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New Kinda Class

Last night, Tom and I got the chance to attend a different type of class at a local hospital:

parking

all about breastfeeding.

Tom was really stoked to learn about boobies 😉

pilot11

[That picture melts my heart a little bit]

I really need to give him props because his work schedule has been INSANE since we got to Tucson. I’m happy because he comes home at night, and we’re in Tucson (!!!), but he’s been working a lot. He builds the schedule for the entire squadron, and every week he makes sure that he has time to get away for Bradley classes on Tuesday night and was sure to switch flights with someone else so he could make it to breastfeeding class. So when I started to whine about how he wouldn’t be home on Halloween, all it took was a sideways glance for me to remember how dedicated he’s been to the truly important things, and I shut my face. After class last night, I made sure to tell him what a good husband he is and that I am so thankful that he cares enough to go to classes with me and for everything he’s done to help us prepare for the little one.

The class last night was extremely informational, even though I’ve read a couple of books about breastfeeding. The instructor was a registered nurse in labor and delivery at the hospital and went over all of the details about breast milk (the different types your body produces and how it changes to accommodate supply, demand and the growing baby), proper latching techniques, ways to hold the baby, tips and tricks- I was SO glad we went.

It was also helpful to practice on a baby doll, to kind of get a feel for the different holding techniques:

MY OTHER RECIPES


me and baby doll

I’m not going to do a synopsis post on what the nurse discussed since I have no medical credentials whatsoever –if you’re curious, I’ll post some book recommendations, and definitely look into taking a class in your area- but here are some of the things that I had NO idea about before I got pregnant and started researching:

-It’s extremely intuitive. I’ve heard so many horror stories about breastfeeding and how babies can have problems figuring out what their supposed to do, but just like any other mammal, they will smell for their food and go directly to the source.

-The best thing to do after birth is to have skin-to-skin contact with the baby and try to get them to breastfeed. They’re most alert at this time and aren’t too exhausted yet. Even if it doesn’t quite work the first time, the best thing to do is try. [This was definitely one I didn’t know before]

-It shouldn’t hurt. Once again, all I’ve heard is that it feels like a thousand knife stabs to the girls, but if the baby is properly latched on, they’re may be some discomfort, but no pain. Pain can be caused by the baby not taking enough into its mouth and causing the hard palate to smash down and irritate the tissue.

-You don’t have to worry about foods you eat causing digestive distress if you continue to eat what you normally eat. Baby is already used to it. The only thing that may cause problems is too much dairy, which shouldn’t be a challenge for us. She also advised to stay away from alcohol and caffeine while breast feeding, but anything you intake should be out of your system in 24 hours.

-Intense exercise can cause lactic acid buildup, which can make milk taste sour or funny, too. The good news is that breastfeeding burns a lot of calories, so there’s no need to go balls to the wall on exercise.

-Breastfed babies may need to eat more than formula-fed babies since breastmilk digests very quickly.

It truly amazes me that our bodies are able to produce a perfect food for babies, that’s FREE and readily available.

Of course, I have no idea how all of this will work out with our little family until she gets here. It’s also something that’s been on my mind, and if it doesn’t happen, that’s ok too.

So tell me friends: what are your breastfeeding tips and tricks?

Friends sans kids: does seeing a woman breastfeed in public creep you out a little, or is it NBD?

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110 Comments

  1. Suzanne on November 4, 2011 at 9:00 am

    I know this isn’t a popular opinion, but I think breastfeeding in public is really rude. I don’t mind when family members do it in front of me (although I feel a little more comfortable when there’s a cover involved). When strangers do it in public, though, I think it shows a lot of disrespect for the people around you. I had a friend who got pregnant in college and would breastfeed in public to make a point (in church, at football games, at my graduation party…). I understood her point about not wanting to have to leave a social gathering all the time.. but you know sometimes I have to leave to use the restroom and I don’t gripe about it. Yes, I know it’s not the same thing, but it’s still an exposing, personal act. Granted, I don’t have children, so my opinion could change when I actually have to deal with it myself.

    • Annalisa on November 4, 2011 at 5:47 pm

      wow. rude huh? doing what boobs are supposed to do is pretty awful, especially when a mom has to do stuff outside the home! crazy-ness.

      i bf in public all.the.time sans cover and i think it’s the least obvious thing ever. you might see a nip when my wildly 6 mo. old looks behind her but you gotta really want to see something! do you eat outside your house? so does my baby.

      perhaps if we made it more normal, women wouldn’t feel awkward?

      and telling a mama to cover is like asking a woman wearing a burka to show more skin. it’s a personal choice.

      • Leea on November 4, 2011 at 6:07 pm

        I don’t find it rude but it is really uncomfortable when mothers bf in public. Maybe because I don’t have any children but I think out of curtesy out of people around you you should cover up. I think Suzanne was expressing her opinion and there is no need to attack her opinion.

      • Erika on November 7, 2011 at 5:07 pm

        Wow. Perspective, please? I’m a nursing mom and I always cover up in public, because it personally makes me uncomfortable when other people don’t. I’m not saying it’s disgusting, just that it’s courteous to those who don’t want to watch your child suckle at your bare breast.

        Obviously there are different opinions about this, but perhaps you should try not to take everything so personally. At the end of the day it’s just feeding your kid, not negotiating the Israeli-Palestine peace process.

      • Amy R on November 8, 2011 at 8:42 am

        It seems obvious that this is something you’ve struggled with people before. I’m with these other ladies, let’s all keep this in perspective and allow everyone to have their opinions. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that this type of reaction is the reason it’s such a hot button topic. And I assure you, trying to make it more “normal” will not help the awkwardness of sitting in public breastfeeding. Let’s try to maintain some respect for opinions and to those around us when out in public, or just in our daily lives.

    • Amy R on November 8, 2011 at 8:38 am

      I’m with you Suzanne. Women seem to somehow think they suddenly have a right to not pay any attention to those around them once they have a baby. I believe there is a compromise that can happen between “doing what boobs are supposed to do” and maintaining awareness and respect for those around you. I realize we’re not in the majority here, but I don’t apologize for that and neither should you. You have every right to your opinion… and it’s a valid one!

  2. Megan on November 4, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Just in case your little one decides she is not “used to” what you’ve been eating (because of a sensitive tummy, intolerances or whatnot that are extremely common), here is a very helpful post for a breastfeeding elimination diet. I’m not a fan of ever telling a new mommy she needs to be on a special diet to BF, but I had a very very sensitive son and would have loved to have had access to this information- It would have saved me a year and a half of struggle:
    http://www.nourishingmeals.com/2011/09/rice-breakfast-porridge.html. As a labor and delivery nurse myself, and a mother, I really wanted to share with you! There is another link in that post that will take you to even more information. Bookmark this, put it in a safe place for a fussy day!

  3. Amy @ purewellnessamy on November 4, 2011 at 9:26 am

    We fortunately had a great, easy breastfeeding experience for about 17 months. When my son was born, I asked the nurses to put him right on my chest for skin to skin contact and after a few minutes I slid him down a bit, he latched on and that was that! Other than a few episodes with clogged milk ducts–ouch!–I loved nursing and was always amazed that the milk I produced with my little (literally “little”, like I’m an ironing board) boobs created such a healthy, chubby baby. It truly is amazing and I hope you also have a good experience with it!

  4. Melissa on November 4, 2011 at 10:12 am

    We took a BF class and I read up tons about it and was surprised, still, how “easy” and natural it was. I had a C-section (planned) and that was one thing very important to me — I wanted the opportunity to nurse once we got into recovery and wanted her immediately placed near me for kangaroo care/skin-to-skin (as much as we could do given I was in a surgical gown. My husband brought her to me and we three snuggled while they stitched me up. I was only apart from her for 5 minutes while they finished me and brought her to recovery to prepare her for shots/bath and I was there for everything important and then right away, she creeped up me to my breast and began suckling. It was bizarre!

    I was sore, though, … not gonna lie, and she had a great latch but your nipples just get SORE. I swear by Medela gelpads (cold). After 3-4 weeks it was less painful. I did need to supplement formula (in addition to what I could give her) from 2 weeks ok, which was hard to accept but our daughter was losing weight (i.e., starving :() All it took was my ped. saying how she needed to eat to get me to switch my mind about formula. I nursed and pumped for 9 mths and now she is 10 mths old and thriving on just formula and solids.

    It’s a mind-blowing experience and in hind-sight, I’m glad I pumped and gave bottles, too, so DH could feed her and have that intimate time with her. It also made the transition to daycare easier since she was used to bottles.

  5. Anna on November 4, 2011 at 10:28 am

    That notion that breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt is a big fat LIE. It hurts. A lot. But only for the first few seconds after baby latches on, and that only happens for the first few weeks. So the pain doesn’t necessarily mean you’re doing it wrong. If it hurts for you at first, don’t let that discourage you. And for sore, cracked nipples, what worked best for me was to spread a bit of breast milk on them after baby is finished, and let them air dry before covering back up. It’s a bit weird, but I found it worked best.

    • danielle on November 4, 2011 at 10:38 am

      Agreed!

      • Therese on November 4, 2011 at 4:56 pm

        TOTALLY AGREE here! I even went to a Lactation Consultant because my nipples were cracked and scabby (and it hurt like a biotch) but our latch was perfect. My nipples just had to toughen up. I would say it hurt for the first 3 weeks or so and now I barely notice she is eating. ALTHOUGH, she cut her bottom two teeth and I have been bitten once or twice…that is not pleasant!

        • Elise on November 4, 2011 at 5:04 pm

          Not to play the devil’s advocate but I was NEVER sore when I breastfed (well just in the mornings sometimes when my breasts were engorged – but not from the breastfeeding itself) and I’m hoping the same for you, Gina! It really is the easiest way to go and my son was rarely sick, which I also attribute to the breast feeding. Good luck! I’m sure it will all work out great!

      • Annalisa on November 4, 2011 at 5:50 pm

        i felt a dull ache after nursing for the first 10 weeks — i was told that was my let down. i’ve heard this from others too. our lc said we were fine w/latch too. and 45 min nursing sessions do hurt – not discomfort – hurt. it does get easier every day.

  6. danielle on November 4, 2011 at 10:36 am

    Hmmm, I’ll politely disagree that it is ‘extremely intuitive’. Its not, its a learned behavior for moms. Babies have an advantage since they have reflexes on their side, but I’d still say its something that you and baby will figure out together. My doctor once joked when i told her we were taking a BF class that “take the class, but no one can teach you how to breastfeed” and having gone through it, its true. Lactation consultants help and are a true godsend, but in the end its you an bambino finding what works for you!

    • Melissa on November 4, 2011 at 10:44 am

      That is true. It’s rare you hear of a perfect mom/baby combo right off the bat. It takes time to find the hold that works best for you. For us, it was cross-cradle. For friends, football hold. It totally depends. And what worked at 2 weeks didn’t work at 6 mths and so on. And I think when people say it’s intuitive, they mean for baby–not mama.

  7. Marianna on November 4, 2011 at 10:44 am

    I tried to breast feed my older daughter, and she had a super sensitive tummy, and it just didn’t work out. I just had my second daughter in September, and we had a really hard time getting her to latch on properly. It was so bad I almost gave up. I stuck it out, and now she is exclusively breast fed. She will not take a binky, and I had a hard time getting her to take a bottle before I had to go back to work this past week. I nurse her in the mornings before I go to work, I pump during the day, and then nurse her as soon as I get home and at night. It has all been worth it though. No matter what horror stories you hear, or how bad the pain is, try to stick it out. It was so bad I dreaded feeding time for a while…I actually had to pep talk myself into it! Now, I look forward to it. It is our special time together, and knowing that I am the one nourishing my baby is a wonderful feeling. Plus her latching on properly and having feeding be completely pain free helps too 🙂 However, if you give it your best and it just doesn’t work out, it’s OK…don’t beat yourself up over it, and don’t let anyone else beat you up over it either. This is something that will work itself out when the time comes 🙂

  8. Michelle @ Crazy*Running*Legs on November 4, 2011 at 10:45 am

    It does hurt, it’s not always intuitive, you MAY have to worry about foods – depending on the babies sensitivities, and honestly there are many, many issues that can crop up that you never knew existed. I successfully BF my babies for 2+ years each and while it was easy in the end, I had to FIGHT for it and there were many, many tears.

    The best thing you can do is go into BFing with an open mind, an understanding that it may not work – even if you want it to, and that you can ALWAYS find help.

  9. Rachel on November 4, 2011 at 11:00 am

    I don’t have kids and I don’t have any problem with public breastfeeding. If you have a problem with it, look away.

  10. another girl in tucson on November 4, 2011 at 11:17 am

    my little one just turned a year old… and we are still going strong with breastfeeding! i do agree that it was something that we both had to learn how to do, but now we are pros. have you heard of the group in town called momma’s latte? they are lactation consultants that come to your house after the baby is born to give you any help you may need and to answer all of your questions. they are amazing! i think in those first few weeks when you are home it can feel pretty isolating and you wonder if you are doing things right. they offer so much comfort and reasurance!!

  11. corajane on November 4, 2011 at 12:10 pm

    Have to agree with the NBD’s out there, it’s what they(boobs) are primarily for, right?

  12. Kristi on November 4, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    I used to think public breast feeding was “weird” or “gross” but since living in Honduras for almost 2 years I’ve completely gotten over that, (dare I say) immature, reaction. Women here breastfeed anywhere and everywhere including in the middle of a meeting, on the bus, in restaurants, etc. and the result is a lot fewer crying babies! I think personally when it comes my time I’ll feel self-conscious especially considering Americans attitudes toward public BF but I’ll never again think it’s weird to see someone else feeding their baby. (And there is always the option not to watch, duh)

  13. mama on November 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    My advice is definitely the skin on skin contact and try try try to get them to feed right away, even if they’re sleepy, keep trying and trying and trying! The more they are on the breast the more milk you will make!! And i completely agree about the calories burn, i’m still pumping for my second daughter who is 9 months and making that milk is definitely my cardio calorie burn for the time being! I will have my whole life to burn calories through exercise so i am giving it a rest while my baby is young! I gained 20 with my first and 30 with my second and got back down to pre baby weight after 6 weeks with my first and 3 months with my second and i totally attribute it to breastfeeding!

    I was pretty sore in the beginning too but what really helped me were the Soothies brand gel pads you put in the refrigerator! Great relief in the beginning when you’re sore and a bit cracked! This doesnt happen to everyone but is definitely normal! I will also tell you as a type A person that is it very important to stay CALM during it all, especially if you’re having troubles with latch and so forth! I have learned that even when soothing a crying baby! My husband is very calm and i have learned a lot from watching him sway slowly or walk gently with our babies soothing them and now i can do it too!

  14. Jess on November 4, 2011 at 2:42 pm

    Four months in I finally love breastfeeding. It’s my time with our daughter to reconnect after being at work all day and something only I can do for her.

    The beginning was HARD. It may be intuitive for the newborn, but not for mommy and just because they know how to get to the food, doesn’t mean they’ll easily latch on or suck the right way. It does hurt, not all the time but for the first 6 weeks especially my nipples hurt. They were inflammed and cracked. My daughter was small at birth and her little mouth could just not open far enough no matter what I did. By the time she was about 6 weeks old, she was the size of the avg. newborn and breastfeeding got much easier.

    Biggest tip: Hang in there and stay calm. There were days I cried because it hurt and I was tired because she wanted to suckle all day and all night. It’s worth it to stick with it. Once your supply is established they won’t need to suckle as much. Also, babies can feel the tension. Take a nice deep breathe and try again.

    In the first few weeks especially, don’t worry about how long they ate for on each breast or how long it’s been since she last ate. Bring her to the breast on demand. It’s the best way to get your supply to where she needs it and keep both mom and baby happy without going crazy with charts, timers, etc.

  15. Kristin on November 4, 2011 at 3:00 pm

    Another great thing to know going into it – You eject less milk when pumping than you do when the little one is directly nursing from the breast. Therefore, if you can only pump a few ounces, don’t feel discouraged! This definitely does not mean this is all she is getting while you are nursing. Some women like visual confirmation to know their baby is “getting enough”, but as long as they are gaining well, you can (try to) stop worrying!

  16. chelsea on November 4, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    I’ve seen people breast feed in public and I have two views on that.
    Hanging a boob out of your top for all to see is a NO NO! At least in America haha. I know it’s okay in other countries but I’m not okay with it at least.
    Having your top covered out of view where we know you’re feeding but can’t see any of your parts I’m perfectly fine with 🙂

  17. Madeline (Food Fitness & Family) on November 4, 2011 at 6:58 pm

    I am a new mom myself (Emmalyne is 4 weeks) and breastfeeding was both the most natural thing in the world and also the weirdest haha. I don’t agree that breastfeeding HAS to hurt … in fact most (not all) of the time there is something wrong with the latch. I do agree that the first few seconds to a minute it pinches like crazy but that is my milk letting down. I can feel it on the other side that she isn’t nursing on too. My nipples were sore the first few days but that went away in a week or so. I loved having the lanolin and gel pads. At 4 weeks now I am not dealing a lot with engorgement.

    As for breastfeeding in public … I have done it a few times with a cover. To be honest … I think that it’s mainly people WITHOUT children who find it rude, annoying, discourteous, etc. Anyone who has a child understands that if a baby is hungry they want food NOW not when you can find a place to bf. Asking a mother to go bf in a bathroom is just plain GROSS. Would you eat your dinner sitting in there? I think not. Therefore do NOT ask my child to.

    My experience has been that anyone with kids has given me a sympathetic look and doesn’t even remark on it.

    FYI – it’s your right in Arizona to breastfeed in public if you so choose:

    Ariz. Rev. Stat. Ann § 41-1443 (2006) provides that indecent exposure does not include an act of breastfeeding by a mother and entitles a mother to breastfeed in any public place where the mother is otherwise lawfully present.

  18. Courtney on November 4, 2011 at 7:12 pm

    My #1 tip is to breastfeed right after delivery. It’s true that they are the most alert and I’ve thankfully had no problems with my boys latching on. That was my only request in the whole process. I made sure the doctors and nurses knew that was what I wanted beforehand.

  19. Ali on November 4, 2011 at 7:41 pm

    As with everything else in mommyhood and labor, EVERYONE is different 🙂 For me it was easy, I breastfed my daughter for 18 months and it was easy weaning her. Obviously it’s not the same for everyone and as long as you go into it with a positive attitude you will do great!!! If they allow you to stay in the hospital for a day extra, do it. It’s helpful when it comes to breastfeeding! Also, if you feel like feeding your daughter in public, do it. It’s a gift and you should never be ashamed.

  20. Nicole on November 4, 2011 at 8:58 pm

    Breast is best! Skin to skin is a must! The first night I spent with my daughter on my chest. And breast feeding does hurt! I am a nurse, and we are supposed to teach that if you have the correct latch it will not hurt. This is a big fat lie. Have nipple cream on hand and apply it OFTEN! The is the best bonding experience that you will have. just remember that when you are tired and frustrated, you are doing whats best for your baby. Good luck!

  21. Sejal M on November 5, 2011 at 5:23 am

    I am breast feeding at 5 am as I read this.
    Just wondering if the person running your class was a board certified Lactation Consultant? Some of her info sounds iffy. I would recommend seeing a LC after delivery for sure.

  22. Kathy on November 5, 2011 at 10:36 am

    IMO breastfeeding in public is NBD and even heartwarming. And I don’t have kids. It’s cool that we can all discuss differing opinions respectfully.

    There are some behaviors I don’t agree with people doing in public or otherwise, so I don’t paricipate with it. I notice that our American culture has become big on being indignant when others choose to live differently, being judgmental, and in general getting easily offended. This is not a fun way to live. So here is what I learned: Make the choice not to play the victim to “being made to feel uncomfortable / offended” – you are the one who controls that. So if you don’t like to see women feeding their babies in public, feel free to look away, free to make your own choices for you, free to concentrate on something you want to do to better your own life / mood / energy instead of getting offended by another. This shift has been very empowering for me and such a more peaceful and generous way to move through the world, IMO.

  23. Kate on November 5, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    I wasnt able to BF my son, but will defintely try again when we one day have another baby. As for feeding in public, no biggie. I bottle feed my son in public places, why shouldnt a breastfeeding Mum do the same? People need to be a little more tolerant, or look away if you find it offensive 🙂

  24. Brittany (A Healthy Slice of Life) on November 5, 2011 at 5:11 pm

    Sounds like you are well informed and ready for your sweet little one 🙂 One word of caution, don’t get discouraged if breastfeeding does hurt at first. Hailey was/is a great eater and we had lactation consultants available immediately to ensure a proper latch, which she had. However, it still took about 2 weeks for my nipples to toughen up and those two weeks it HURT like heck when she latched. It would ease after about 20 seconds, but even with a proper latch, it felt like toe curling pain until the girls toughened up a bit. I don’t want to scare you, just don’t want you to be discouraged if it comes with some pain. It’s a pretty awesome thing though, breastfeeding 🙂 Hailey is 7 weeks old now and I love it

  25. jennifer on November 7, 2011 at 8:28 am

    I breastfed two babies. The first one I felt uncomfortable BF in public and was nervous about it. The second time I was more confident and was prepared to handle any inappropriate comments if they came my way.
    That being said, both times breast feeding hurt and only b/c the skin in that area is not used to so much “attention” and use so the skin gets tender and when baby latches on it is a sharp pain for just a few seconds and then it is fine. I had the little gel pads for the second baby and they were helpful. This pain does go away as soon as the skin gets used to all the new usage. Also, do you have a breast pump? I found it helpful for one b/c I worked outside the home and for two, when my milk REALLY came in once I got home my babes couldn’t keep up with all of the production at first and that engorgment was uncomfortable. Also they would have a difficult time latching on when my breast was so full so I would pump right after a feeding or before a feeding when latching on wasn’t going to be able to happen. (I realize pumping after a feeding also increased my milk supply but I also wanted to be able to have a supply built up for when I returned to work)

  26. Christin@purplebirdblog on November 7, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    I don’t have children, but seeing a woman breastfeeding in public always makes me smile and cheer a silent “good for her!” in my head. 🙂

  27. Shelly on November 7, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    I’m breastfeeding my first one right now. I had her via c-section (a non-scheduled one). My milk took six days to come in fully. That time was very diffucult and frustrating because I was worried it would never come in. We were supplementing her with formula but I was still putting her on breast even though my milk wasn’t fully in and it was starting to hurt like hell. lol
    But finally on the sixth day I was finally able to stop supplementing her because my milk finally came. Even then for the next week or so it was still painful for like 10 seconds when she first latched on…*shiver at the memory*
    But now all is well on the breastfeeding front, even though I am still a little shy at breastfeeding in public, I am slowly trying it more and am getting comfortable with it. My thoughts on if people get offended are basically “get over it, I’m nourishing my baby and it’s completly normal.”
    Props to you on choosing to breastfeed and best of luck 😀

  28. Dani on November 8, 2011 at 5:02 pm

    BFing is fine… as long as you’re covered up. There is just NO reason not to. Peeing is natural, but we still go to the bathroom to do so. Just my opinion.

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