Going into this whole mommy thing, my original plan was that I’d give breastfeeding a try. It’s cheaper (arguable considering all the things I have to buy to make it easier on me…more on that later), it seemed easier to not have to deal with making bottles, and I wanted to see what all the ‘breast is best’ fuss is over. I’m not anti-formula and I’d never shame a formula-feeding mom, especially since there are many biological & socioeconomic reasons why a woman wouldn’t be able to nurse. But I’m pleased to say that for the most part, it’s working really well over here.
I was worried about my supply first and foremost, because pretty much none of the women in my family have been able to breastfeed. My mom didn’t have enough milk, and I just kind of assumed I’d have troubles with milk supply. Turns out that roughly 4 days after Henry was born, my flow came in fast and heavy. To the point where I can’t go a moment without having nursing pads in my bra to catch the leaking. My breasts are constantly engorged and ready to explode (and they often do). As a result, Henry has a bit of trouble dealing with my heavy letdown, though things seem to be getting better in that department. I think my supply is leveling out at this point now that it’s figured out I just have this one hungry baby to feed and not all of San Diego.
Secondly, I was worried about my nipples handling this. I’ve always been really sensitive so I thought that there was no way I could handle a baby nomming on there. And I’ll be honest – the first week was ROUGH. I was applying lanolin near constantly, and I’m still using it a couple times a day. I’ve also been relying heavily on Soothies, which are little gel pads that you can put in the fridge and then apply to your nipples for soothing.
It turns out that I have ‘flat nipples’ which I didn’t know about until the first few times we tried to latch and he was struggling. I kind of wish that the hospital wouldn’t have pushed the nipple shields on me so quickly, because now we’re a slave to them. Henry won’t really latch unless I’m using them, and they’re a pain in the ass. I have to wash them after each use, I have to remember to bring one along anywhere I go in case of emergency feedings, Henry is always pulling them off with his flailing hands, and it’s just a pain to have to carry them around anywhere.
So cost-wise, I’m buying milk leaking pads, soothie gel pads, lanolin, and nipple shields (not to mention all the nursing tanks and bras). So I’m not sure how cheap all this is compared to formula feeding.
But on the flip side – I love nursing him. I actually am really surprised how much I enjoy the bonding moment, and even the mental aspect of knowing that my body is providing him everything he needs. Watching him grow every day and seeing the numbers on the scale going up and realizing that I’m doing that for him? Priceless. I wouldn’t take that back for anything in the world. The only real big downside to nursing is that I can’t really go anywhere without him right now since he’s feeding every 1-2 hours (and sometimes sooner if he wakes up from sleep earlier) and also my husband can’t help with night time feeds. Neither of these things are a dealbreaker though. I love nursing little Henry, and this really surprises me. It’s so beautiful to look down and see him feeding on me. These are moments that I will cherish forever. 🙂---------------
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