I have an app on my iPhone that I use to track my baby’s sleep and feedings. I intended to use it for the first few weeks to make sure we were on track when it came to number of feedings, wet diapers, etc. But I quickly fell in love with it because it helped me remember which side I had last fed from and gave me a sense of how long Bo was going between feedings (which was super helpful because my post-baby short-term memory is awful!)
The app also provides summaries, which I find quite entertaining. For example, in the past seven days we’ve had 62 nursing sessions for a total of 10 hours and 37 minutes. The average duration of a nursing session was 10 minutes. As suspected, Bo spent almost an hour longer on the left side than he did on the right (see yesterday’s post!)
Anyway, here are a few more observations about my current breastfeeding experience:
One of the trickiest things for me when it comes to breastfeeding is covering my breasts. For the first few weeks, my boobs were ginormous and uncomfortable. I had saved my old nursing bras, but even they couldn’t contain the ladies. I hated to spend money on bras that I would wear for such a short time but I gave in and bought a couple of humongous ones. Of course, as predicted, my milk regulated itself and my breasts shrunk down to a more manageable size. I was able to fit into my old nursing bras again, which helped. However, after all that use, they started to wear out (and imagine my surprise when an underwire poked me in the chin while I sat down for lunch one day!) so I ended up purchasing a few more new ones.
I also do a couple of fitness classes each week and took up running this year. This required more than just a normal nursing bra. Of course, even if I could squeeze my bosom into my regular sports bras (yeah right!), I wouldn’t have been able to feed Bo, who accompanies me to my classes. I managed to find some nursing sports bras that I really like. They aren’t perfect but they do the trick. They are fine for exercise class. If I’m out running, I usually layer them with a tight tank top to keep everything supported nicely.
One of my “must haves” when Littleman was a baby was my nursing pillow. I was totally dependent on that thing and I loved it. Littleman seemed comfortable and I could nurse him pretty much hands-free. It was great.
So, of course, it was one of the first things I packed for the hospital when it was time to deliver Bo. I used it for the first couple of days after he was born. Then, due to pain and bleeding nipples, I made an appointment at our hospital’s breastfeeding clinic. The lactation consultant looked at my pillow and then suggested gently that I consider trying some different nursing positions. I was game to try just about anything and when she showed me the “laid-back breastfeeding” position, I was hooked. Instead of sitting upright with my shoulders hunched and a pillow strapped around my waist, I learned to relax, lay back and make myself comfortable on the couch with my feet up and my baby laying on me. It was fantastic.
With Littleman, I always got out of bed and carried him into the nursery to feed him in his glider during the night. With Bo, I scooped him up and fed him in bed. Divine. Ditching the pillow also meant that we were totally comfortable feeding just about anywhere, which leads us to…
I never felt very comfortable nursing Littleman in public places. I had a nursing cover, but didn’t try using it early enough so neither I, nor Littleman, ever felt confident nursing with it. Blankets always slipped out of place and, since we always used a nursing pillow at home, we were already out of our comfort zone when nursing anywhere else. Basically, I did whatever I could to avoid nursing in public.
The second time around, I approached it all differently. I tried using the nursing cover right from the beginning. That helped a lot. But also, I just didn’t worry about it as much. The truth is, sometimes I think the cover draws more attention to us than using nothing. And until recently, I could nurse Bo just about anywhere and feel pretty comfortable doing it. Now, though, the kid is just way too distracted by his surroundings. If I use the cover, he flails around until he can whip it off. If I don’t use a cover, he pulls off to look around, leaving me exposed (and possible spraying milk everywhere!) No good at all.
Now, I do whatever I can to avoid nursing anywhere but home. It’s much more efficient – and less stressful – to fill his belly before we leave home. And, luckily, he can go much longer now between feedings so it isn’t much of an issue.
Coming up next: Bo’s breastfeeding style. He really brings his own personality into the whole experience!