I have been super blessed with every aspect of Claire, there's no doubt about it. Aside from her health, breastfeeding was on the top of my worry list while pregnant. What wasn't not to fear? All you hear about is how terrible it is in the beginning- from the cracked, sore, and bleeding nipples. You hope and pray that your baby learn how to latch immediately and pray ever harder that your nipple adjust to being suckled on like... uhh yesterday. I read about a lot of women who complained about how difficult it is to be constantly nursing your baby. I knew I wanted to breastfeed but wondered if I would be able to commit to it.

Truth is that it does hurt in the beginning, but it shouldn't be so severe that you cry in agony or are bleeding. If that's the case they you need to seek help promptly. When Claire was born she immediatley latched, and pretty darn well too. We had a tiny rough patch because apparently my nipple are "flatter" than most. I was having more trouble than she was because I was, so the nurses recommended that I try a nipple shield. Yeah it helped a little but it ended up being too cumbersome and it wasn't something that I wanted Claire to become accustomed to. So I ditched it shortly after trying it.

Want my advice? Before you leave the hospital,  have a knowledgeable staff member check you and your baby's feeding to make sure you are doing it right before your little one gets used to doing it wrong! It doesn't have to be a lactation consultant. Most nurses are trained and can offer more help than you may think.

The nurses in the hospital were fantastic and were always willing to help me in the breastfeeding mambo. One nurse, a veteran nurse, was especially helpful. She reassured me that Claire was getting enough each time she ate, and not to worry that she was only eating for 10 minutes at a time. I guess they want babies to eat for roughly 20 minutes?? Nope, not my babe! She was always falling asleep and no amount of feet tickling or stripping of the clothes ever helped her stay awake.

For me the hardest part about breastfeeding in the early days was due to the fact that I was exhausted from labor/delivery- I had zero arm strength for the first 4-5 days. Yeah, my nipples hurt while she nursed for a couple of weeks. However, I will say that even though the first few days it felt like she had razor blades in her mouth, the pain drastically subsided over the first week and it usually only hurt for a minute of two once she latched. By week 3 we were in breastfeeding paradise.

As of now, my only beef with breastfeeding is that Claire won't eat from a bottle. She'll chew on the nipple but refuses to suckle. That being said, I only work a few hours a day so she's never really HAD to take a bottle for a meal. I will say that some days Claire isn't quite as hungry in the morning and won't nurse before I go to work. This makes for a super stressful morning for her and daddy. But, they always get through it. It goes without saying that we are both very happy to see one another on those days (we had one of those days today)!

We have resorted to co-sleeping some (most) nights. She will usually wake between 2-4 to eat and then I'll put her back in her crib. She typically sleeps about another hour before she crys... I mean she really lets it out!! I scoop her up and lay side-by-side on the spare bed in the downstairs bedroom. She went from cluter-feeding in the evening (which is when she slept 6-7 hour stretches) to doing it in the wee hours of the night. If I didn't co-sleep with her I would literally never sleep. I think this is her body's way of gearing up for the morning/afternoon while I'm away at work.

As much as I don't want her to be old enough for cereal & food, I'm looking forward to her being able to eat while I'm away. I'm hoping she will be cleared at her 4 month check-up.

Here are my favorite nursing essentials!
1. Nursing tanks
I got a couple from Walmart and they are just as nice as my more expensive ones. Tanks are great for pre-baby because you don't know what size your bra will need to be once your milk is in and your supply regulates. They also make nursing in public easier. Pull up on your regular shirt and expose only your tank top!
2. Johnson & Johnson Nursing Pads
I received a bunch of Lansinoh brand pads at my shower and they were okay but these ones are awesome! The actually stay put in your bra/tank and don't get all wrinkled when you pull your flap back up! Love these!!
3. Medela Cooling/Soothing Pads
This are amazing in the early stages of breastfeeding. They instantly provide cooling relief for those sore nip. The only draw back is that you need to wash your breasts/nipples after you remove them/before feeding baby. The extra hassle is worth it- trust me :)
4. Lansinoh Nipple Salve
I got some in the hospital and didn't plan on using it because I had ordered some all natural stuff (Boob-ease natural nipple balm) but this stuff worked so much better than the latter. It is sticky but this stuff does what it's supposed to. Once again, the hassle is worth it and your nipples and your baby will be much happier... which means you will be too!

I will say that I HATED the Boppy. I am so glad I used the hand-me-downs rather than paying $$$ for a new one. I may give the My Breast Friend a try the next time around.
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  1. I love hearing other breastfeeding success stories! Great job Momma :) Oh, and I love my Brest Friend pillow. Way better than the Boppy.

    1. Thanks, Megan. It was something I yearned for while pregnant and I feel blessed that it all worked out for us. Good to know you love yours, I'm fairly certain it will be on my list for the next babe!

  2. Glad things are going good! It's always sad to me when people have to give up breastfeeding for whatever reason because to me, it's such a great bonding time with your baby. I love that my babies need me to feed them and I have that time.

    I love my nursing tanks too!
    And I used my Boppy with Tyler but I never use it now. Unless I am out somewhere, I will typically lay down to feed her. She does best that way.

    1. Oh my goodness, I know. It breaks my heart when some women out everything they have into and end up unable to continue, for whatever reason(s). That's why I feel so blessed. I, too, feed Claire laying down. I blame it on my boppy, but I actually just love cuddling with her and she usually falls asleep better this way. Plus when she does pass out, I'm able to get away from her without her knowing.

  3. I just wrote a post today about my breast feeding update. Hehe...great minds think alike :) but Kinsley has tried a bottle twice, and has never taken anything from it. I'm lucky I'm with her 24/7!!

    1. I guess so Jenna! I'll be looking forward to your update.
      Lucky dog you! I have the opportunity to be home with her all day but I'm trying to get my foot in the door at my elementary school so I'll have a job when I graduate. Sad, I know but tesching jobs aren't easy to come by these days.

  4. breast feeding is a tough one! I really struggled with my little one, but we did the best we could. I feel that if I have another one, I'll have so much more confidence and maybe we'll get it down! Feeding solids is really fun!


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