Breastfeeding is one of the most difficult things as a new mother. There are some that love it, ones that do it for the benefits it gives the new baby, and others that just don't like it at all. I had two very different experiences both times I breastfed. The first time, with the twins, wasn't easy at all, it was all completely new to me and I did it mostly because of the benefits it brought the babies. The second time, with Jack, it was very easy, and I loved it!
Before the twins were born I knew that breastfeeding was always an option, but I didn't know if I was going to produce enough milk to supply both of them. I always kept that in mind so I wouldn't get frustrated when the time came. I think it's always a good idea to know in advance that there are other options for your baby in case you can't breastfeed, that way you will be able stay if that ever happens.
After my C-section with the twins the doctor gave me very strong meds because I had pre-eclampsia, so I felt very tired and drowsy, and I really don't remember that much of what happened the first 24 hours after giving birth. What I do remember is that I tried to breastfeed each twin at a time, with Alejandro it was very easy, but with Moises it was a different story. We decided that since they were a little underweight we would give them a little formula after each breastfeeding session till I knew they were eating well. So every three hours, I would breastfeed each at a time and then feed them formula.
As soon as I got home, 3 days after giving birth, I started feeling my breast were getting bigger and the milk was being produced. So I talked to a very good friend of mine who already had two babies, and was a milk machine, and she told me that the more I stimulate my breasts the more milk was going to come out, so she recommended to use the breast pump at least two to three times a day, right after breastfeeding the two babies, that way I would get more milk supply and I could refrigerate the milk I pumped out for future use. By that time I stopped giving them formula and started to breastfeed only, but Moises did not latch on, so I always complimented him with a bottle of my previously pumped breast milk.
Some people say that giving them a bottle is not a good idea, since it's easier for them to suck from the bottle than from your nipple, and they could get used to it and prefer it, but at that time I felt it was the best thing to do, I was a novice without much clue as to what I was doing. I really recommend that as a mother you always do whatever feels right to you, lots of people are going to tell you what to do or give you advice, but you are the only one who knows what you and your baby(ies) are going through, so just follow your heart.
By the third week I was a pro at breastfeeding Alejandro, to the contrary with Moises each day he would latch less. I would pump milk around 3 times a day, and the milk supply was very good. I started feeling that I was all the time with Alejandro, since I was the only one that could feed him, and that Moises was all the time with my husband, since he was being basically bottle fed all the time, from previously pumped breast milk. So I decided not to breastfeed directly anymore and only pump the milk 5 to 6 times daily and give it to them in bottles, this way I could be with them both the same amount of time. This was a lot of work, it was painful at times and very tiring, but I did it because of the benefits breast milk, which gives your baby antibodies that help them fight off viruses and bacteria.
I pumped breastmilk 5 to 6 times daily for 5 months, after that I had enough milk stored in the fridge to feed them for about 3 more weeks. At times I wanted to give up but at the end I was very satisfied that I did it.
When I gave birth to Jack it was a completely different story, he was in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) for around 24 hours due to minor breathing difficulties, so I started to use the breast pump at the hospital and send him some drops of my milk to the NICU. As soon as I was able to get up from bed, because of the c-section, I went to NICU and breastfed him, he latched perfectly, it was amazing, I felt such a big connection to him!
As the days passed I started to feel the usual nipple pain, whithc is horrible, I did not use the usual lanolin cream that everybody recommends because I used it before and didn't feel my pain get better, so this time I used the Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads, they really help me and made my nipplel feel so much better.
AS with the twins, I pumped a few times a day to get more milk supply and to be able to store milk in the fridge. Every night I skipped one feeding to get a little more sleep and my husband or nanny would give them a bottle from my previously pumped milk. The same way I really recommend breastfeeding, I also suggest that once they latch perfectly to your nipple you start introducing a bottle, so the day you want to sleep, go out or stop breastfeeding it is not so hard on the baby. I always say that it's good to teach babies diversity, so they don't get so attached to anything.
I breastfed Jack for 7 months and gave him one month of milk that I pumped and was in the fridge. I don't know if it was because it was my second time breastfeeding or if it was because it was only one baby this time, but it was so easy and rewarding, I really enjoyed it.
I have had friends with many different obstacles while breastfeeding, but most of them have gone through them and were successful. Since I learned how to breastfeed from a good friend of mine, I thought it was a great idea have some friends send me some tips and thoughts about breastfeeding, which could benefit everyone.
- To get the milk production going feed the baby every three hours, once you are finish pump out the remaining milk that is in your breasts, that way your body thinks that it need to make more milk and you will get more and more.
- Try not to give them formula so they don't get confused, it is an adaptation period for both mommy and baby so have patience.
- Remember that patience is a virtue.
- Use Medela Breast shields if you have a inverted nipple, it will help you a lot.
- No matter how hard it is, with time it will get easier and you will learn some tricks to make it even easier.
- The first times you breastfeed your newborn, try to be alone with him or her, relax, concentrate, bond and really get into the moment, just you and your baby.
- When the baby has reflux or spit ups, you can put GelMix Thicker in the pumped breastmilk, it's a organic thickener powder that helps these type of problems.
- If the baby has colics there is a great homeopathic medicine called Colic Calm Gripe Water that really helps the baby feel better, changing the bottle for one with a vent system that helps with digestion.
- Do what makes you comfortable! If you stress out your milk supply will lower. You don't have to listen to everybody that is telling you what to do, go with your instinct.
- Your own milk will help you with a cracked nipple, just spread milk on it and let it air dry.
- You can always get some lactation classes that teach you in detail every detail of breastfeeding. If you are in the Miami area you can contact Jennifer Naim 786-218-0715 | firstname.lastname@example.org