Stories of life in the suburbs with Husband and our daughter Squishy and son Button!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Reflections on Breastfeeding

Husband and I were talking, and I mentioned my two goals for breastfeeding Button: Exclusively breastfeed for 6 months (perhaps an occasional bottle of pumped milk) and continue breast feeding until at least 12 months.

Husband's lack of enthusiasm and support prompted me to reflect on my breastfeeding adventures with Squishy.

Welp, it turns out I was doing it all wrong.

I never pumped in the hospital, a lactation consultant never met with me to talk about breastfeeding. I never took a class. My mistake. It was after Squishy's stay in the nursery, my milk came in, my boobs were the size of planets (pick one, they're all fairly large) and I ended up getting what I thought was sound advice about breastfeeding.

I pumped after every feeding. I pumped every four hours. I pumped until both sides were empty. I had an industrial strength pump and I used it. Within a week I was exclusively feeding an infant and pumping an extra 60 (sixty) ounces of milk a day. It would take hours out of my days and nights. Pump, pour, mix, store, label, freeze. Repeat. When Squishy was 3 months old, I had a four month supply of frozen milk. I did not know this was not normal.

For those of you that don't know (back then that would include me), a baby needs about 25 ounces a day. If you're home with baby (which I was), there really is no need to pump unless you're skipping a feeding or want to slowly make an emergency supply. I was producing enough milk for triplets. I had created such an enormous (36F) supply/demand situation that I was spending enough energy nursing and pumping to feed three babies. When I learned that, I felt like I was hit with a truck. A big truck.

I got a lot of feedback from online forums that I frequent, and I was filled with a renewed confidence that it's not supposed to be that hard. I feel like I can really accomplish those goals for Button's health. I'm also planning on taking a class for added support.

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