My Breastfeeding Experience - Tips for Successful Breastfeeding


Did you know August is breastfeeding awareness month?! August also marks one year of me breastfeeding Ella. I wanted to share my breastfeeding experience for several reasons. Mostly because when I was starting to breastfeed Ella, I spent hours searching the internet for answers, experiences, anything to keep me going. Some people are lucky enough to have no issues from the get go, but I would say most women experience some kind of learning curve. I would even go as far to say, although I know I can't speak on the behalf of everyone's experience, that a lot of us found it very stressful. When you add a bunch of crazy changing hormones on top of that stress... it can lead a lot of women to stop breastfeeding basically right away. I totally relate to those feelings, but I urge you if you are reading this and you want to just quit because it is all too much right now, YOU CAN DO IT and it is SO WORTH IT.  

The benefits of breast milk are undisputed. This stuff is liquid gold my friends! It is amazing and nothing can fully substitute its benefits. I won't go into all the reasons why it is amazing in this post, but I urge you to do some research on what it does for your sweet little one. Not only is breast milk amazing, breastfeeding can be an incredible bonding experience. It creates such a unique and special relationship between mother and child from the beginning. It builds an incredible trust between the two of you and some of my most cherished memories with Ella have been while breastfeeding. I am actually starting the weaning process and have already cried several times about it coming to an end. I have to laugh when I think back to the beginning of our breastfeeding experience because I would cry when it was time to breastfeed again, HAHA.

Since it is breastfeeding awareness month, I have teamed up with Munchkin to share with you guys the different things that have worked for me. My best advice based off of personal experience! So glean what you will, and hopefully something that worked for me will work for you too.


July Favorites


I never got around to posting my July Favorites video from my YouTube channel over to the blog! So here you go :) Some things we have been loving!

Zella 'Live In' Leggings


Zella 'Live In' Crop Leggings


Victoria Secret Ultimate Running Sports Bra

Mindy Mae's Market Clutch

Lipsense - Purchase through my friend + mention that you came from me ;)


P.F. Candle Co. NO. 25: NIGHTSHADE - SOY CANDLE


Earth Mama Angel Baby Lotion


Cuddle + Kind Doll

Timeline of a Breastfed Baby

I did not put this post together. It is from The Alpha Parent. However I wanted to put it on my blog since every time I tried to pull this up during my time breastfeeding Ella their site was not mobile friendly. I utilized this so much during my breastfeeding experience, and really wanted to share with any of my readers who hadn't seen it. August is breastfeeding awareness month and I thought it would be fitting to share. I will share some of my own breastfeeding experience and tips next!

All babies reach milestones on their own developmental timeline. A multitude of factors influence the rate of each baby’s individual growth such as genetics, form of delivery, gestation at delivery, medical issues, effectiveness of the placenta prior to delivery, and so on.
However there is a persistent and understandable demand from first-time mothers for information on what is considered ‘the norm’. This is particularly so with breastfeeding, as understanding breastmilk intake is more complex than looking at the oz mark on a bottle. This is a topic rife with large-scale confusion, especially as breastfeeding mothers are in the minority and can often find themselves, and their health workers, comparing their baby with formula-fed babies.
Breastfed babies are not the same as formula fed babies. One is fed the milk of its own species; the other is fed the milk of an entirely different species, so it is unsurprising that stark differences can be observed.
What follows is a timeline detailing the journey of the average breastfed baby. I hope it will prove to be a useful and reassuring tool for new mothers.

 At Birth:
  • Given enough uninterrupted time skin-to-skin, your baby may move towards your breast and begin feeding without assistance.
  • The first feed helps to stabilise baby’s blood sugars and protect baby’s gut (NCT).
  • Most babies will nurse better at this time than they will for the next couple of days. Take advantage of this. “A full-term healthy newborn's instinct to breastfeed peaks about 20 to 30 minutes after birth if he is not drowsy from drugs or anesthesia given to his mother during labour and delivery” (La Leche League). Breastfeeding in the delivery room or the recovery room after a caesarean section lays the hormonal groundwork for your future supply of mature milk.
  • If you experience greater than expected blood loss while giving birth or have retained placenta inside your uterus after birth, this can lead to milk supply problems.
  • Make sure that the midwives are aware that no formula is to be given to your baby unless strictly necessary and not without your consent.
  • Your baby will be weighed following his birth.
  • Your baby's first feeds are about quality, not quantity. At the moment, and for the first few days after birth, your breasts are producing small quantities of colostrum (about 3-4 teaspoons daily). This is a concentrated clear yellow secretion which is high in protein, fat-soluble vitamins and minerals, as well as antibodies that protect your baby from bacterial and viral illnesses.
  • Because they don't know how to breastfeed efficiently yet, newborns sometimes nurse for fifteen or twenty minutes (Gonzalez 2014).
  • As your baby's mouth is so small at this age, you may need to squeeze your breast (think of holding a sandwich) so that your baby can latch on to the nipple more easily. Once your baby is latched, you can let go.
  • Your newborn should not go longer than three hours between feedings. However you may find that he is very sleepy for the first few days and may not be interested in feeding. If this happens, you will need to wake him up. Undressing him and giving skin to skin contact will help wake him up and encourage him to feed.
  • As you feed, the hormone oxytocin will help your uterus regain its tone after birth. This process also protects against excessive bleeding as you recover from childbirth. You may feel mild menstrual-like cramps whilst your uterus shrinks.

Ten + Eleven Months 💛

 

I am playing catch up with this update! I have been so busy with Lunaby Baby and house projects I didn't get a chance to do Ella's ten month update, so today you get an overall update on the past two months. Today Ella is eleven months old! She has grown leaps and bounds and is more toddler than baby these days!

+ Ella is obsessed with waving hi and goodbye to everyone! It is the cutest thing ever, and no matter what mood she is in if you wave, she will wave! If you say, "Say Bye!" she waves. It is adorable. 

+ Ella got her two front teeth! My perfect sleeping baby woke up in the night for a few weeks there because of these two, but once they popped through she went back to sleeping through the night. Thank goodness! We have been way too spoiled with Ella's good sleeping I wasn't prepared for that.

+ Ella is incredibly observant. One example is she loves when women have painted finger nails. She notices it instantly and very carefully examines the finger nail. Touching it, looking at it, and getting very excited. She is already proving to be into girlish things! haha 

+ Another example of Ella's paying attention is that she is starting to mimick everything. The other day she picked up a cell phone, put it up to her ear, and started chatting away on it! I couldn't believe it. It was so funny! They really are paying attention to everything. Trevor's parents were also in town and Grandma was singing a song and snapping her fingers - Ella started trying to snap her fingers also! I just can't get enough of watching her learn. 

+ Ella has been scaling the furniture for months now, and is so close to trying to stand on her own and walk. You can see the wheels turning as she tries to free-stand all by herself. I think first steps aren't too far away!

+ Ella is eating everything in sight. We are still breastfeeding all day (around five times a day) and she has breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks! She basically eats all day I have no idea how she is so small. She eats anything you put in front of her but her favorites seem to be peanut butter sandwiches, quesadillas, yogurt melts, and any scraps her daddy will give her from what he is eating! haha

+ Ella has also been "dancing" this is where she moves her head back and forth. It is so funny because she is imitating the way Trevor is when he listens to his music. I capture the funniest video of them "head banging" together to some metal. Priceless. 

+ Another funny thing Ella has started doing is putting herself to bed! Every day this past week as we do her night time routine I will be singing and cuddling her and she pulls herself out of my arms and to her crib, so I lay her down and she promptly settles down for the night without a peep. It is the craziest thing and Trevor and I are left scratching our heads as to why she has been doing this? I mean, we aren't complaining, but weird! haha I am sure it won't last, although I wouldn't mind!

Ella has the sweetest nature. She loves to cuddle, and give you kisses. She will even try and share her food with you, or her toys. She is just so happy and fun! She is quiet, but chatty at the same time, it is kind of hard to describe her personality. She really seems to be a blend of Trevor and I so far and it is fun watching her personality unfold. Our days are spent playing, eating, reading books (she is actually sitting and listening now!), cuddling, and of course end in numerous games of chase with mom and dad. Chase at the end of the day is the best for all us, Ella's permanent grin and laughter makes the whole house happy :) We just can't believe we are one month away from having had this baby girl in our lives for a whole year. Ella, we sure love you!