Monday, August 26, 2013


So I started wrting this post months ago and was unsure if I wanted to post it.  I wanted to remember what I went through and was just going to save it as a draft, but I figured maybe another mom out there would want to read it or could relate in some way.  So here it goes.  My battle with...duh duh duhhhh... breastfeeding. If you don't care to hear about boobs, babies, and breast milk, i'd stop here :)

Breast feeding was by far one of my biggest challenges when it came to being a mom.  That may sound silly to some of you, but it took a toll on me.  Let me begin by saying that I loved breastfeeding... when it went smoothly.  Which was like 34% of the time.  It was so emotionally taxing on me.  But knowing the amazing health benefits that come from it, it is what I wanted so badly for my boy.  I pushed through the hard days and exclusively breast fed for six months.

I remember after having Parker, the nurses put him on my chest and we got to watch him inch his way over to my breast.  It was such a beautiful thing to experience and to see God's creations in action.  

The first few days of feeding went well.  I remember not knowing if Parker was getting enough because the instant he would start feeding, he would konk out.  It was a battle to keep the kid awake, which meant a 30 minute feeding turned in to an hour.  I felt like breastfeeding was my life, which I am sure many nursing mom's feel at that time.  He was eating every 2 hours and it took him an hour to eat.  It was a little overwhelming, but I knew that it would get better over time.  After about day 3, we went to the hospital for Parker's check-up and I sat with a lactation consultant who gave me advice on feeding.  I hadn't realized it at this point, but my nipples were (sorry if this is TMI) starting to scab over.  I guess Parkers latch was way was I supposed to know?  Well it ruined my ta ta's.  I was in SO much pain...I remember every time he would latch I would get so tense and cry until they just went numb.  I tried everything the consultant told me.  He was latching correctly, I put lanolin cream on after every feeding, I wore gel pads, and NOTHING helped them heal.  After about 2 weeks I had a consultant come to my house again.  The pain was unbearable and my nipples resembled the rocky mountains (once again, sorry if this is TMI..I warned you). It was not pretty and oh so painful.  The nurse gave us a nipple shield to use until they healed.  I had heard not to use these because they can decrease your milk supply and it causes the baby to have trouble latching once you transition off of it.  At this point I honestly had no other option.  It was either this or stop breastfeeding and I did NOT want to do the latter.  So I used the shield until Parker was about 2 1/2 months old.  Once I started to finally heal, I started to ween him off of it.  That was not fun...he would get so confused and just start screaming.  It was a long process, but we eventually got him off the shield and used to my breast again.  Mind you at this point Parker was still taking about 30-40 minutes to eat {he would still doze off EVERY time} and was still eating every 2- 2 1/2 hours.  We introduced a bottle around this time as well.  The bottle we used was the one that came with our pump.  Little did we know that that bottle was a fast flow.  Uh...I didn't even know that their were different size nipples.  We should have known when Parker would finish his bottle in like 10 minutes.  We were pretty excited to have found a trick in getting the kid to eat a full feeding in about a third of the time and didn't even have time to fall asleep.

Bad. Idea.

After only a few sessions of pumping and giving him a bottle, I quickly regreted it.  All of a sudden, Parker was refusing to breastfeed.  He would latch on for about a minute and then would come off crying.  I had no clue what was wrong.  We thought he was allergic to something I was eating or that his reflux was affecting him.  (He did have reflux until about 7 months and would spit up a ton, but it never seemed to bother I found out later on).  I drastically changed my diet and cut out dairy, chocolate and even gluten.  I did that for two weeks and didn't see much of a change.  To get him to breast feed I literally had to make him super sleepy just to get him to latch.  Not to mention I started becoming SO tense and stressed out at every feeding which did not help the situation one bit.  I'm sure he sensed it.  Anyways, as I was still convinced that it HAD to be some sort of allergy, we took Parker in to get tested.  Waste of money. The kid wasn't allergic to a thing.
Back to square one.  
I was so frustrated and unsure of what to do at that point.

A little later on I realized that it had to do with my let down.  When we started giving him his bottle was when the problems began with his unlatching, screaming, etc.  He never started to scream when drinking from a bottle, but would cry every time at the breast.  Light bulb on!  He loved the fast flow nipple because he got milk instantly.  I don't exactly have a fast let-down, so that frustrated Parker.  And that's when the breastfeeding just became a constant battle.  Even if we didn't give him a bottle for a while, he had already associated my breast with becoming upset and the problem just got worse.  That is when I decided to exclusivley pump.  I had no idea how long I would be able to keep up my supply, but I had faith that I could and knew that I would have to be incredibly consistent.

(I should also add that he despised formula.  I'm sure he would have gotten used to it, but the fact that I nearly gagged when I tasted a tiny drop of it made me more sure I wanted to pump. I mean seriously, the stuff smells and tastes like cardboard. Yuck!)

Well, Parker is now almost 10 months and I have been exclusively pumping for about 4 months.  I plan to do so until he is at least a year old.  I pump five times a day for 20 minutes and that seems to be enough to get him through the day.  It's not the most convenient thing, but we make it work.  It has just become part of my daily routine.  I'm so excited for the day that I can say farewell to that annoying pump.  Cleaning that thing with all the different parts after every use is so tedious.  BUT I'm doing it for my little P-man.  And I'm so glad he has gotten the nutrition that he needs and that I have been able to provide enough for him.   I don't think I could ever exclusively pump again.  With more than one kid I just don't see it being possible.  But hopefully by round two I will have learned from my mistakes and breast feeding will go smoothly.  Let's hope and pray!


  1. You poor thing! I so know the pain of breastfeeding. I planned to do it for 6 months with Leighton which quickly turned in to 12 months & then FINALLY weaned at 14months. This next one scares me! Dont be so hard on yourself. 1 day of breastfeeding it a success in my book! & for you to exclusively pump is even better! I dread looking at the pump!

  2. you.are.a.warrior. seriously, the dedication you had to have is incredible! parker is adorable and so lucky to have you has him mom!! we hope next time goes MUCH smoother. you deserve it!

  3. You are amazing. I'm not a mom, but I still look up to you drastically.