical about when I fed Henry, when I pump, and when I exercise – it’s a tremendous balancing act!  I’d love to hear some advice about this topic from readers, actually, because I’m still trying to figure out how to wing it!

 

So, that’s my nursing story to date.  Like I said, it has been challenging, but my experience has been overwhelmingly positive; I think nursing is really fun, and I enjoy it a lot. More than anything, I would just really recommend that mommas-to-be who are interested in nursing reaching out and get professional assistance (check with La Leche League) before a problem comes up.  And go to things like breastfeeding meet-ups!  It helps normalize breastfeeding and it’s an awesome way to get advice.

IMG_0523

What was your nursing experience like?  Any highs or lows to share?  How did you deal with exercising while nursing?  I’d really love some feedback on that topic in particular!

{ 124 comments }

 

Leave a Comment

  • Allison July 19, 2012, 4:07 pm

    Henry is such an adorable baby :)

    Reply
  • Reenie July 19, 2012, 4:15 pm

    OMG……that seriously cracked me up about your blue thong!! :)

    Henry is so adorable.

    Reply
  • Megan@ The Running Doc July 19, 2012, 4:15 pm

    I’ve been reading your blog for quite a while now and even though I don’t yet have kids of my own, I love all of these informative posts! I feel like I will be so much more prepared when I do finally get pregnant just from reading your experiences. So, thanks for sharing. :)

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP July 19, 2012, 4:17 pm

      thanks :)

      Reply
      • Kt July 19, 2012, 4:20 pm

        I agree! Usually I quit reading blogs when someone has a baby but I have been enjoying how you update us and how much I am learning.

        Reply
        • CaitlinHTP July 19, 2012, 4:21 pm

          I consider this the highest of compliments!

          Reply
          • jillian July 19, 2012, 4:35 pm

            I totally agree. I was just thinking the same thing!!!! (For example, knowing about the blood/food allergies could definitely prevent future panic, and I don’t have children yet!) Thank you for sharing!

        • Jen July 21, 2012, 8:47 pm

          I totally agree with this. You actually are very relatable (even though I don’t have a baby!! hah). But you tell the honest truth and give actual informative posts…not just what you/he ate, wore or did throughout the day. Kudos to you for being so REAL.

          Reply
  • Heidi July 19, 2012, 4:17 pm

    About the possible milk allergy-my 2nd daughter had a similar reaction to all things dairy that continued when she started eating solid foods. But the good thing is…my pediatrician had me re-introduce dairy about every 3 months and at 18 months-TA DA!-no more issues with dairy. She’s a month shy of 2 now and eats dairy like a champ. (Although she HATES ice cream, which completely baffles me! How can anyone hate ice cream, right?!) ;)

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP July 19, 2012, 4:18 pm

      Interesting!

      Does she like yogurt? Yogurt is kind of like ice cream! How can she hate ice cream?!?!?! Does not compute. :)

      Reply
  • Amanda July 19, 2012, 4:18 pm

    I had problems with oversupply, too (much better than undersupply, but still difficult!). I found that I had to completely stop pumping for a few weeks and feed only from one side until it was completely drained (even if that took several feedings). After a few weeks it balanced out, though it was months before the excessive let-down eased up. Good luck! I highly recommend the section in Nursing Mother’s Companion for advice.

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP July 19, 2012, 4:19 pm

      Oh thanks for this. It’s SOOO hard because I don’t want to stop pumping because it helps SOOOO much with the nighttime feedings if the husband can give him a bottle. But it’s like.. short term gains for long term losses, ya know?

      I will check out that book!

      Reply
  • Katharine July 19, 2012, 4:19 pm

    Hang in there, it gets SOOOOOO much easier, I promise!!!

    Reply
  • Nicole July 19, 2012, 4:20 pm

    OMG your thong story is HILARIOUS! How embarrassing! I don’t have kids yet, so I can’t speak to any advice on nursing, but I do have a question for you and other mommas out there.

    I want to breastfeed when I have kids, but did you find that the idea/thought of breastfeeding kind of weirded you out before actually doing it? I know everyone says breastfeeding is a beautiful thing, which I agree, it is… but there is still a large part of me that feels slightly grossed out about it. Is this normal?

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP July 19, 2012, 4:24 pm

      I think this is an extremely normal reaction and I think its so common because our society treats breastfeeding as if it’s so weird – that’s why I like breastfeeding groups because everyone just hangs out and nurses in front of each other like it’s no big deal (because it’s really not, our culture just makes us think it is). One thing I would recommend is when you have friends who have babies and are nursing, hang out with them while they breastfeed (if they don’t mind, obviously). That’s kind of what I did before pregnancy and it made me feel a lot more comfortable about it.

      I think the weirdest thing about breastfeeding is that it reminds me how much we’re all just… well, animals. Actually, all of pregnancy and delivery did that too. Pigs breastfeed, cows do it, cats do it… so do we. It’s strange!

      Reply
      • Christina July 19, 2012, 6:14 pm

        I feel the same way about the idea that someone is living in my stomach for 9 months! I mean, I about freaked when I thought I had a tapeworm. I do realize there is a difference between a baby and a tapeworm; this is how I know I’m not ready to have kids yet.

        Reply
    • Allison July 19, 2012, 4:36 pm

      I was hugely weirded out by breastfeeding. I wasn’t sure how I’d like it. I was scared. I wanted to do it but I wasn’t sure how it would be to have a baby on my body part. Turns out I LOVE it and might even do it longer then the year goal I set for myself!

      Reply
    • Angie All The Way July 20, 2012, 4:17 pm

      I felt the same way before I had my son. No one in my family breastfed, so I wasn’t exposed to it at all. The entire time I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to breastfeed without question, but the reason for it was because I believed it was what was best for him. Low and behold, after we got through the initial challenges, it ended up being an incredibly amazing experience. When it was over, I truly felt sad!

      Reply
  • Kristin @ wounded fawn July 19, 2012, 4:29 pm

    I love that your thong fell out during your Meetup. It’s a funny story and although you were probably embarassed I am sure it lightened things up. Maybe those other Momma’s needed that laugh.

    I think I may drop a thong out of my bag in any nervous situation as a funny social experiment! Thanks for the idea! :)

    Reply
  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) July 19, 2012, 4:32 pm

    I Loved nursing, but it definitely is a serious commitment. With my first son, I went back to work outside of the house when he was 6 weeks old. My husband worked from home, so he stayed with his dad. This was perfect in a lot of ways, but hard on me because I had to pump twice at work. This led to clogged milk ducts which are NOT fun. I guess knowing that there will be ups and downs helps you realize that these things happen and you can get past the hard times and enjoy the easier times! Besides, there is nothing sweeter than those nursing cuddles! I’m glad you figured out the dairy issue. That helps!

    Reply
  • Marissa@ohhhsolovely July 19, 2012, 4:33 pm

    i think it’s so great that you & henry are getting out a bit. i’m sure that is hard with a tiny little baby & some of my friends kind of stopped getting out after baby. when it’s my time, i am set on getting out a little each day, if possible. i get cabin fever easily. great breastfeeding info too!

    Reply
  • Caroline @ chocolate & carrots July 19, 2012, 4:33 pm

    My little Liam is 7 weeks old today and breastfeeding has recently become a challenge. I can’t seem to produce enough milk to keep up with him. I seem to have even less milk after I exercise. I get up and pump in the middle of the night to have some bottles of breast milk during the evening hours when I’m dry and he’s starving. I’m even taking fenugreek and eating oatmeal daily to help my supply. You don’t happen to have any advice for me from you class, would you? :-D

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP July 19, 2012, 4:35 pm

      I wish I could send you some of my oversupply vibes.

      I think, based on what I’ve read, you should just try to nurse and pump as frequently as possible. Not a consultant though, obviously. Reach out to La Leche!

      Anyone have any advice for Caroline?

      Reply
      • susan July 19, 2012, 4:56 pm

        Caroline, are you taking Fenugreek AND Blessed Thistle together? My midwifes told me that the combination of the two is important. Also, and I know this isn’t for everyone, but we are co-sleeping and that has helped me immensely with around-the-clock feedings and establishing milk supply.
        Other than that I’d recommend reading Dr. Jack Newman’s Guide to Breastfeeding. Oh, and kellymom.com!!!
        It seems like every new mom has some kind of breastfeeding issue – my son was born weighing only 4 lbs and he had a weak latch, so I had to pump after every feeding and top him off with a bottle, to get calories into him. Luckily he gained just fine and is now 10.5 months old and just about to start walking. :)
        Good luck!!

        Reply
        • kim @ vegan mama July 19, 2012, 6:53 pm

          Caroline – I had low milk supply! I had to supplement for 3 months until I finally had enough milk to exclusively breastfeed! First and foremost, seek out a liscensed lactation consultant. They are so wonderful!!

          I wrote a post about the resources that were most helpful to me that you can check out if you’d like:
          http://kimbrookins.blogspot.com/2012/06/low-milk-supply-resources.html

          It is hard, hard work trying to increase your milk supply – best of luck to you!

          Reply
      • Justine July 19, 2012, 9:21 pm

        Make sure to drink plenty of water. Hydration is very important!

        Reply
    • Heather Eats Almond Butter July 19, 2012, 7:36 pm

      Caroline
      I never made enough milk when breastfeeding. Definitely breastfeed as often as you can and pump in-between. Oatmeal and Fenugreek helped me. Google lactogenic foods – there are different foods out there that might help you like Brewer’s yeast,etc. Make sure you’re taking in enough calories – breastfeeding burns a lot! Drink Mother’s Milk tea. Drink water ALL THE TIME. Try a warm bath or shower. You could also try a pumping power hour at night to mimic cluster feeding. I would pump off and on for 10 to 15 minutes for an hour every night. Fun times, but it really helped maintain/increase my low supply. Another thing that really helped was to get my thyroid and iron levels checked. My TSH levels were a bit sluggish, and an a thyroid supplement helped. Hope this helps, and just keep in my mind you are doing your best. I read that only about 1% of moms aren’t able to make enough milk for their babies, but I’ve encountered many others with low supply problems. You are NOT alone.

      Reply
    • Justine July 19, 2012, 9:20 pm

      Make sure to drink plenty of water as well. Hydration is very important.

      Reply
  • Kendra @ My Full-Thyme Life July 19, 2012, 4:36 pm

    First off, I can’t tell you enough how much I love your blog! You write so well and the amount of information, inspiration, and truth is so refreshing!

    I totally agree with what you are saying about getting help. I went to a free breastfeeding clinic at the hospital I delivered at. Although it was helpful I think I should not have used it as my ONLY resource. Plus, I wasn’t very confident or outgoing about finding other groups or going to a LLL meeting. I’m really looking forward to Baby #2 because I will have more confidence and more of an idea of what to expect (even though I realistically know every baby is different).

    My son didn’t take to breastfeeding very well. I became an exclusive pumper. That comes with its own set of challenges! I did not have the oversupply issue so pumping before a workout worked for me. Sorry! But I still know what you mean about the balancing act! I had to remember to take my pump everywhere with me and all activites, big or small, had to be planned around pumping. I don’t mean to whore out my posts on your brilliant and lovely blog… but if you are interested here is my story:

    http://www.myfullthymelife.blogspot.com/2012/03/confessions-of-sorta-breastfeeder-part.html

    http://www.myfullthymelife.blogspot.com/2012/03/confessions-of-sorta-breastfeeder-part_23.html

    P.S. – Forgive me for saying “whore out” on your brilliant and lovely blog! ;)

    Reply
  • Lauren July 19, 2012, 4:38 pm

    I’ve been waiting on this post! What kind of breast pump do you use? I’m due in January and am researching BF a LOT – my mother didn’t BF me and it seems like a foreign concept, but one I want to try!

    Reply
    • Caitlin July 19, 2012, 4:39 pm

      Medela Pump in Style Advanced. Worth EVERY penny.

      Reply
      • Lauren July 19, 2012, 4:42 pm

        Thanks! the hospital where I deliver offers a Medela hospital grade pump (maybe the Style Advanced??) for rent for 60.00 a month. I’m thinking about renting for the first month just to make sure BF works out for us before dropping the big bucks!! I hear Medela is the best!

        Reply
        • Caitlin July 19, 2012, 4:56 pm

          They prob have a hospital grade one so it will be UBER awesome. Medela everything is so high quality.

          Reply
          • Alisa July 20, 2012, 12:18 pm

            I am renting a Medela Symphony from my hospital and LOVE it. I’ve struggled with low supply since I had my baby almost 7 months ago and the better pump really does make a huge difference (I have a Pump In Style Advanced too which I use in the car).

  • Allison July 19, 2012, 4:41 pm

    My daughter is 8 months old and I am still using a nipple shield! My nursing experience started off rough. My milk didn’t come in till day 4 and my girl was crabby. She was hungry and wasn’t getting any milk. They talked about supplementing formula and I was strongly against it. I was emotional and frustrated which resulted in a lot of crying! When we got home my milk came in and everything has been fine since. My nipple shield is because I have flat nipples. I couldn’t get her to latch on after using the nipple shield. She would latch but not for very long. I love my nipple shield for comfort :) My doctor said the only way I would need to stop using the shield is if my milk supply decreased, which it hasn’t. I think you have to do what’s best for you no matter how they get it! Good luck nursing. I love it. I recently had pneumonia and they wanted me to take a medicine that wouldn’t allow me to nurse. I refused and became very emotional I wouldn’t be able to feed my daughter. New medicine = problem solved! I love nursing and will be sad when it is time to stop.

    Reply
  • Sana July 19, 2012, 4:43 pm

    I once had a thong stuck IN my jeans, like the leg part. Of course it fell out in front of everyone.

    Reply
  • Mo July 19, 2012, 4:43 pm

    Just wanted to comment that I’ve been nursing my 3 week old daughter and knock on wood, haven’t had any issues yet. I didn’t know if I would BF, but oddly I love it. Such a sweet bonding time and a wonderful thing that my body is feeding another little human! Great informative post!

    Reply
  • Lindsay July 19, 2012, 4:47 pm

    Currently nursing seems to be going pretty well. At first Edith was nursing constantly and my nipples got bruised and sore but now she has improved at latching and nursing has slowed down slightly (minus the 7 hours of cluster feeding/comfort nursing the other night).

    Reply
  • Britt July 19, 2012, 4:47 pm

    You’re nails look so pretty !!!

    Reply
    • Caitlin July 19, 2012, 4:58 pm

      I have had SUPER NAILS since delivery. My nails have NEVER looked this epic. I can’t figure it out!!!

      Reply
      • miss pip kelly July 20, 2012, 5:23 pm

        Could it be the placenta capsules? You have me convinced they’re a wonder supplement!

        Reply
  • Brie July 19, 2012, 4:47 pm

    I am not going to lie, breastfeeding scares the crap out of me. I plan to do it, but I feel like everything I read about it talks about how hard it is and all the problems! It’s really intimidating.

    I feel like you never hear GOOD stories about breastfeeding…and I just hope they’re out there and that I’ll be one of them. (Obvs, your story is not bad, but I am pretty sure that if I’m sleep-deprived with a newborn and you tell me I can’t have cheese or ice cream, I would burst into tears.)

    Reply
    • Caitlin July 19, 2012, 4:55 pm

      Hahah trust me, seeing bloody poo in your baby’s diaper is so scary you would give up crossfit forever to make it stop :)

      You will be just fine!

      Reply
    • Alyson July 23, 2012, 9:26 am

      There are good stories. I have a 2.5 year old that I breastfed until she was 20 months old and am now breastfeeding my 2 month old. I’ve never had any problems other than engorged breasts when my milk came in–totally normal–and sore nipples for the first week. I’ve never had to change my diet while breastfeeding.

      A lot of women have difficulty with breastfeeding for many reasons, but at least in my experience, not all women do. (Another example, my mom breastfed me and my three siblings for a couple years each and never had any problems.) Good luck!

      Reply
  • Amanda @ Diary of a Semi-Health Nut July 19, 2012, 4:53 pm

    As a gal who is not yet a mother and wants to be…thanks for being so positive AND honest about everything. Not just rainbows and butterflies…but real things that you’re dealing with. It’s actually a good thing to hear about how nursing can kind of be a full-time job at first. I don’t think anyone ever told me how many hours a day they nurse/pump!! Why don’t we talk about these things more??

    I’m also glad you look at all of this through a positive light AND still try to workout!! You’re a rockstar mom who is learning and sharing and I’m loving it. :-)

    Reply
  • Sheryl July 19, 2012, 4:54 pm

    Nursing is something that sounds simple, but has so many complications! I have an eight month old now, and our nursing journey has been very interesting. (I dealt with an undersupply…) I think it’s great that you’re sharing your story. Sometimes I think new moms feel like it’s “so easy” for everyone else, but really, every new mom has their own unique set of challenges to face, and getting to read blogs like yours lets us know we’re not alone!

    Reply
  • Amber @ Busy, Bold, Blessed July 19, 2012, 4:55 pm

    And that’s my thong, oops! Hehe. At least it was clean!

    That pic of Henry’s eyes is great… SO blue!

    Reply
  • Erica July 19, 2012, 5:20 pm

    Wow … I can usually get 3.5 oz total during a 15-20 min pumping session at work. Since my son takes three 5 oz bottles at daycare I have to pump 5 times a day! I know that oversupply can be a pain, especially for a baby when there is overactive letdown, but sometimes I wish I had just a little extra. I barely have any freezer supply (in case I get sick or need to be out of town for a few days) and I’m getting nervous for a work trip I have to take in December (when baby will be almost 9 months, so he may require less milk at that time!).

    I second “The Nursing Mother’s Companion” as a valuable resource. It got me through some tough times at the beginning (two rounds of mastitis and a clogged duct, plus nipple injuries). That and Kellymom.com.

    Reply
  • rebecca July 19, 2012, 5:24 pm

    I had tons of oversupply issues and one thing that I’ve learned that really helps when you feel super full is to put a cold green cabbage leaf in your bra…..and kind of splice the veins open or crush it a bit before you put it in. I guess there is something in the cabbage that slows your milk production down a bit.

    Congratulations on your Henry, he is adorable!!

    Reply
  • Penny July 19, 2012, 5:28 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! I’m trying to absorb as much as I can before my baby gets here, and yours is definitely different than the majority of what I’ve heard, which is usually under-supply!

    Reply
  • HP July 19, 2012, 5:48 pm

    I had a baby girl just a few weeks before you. I also had major oversupply issues. I found that what worked best for me was having her feed for the entire time on one side for two feedings. At first it hurt bad on the side she wasn’t feeding off but I used hot breast pads before feedings and cool ones after. I also would try to express a little milk in a warm shower or just express it right before she would feed off the side that had not been fed on the two times previously. She always nursed for about 20 or 25 minutes so it might take more than two feedings. I also tried to avoid the pump or would just pump about an ounce off just to take the edge off. Now after doing that for about 4 or 5 weeks my supply is a little more in check and we are back to feeding about 15 minutes on each side. The best thing she is now going about 2-3 hours during the day and one time about 4-5 hours during night then cluster feeds a few times in the morning and right before bed. I am sure you will find what works best for you!

    Reply
  • Jessica July 19, 2012, 5:50 pm

    Better a thong than granny “period” panties.

    Henry is such a doll.

    Reply
    • Jennie @ While My Button Sleeps July 20, 2012, 2:28 am

      Amen.

      Reply
  • Annette@FitnessPerks July 19, 2012, 5:50 pm

    Interesting–I had no idea you had to balance time with it and exercise. Good to know!

    He is SO cute in his carrot onesie!

    Reply
  • Jessica July 19, 2012, 5:51 pm

    I don’t know why I just put “period” in quotations. HA.

    “period panties” is better.

    And now I have written you two comments with the words period panties in them. Geez.

    Reply
  • Brooke July 19, 2012, 5:52 pm

    I have a 5 month old and she dictates my work outs. I always nurse her really well right after she wakes up in the morning and then we head out for our run. Working out is NOT comfortable with engorged breasts! I also change right out of my sports bra when I am done working out. It is too tight for the ladies right now! ;)

    Reply
  • Swimmy333 July 19, 2012, 6:05 pm

    I always appreciate your honesty and enjoy reading your blog. I have never commented before, but I wanted to share a thought with you. A couple of your posts have mentioned La Leche League and how helpful they are. I think that’s probably true. But I also think they are unrealistic about breastfeeding and can make women feel guilty about not breastfeeding. They are very one sided, and I think that they can do a dis-service to women who end up not being able to breastfeed for a myriad of reasons (perpetuating the guilt that many moms already feel if they can’t/don’t breastfeed). I know you are posting about your own experience, but i don’t think everyone’s experience with La Leche League is always so rosy.

    Reply
    • Veronica July 19, 2012, 8:55 pm

      LLL is proudly one-sided. I think their mission statement is quite clear: To improve the rates of breastfeeding women worldwide, increase awareness and support of breastfeeding worldwide, and instruct women on breastfeeding and breastfeeding issues.

      1 in 3 mothers today will claim they could not breastfeed. I don’t think they came to this conclusion on their own. I think in the early post-partum days, at the time of most breastfeeding problems, when a woman is at her most hormonal and vulnerable, someone TOLD her she couldn’t do it. And she accepted it as fact and gave up.

      Sure, a small – very small – percentage of women cannot breastfeed for whatever reason. But it is far from 1 in 3. Because if 1 in 3 women could not breastfeed, and adding in the rate of maternal death prior to 1900, the human race would not have survived.

      Women used to breastfeed exclusively, because that was their only choice. Failure was not an option. A bottle was not available. Mother and baby made it work.
      But now, with the readiness of formula, lack of maternal support and a wealth of misinformation being propagated, less women breastfeed and I think it is doing our babies an injustice.

      Now, all that being said, if a woman CHOOSES not to breastfeed, that is her choice. But let it be a choice she makes for herself and not because she has been lied to and believed that she cannot breastfeed. Chances are, if she had all the necessary parts and hormones to grow the baby in her body, she also has the ones necessary to feed it.

      LLL is definitely one-sided. Because it believes what it believes: That almost all women can breastfeed. And in a time when a woman is bombarded with “You can’t” it is a welcome message to hear unequivocally “You can!”

      But that is just my opinion.

      Reply
      • Jessica July 20, 2012, 8:47 am

        :like:

        I agree that it’s one thing to choose not to breastfeed, it is in fact a choice and each woman is different, but I think the rate of misinformation out there about ability to breastfeed is just sad.

        Reply
        • CaitlinHTP July 20, 2012, 11:31 am

          This was an interesting discussion. I think the comments in this post prove why a lot of women think they ‘can’t’ breastfeed – it is super confusing and hard sometimes! However, I also agree with the statement about LLL being strict. I mentioned possibly supplementing with formula once to a LLL leader and she looked down her nose at me.

          Reply
          • Angie All The Way July 20, 2012, 4:30 pm

            I went to a LLL meeting while I was still pregnant and I felt very welcomed, which is not a surprise, because I had yet to encounter any challenges to BFing and was there to surround myself with other breastfeeding women, especially since it was not something I was ever exposed to growing up. It all sounded very pleasant, but there was one woman that I have never forgotten. She was basically a single Mom who moved here from UK (no family around and her husband worked away all the time) and she had a 3 year old and a 3-4 mth old. She exclusively BFed her 1st child, but was now finding it very difficult to manage keeping up with nursing all night and being “on” all day with her 3 year old and they were on the go a lot. She was reaching out to the women in the group wondering what they thought of her giving her baby a bottle of formula at night in hopes that he would sleep longer. They all just stared at her in disapproval and the leader wouldn’t openly support the option (I think she just wanted validation from other Moms that this would be ok). And then when everyone kind of broke off chatting to one another when they weren’t listening, she more privately said, “you need to do what you feel is right for your family” and I never forgot it because to me it seemed like she didn’t want to “openly” make that statement in support of the formula feed while the group was listening, but she did still kind of give her the reassurance she was looking for, albeit a bit of a canned response. It spoke volumes to me.

  • Jolene (Homespun Heritage) July 19, 2012, 6:06 pm

    Where did you get the awesome carrot onesie? Its so stinking cute!

    I had an undersupply issue with my last child and what helped me out a ton weren’t the herbals or teas but gatorade! I took to drinking one a day and my supply took a HUGE boost! It didn’t matter how much water I drank but definitely mattered with the gatorade!

    Reply
  • Brittnie (A Joy Renewed) July 19, 2012, 6:17 pm

    I also have to use the nipple shield because my little girl developed a silicone preference from getting a paci in the hospital, day 2 after delivery. Who knew? Well at least I didn’t think about telling the nurses not to give her a paci so early. Anyways, we are still using the shield and while it is annoying, it is our lifesaver in terms of nursing. I just can’t breastfeed in public because I have to use both hands (one to hold Clara’s head and the other to hold the shield in place) and when I do I cannot see under the nursing cover. Bummer! Which brand of shield do you use?

    Reply
  • Hilary July 19, 2012, 6:28 pm

    I’m nursing #2 right now, and I love it! My son nursed for 19 months. He was more challenging I think because he was my first which obviously has a learning curve, and he had issues with his latch. My daughter has been a champ from the beginning! She nurses really fast too. I agree about finding support – I really really enjoy my LLL group.

    My son was also sensitive to dairy. He would always pull off the breast and fuss. About 3 months later I tried dairy again, and he was fine! Hope the same works for you and Henry.

    Reply
  • kim @ vegan mama July 19, 2012, 6:48 pm

    My nursing experience has been on the opposite end of the spectrum – I’m battling low milk supply. It’s hard! It took me 3 months, but we are finally able to exclusively breastfeed. I wrote the first installment of my breastfeeding journey (0-4 months) here:
    http://kimbrookins.blogspot.com/2012/06/my-breastfeeding-story-0-4-months.html

    And a post about what resources I found useful in dealing with low milk supply here:
    http://kimbrookins.blogspot.com/2012/06/low-milk-supply-resources.html

    I’m glad things are going relatively smooth for you. I would have welcomed oversupply, but I know that it comes along with it’s own set of challenges, as well!

    Reply
  • Debbie July 19, 2012, 7:28 pm

    I’ve nursed three kids, all past the age of one. Each was different. I had issues with each. I will say, once I got past the three month mark, things smoothed out really well. After a while, it really seemed much easier to me than bottle feeding would have been. But it is a huge adjustment, and it takes time to get to that point. Even after successfully feeding my first for past a year, the next one comes and it’s starting all over again. But I don’t regret a minute. When I see that picture of Henry’s wide eyes it brings back sweet memories. The other thing I’ll say, is that I also attended a moms breast feeding group at my hospital after my first. It was the best decision I even made. I didn’t want to go, but after worrying about whether my baby was gaining weight and getting enough, my husband encouraged me to go. They weighed the babies each week and it was so reassuring. And at that group i made friends with a group of women that are still some of my best friends, and our babies are now turning 12. I would have never gotten that kind of support had I not gone to that group. Even with all of the attention, being a new mom can be quite isolating. It helped immensely. Sorry for the rambling comment. I wish the best for you and your family, congratulations!

    Reply
  • Tracey July 19, 2012, 7:50 pm

    My son goes to preschool for a full day so he has a nap time that we have to pack a sheet, blanket and pillow for. One Monday after I had taken his nap stuff home for the weekend to wash and brought it back clean I was pulled aside by the teacher at pick up time. She was red faced and giggly and slid me an envelope that had “oops, this was in Liam’s nap stuff.” written on the outside. Inside was a red thong. Lesson learned…always check the comers of a fitted sheet for hidden undies.

    Reply
  • Jolene (www.everydayfoodie.ca) July 19, 2012, 7:53 pm

    He is SUCH a cute baby!!!! And the story about the thong is awesome. That kind of thing always seems to happen to me. I am an embarrassment magnet.

    Reply
  • Morgan July 19, 2012, 8:00 pm

    I nursed my daughter for 14 months and it was one of the best things about her being a baby:) As far as exercising and nursing, I also had oversupply. I could pump 5oz from each side after a feeding. I actually did not pump before working out, I would just deal with the discomfort, and eventually I think running helped with my oversupply by decreasing my production slightly (or it just worked itself out as my daughter got older).

    Reply
  • Kath July 19, 2012, 8:06 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to share! I love reading other peoples’ stories.

    Reply
  • Amanda K. July 19, 2012, 8:40 pm

    timing is SO hard with exercise and nursing. i blogged about it here: http://www.thekriegers.org/post/12928359231/running-everything-is-harder-with-a-baby

    i would wait until my son woke up, nurse him, then exercise immediately.

    the most important thing i can tell you is: IT GETS EASIER!
    my milk used to come in while exercising (even if i nursed right before leaving) and it was so painful. then once i realized it didn’t happen. then, another time, i realized i’d gone running without nursing and it wasn’t painful.
    slowly but surely, it gets easier.

    this was from when my son was 7 months old, it was a whole different world from when i first started out: http://www.thekriegers.org/post/19010068542/running-now-and-then

    Reply
  • Kristin July 19, 2012, 8:43 pm

    It took my milk a solid 4-5 days to come in! I felt so inadequate and wondered if i would be able to feed her or just give her formula! My baby girl was hungry and it was so sad seeing her fuss meanwhile I was cringing putting her on the boob to nurse when it felt like my nips were being sawed off with a cheese grater ( graphic but true). I had to give her some pedialyte in a bottle as recommended by my pediatrician bc she wasn’t gaining the first week and she was a little dehydrated. Gel soothies were my best friend! I also drank mothers milk tea. After my milk came in it was so much better. My nipples were sore the first 2 weeks then it was better. I worked and worked at perfecting my latch. I love love love nursing. It’s such a great bond and although it’s challenging at times I’m so gld I’ve been able to nurse for 5 months I hope to make it til 1 year.

    One thing I will warn against is watch your neck, literally. I’m getting a neck problem from lazy nursing habits and now I’m working on sitting up straight, not hunching my shoulders when I nurse and using the breast friend or nursing pillow everytime I nurse, even at night when I’m too lazy and half asleep. Your neck will thank you!

    Reply
  • Emily July 19, 2012, 8:56 pm

    Once when my in-laws were visiting, we were putting sheets on their bed, and a pair of my underwear was stuck in one of the corners of the fitted sheet. Sigh.

    Reply
    • Jennie @ While My Button Sleeps July 20, 2012, 2:26 am

      Ugh at least it was clean??? Been there! I left behind a undie soldier at my in laws after a wedding. Wanted to die!

      Reply
  • Sarah July 19, 2012, 9:28 pm

    He looks so cute in his carrot onsie! I was reading the post and thought, “That looks familiar! Oh yeah, I made that!”

    He is adorable!

    Reply
  • Sarah July 19, 2012, 9:52 pm

    My son also had a sensitivity to all dairy when I nursed him. Also things that were acidic like tomato sauce bothered his tummy.
    I never was able to eat dairy while nursing him (due to supply, I only nursed him until he was about 7 months) but by the time he was one year he out grew the sensitivity and now is fine with all diary.

    Reply
  • Diana @ frontyardfoodie July 19, 2012, 9:53 pm

    I am so glad you sought help immediately! I feel that sooo many women give up before they have given it a good solid chance.

    I’m one of the randomly lucky women in the world with absolutely no difficulty, no challenges and no troubles with nursing. Both my sons latched on and nursed like champs. I nursed my first until he was 15mo old when my milk dried up due to pregnancy and my second is just a week or so older than your son and just gulping down my milks.

    My second IS much crazier of an eater and sometimes if he sleeps more than usual I do get serious over production but that’s pretty rare. I’m fairly sure that he’s been on a seven and a half week growth spurt. hehehe

    Reply
  • Claire July 19, 2012, 9:58 pm

    Firstly, that carrot onesie is just the bomb!

    I have breastfed 3 kids to round about a year of age when all 3 self weaned, and it went really well. I was really committed to breastfeeding mainly because I’m lazy and didn’t want to have to bother with bottles and sterilising and all that jazz (I never was much of a pumper for the same reason!), and also because it’s free.

    I was so surprised to learn during my first pregnancy that breastfeeding is a learned skill and not something that happens naturally. I had so much trouble with my first for about 5-6 weeks. She would not latch on properly and it was soooo painful. Fortunately I saw a wonderful lactation consultant at about 2 weeks and got some help. If I had not been 100% committed though, I most certainly would have given up.

    I think the pro breastfeeding lobby do women a great disservice by minimising the problems that can happen, and particularly by advising that breastfeeding shouldn’t/won’t be painful. Even though my 2nd and 3rd babies established breastfeeding much more easily than my first, it still hurt in the early few weeks as my nipples got used to them nursing. The suction their little mouths produce is unbelievable – in the early days I would see stars as they first latched on! To be told that there won’t be any pain isn’t true. It does go away though after a short time and breastfeeding does become free from pain and I found it really lovely. But I think being told that it shouldn’t be painful is not telling the full story and probably results in some people stopping in the early days.

    The other thing I think breasfeeding mothers should get more information about is growth spurts. As several commenters have mentioned, demand creates supply. So every few weeks, as baby grows a bit and needs more, they will go through a few days of crazy cluster feeding where it feels like you are feeding non stop and they are always hungry. But within a couple of days your body responds and you produce more milk and everything settles back to ‘normal’. I could never recognise these growth spurts when I was in the midst of them. I think sleep deprivation would affect my mental capacity and I would feel like I was going crazy. Then after a couple of days I would finally realise that it was a growth spurt, and soon enough things would settle back down. But if breastfeeding mums don’t know about growth spurts, of course they are going to think something is wrong and their supply isn’t enough, and possibly start supplementing with formula, which just perpetuates the problem. Fortunately my sister had a baby 8 months before me and was able to share these pearls of wisdom with me!

    Reply
    • Veronica July 20, 2012, 10:04 am

      Yes. This. All of this.

      Reply
  • Kate July 19, 2012, 10:27 pm

    I have been loving your amazing and honest mama-related blogs lately. Wish they had been around when I had a newborn. My best piece of advice as a fellow over-supplier (right until my daughter weaned at 23 months)…look into block feeding (nursing from the same side for a given amount of hours). It SAVED me. You can mess around with how long the intervals are and see what works for you. Oversupply was truly something I struggled with until the very end. Good luck with everything, you are doing GREAT!
    -Kate

    Reply
  • Christina July 19, 2012, 10:31 pm

    When I was a baby, and much into my younger years, I had a severe allergy to dairy. As I grew it turned into more of an intolerance that i can deal with. Hopefully that happens with him as well. His eyes are beautiful!

    Reply
  • abbey July 19, 2012, 10:43 pm

    yeah, the dairy allergy. it typically doesn’t go away that quickly…it can take up to a year. my daughter was getting horrible eczema on her cheeks and arms and when I eliminated dairy, she was 100% better. it wasn’t overnight either, as your body takes some time to eliminate all the dairy. that said, you can also look into allergy elimination therapy. i didn’t choose to go that route but i know people who have had it done on their babies and completely swear by it. good luck.

    Reply
    • abbey July 19, 2012, 10:45 pm

      forgot to mention that the dairy allergy usually peaks at 6 months, definitely turned out to be the case with my daughter. she is now 7.5 months and i plan to try re-introducing dairy slowly to gauge her reaction in another couple months.

      Reply
  • Jen July 19, 2012, 11:15 pm

    As someone who doesn’t ever want children (and who is blessed with a husband who feels the same way), I must say that a) this post further confirmed my feelings towards remaining child-free (SO.MUCH.PLANNING!) and b) gave me even MORE respect for mamas in general. You ladies give so much of yourselves to your little ones…it’s pretty awesome and evident as to just how much you want these little people in your lives. I think you’re doing great, Caitlin! Henry is healthy and happy and you & Kristien seem like you’re doing a fantastic job at handling this new phase in your lives!

    Reply
    • Jennie @ While My Button Sleeps July 20, 2012, 2:24 am

      Jen that is really cool of you to be so honest. Good for you!

      Reply
      • Britt @ BalancedBritt July 20, 2012, 9:34 am

        I second what Jennie said! It’s nice to see a woman who knows exactly what she wants and isnt afraid to stick to it. It’s refreshing! :)

        Reply
  • TiffanyS July 20, 2012, 12:17 am

    I nursed both my boys, and ended up cosleeping. It was just easier and we all got more rest that way. Unfortunately, this was a very hard habit to break the boys from. So, I say I haven’t slept well for 7 years or so. The first boy nursed for 9 months until my body had had enough. My skin was just traumatized, I started to not produce enough. The second one wasn’t as keen to ween. He went about 14 months. I loved the cuddle time and the convience of nursing. I hated the spectacle it seemed to cause, and feeling like I had to hide in restrooms or in the car. I didn’t love feeling like I didn’t have control of my body, and that I was completely attached to my babies 24/7. Sometimes it would have been nice to leave without worrying about making it home in time to feed a baby or needing to bring my pump with me. Yes, I pumped at my college masters classes in empty conference rooms. One time a man walked in on me. My back was turned, but HOLY uncomfortable. LOL! My advice for excercising was to feed before and right after. Oh, I wore two sports bras.

    Reply
    • Krissy July 21, 2012, 10:09 pm

      My son is 5 mo today. I had minor issues breastfeeding when he first came home but we got the hang of it soon enough. My supply was fine but it seemed to me he ate constantly.

      A month before I returned to work I started to really stress about pumping enough. He would nurse AND eat everything I expressed and I feared he would be starving while I was working.

      Best advice I ever got was to supplement with formula. My pediatrician recommended a brand she liked. I’m more relaxed, my son is being fed and I still nurse morning and night without the hassle of pumping at work. It’s a choice and a compromise I am happy with.

      In my opinion sometimes what is best for you (ie being less stressed) is also best for the baby.

      Reply
  • andrea July 20, 2012, 1:27 am

    I just had to comment on this post! I have also dealt with some serious oversupply!! So I want to share my experience with you and hopefully it can be helpful.

    I have two children. My first one I breastfed until she was 9 mos. I had such an over production of milk and was extreeeeemely engorged most of the time!! I didn’t really know any one who had breastfeed, so with no one to talk to, I thought this was completely normal for every breastfeeding mom. As she got older and ate less often, my milk supply went down a little, but I still had wayyy too much milk and dealt with it for 9 mos.

    My second daughter is 9 mos right now and is still breastfed. She spent the first 5 weeks of her life in the NICU. She was not able to eat that entire time, so for 5 weeks I was pumping only. Again, I had a huge oversupply and was very, VERY engorged. The children’s hospital she was at was extremely “pro-breastfeeding” and had amazing support for breastfeeding mothers, along with many lactation consultants. The lactation nurses checked on me several times a week to see how I was doing, so they helped me tremendously. First of all they told me that I had a large overproduction and that I should not be so engorged all the time.

    The BEST advice they gave me was to take sudafed to decrease my supply. Several of the consultants told me it would be okay to take sudafed for a day or two and see how my supply was, then if I needed to take it again after several days I could. I was hesitant at first because I am very cautious about what I take while nursing, but they assured me it was 100% safe (my OB later said the same thing). I did as they suggested and took sudafed, and it helped decrease my supply. This made my breastfeeding experience SO SO SO much better. You do however have to be careful and not get carried away with it because you don’t want to take too much and diminish your supply. There is also only a certain kind of sudafed that is safe while breastfeeding, but I can’t remember which kind. Of course, talk to your OB or Lactation consultant first though :P
    This honestly worked wonders from me, especially after going through 9 mos of crazy overproduction with my first baby!

    My baby has GI problems, so when she was finally able to eat I used a nipple shield too, but I still had too much milk for her and it was really hard on her tummy and she would spit up reeealllllyyy bad. So I took sudafed as needed to keep my supply under control…I was also able to stop using the nipple shield too. (I don’t want this to sound like I took it regularly, just every now and then if I really needed to!…I think it was only a few times) It has helped so much that I really haven’t had an issue with over supply since, and haven’t used sudafed or anything else for about 6 mos. (I’m pretty sure you could use a different BF safe allergy medicine instead).

    Another thing to keep in mind…while you do have such a great supply, it is a great time to stock up on frozen milk for future bottles and baby food (I’m sure you already know that!). Another thing you could do is donate your breast milk! When I pumped at the hospital for 5 weeks, since I had so much milk I donated it to another hospital that uses it for their babies. The hospital I donated it to had a great need for donated milk, so you might check around your area in case that is something you’re interested in.

    Okay, last thing. I don’t know if you’ve dealt with much engorgement, but if you do I highly recommend purchasing the NUK warm or cool breast relief packs. They help with pain, engorgement, and letting down and are worth every penny, in my opinion. The only downside is that I wish they came in a bigger size because I am about a DD or DDD while breastfeeding, but they are still helpful and were a lifesaver for me!

    Geez, I didn’t mean to write a book on your comment section, sorry! I just can totally relate to the oversupply and wanted to share what has worked for me. Good luck!

    Oh yeah – and I had the same issue with my baby only eating for a short time. For a while she was eating 5 minutes total…I was also sooo scared she wasn’t getting enough, but it was just because she was getting a lot a once. She has built up to about 10 min, 15 min max. And she is growing impressively well considering her medical conditions – no worries :)

    Reply
  • Jennie @ While My Button Sleeps July 20, 2012, 2:22 am

    Wow! So, this is hilarious (the blue thong). I am so glad you were able to quickly figure out Henry couldn’t have dairy. It is hard. Button had Ann”unidenitfiable” allergy. For weeks (months?) we didn’t have: dairy, soy, citrus, shellfish, nuts, wheat, gluten, etc. it was so hard. I ate potatoes. Every. Day. And quinoa which I learned from you and my aunt! Crazy!!!! We had to wean at 6months and I became an emotional mess. It was so sad. Daddy Button was an incredible rock in a really rough time. Guess that’s why they give ya the old “for better or worse” clause in the vows! Glad you were brave and shared your story. Some people give me a hard time about mine, but so many more are supportive! Go you!

    Reply
  • Mel July 20, 2012, 4:54 am

    I have oversupply issues too (my baby is nearly 3 months old) made worse by pumping then baby not drinking all the pumped milk. I found that green poop and green poop with red bits can be a symptom of oversupply as baby’s intestines can’t handle the volume of milk when they’re tiny. I have mostly sorted the problem (no more green poop) by stopping pumping and also giving baby probiotics to help her digestion. I would really reccomend the probiotics as they helped her colic a lot too.

    Based on my experience I would definitely not suggest you pump and freeze any milk for future as if you pump and baby doesn’t drink the milk that day you will just increase your supply even more.

    Ps I don’t find I need to pump before exercise, have you tried without?

    Reply
  • Tara July 20, 2012, 7:41 am

    Again, thanks for sharing your story. I think it does help to hear other mamas stories, but they are all very different. My problem was my milk never fully came in. After the first couple of days my little guy was losing weight, crying constantly, and was just unhappy. In turn, that made me a very stressed-out first-time mama who couldn’t figure out why my milk supply wasn’t doing what it was supposed to. Eventually we were told that we had to start supplementing because he was losing too much weight. The downside of that is he had no interest in breastfeeding once we supplemented. I tried pumping exclusively, but I’d pump for 30 minutes every few hours and wouldn’t even get two full ounces, then I started getting reoccuring mastitis and was on three weeks straight of antibiotics. At that point I realized that my milk supply was still down, nothing seemed to work getting it up, and I was getting really sick with the mastitis. My son was doing great on formula, his whole demeanor had changed, and suddenly he was this mellow little baby who was totally happy. So I stopped BF/pumping after 7 weeks. I am pregnant again and I do plan on trying to BF again, however, I am going to be much more pro-active and have a lactation counselor in the hospital and afterwards at home. I won’t beat myself up if it doesn’t work out again, but I would like to see if having some more support makes a difference the second time!

    Reply
  • Amanda July 20, 2012, 7:44 am

    I wish I had the oversupply issue. My milk just never came in right with either of my girls. The whole demand creates supply thing never seemed to get with my body. My first was tongue tied and it wasn’t corrected soon enough and she just totally refused to latch, I tried the shields and she still didn’t so I pumped and pumped and dried up within 3 weeks. It is so stressful to keep pumping all the time every day and have nothing happen. It was my first and everyone just kept telling me I was wrong and it was my fault and babies won’t starve themselves so just keep trying and I was being terrible for giving her a bottle with formula in it because she was crying and wouldn’t nurse. It was horrible and made worse by the fact my Father had passed literally three days before she was born and my Husband was about to deploy in two months. I realize now that stress probably caused me to not produce that well too. I never had that engorging milk coming in moment, and I dried up overnight and with no pain.

    With my second I nursed fine in the hospital but when I left she immediately went into a two month long growth spurt and again I couldn’t keep up. She’s finally slowed down but at almost 5 months she is as big as my first daughter was at 10 months old. They are 11 months apart and only 5lbs and 4 inches is the difference in size. With her it was the same, I never had the milk coming in or leaving issue, but I was able to half way keep up with her until 2.5 months. I tried to not let everyones negativity get to me about it. A lot of the other wives from my Husband’s ship are hardcore breastfeeding only and they work really hard at making you feel like crap if you can’t do that.

    I also tried really hard to nurse this second time with her, pills, teas, pumping, co-sleeping, and on demand feeding all the time. We would pull over in parking lots so I could feed her if she was hungry on the road even if we were five minutes from home just in an effort to get my supply up but literally nothing worked. So from my experience, people can say all they want about Mothers all should be able to breastfeed and that’s fine but I’m thankful we have formula as an option.

    And funny laundry story, one of my thongs worked its way into my Husband’s uniform and he found it at work when it fell out of his pants leg! Yay for static cling!

    Reply
  • Michaela July 20, 2012, 7:53 am

    I have not had any children yet. However, one of my good friends just had a baby about 6 weeks ago. She recently switched from breastfeeding to pumping and bottle feeding. She said it’s the best thing she’s ever done. The baby gets more milk at once so she’s not waking up every two hours. Plus, dad gets to feed the baby now too. Maybe this could work for you?

    Reply
  • Claire July 20, 2012, 8:41 am

    I’ll second every else’s advice to stop pumping (which is so hard, I know, but it will only make things worse, which is why the recommend not starting to pump until a few month in, to make sure your supply is really established properly, plus, you don’t want to risk mastitis!) and also try block feeding. I know that you said that stopping dairy has helped with the green poop, but the fact that you have an oversupply and the fact Henry nurses for such short periods, have you looked into a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance, which also causes green poop? Block nursing would really help with that as well. And I’ve never heard of using a nipple shield to help with oversupply! Interesting. When I had some oversupply in the beginning, nursing positioning was the biggest thing that helped my daughter to be comfortable (what they talk about here: http://kellymom.com/bf/got-milk/supply-worries/fast-letdown/).
    I’m glad things are going well for you overall, though! Things usually even out and settle down with nursing by the end of the “fourth trimester” at three months. And your nursing relationship will change so much over time! I’ve had good and bad periods, but I have to say now that we’re in the midst of teething and a growth spurt, it’s the most challenging it’s been. Lots of crying and rejecting the breast, but then nursing every hour at night (oof!). But, like everything else I’ve found with parenthood so far, this too shall pass! :)

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP July 20, 2012, 11:29 am

      Yeah – the foremilk thing has been on my mind. The green poop appeared with the blood but I know I have a LOT of foremilk too. I’ve been block feeding which seems to help a bit. It just hurts ye old teets.

      Reply
      • Claire July 20, 2012, 11:38 am

        Who knew that breastfeeding would be SO painful? I thought I was lucky and escaped the worst of it, since my girl’s always had a good latch. But now that she has teeth, she can draw blood if I’m not careful to catch her before she chomps down. Ouch!

        Reply
  • Vicky (Little Baby, Big City) July 20, 2012, 8:56 am

    Oh my gosh…. My little Milo was tongue-tied. It was resolved at 6 weeks. But it was in somuchpainwhile feeding…. Bleeding every time. I lived on lanolin! Luckily after the Dr fixed his tongue everything got better! He is now 6 months and is a big healthy boy. The only issue is he won’t take a bottle….

    Reply
  • Britt @ BalancedBritt July 20, 2012, 9:31 am

    Looking back on your pregnancy, which breastfeeding books do you feel helped you the most? I am 24 weeks pregnant now and trying to be pro-active about breastfeeding and soak up as much knowledge as possible. I am also starting a Bradley Class next week. Did they cover breastfeeding in your class?

    Thanks!

    Reply
    • CaitlinHTP July 20, 2012, 11:32 am

      The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding was the only book I read and I thought it was great. They do cover breastfeeding in Bradley, but briefly.

      Reply
  • Sarah July 20, 2012, 10:21 am

    Hi,

    I have been reading your blog for a few months, but have never commented. I recently had a baby boy as well on June 7th. I have really related to your posts about Henry (what a cutie!)and have really appreciated them more than you could know.
    I also just recently gave up dairy as my little guy has had some pretty bad reflux symptoms. I think I also have an over supply issue as I get a lot of fussing and screaming during feedings and am experiencing the short, frequent feedings!
    So – thank-you for putting your experiences out there, as a first time Mom, you have made me feel less isolated and alone in this experience!

    Reply
  • Kaylee July 20, 2012, 10:35 am

    My daughter turned 11 months old on the 15th of July so we are nearing the end of our nursing journey. :) I am planning on continuing to nurse her in the morning and at night while she wants it and while I still have a supply, but I am going to quit pumping at work so I’m sure it won’t last that much longer. I am both excited and saddened by this.

    At first, nursing was very hard for me. The pain was horrible, but so was the pressure. I know some moms like knowing that they are the only one that can provide for their baby, but it made me feel very overwhelmed, which then made me feel guilty. However, now at 11 months and without a drop of formula, I will say that, other than growing and birthing and raising my little cupcake, that nursing her has been my proudest accomplishment. I was expecting to feel the pain, but I was not expecting it to be such an emotional experience, both highs and lows.

    I am looking forward to a little more freedom, (not having to be the one that gets up early with her EVERY morning because she immediately wants to eat, not lugging my heavy pump to work and all over town every day, being able to drink more than one beer at a time if I want to) but I will definitely miss that time with her. It has been such a huge part of our lives this past 11 months, and I think it will be weird to not be doing it.

    Overall, I just wish I could tell all the mommies-to-be out there to give it a try, and to keep going just a little bit longer when it starts to get really hard, because you will hit that sweet spot and it will all be worth it. Good luck!

    Reply
  • Ashley July 20, 2012, 10:48 am

    look at his little lashes! Just adorable :-)

    Thanks for posting this – I never realized LLL offered groups in my city in Canada. I’m nervous about breast feeding and not being able to do it, so contacting a support group sounds right up my alley!

    Reply
  • Jess July 20, 2012, 10:56 am

    I’ve been nursing for over a year now. A lot of women, including myself have an oversupply in the first 8 weeks. At 9 weeks when I went back to work, i was still able to pump out up to 10oz in a 15 mins pumping session. Generally this initial ‘oversupply’ is because your body doesn’t regulate yet to just a supply/demand. It will soon. I never used a nipple shield, but if I was full just before a feeding (like squirting across the room – it happened), i hand expressed prior to latch and that really helped.

    Also with the pumping, if you just pump enough to take the edge off, you won’t be increasing your supply. Unless you’re going to be away from Henry, at this stage, you really don’t need to pump at all.

    Reply
  • Ashley @ Cooking for John July 20, 2012, 11:06 am

    I know it’s a change to not eat dairy- but you can definitely do it! I find it interesting that so many babies have a negative reaction to dairy in mother’s milk, perhaps it’s evidence that we aren’t meant to eat another animals milk? But then babies do fine on standard formula. Hmm…

    Reply
  • Claire July 20, 2012, 12:34 pm

    In that photo of Henry on the table, he looks like a CLONE of Kristien.

    Reply
  • Marci July 20, 2012, 12:56 pm

    I have no tips, but I understand the exercise while full feeling frustration. That one was reason I ended up quitting after three months. I wanted to leave the house more, I wanted to exercise, and I was so tired of the full feeling and pumping etc. Having the extra milk was really nice to extend breast milk after I quit though.

    Reply
  • Lexi @ You, Me, & A World to See July 20, 2012, 1:48 pm

    So interesting! I wish I had tips, but as a college student, it’s probably good that I have none to speak of ;)

    Reply
  • Amber K July 20, 2012, 2:10 pm

    I really do hope that I can breastfeed if my time comes. But I had no idea that it could be so difficult! I figured it was just something you could do and were lucky or couldn’t do and felt guilty about using formula for. That’s just what I’ve always heard!

    Reply
  • Sara July 20, 2012, 2:21 pm

    I have been nursing almost 10 months and it has changed so much from the early days. Early on it was so difficult, painful, confusing, exhausting and time consuming. Now, 4-5x/day, 5-10 min each feeding and it is wonderful. I never thought I would nurse this long but if you are able to (and it works with your lifestyle), stick with it because it is so worth it. The supply issues work themselves out, your body adjusts. Now, if i skip a feeding and do a bottle (or pump later than usual), I hardly even notice but my body picks right back up where it should at the next feeding. Nursing is quite an amazing job to have.

    Reply
  • Anna July 20, 2012, 3:09 pm

    Hi! So…not sure how helpful this is to you, but safety in numbers? I had such a similar issue. Eventually, the over-supply regulates (you will probably always have some higher supply issues) once Henry gets even more towards eating for longer periods with longer intervals in between. I would do whatever I could to keep him eating and eventually realized that a quiet room, no TV, no me on my phone, etc would lead to much longer intervals. I also stopped letting him fall asleep and would wake him up by brushing his cheek with my finger, etc. This also helped in the putting himself to sleep dept later on. Anyway…the thing about an infant with a preference for cluster feeding and a mommy with over-supply is that then you go into even more over-supply as cluster feeding is traditionally meant to help a mom boost her milk supply by an infant signaling he needs more during growth spurt times. Just as a second note (and everyone is different) we went down the path of exploring tongue tie (very easy condition, a small snip of the frenulum fixes this) bc tongue tie is the biggest connection to momma over supply. A LC or your ped may have mentioned this, but good to just check – they can inspect and see if this an issue for H. One often causes the other…it is a hot topic and is gaining more and more science lately. I had to avoid the pump bc I didn’t want to stimulate any extra milk, as a result I ended up with a baby who wouldn’t take a bottle (since I stopped offering them) but I can say now that Elliot is a week away from 1 year…and I weaned last week…it goes by so quickly and your breasts are magically smart and they will figure it out. People ALWAYS told me to try and fix my issues with pumping and expressing, etc but they didn’t get it (bc most women are not THIS sensitive to over supply). So – the traditional remedies like hand-expressing, etc for the engorgement…well, my take was to skip it all so that my breasts wouldn’t get a mixed message and only get signals from Elliot himself not from pumps and hands…they were getting too much already! Once I felt more in the clear I did “some” as needed. In terms of exercise, it was really annoying at first but by about week 6-8 I found a really drastic shift in the boob department and things became much more regulated and easy to work around. I still was never able to exercise until I fed him (i.e. 5am workouts didn’t work for me unless I wanted to pump until about 7 months in when he began to eat real foods and required less BM…) bc I needed to feed him before I could do anything otherwise I’d be in pain/etc. My best advice is to keep doing what you’re doing and look forward to the time in the near future when things calm down (boob wise) bc they really will if you do what you’re doing (i.e. supply/demand knowledge of the boobs)! The best time for me to exercise seemed to be (and this was not mentally preferred but oh well) at night after his last “big” feeding – so I’d workout after bath/bed and feed again then at his first night time wake up. The worst time to work out was when I “wanted” to which was in the morning when he was doing most of his eating. The GREAT news is that bc he is a good eater and your boobs are extremely responsive, I bet you have a whole lot of BF time ahead of you…meaning I was able to do it exclusively for a year (with no bottles, lol) and never had the supply issues my friends did who didn’t have the oversupply and engorgement stuff I did at the beginning. So…silver lining? I was able to workout, eat regularly, hydrate and always have enough to feed him. You are doing so well, I am really impressed.

    Reply
    • Anna July 20, 2012, 3:10 pm

      PS: I also used a nipple shield for the first 3ish weeks but it was suggested for my over supply that I stop using it…as whatever issues it was “correcting” would likely stick around until I addressed them directly.

      Reply
    • Caitlin July 20, 2012, 3:16 pm

      This was so helpful! Thanks!

      Reply
  • Angie All The Way July 20, 2012, 7:47 pm

    I was on the opposite end of the spectrum and I had very low supply. I have PCOS and I knew that it could be an issue, but since it was such a “small” percentage, I fluffed it off and assumed that it wouldn’t be me. After all, I was so dedicated to breastfeeding and the people who “claim to have issues” are most of the time making the “choice” to give up (that garbage that you believe before it’s you). My doctor discharged me from the hospital with a prescription of domperidone in hand “just in case” which I found to be a bit premature because I believed that the “chances were so small” but I got it filled and had it on hand anyway. After we got established (you know, after my boobs stopped feeling like razor blades), breastfeeding was going pretty well, other than the fact that he was on my boob 24/7 and started to fuss after 8 minutes or so of feeding. Normal, right? Sometimes. He kept latching and de-latching over and over and over and fussing and crying.

    I continued to feed him on demand around the clock constantly, much like Henry, but unlike you, I could pump until my little hearts content (which I did) and it would take me 2 days to get 3 oz. Not kidding. I chalked it up to “pumps are not like babies.” He was gaining weight, but not as quickly as the doctor would like. Then it all came to head when he was 10 weeks. I had no milk. I could barely squeeze out a drop. He was hungry and I started to panic. I had only 2 feedings stored up and had no choice but to give it to him. He gobbled it up like there was no tomorrow. I called the breastfeeding support line where the nurse on the other end told me to start taking the prescription because she believed it was low supply. She discouraged me from giving him formula (sounding much like a LLL leader nearly verbatim saying, “but you don’t want to give him formula, right?” Way to make a panicking Mom feel even worse.) and to just keep nursing him to stimulate my supply. The only problem was that he was ALREADY nursing all.the.time and when he wasn’t, I was pumping. There WAS no more stimulation that I could be getting and there was no way I was letting my baby go hungry when the medication could take up to 5 days to take affect. I had a few samples of formula on hand simply because the formula companies sent them by getting my address at a maternity store (genius, isn’t it?) and he gagged on it. I was devastated that I even had to give it to him, but I knew I truly had to. I called my husband who was working and made him stop at the store and buy pretty much every kind they had to try to find one that didn’t remind me of canned milk and one that he would accept more easily.

    After I got over the guilt of feeling like I somehow failed him (I know now that’s not true), the pills started to work and increased my supply enough that I was able to nurse him and supplement with formula. I would always nurse him first and then top him up with a bottle when I had no more milk. We went on like this until he stopped “asking” for the boob at 8 mths. I had decided that I was going to do it as long as he wanted and while 8 mths was earlier than I had originally hoped, it was how it worked out. I was so very sad when this came to an end. Obviously feeding from a bottle was more efficient and that is no doubt why he weaned.

    The thing about this is that while many people believe that formula feeding is the “easy” way out, I can honestly say, that in our situation, it made it much harder. Preparing bottles in the middle of the night is no easy task comparing to ready-to-go boob. Most people who bottle feed at least get the opportunity to share this responsibility, but I never ever did get one break at night. It was just the way it was for us. So for anyone who judges people who “choose” to use formula, for those who truly had no choice, it sure stings when you feel like other Moms are judging you assuming it took the “easy” way out.

    All of that said, I can honestly say that breastfeeding, despite all the challenges and sleep deprivation that went along with it, was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life and I’ll do it all over again with #2, if I’m so lucky.

    Reply
    • Alicia July 24, 2012, 12:09 pm

      Wow that must have been tough. Your dedication is impressive.

      Reply
  • Angie July 21, 2012, 6:09 am

    Two quick things:

    Be very careful with the oversupply/exercise issue. If you end up going too long in between nursing or pumping you could get a plugged duct or, worse, mastitis. I’ve had it THREE TIMES while nursing my current baby.

    My current baby (#4) has some serious food sensitivities, and I have been dairy/soy/wheat/nuts free for 9 months. It got so bad that I went on a severe Total Elimination Diet (TED) where I ate only 7 foods for 2 weeks to get him to “baseline” and then began adding things back. It has been difficult, but the best thing to do for a food sensitive baby is nurse! My baby is just over a year old now and while he still can’t tolerate dairy or soy through me, I keep trying them and hope that he’ll be able to soon. Good luck!

    Reply
  • Jenny July 22, 2012, 11:23 am

    Caitlin – have seen a couple others mention this: you might want to be careful about soy consumption, since a very large percentage of babies that are allergic to the protein in dairy products from cows are also allergic to some of the proteins in soy! (And beef… and goat’s milk… and sheep’s milk… Yikes?)

    Reply
    • Caitlin July 22, 2012, 11:28 am

      I knooooow, I’m hoping its not soy too! That would be terrible.

      Reply
  • Ann July 24, 2012, 8:25 am

    I gave up dairy for the first 6 months of nursing as well because my little guy had some mild reflux. It did seem to make a positive difference to him. I did find that I was starving after giving up cheese and yogurt, though! It took some conscious planning not to just inhale loaves of bread with sunbutter every day!

    Reply
  • Becky August 1, 2012, 12:03 pm

    I am currently nursing my second baby, he is 7.5 months now, and in the first month he started getting terrible mucousy diapers, rash everywhere and never slept more than 20 minutes around the clock. I had to cut out dairy, and then soy, gluten and in the process we found he has an anaphylatic reaction to eggs. My diet is very limited but very healthy. I eat barely any processed foods anymore! Google MSPI- Milk Soy Protein Intolerance. It is an unofficial medical term but many babies are affected. If you notice further symptoms from little Henry, soy might be the culprit. It is actually a good thing you are gluten free already, because the Pediatric GI we saw advised no wheat introduction until after 1 year for babies with dairy intolerances. Feel free to email me for recipes/meal ideas/nursing support. Nursing is NOT easy or intuitive at all times. Have you tried block feeding to combat the oversupply? That is nursing on one side for two nursing sessions in a row.
    Also has anyone suggested kellymom.com for more research based nursing support?
    Keep up the good work! I tell all my first time mom friends that 75% of nursing is just being too stubborn to stop! Our society makes it worlds easier to just give babies formula, and women are not given the support or proper education for breastfeeding (without seeking it out themselves). Further, thank goodness I have my own office at work, because I cannot imagine having to pump in some situations women are put in.
    On facebook is MSPI Mama– lots of women connect there with babies wiht dairy intolerance.

    Reply
    • Caitlin August 1, 2012, 3:39 pm

      Kellymom is so great – I was reading it today. Thanks for all these resources!!

      Reply

Previous post:

Next post: