Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Post on Nursing

Disclaimer:  I don't expect anyone to be interested in this post so apologies in advance.  I'm writing this for my own benefit - I like to remember events and life phases.

W was on 100% breast milk for 8 months and I had enough frozen milk to give him a mixture of milk/formula until he was 10 months old.  I was proud of this accomplishment.  Working full time and pumping certainly isn't easy.  W never had a good latch so I exclusively pumped from 1 month on.

When S was born, I knew I wanted to breastfeed once again.  I didn't set any goals for how long we'd go.  If it was working for us, great.  And if it wasn't, I refused to let myself feel guilty.  S was a natural when it came to nursing.  I still ended up pumping because it just worked better for us, but it was nice to have the option to nurse.  S ate every 2 hours and he ate a ton.  Nearly 40 ounces some days.  Every book and website told me that was too much, but they didn't know my baby.  My 10 pound boy was a great eater from birth.  And here we are.  1 year later.  S was on 100% breast milk for 11 months and I've just started supplementing with formula.  I'm extremely proud.  Given S's appetite, I never thought we'd make it as long as we did.

There were a few surprises/lessons that came with nursing/pumping this time around...

  • As this was my second go, I was no longer self conscious about pumping.  I had to ask about the pumping room at work, had to explain the breast pump quite a few times at the airport (a sure fire way to get TSA to leave you alone), and had to explain the large black bag to quite a few people.
  • Speaking of airports, they are ridiculously ill equipped for pumping moms.  The only available spot for pumping was the airport restroom, which had no outlets.  There has to be a better solution.
  • Breastfeeding is horrible for my skin.  From months 3-8, my skin broke out like crazy.  It was way way worse than anything I experienced in my youth.  I had cystic acne, which was the result of hormones.  I tried to remind myself that it was temporary, but I was extremely self conscious about my skin.  So much so, I even cancelled lunch with a friend one day.  That's very unlike me, but it exemplifies how terrible I felt about my skin.
  • Breastfeeding saved us a crap load of money.  I think S would have gone through a container of formula a week.  So roughly $100 per month.  Yikes.
  • Nursing was a great way to lose weight!  I was back to my pre-baby weight relatively quickly!  Woohoo!
  • It was totally worth it to me and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

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