My Breastfeeding Journey

My breastfeeding during, lactation, new mom, moms who breastfeed, motherhood, mom bloggers, parisian looks

My breastfeeding during, lactation, new mom, moms who breastfeed, motherhood, mom bloggers, parisian looks

From the moment Leah was born that girl was a pro at latching! Breastfeeding was such a worry for me when I was pregnant. Was she going to latch? Would I have enough supply? Does it hurt? I had so many questions and worries. From the moment they put Leah on my chest and started wheeling me into my room after my c-section Leah just started looking for my breast and did the mouth motions of sucking. The ongoing joke in my family is that I was really pregnant for 50 weeks and she had extra time in there to learn things because she's so advance with things even from the minute she was born. If they only knew I definitely felt like I was pregnant for 50 weeks!

During her first few days of life while in the hospital my supply came in with no problem and she breast fed fine. I was so grateful for that. I still met with a lactation consultant at the hospital to have all my questions answered and make sure I was doing right. The hospital stay was honestly such a blur to me now because so much happened but I do remember Leah feeding on the clock every few hours. (You can read my labor & delivery story here). Once we were in the comfort of our home I enjoyed being home and was breastfeeding without interruptions or having to cover up like in the hospital with visitors and staff that kept coming in an out all the time. 

Everything was going well for me until she started hitting a few growth spurts and went through a cluster feeding stage where I had to feed her on demand. That's when breastfeeding took a toll on me mentally. Man that was so exhausting. I felt like I just didn't have a break at all! As much as my husband helped me especially through those middle of the night sessions when she would wake up crying I had to wake up with him to breastfeed her. A few weeks after I finally started pumping when the lactation consultant from the hospital told me it was safe to. That definitely helped when I needed a break from feeding and had my husband do it but it created another problem for me. I wasn't pumping enough! My expectation was to breast feed Leah exclusively until she was 6 months so I was going to give it my all. I started to research lactation supplements like cookies, brownies, chocolate you name it. I found a combination of cookies and chocolate that worked for me and I started to see an increase in my supply. Pumping within itself is stressful it requires time and patience. I also felt like a prisoner. I felt like I couldn't go outside to have me time alone for too long because I had to be back home to pump. It took me a while to process and understand that. It may sound silly but that was a big thing to me as a new mom, many nights I cried trying to adjust to this new life. 

During October of last year she was 2 months and we had a wedding to go to in NY for some friends. We were going to have my mother in-law take care of the baby while we attended the wedding and reception. Leading up to us traveling it got so stressful for me because I was pumping and breastfeeding on the clock trying to store supply to leave with my mother in-law while also feeding her at the moment. It ended up working out and I was able to pump enough to leave her while I went to the wedding. Now let's fast forward to Leah being 3 months old. My supply couldn't keep up with her demand anymore. After every feeding she was fussy and when I was pumping I didn't see much coming out. Another red flag was she wasn't gaining the weight at the pace she should have. She was always on the lower end of the scale at every check up. We decided to supplement her with 2 ounces of formula after every breastfeeding. I thought I was going to feel a certain type of way that already at 3 months postpartum I couldn't provide for her milk 100% but I didn't. We had to do whatever we had to do for her nutrition. I still kept pumping so that my supply wouldn't dry up but by now neither one of the lactation stuff was working for me. It's almost as if my body said you are done! I spoke with a friend who's a doula and a certified lactation consultant (information below) and she recommended power pumping to increase my supply. Let me tell you that was so much work. I gave it a try one day a couldn't keep up. I swear I always said pumping is like another full-time job. 

By the time Leah was 4 months she was on 60% formula and 40% breast milk and I didn't even feel like it was worth it to keep breast feeding her. By now we had also found out the nutrients in my breast milk all along were not enough for her and that's the reason she was trailing in the weight chart. I made the decision to stop breastfeeding her and I felt like pure crap. I had so much expectation of exclusively breast feeding her until 6 months and then when I found out about my rare breast milk issue that's when I really felt bad. The minute I stopped breastfeeding her weight rocketed. I had support from my husband and my doula friend. They told me to look at the glass half full. I provided for her for 4 months and I was given a chance to bond with her through breastfeeding. That thought helped get over that feeling and she is now 100% formula fed and I'm ok with that. I do still feel a certain type of way sometimes when I see Instagram mom friends who gave birth around the same time as me and are still exclusively breastfeeding. 

I still feel a bond with Leah and I'm enjoying every milestone with her as she's turning 6 months in a few weeks. This was my breastfeeding journey and if you made it to the end of this long post I appreciate it!

My breastfeeding during, lactation, new mom, moms who breastfeed, motherhood, mom bloggers, parisian looks

My breastfeeding during, lactation, new mom, moms who breastfeed, motherhood, mom bloggers, parisian looks

Certified lactation consultant info (here and here)

Thanks so much for reading! How long did you breastfeed for? If you want to share your story please comment below.

1 comment

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