Becoming the best me I can be

Posts tagged ‘breastfeeding’

8 things no one ever told me about breastfeeding

1. The Smell
Breastmilk has a unique smell. I wouldn’t necessarily call it a bad smell (unless it gets on your clothes because then you get the dreaded sour milk smell which is completely unpleasant) but it isn’t really a good smell either. I don’t really notice it anymore since I’ve been smelling it for 6 months. When I first started breastfeeding, I was so surprised by the smell.
2. The Mess
Another surprising part of breastfeeding for me was the mess. I guess it was part of the first time mom way of thinking. I just thought she would latch on, drink and let go when all the milk was done. No mess, no cleaning up, nothing. Haha! Boy, I was wrong! Its not really a problem anymore. But when my milk came in, I was a mess. At first, my right breast leaked incessantly for 2 months before it got itself under control. Plus, Peanut is a messy eater. She will eat for a minute, stop to look around, then continue eating. This makes milk go all over the place. I have to tuck a burp cloth under my breast while she eats to keep it off my clothes (refer back up to #1 for why you want to keep it off your clothes). Sometimes I will forget the burp cloth is tucked under by boob when I put myself back together and I will walk around with it sticking out of my shirt until I realize it. Talk about embarrassing!
3. Latching On
No, I’m not talking about her latching onto my nipple. She’s great at that. What I’m talking about is how Peanut latches onto me with her hands. It happens now that she is older and she has great control of her hands. She will grip my shirt tightly in one hand and my bra tightly in the other. Then she will fall asleep that way without loosening her death grip. I wouldn’t mind except when I try to put her into her crib because I wake her up trying to get her to let go of my clothes!
4. Feeding her in the bathroom
Yes. I have fed my baby in a bathroom. I was out to dinner with my husbands parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles. Peanut was hungry and yelling up a storm. I didn’t want to offend his family by feeding her at the table although I’m sure they wouldn’t have minded. Instead I took her into the bathroom. Hubby’s mom came in with me, brought a chair with her for me to sit on and held the door shut so I could feed Peanut in privacy. (I won’t get into the reasons why I think its wrong for breastfeeding mothers to have to feed our babies in bathrooms because some people have issues with it. I try to be respectful though, which is why I won’t talk about it)
5. You might offend people you care about
It will happen. Everyone has their own opinion. Some people will be offended by you breastfeeding your child. Like it is any of THEIR business. I knew I might offend a stranger for my choice to breastfed. I knew I would hear the questions (“You breastfed?” “Won’t your breasts get saggy?”), the comments, and the looks. Even your own family could be offended by it. I learned this the hard way at Peanut’s first thanksgiving. I took it really hard, especially after how supportive my in-laws are about my choice to breastfed Peanut.
6. The Staring
No one told me my baby would stare at my breasts like she found the lost city of Atlantis. She stares when she’s hungry, when I’m changing, even when I wear a lower cut top. She is more fascinated with my breasts than my husband (which is saying something).
7. The thirst
I get soooooooo thirsty since I breastfeed Peanut. I thought I was thirsty when I was pregnant. That was nothing compared to the intense thirst I have now. I drink almost a gallon of water a day. I am thirstier now that I also exercise.
8. The Silly moments
No one told me of the silly things babies would do while they are breastfeeding. Some of my favorite moments with my daughter are while she’s breastfeeding. Sometimes she will stop nursing to look up at me, give me a huge smile with milk trailing down her chin, and then continue to eat. It is always random, adorable, and hilarious whenever she does it. There will be times when she’s eating that she will hold her arm straight up in the air. As she starts to fall asleep, her arm will sink towards my shirt. The moment is touches my shirt she yanks it back into the air. The process will continue until she falls asleep completely. This reminds me of when wrestlers are put into a sleeper hold and their arm falls as they pass out. I try so hard not to crack up laughing whenever she does it.

Sleeper Hold

Sleeper Hold

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Giving her the best

As anyone reading my blog knows, I have been very focused on eating healthy and trying to give myself the best nutrition possible. I am doing this for my daughter as well as for myself. I have been breastfeeding my daughter for 6 months and I’m still going strong. Whatever I eat, Peanut eats. I am doing everything in my power to give her the best nutrition, provide her with the best food she can have, and help her develop the best eating habits a mother can teach her daughter.
Breastfeeding was never an option for me. The moment I found out I was pregnant, I knew I was going to breastfed my baby. I knew it was going to be hard. I knew it was going to be awkward, but I also knew it was the best option I could give my daughter.

I was so blessed to have breastfeeding come easy for me and my daughter. She was a champ when it came to learning how to breastfeed. It was almost effortless for the both of us. I wanted to breastfeed her and she wanted breastmilk. It was that simple for us. I have never had problems with milk supply, cracked nipples, mastitis, or any of the other normal issues associated with breastfeeding. I am one of the lucky ones.

Peanut trying to feed herself

Peanut trying to feed herself

I know there are many mothers who would just love for breastfeeding to be that simple for them as well. My heart goes out to those mothers who wanted to breastfed but either their bodies or their babies where unable to breastfed. I would have been devastated if I wouldn’t have been able to breastfed. I just can’t imagine not doing it. It is the only way I know.
Providing my daughter with the best nutrition I could give her didn’t stop at just breastfeeding her. The same way I knew I would breastfeed Peanut, I also knew I would try making her homemade baby food. Yet again, it was a no brainer for me. I read about all the additives put into baby food and all the health benefits of making your own. I knew it was the way I wanted to go. My mother even bought me the baby bullet for my birthday (I was only two and a half months pregnant at the time).

At Peanut’s four and a half month doctor visit, she was measuring very small. She was measuring in the lower half of the five percentile range. My doctor suggested we start giving her solids at five months and I did. I automatically pulled out my streamer and baby bullet. Yet again, I was lucky enough to have making her food come easy to me. I love cooking from scratch in the first place so making baby food from scratch wasn’t hard for me.

Homemade baby food

Homemade baby food

I knew I would get a lot of baby food from a small amount of veggies but I was still surprised when I saw just how much I got. I made her sweet potatoes as her first food. One large sweet potato provided me with 23 stage one servings of sweet potato puree for her! I was so pleasantly surprised! It gave me even more incentive to make it myself. She has been eating solids for over a month now and I have yet to give her anything out of a jar. She has been gained weight steadily and growing well. The doctor has been pleased with how well she is doing.

Breastfeeding and making my own baby food are the choices I made for my daughter. They are the best options I could find to give my daughter the best nutrition I could provide. I am not saying there is anything wrong with formula or jarred baby food. I don’t and won’t judge another mother for giving her baby either one. I’m just not that type of person. The only thing that matters is whether or not your baby is happy and healthy. I respect any mother’s choice on how to feed their baby, just as I hope other mothers respect my choice of how I feed my daughter.

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