Breastfeeding Journey

I really can’t believe we are going to make it to a whole YEAR of breastfeeding. There’s been times when I was “so over it” and wanted to quit, but I have to admit that it’s been one of the absolute sweetest things I’ll ever experience in my life. 

My goal was 6 months, so I’m very proud of us!!  The first 3 months were the hardest and I fully understand why some mom’s can’t or won’t commit to it... and I would never judge anyone who felt like it wasn’t the right choice for them. A happy mom is a happy baby. 100% 

Nixon had formula the first 3 days of his life because he wouldn’t latch. We discovered that the nipple shield was a HUGE help, but I felt guilty about it and wanted to feed him the “natural way”. We had an amazing lactation consultant come to the apartment and check everything out - she said the nipple shield was fine to use for the next several weeks because he had a good latch with it. Wellllll.... we sure did use it the next several weeks.. AND months. Nixon is almost ONE and has never nursed without the shield. 
Yep. It’s pretty unheard of. 

So I did the math the other day and I’m probably a few numbers off but you get the gist: 
He’s nursed about 2,350 times. With a nipple shield. 

I emphasize the use of a nipple shield because I have to constantly know where one is + make sure it’s somewhat sanitized, etc. It’s a lot!!! I mean it’s our normal now, but those first few months I didn’t think I was going to make it. 
But we did. And I’m here to tell you that it’s been so worth it. 

In an earlier post I think I may have mentioned how my anxiety was pretty bad the first month or 2 post partum. Literally the only thing that made me feel better/calm down was nursing. It’s like my body needed it and his obviously did too. Win/win for us both. Even now it is so calming to me and (even though a part of me wants my body back) I know I’m going to miss it so much.

I put together some interesting facts about breastfeeding. 

- Each breast functions independently. What happens to one breast during breastfeeding may not happen to the other breast. 
- Babies have a powerful sense of smell and can identify their mother's breast milk by scent.
- Breastfeeding reduces the risk of breast cancer and ovarian cancer in mothers
- Breast milk has been used to treat burns, eye infections, diaper rash, and to reduce infection and promote healing in wounds.
- A mother's breasts can gain up to two pounds each in preparation for feeding an infant.
- Breast milk sprays from multiple holes in the nipple rather than just one hole. The amount of holes varies from mother to mother, usually between 10–20 pores. In other words, a nipple is similar to a sieve.
- A woman's cup size doesn't determine the amount of milk she will produce. Milk production and storage depends on hormones
- Breast milk is different at night time. 

#normalizebreastfeeding

I’ve yet to come across anyone in person who’s had anything nasty or negative to say about a mother feeding her child in the most natural way possible. I’ve never felt any shame whatsoever, but it makes me sad for moms that have. Check out this article if you want a laugh.  https://www.scarymommy.com/outrageous-normalize-breastfeeding-in-public/

Some advice for new moms breastfeeding:
1. If you have any questions or doubts at all, call a reputable lactation consultant. Many of them make house calls, which is ideal because you want to be comfortable in your own home. I have texted mine a few times about random situations/questions and it's been nice getting answers from someone who really knows what they're talking about. The pediatricians don't seem to know as much when it comes to breastfeeding/boobs.  
2. Pump as much as you can in the beginning. Start a freezer stash!
3. If you have to use a nipple shield, it's not the end of the world. 
4. Buy 3 or more nursing covers and always have on in your diaper bag. I like this brand
5. Eventually your nips won't hurt anymore!! You just have to push through. And use boobease.

Once again, the fact that we’ve made it (almost) a year is amazing to me. The nipple shield situation isn’t ideal but we made it work for us. I feel so so blessed to be able to give him what he needs to be strong and healthy... it’s seriously the most beautiful/special thing ever ♥

Thanks for reading!! xoxo

Ashton Noto