So one week ago I brought home my third child, Sydney Alexa Grace and we’re all adjusting to life as a family of 5 instead of 4. What is “bressle milk” you might be wondering. This is how my 4 year old son refers to breast milk. Though I corrected him in the beginning it’s so cute when he says it that I just let it go. Jayden was very curious about breast feeding and I can’t say I blame him. Remember the first time you became a mom and learned that your body could make food? I don’t know why, after creating an entire human being from a tiny egg, this came as a shocker but it’s still pretty awesome.

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Changing Society? Nah, I’m Just Feeding My Baby

Don’t worry I’m not going to bombard social media with pictures of my baby nursing. As I’ve said before, I’m an extremely modest person and to me breast feeding is a special bonding time and that means I’m not about to put me or my child on public display in order to “normalize it” whether it’s something you want to see or not. That’s not my job and frankly in order to change societal views about women’s breasts being objects of sexual desire we first need to stop feeding that fire with low cut tops and boob jobs and as a mom of a newborn, I’m too damn tired to take that challenge on. Until Victoria Secret starts selling nursing bras instead of water bras, I don’t know that a few nursing photos is going to do the trick. I’d rather spend my energy encouraging moms who want to nurse. I don’t judge women for formula feeding just because I nurse. I think we should support moms whatever their parenting choices because we have a hard enough job as it is.

Breastfeeding Breakdown

When I was in the hospital I had my first exhaustion break down because after a 20 hour labor and then a night of nursing almost every hour I just wanted to sleep. I could almost hear my mind starting to break. When the nurse came in she asked me why I was crying and I told her I didn’t know how I was going to sleep with my daughter nursing so much. She told me I was putting too much pressure on myself and that one or two bottles wasn’t going to affect my ability to nurse. This flew in the face of the lactation nurse’s advice right after I had my firstborn who warned me that I needed to nurse exlusively for the first two weeks because bottle feeding was easier for babies and they might not want to go back to nursing. So a little nervous, but totally exhausted I let the nurse take Sydney for the night and I actually got 5 hours of sleep – woo hoo. Right now I’d kill for 5 hours in a row. She went right back to nursing, despite a few bottles.

Wait For It…The Drop

So here’s my advice, RELAX new mamas. Nursing isn’t easy and trying to be perfect at it or worrying about your supply all the time doesn’t help. Sydney was an instant nurser right after birth. I was shocked at how she latched on the first try. But as most moms know all you have is colostrum the first few days and now I understand why some moms believe that their babies need a bottle because they are starving. She nursed a LOT while I was in the hospital, but she only lost about 2 oz by the time we were discharged. So, if you just gave birth and are worried your baby is starving, don’t. My advice is simply this…wait for it.

I’m talking about the drop of course. Your milk will come in like a flood between the third and fifth postpartum day and then you’ll be wishing for those first few days back. Though I knew it was coming, I still wasn’t prepared for the pain I was in when my breasts became, well Dolly Parton size, hard as rocks and so hot I could fry an egg on them. Ice packs and Ibuprofen helped, but it was hard dealing with engorgement for 3 days. These are always the postpartum days where I feel the most emotional, coincidence? I think not. Thankfully your supply regulates after a few days and it gets easier.

Discharge Day from the hospital
The day I was discharged from the hospital

“No Pain, No Gain” or Weight Loss In My Case

Also if you’re a new mom you might not be prepared for the cramping that takes place in the days after birth. Though it stinks having period like cramps every time you nurse your baby, the good news is that it helps shrink your uterus back to its normal size and burns calories. I can’t say for certain, but I credit nursing for helping my body return to normal so quickly. One week out, I’ve lost about 21 pounds of my nearly 30 pound pregnancy weight gain and I only look about three months pregnant instead of the five months I looked when I left the hospital.

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One week after giving birth, I’ve lost 21 pounds and
I’m sporting a flatter though still squishy belly.

Ready When You Are

Though I still feel a little zing when she first latches on, it’s a lot less painful now and I really love that nursing comes pretty easily for us. I know that I’m lucky and that it’s not the case for everyone. What I love about nursing is that I’m ready to feed her whenever she’s ready to eat. No bottles, no mixing, no fussing while she waits and no half comatose trips down two flights of stairs in the middle of the night to mix and heat formula. My husband gave her a bottle of Similac (from a sample bottle the hospital gave us) when I went to the store earlier this week and he happily reported, “oh, she loved it!” Can’t say I didn’t feel a little jealous. How weird is that to be jealous of formula? But I was like, “do you know how much that bottle of formula would have cost if we had bought it at the store?”

Why Pay If I Can Make It Myself?

If you’ve ever purchased baby formula, you can understand why me, being the Discount Diva would be so grateful to be able to nurse. You save a ton of money on formula and bottles. After my second child Jayden was born I had to buy a few bottles so my mom and husband could feed him right after my gallbladder surgery and was shocked that two bottles cost me $21.

The Sleeper Hold

No I’m not talking wrestling moves, this is what I call the side by side nursing hold because if you’re co-sleeping this hold is the best for getting back to sleep both for you and the baby. Because you stay lying down it makes it easier to transition back to sleep. I wish I had figured this out when I had my first child. Silly me, I would take her out of her bassinet into the other room, change her and then feed her, which by this time she was pissed and crying her head off for making her wait. The co-sleeper really saved my sanity the second time around so of course I purchased another one (second-hand of course) for Sydney.

So this is how I’ve spent most of the week, nursing and then changing Sydney since she poops during almost every feeding. In fact she beckons to be fed right this minute, so have a good week everyone and stay sane new mamas, I’m right there with you.

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