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Breastfeeding Supply Issues

Breastfeeding & 10 Things I Wish Somebody Had Told Me About It

By Amalah

10 Things I Wish Somebody Had Told Me About Breastfeeding

…or at least, I wish somebody made sure that I was paying attention when they did try to tell me.

1. Your first time breastfeeding might not be magical.

You may be tired, in pain, drugged up, blissed out, numb from the waist down and/or getting stitched up in various places when a nurse grabs your boob and your baby’s head and WHOOMPH: she mashes them together while you hold your hands over your head, like. Whoa. Then the baby starts to suck which is pretty crazy, and then you hear that first swallow, like. Whoa. There’s milk in there, but overall it’s okay if you find the first nursing session to be mostly supremely kind of weird.

breastfeeding_babies.png
Illustration by Secret Agent Josephine

2. Your baby is born knowing how to suck, not latch.

Totally a huge distinction. We mothers put a huge burden on ourselves over breastfeeding and doing it “right,” but forget that there are two people in this equation. Sure, one of them is small and squishy and kind of alien-like, but he has to learn how to breastfeed, just like you. He knows how to suck, but his mouth is small and his aim is terrible. At some point, your job will begin and end with just getting the boob in his general direction and he’ll take care of the rest. For now, though, you’ll need to help him learn to latch properly.

3. If you don’t ask for help, you will not get any help.

And to help your baby learn to latch properly? You need someone to teach YOU how to latch her on properly. There’s a trick to it, and I’m not even going to begin to try to describe it with words. There’s…compression and proper finger placement and upward pointing nipples and stuff. And NOT ONCE was a proper latch ever really and truly demonstrated for me at the hospital. My own lactation consultant, on the other hand, did and was WONDERFUL, but if I had only relied on the hospital LC services, I doubt I would have lasted a week at home on my own.

4. All. Purpose. Nipple. Ointment.

If you end up with nipple injuries that won’t heal, either from bad latches, pump trauma, chapped skin, whatever, ditch the lanolin and get a prescription for some APNO. Yes, you need a prescription (my Lactation Consultant was also a Nurse Practitioner, super convenient), and yes, you need to take that prescription to an old-school pharmacy that will make compounds. It’s worth it. It’s made up of two antifungals, an antibiotic and a steroid. Soothes pain, aids healing, prevents infection and fights thrush and other nastiness. Ahh, it’s good stuff.

5. Knowing the difference between “eating sucking” and “comfort sucking” can save your nipples from a lot of unnecessary wear and tear.

I know, I know. “Nipple confusion” and all that. I was terrified of it the first time and steadfastly refused a pacifier for days and days, until my boobs were crunchy burnt toast points of worn-down flesh. It. Was. Awful. I was determined to breastfeed my second baby but BY GOD, I was not going to end up with chunks of skin hanging off my nipples again. When Ezra started with the endless rooting, a nurse showed me how to use my index finger to “gauge” his sucking. Vigorous sucking with a lot of tongue action? Hungry. Give him the boob. Gentle sucking using mostly the lips and not the tongue? Comfort. Give him a pacifier or simply let him continue to suck on a finger or knuckle.

6. Yes, it hurts at first, but it will stop hurting. If it keeps hurting, something is wrong.

Some people will try to tell you that ANY pain while nursing means “you’re doing something wrong.” This is crap. See Thing Number Two. There’s a learning curve, and YOU can do everything right and maybe it’s the stupid BABY’S fault, okay? God. But after…uh, awhile (two weeks? ish?), your nipples will heal and engorgement will regulate and you’ll turn a corner and your toes will no longer curl in pain every time the baby latches on. If the pain continues, see a lactation consultant, stat. And while we’re on the subject….

7. Tongue tie! Tongue tiiiiiiie.

Thanks to the Internet and mommyblogs, I recognized my baby’s tongue tie (short frenulum) days before I could convince anyone in a white coat to check his mouth. A tongue-tied baby will not ever stick his tongue out past his lips. The tip of his tongue will actually be pulled back and under by the frenulum and resemble the top of a heart shape. Latching on will HURT. The baby will be unable to suck strongly enough to fully empty your breast.

An on-call hospital pediatrician dismissed my concerns and told me his frenulum would probably stretch out with time. True, except that he was not getting enough milk, not emptying my breasts would hurt my supply, and OH YEAH. IT EFFING HURT. (Some tongue ties DON’T resolve either, and can cause speech difficulties later on, rawr.) I refused to be ignored and luckily MY pediatrician was a tad more supportive of successful breastfeeding and recommended we get his tongue snipped. Two seconds and one indignant squawk later, Ezra’s tongue was fixed and nursing got awesome.

8. Take probiotics BEFORE you start nursing — before you give birth, even — to ward off thrush.

If you end up needing antibiotics for any reason at all, your risk of thrush is increased, though you can certainly get thrush without antibiotics. A probiotic supplement will keep the growth of candida in your system under control. I got thrush with Noah (it’s a burny/itchy kind of thing, like athlete’s foot in your nipple) (I KNOW), but not with Ezra, despite requiring antibiotics both times. With Ezra, I started probiotics about two weeks before he was born and continued them for about a month.

9. Oh my God, take a Tylenol already.

You CAN take many over-the-counter medications while breastfeeding. You CAN have some wine. (These things are fantastic, by the way.) You CAN eat fish and lunch meat and stinky cheese. You CAN breastfeed while sick. Not everything you eat and drink and consume ends up in your breastmilk, and even stuff that does (like alcohol) will pass both in AND out of your milk and may not require a pump-and-dump session 100% of the time. Learn what you can and cannot take. When in doubt, check for answers at breastfeeding support sites like Kellymom, but after the incredible paranoia and mile-long list of do’s and don’t’s of pregnancy, you’ll often be happily surprised to learn that breastfeeding is actually much more forgiving.

breastfeeding_baby.png10. When breastfeeding works, it is the awesome sauce.

Look, I could never exclusively breastfeed my first baby. I just couldn’t. I didn’t have the milk, no matter what I tried. He preferred bottles, he went on constant nursing strikes, I was never able to pump enough once I went back to work and dried up just like that. We limped along for five months, but I probably truly enjoyed nursing for two or three weeks, tops. My second baby has been a completely different experience. It is amazing. Powerful. Convenient. Inexpensive. Easy. Enjoyable. Wonderful.

And now I am in this weird space where I KNOW for a fact that breastfeeding doesn’t work for *every* mother and baby. I KNOW the frustration and the annoyance and the downsides and the thrush and the pain and all of that. But now I also know how absolutely wonderful it can be, and so I want to cheer every new mother on to not give up! Don’t give up! Yeah, it might not work, but oh! If it does work! You’ll be so happy you didn’t give up. So don’t give up.

Amalah
About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch

Amalah

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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jodifur
Guest

Thanks for acknowledging that not all babies nurse, and that it is not magical and easy for everyone. See no one told me that. And I had a baby that refused to latch. And if someone had just said that to me, my life would have been so much easier those first few weeks.
Even though my baby is now 4, I love, love, love this column.

Brooke
Guest

I had a similar experience the first time around that you did, for different reasons. My son didn’t cooperate. I did everything I could possibly do and ended up feeling like a complete and total failure because of it. If it’s so beautiful! and natural! and blah blah, then why do I suck so much and can’t do it? In addition to having a son that didn’t catch on very well to latching, I lost my supply because we didn’t have any idea what we were doing – I didn’t know about the supply/demand, at least not as much as… Read more »

Swankette
Guest

Thing number 11:
Growth spurts suck in a really, Really, REALLY big way. And a week into it all, when maybe you feel like you and the kid are starting to get the hang of it all, the kid is going to spend a day or two just hanging off your boob. And it’s not that things are broken now, and it’s not what the rest of your breastfeeding life is going to look like. It’s just a growth spurt, and the sooner you recognize them the sooner you will regain your sanity when they happen.

Kari Weber
Guest
Kari Weber

I LOVED breastfeeding my first son. He was easy, and I didn’t have pain or discomfort. He was also 9 days late, so was born almost a toddler! What no one told ME was what comes AFTER breastfeeding gets easy. Like, WHEN to pump to continue to keep up your supply. How often to pump, ways to pump effectively, etc. I had to go back to work when my son was 2 months old (I am a teacher) and pumping secretively in my dark classroom once a day (for fear the custodian would YET AGAIN forget and try to let… Read more »

Kelly
Guest

Breastfeeding is not a cure-all for losing weight. You may not lose any more weight breastfeeding than you would if you weren’t breastfeeding, so don’t expect your pre-pregnancy body to magically appear as you ease into breastfeeding. Sure, you probably need more calories a day, but eating less in order to lose weight will affect your milk supply! (And, quite frankly, if someone handed me a coupon for 500 free calories a day, you better believe I’m downing a Big Mac.) Don’t try to lose weight until you’ve healed, and that’s at least 6 weeks post-partum. (Hell, I’m almost 17… Read more »

Tatiana
Guest

Great article :] I was fortunate in that my midwife spent about an hour after my daughter was born helping us get our latch right and observing the feeding session, to be sure we were working well together. She gave me all sorts of tips and tricks as well! Then the next day when she returned, we worked together again, and at every session thereafter she checked our latch just to be safe.
The breastfeeding relationship between a mother and baby is just … stunning.

JennK
Guest

My once perky, hanging high Bs will never, ever be the same. I thought because they were little they would never sag but actually they deflate to an even smaller size.
Also, don’t think you can just stop lactating. It doesn’t work that way. Don’t breastfeed one day and go to work the next day without a pump thinking you won’t leak in front of your colleagues. You will leak and it will probably be a male colleague.

Beth
Guest

Lactation consultants and nurses and doctors in the same hospital will give you different answers to the same problem. And it will drive a new mother who has had 1 hour of sleep over the course of 3 days completely bat ship crazy.

chiquita
Guest
chiquita

I did a combination of nursing, pumping and supplementing with formula over 10 weeks and then quit. Don’t beat yourself up if you decide it’s not working. There are other ways to bond, and being in severe pain doesn’t help. I think my daughter may have been tongue-tied, but got conflicting answers, so we didn’t do anything. But I can say that her latch was excruciating and did not get better with time (except with less frequent nursing, therefore I pumped more.) Bottom line: baby needs to be fed, try your best and make the best decisions that work for… Read more »

Margie
Guest
Margie

Sitting here (typing one-handed) with my eight day old baby, and want to second whole-heartedly the suggestion of using a lactation consultant. Find a good one and it is SO worth it! I thought I knew pretty well what I was doing, but a) I’m still sleep-deprived and therefore working with half a brain, max., and b) it turns out I didn’t know it all. Best advice I have gotten so far from my LC is that when your milk supply increases (“comes in”) you will have some wet days. There will be poop, pee, leaky breasts, and tears. The… Read more »

Christie
Guest
Christie

Thank you so much for this column. I’m due in June and I’d really like to make the breastfeeding thing work, and suggestions like these (without the preaching you get at many sites) are exceedingly useful.
One question – is there any more information you can provide about the probiotics? Is that just about eating yogurt, or are there other options? I know I’m extra susceptible to yeast issues, so I’d definitely like to get on a routine prior to delivery.
Thanks!

Marnie
Guest
Marnie

What I wish someone would have told me: While breast milk is amazing stuff, it’s not magic. Even babies who nurse exclusively get sick sometimes. And get ear infections. I read everything I could get my hands on, but I was naive enough to buy into the hype that breast-fed babies don’t get sick! and don’t get ear infections! I was very upset when my breast-milk-only daughter did get a few ear infections, especially that first winter in part-time day care. But now – her immune system is better than mine, and she barely gets sick at all. Could be… Read more »

Wallydraigle
Guest

I wrote an article with a similar title a few months ago. Only I was in the midst of the first two nightmarish months of breastfeeding. I think the only reason I stuck with it through the worst part was that I couldn’t in good conscience justify the expense of formula when we had a free food source RIGHT THERE. It would have been one thing if things weren’t working properly, but everything was fine. I just hated breastfeeding. And now? I LOVE it. At some point, I’m not sure when, things just got better. I didn’t even notice it… Read more »

wallydraigle
Guest

I think the worst part of it all is that this hits you at such an awful time. Your body is wrecked, you’ve just spent hours in labor (unless you had a scheduled c-section), your baby is not letting you sleep, crazy postpartum hormones are making you want to play in traffic, and you feel grimy and nasty. It’s one thing to handle such adversity when you’re well-rested and rational. When you have those two things going for you, you can say to yourself, “Self, this will only last a few weeks or months. It will get better. It will… Read more »

Kelly
Guest

Oh, and two words to Google if/when you have downtime: CLUSTER FEEDING.

Elaine
Guest
Elaine

I love the column, and I love all the supportive comments and tips that other readers give, too!

Di
Guest
Di

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I have loved Amalah for a good long time now, and read it pretty much every day. I’ve only recently jumped on the Advice Smackdown, and Pregnancy Calendar bandwagons, and now this gem.
I blame it on the pregnancy brain I’ve got going here. Blah…and I’m only 4 months along…it’s gonna be a long, hot and stupid summer.
Di

Emily
Guest
Emily

Great article! As a mom-to-be who is desperate to breastfeed I am trying to absorb as much info as possible and I have inscribed your article on my brain for future reference.
Thanks for the dose of reality!

Alissa
Guest
Alissa

11 weeks in to this breast feeding gig and I can tell you that All Purpose Breast Cream has been my savior for an otherwise not very pleasant breast feeding experience. Between the overactive letdown, TONS of milk, mastitis, green poop making me freak out about too much foremilk, sore nipples, baby who clamps down on my nipple to slow down the fire hydrant milk supply… Breast feeding is not my favorite thing. I’m not feeling any of that “I am superwoman, see me grow this here kid” stuff. And it’s not a fun bonding experience for me. It’s just…… Read more »

Elizabeth
Guest

Take a La Leche League leader’s phone number with you to the hospital, whether you are having a planned hospital birth or whether you just have a hospital bag packed in case of a transfer during a home birth. The hospital LCs are not always there and sometimes they suck. LLL gets a bit of a reputation for being breastfeeding nazis sometimes, but the leaders are always there to offer information and support, and are just awesome. It also helps too to a meeting while you’re pregnant so that you know the local leader(s) and feel more comfortable calling if… Read more »

bethany actually
Guest

If you pump and only get 1-2 ounces or less, don’t panic and think that means your baby isn’t getting enough to eat. Pumping is a skill you have to learn, just like breastfeeding. And some people are better pumpers than others. Some people just never get the hang of pumping but will be able to breastfeed their babies just fine. I am right there with you on wanting to cheer everyone on, Amy. I had a really difficult first six months of breastfeeding—poor latch, low supply, nursing around the clock, supplemental nursing system (arrrgh!), supplementing with formula—and I am… Read more »

Angie
Guest
Angie

Thanks for the real life practical advice – I hated breastfeeding but miss it now that my babies are weaned.

wallydraigle
Guest

One totally selfish reason to stick with breastfeeding: YOU GET HUNDREDS OF EXTRA CALORIES A DAY. I don’t have my head in the slop trough all day, but I get to eat more and not feel guilty at all. I mean, I still can’t eat everything in sight (breastfeeding =/= magical losing weight, necessarily), but I can happily eat waaaay more than I would be able to otherwise. It’s WONDERFUL. My lifelong love affair with food can finally come out in the open.

Shannon
Guest
Shannon

OMG, tongue tie. The first ENT we talked to about having our baby’s frenulum clipped said he didn’t do it because the frenulum would stretch with time. We found another ENT who said that was true, but thought my inability to breastfeed her NOW made that argument moot. Obviously, we went with ENT #2, got her frenulum clipped and 13 months later we’re still nursing. The other thing I found out in the nick of time (and therefore proselytize relentlessly) is that breastfed babies between 1 and 6 months of age have an average intake of 25 ounces per 24… Read more »

Valerie
Guest

When we were interviewing pediatricians, one actually said to me, “It’s my experience that most women who stop breastfeeding do so because they don’t *really* want to nurse their babies.” And he was a DUDE, what the hell does he know? Needless to say, we didn’t pick him.
Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. A fed baby is a sleeping baby is a happy baby is a happy mama. Doesn’t matter how you get there.

Tara
Guest
Tara

Things I wish someone had told me: (a) It takes a few days for your milk to come in, especially the first time, and that is totally normal and will not harm your child. The discharge nurse FREAKED ME THE F*** OUT about my milk not coming in before we left the hospital (2-day stay, first kid). She had me so concerned that my son would starve that we bought a breast pump on the way home from the hospital (so I could speed things along, I guess, by pumping during the 12 minutes per day that my son wasn’t… Read more »

Mel
Guest
Mel

Also – not all lactation consultants are good. If you’re not successful with the first one you see, try someone else. I wish wish wish I had gone to see Pat Shelly (for those of you who are in DC, she is apparently a Godsend) but was one of those first time moms who was deathly afraid of venturing out of her house with a newborn….for like 6 months, but that’s another story. I only saw the LCs at Sibley for the five minutes they could spare me and then one at the pediatrician’s office who watched my son fight… Read more »

Catherine
Guest
Catherine

I had a preemie, and the post-partum nurse showed me how to use the breast pump. I put the pump..um..thingies on me and she CRANKED IT ALL THE WAY UP! Owwwwwwww. That’s not the right way to do it..you have to start off low and slowly turn it up.

Kathy
Guest

Seconding what Elizabeth said- not only might the hospital LCs suck, they might not even be real LCs. The hospital where I delivered had “breastfeeding counselors” whose advice was “wait til her mouth is open wide and then shove your breast in really really fast.” I probably don’t need to say, that advice didn’t help us at ALL. Our pediatrician gave us the name of an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) who saved our breastfeeding experience. She got me the all-purpose nipple cream for my ravaged chest, taught me how to help my daughter latch (and ohhh, my daughter… Read more »

Stephanie
Guest
Stephanie

I’m on baby #2 now, and both times I’ve gone through 2 weeks of pure torture and then things magically seemed to work out. I know most nurses and doctors will say your nipples dont have to toughen up or get used to breastfeeding, but in my case they did. The second time it helped knowing what I was in for, so at least I knew there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Because it is so worth it. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I stuck with it. This time around, my saving… Read more »

BB
Guest
BB

First off, can I just say, the timing of this post was a godsend. I’m about a week postpardom and I’ve gone from struggling with my newborn son to stay latched and nurse to having a hard time even getting him to latch on at all. Add on the engorgement, hormones, and sleep deprivation and I was a sniveling hysterical wreck yesterday afternoon. I’m working with a great LC and he’s getting the nourishment he needs from the milk I’m pumping but I still felt like we were moving backwards. Thanks for the reminder that this isn’t easy and that… Read more »

Melissa
Guest
Melissa

1. I wish someone told me that a bottle wasn’t the end of the universe. I wish I’d introduced one sooner (we waited until she was 11 weeks) My DD would! not! take a bottle. We finally resorted to my leaving the house for some 12 hours (pump in hand) while my husband dealt with the screaming. This did not make anyone happy. 2. I wish someone said the formula isn’t the devil. I went back to work when she was 4 months. And I pumped until she was 11 months. I HATED every moment of pumping. But I was… Read more »

Penny
Guest
Penny

Your first time breastfeeding “MIGHT” not be magical? HA. Your first time bf’ing will NOT be magical, unless you’re one of those weird “labor doesn’t hurt I barely broke a sweat and the baby has an enormous mouth capable of actually grabbing nipples efficiently” kind of deals.

jonniker
Guest

I wasn’t offered a real lactation consultant in the hospital. They sucked. A “breastfeeding specialist” nurse looked at my latch and said, “Well, if you don’t fix that, it’s really going to hurt!” AND THEN SHE LEFT. FOR THE DAY. The good news is that it never did hurt, and when I talked to an actual lactation consultant, it turns out everything was fine and we’ve been fine fine fine ever since. But yes, what Bethany above said is true: I suck at pumping. S.U.C.K. And yet, my kid is eating fine, and getting plenty to eat. I can really… Read more »

Rachel
Guest
Rachel

I wish someone had told me that despite doing EVERYTHING right, you may not get milk. Three babies later, I never had more than a smidgen of milk, ever. Never got engorged, never leaked milk, and had angry, hungry babies until I broke down and gave them formula. No lactation consultant, hospital-grade pump, fenugreek, Guinness or standing on my head gave me enough milk to feed my baby without supplementing. Even my babies revolted and began to refuse to take the breast. The longest I lasted was 11 weeks with my second child, but I can safely say there was… Read more »

Jessica (at It's my life...)
Guest

You know? I knew most of the bad stuff about nursing before starting, so the non latch, inverted nipples, low production, etc stuff, while upsetting didn’t phase me.
What did throw me for a loop was how. damn. long. it takes newborns to eat. I had this erroneous vision of a five minute nursing session that ends with a happy plump baby smiling up at you. What I got were hour long marathon nursing sessions that had to be repeated every two hours. My couch and I got very close during those first few months!

Jenn
Guest
Jenn

Dr. Jack Newman’s All Purpose Nipple Ointment is THE BOMB!!! – Mupirocin 2 percent ointment (15 grams) – Nystatin ointment, 100,000 units/milliliter (15 grams) – Clotrimazole 10 percent (antifungal cream) (15 grams) – Betamethasone 0.1 percent ointment (15 grams) (Editor: The source online is no longer there. This is what i found: http://ibconline.ca/information-sheets/candida-protocol/) I had a great 14.5 month breastfeeding relationship with my son, but at month 7, I developed an infection on one nipple that had me *hand* milking that side (seriously–any kind of pump made me bleed) while nursing from the other. It was not fun. But I… Read more »

Dawn
Guest
Dawn

Thank you for this. My daughter refused to nurse from the beginning. We went to lactation appointment after lactation appointment and even the consultants couldn’t get her to nurse successfully and so I settled for pumping. I never knew that it could be the baby. I always just thought it was whether your milk came in or not. I had no idea that a baby could refuse that way. If I had, it would have saved me so many tears.

Nutmeg
Guest
Nutmeg

It is possible to be allergic to hypoallergenic lanolin ointment.
Knowing this would have saved me two weeks of agony, burning, itching, raynaud nipples. The entire time, I was slathering myself with lanolin ointment. The LC said.. “Maybe you are allergic to lanolin” I stopped using it, and felt better in a single day.
Also, most doctor’s have no idea what medicines can be taken. Do your own research, google Lactmed

Cdemers
Guest

Awesome advice, Amy. I’m on baby two, and breast-feeding this time around is totally different. It just goes to show that the continuum of normal is even larger than these engorged breasts!

Sara
Guest

At this point, there has been so much good advice shared that all I can really do is echo what others have said for emphasis 🙂 My daughter and I had a pretty rocky breastfeeding relationship, and I’m hoping it’ll come more easily with #2. One thing I plan to do differently is to get help lined up ahead of time. I had major supply issues and really wanted to talk to a doctor about taking something to increase the amount of milk I had but I had no idea who to call. My OB? My daughter’s pediatrician? My general… Read more »

Kimba
Guest
Kimba

My one piece of advice? If you think something’s off, GET IT CHECKED. One minute I was sitting on the beach, soaking in the rays and enjoying myself, and the next I had 108 degree fever and the startings of a great mastitis infection. At 4 months PP I thought I was past that, but I called and went to instacare that night and caught it before it was serious. Laying there on the table, the doctor actually said, “It looks like we caught it before it got bad, before scalpels were needed”. YIKES.

Ruth
Guest
Ruth

The only thing I would add — and maybe this is because I’m small of bust — is that I needed the My Brest Friend pillow in order to nurse without significant back pain. The Boppy doesn’t cut it for me, nor does a throw pillow, nor does just nursing any old place. Must have the My Brest Friend in order to have enough back support to nurse without back pain. It has a stupid name, but it saved my back.

Susan
Guest
Susan

Another tip: Lilypadz nursing pads are great!!!! All the other kinds were SO obvious underneath my clothes but the Lilypadz have made it possible to wear any bra and any top without showing the entire world that I have pads on my nipples.

Leah
Guest

Things I wish someone had told me:
1) If you don’t give your baby a pacifier for the first two months of his life out of fear of nipple confusion, he might not EVER take a pacifier, which means YOU will be the pacifier.
2) If you don’t give your baby a bottle (even full of breastmilk) for the first two months of his life, he might not EVER take a bottle, which means YOU will be the bottle and god save the poor soul who has to take care of your hungry, non-bottle-taking baby when you go back to work.

wallydraigle
Guest

WORD on the My Brest Friend. I know some people like the Boppy. I know some people like just using regular pillows. I hated both. Hated. Like, sometimes when I was trying to feed my kid, and the pillow slipped YET AGAIN, I would be so enraged that I would scream and slam the pillow into the wall. I am not normally prone to rage like that. Also, yes, the best time to introduce a bottle is 4-6 weeks. We did that. And she took it like magic. But then I stopped giving her one regularly after about 8 weeks… Read more »

Erin
Guest

The best advice I ever got was from a post-partum doula and the leader of mom and baby group. She told me if I really wanted to breastfeed (we had a tough time the first three weeks) to just try every day, no matter what happens, and keep trying. I was convinced I had to go formula OR boob one way or the other and was really stressed out. So I supplemented, relaxed and just tried every day, and one day, she got it. One successful session led to two, etc. Now Maisie is 6 mos old and we are… Read more »

Monica
Guest

All Purpose Nipple Ointment saved me. Most women look at me like my crazy hippie midwives gave me snake oil when I tell them about it. But it’s so fantastic!!!

Maggie
Guest

I love this list. I was ready to punch all those people who said if it hurts you are doing something wrong. Do you know how much anxiety that caused me?? The pain did go away and I am SOOOO happy I stuck with it. Leah, I like what you said, very few babies I have been around have had any problems transferring between boob, pacifier, and bottle, in the early days yet everything you read/hear tries to freak you out about it.

Janell
Guest
Janell

With my first son, my milk took a few days to come in and I had a quality bonding moment with my husband, late at night, me holding my boob out and him squishing the Avent hand pump on it and pumping and getting nothing. He dared suggest formula and I freaked out about my supply and cried and made him swore never to mention it again. Months later, son was in daycare part-time and I was pumping just enough for those days (a Pump in Style real pump), although the supply was getting less. I figured he needed less… Read more »