Nursing is something so magical. How incredible is it that our bodies can produce food and nutrients for our babies? It creates the most amazing bond for baby and mama. Breast milk is literally liquid gold. The only spilled milk we’ve all cried over! It’s not only an elixir to feed baby but it can be used to help heal as well. Put a little on dry skin, small cuts, and you can even drop some in their ears and nose to help defend against air borne pathogens and keep baby healthy from common viruses. Breast milk has so many incredible qualities, but nursing a baby isn’t as simple as it sounds. Many moms don’t produce milk for a caveat of reasons. Working moms aren’t always able to pump or don’t want to. I completely understand too – I went back to work for a week and it was so difficult to find the time, and my production was always so inconsistent pumping. I ended up pumping for 4 months to bottle feed my oldest and I hated being connected to that pump every spare second I had! When Bexely arrived I had a completely different breast feeding experience. I learned a lot with Cora I was able to apply to my nursing routine with Bexely.
DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU
I suffer from Raynaud’s Phenomenon. It’s a condition that causes blood vessels to spasm in my nipples when the baby latches. Many describe the feeling as razor blade pain, and I agree, it’s excruciating. When my babies latch I am in so much pain I can’t tell if they latch right. With my oldest, this went undiagnosed and caused the worst bloody, raw nipples. I can’t even tell you how awful it was. The nurses were adamant against the idea of using a nipple shield in the hospital. My mom could see how much I was struggling and how badly I wanted to nurse, and she pushed me to use them. I know without them I wouldn’t have been able to continue nursing Cora. It takes a little over a week for my body to adjust to the baby feeding. When I was nursing Cora we didn’t actually know I was suffering from the Raynaud’s. I simply thought I couldn’t figure out how to help Cora latch. I was so exhausted and in so much pain. I felt like a failure, I couldn’t do something so simple as feed my baby. When Bexley came along, I didn’t hesitate using the nipple shields. I also started pumping right away and we would bottle feed her once or twice a day so my nipples had more time to heal. It took the lactation consultant only moments to diagnose the Raynaud’s this time around. Unfortunately, none of the remedies worked for me. I had to push through and make it work for the first two weeks.
As a baby passes through the birth canal mom’s gut microbiomes are passed to the baby. This is the only way a newborn can receive these microbiomes. This is believed to be a big contributor to why many babies these days are suffering from more and more allergies. 97% of newborns are born WITHOUT this enzyme due to cesarean birth and formula feeding. After I was able to get passed my Raynaud’s with Bexely we had to deal with some colic. She was spitting up and vomiting and I started eliminating all the allergens from my diet. This helped tremendously, however, it was a huge challenge to keep things like eggs, dairy, butter, and wheat out of my meals. I’d eat vegetable soup thinking it would be gluten free, and it would be thickened with flour. Whenever something would find it’s way into my food Bexely wouldn’t sleep and would be miserable. I wish I’d had more of an understanding of what was happening in her gut when we were trying to diagnose her allergies. Evivo probiotic is now available as a food source to feed baby along with their breast milk. Evivo is the only probiotic that has been proven to restore baby’s gut to its natural state. I wish I had a probiotic like this when nursing Bexley. I’m so happy to know about it now so I can be sure to use it for baby #3.
NURSE ON THE GO
One day I was at the park with my new mommy friends and I noticed one of them was walking their baby around in the carrier. I assumed she was putting him to sleep. When she returned to the blanket I realized she had been nursing him. I felt so silly I’d never thought of that before. By this time Cora had self-weaned and was only taking pumped milk from a bottle during the day. She was and still is, a kid on-the-go. She’d come to get milk for a minute, run off and play, then 5 minutes later come back. It got exhausting for both of us. At the time I thought pumping would be so much easier. She could run around with her bottle. While it was better for her, I ended up regretting it! Every spare second, which there aren’t a lot of, I would end up stuck to my pump. With Bex, I was determined to never use my pump! I started nursing her in her sling within a few weeks. It was such a life-changing experience. I was able to nurse her and still have a spare hand for jealous sissy.
I’m an independent person by nature. I like to learn trial-by-error. It seems that’s not always the best route in motherhood. I knew immediately that I would need to build a village. I just didn’t realize how hard it would still be to ask or receive assistance. I learned to rely on my lactation consultants and doula to assist me throughout the postpartum adjustment. By the time the baby arrived we had already built a bond. I’m fortunate that my mom visits often and she nursed myself and my siblings, so she is familiar with many of the struggles that go along with breastfeeding. Unfortunately, my independence puts a wall up when my mom tries to give me advice. I am very open and honest with my mom though, I so badly want her to be a part of my motherhood journey. I have so much respect for her and all that she knows about motherhood and child care. We talked a lot in the beginning and were able to work out a system of communication that works for both of us. She tries to refrain from giving me advice unless I ask for it, and now I ask for it more often. Mom groups are a great source of support. Many of the moms are going through similar struggles, and most likely they’ll be experiencing them right along with you. I’ve had so much success in my mom’s club I’m currently the President of our chapter for the second year in a row. Try to build your mom tribe while you’re expecting. Having babies of the same age really helps to be supportive of each other. You’ll have more of an opportunity to get to the know the mom personally before the baby comes, and it makes for a smoother transition when babies are distracting you from the conversation. Other moms will help you get through this whole new world of situations and you won’t feel so alone. Motherhood is incredible, and incredibly hard. Surround yourself with people who understand and want to help.