BFing love and hate
Posting a recent thread dealing with teaching my toddler some nursing manners made me think about all the things I love and hate about BFing. It's been a long journey for us, lots of issues at first, which some of you probably have seen from the months past when I was desperately looking for support/advice. Thanks so much, I found lots of helpful info here and lots of !
How about you?
Things I love about BFing:
- closeness with the baby, cuddles and physical contact has been amazing experience.
- easy when you don't need to be away from baby to have to pump
- easier than bottle feeding for night wakings and especially if co-sleeping. No dealing with bottles/warmers in the middle of the night like I used to when we FFed in the beginning.
- easy to travel with the EBFed baby - as long as you don't need to be away from him.
- Best pacifier for a grumpy toddler and best way to stop him crying or stop his discomfort. it really has been my solution to everything from teething pain to high fever to gas problems to bumps from falls. I think I would be lost in some situations without the power of mommy's milk.
- weight loss. I could not lose a pound in the beginning 6 months, but then in the last 7 months all the weight just fell off, back to my original size without setting a foot in the gym. I did watch what I eat - low carb and I do walk a lot, but I am sure nursing had some to do with that too
Things I gripe about (excluding all the troubles with latch, supply etc):
- having to pump when you WOH and when you need to be away from baby - so much more difficult than if you FF. Dealing with lipase issues has added extra work.
- hormone side effects - BFing for me is similar to taking the pill - cluster migranes, mood swings, irregular AF and lack of libido.
- restricting what you eat and drink. Caffeine has been hardest when not sleeping well and having to work. I started drinking a cup of coffee a day right away pretty much to survive, sometimes I add a second cup in the afternoon : Alcohol restriction has been easier, but sometimes I just wish I could go to a happy hour and have a cocktail once in a while, but having to rush home to BF my baby has made me avoid such gatherings altogether.
- restricting beauty related products/services - chemicals in beauty products, nail polish, hair dyes, botox, peels etc.
- restrictions/warnings on medication you may need - some cold remedies, eczema creams, some migrane meds.
- restrictions on lifestyle aspects - cannot easily arrange to be away from the baby, have to worry about maintaining supply if need to travel for work, cannot easily get a babysitter to put baby to sleep - never leaving home after 7pm, hard to go to some public places where it's not easy to BF with the baby that demands nursing. I've never left DS overnight with family and dread it.
- need for nursing friendly clothing even when you want to wear your regular clothes after losing weight.
- physical discomfort and leaking (still happens to me!) from being full and worries about plugged ducts when being late to feed your baby on schedule and not pumping.
DS 04/2010 and another on the way
Congrats on making it so far, mama! DD is 25 months and we're down to nursing 2 times a day (3 on weekends). I totally get what you're saying.
- The closeness/the cuddling
- The fact that I can use 'em to get her to calm down and go to sleep
- The nutrition
- When she's sick and doesn't want to eat/drink anything I can be confident that she's getting enough liquids/nutrients
Dislike (I'm not sure I'd say hate)
- The toothy shallow toddler latch
- The busy hands! She rubs my belly, pats me, pinches my arms, grabs whatever she can reach, etc.
- The hormonal effects
I haven't really restricted anything. I don't usually have more than one or two drinks, I never even thought about beauty products being harmful, so I never restricted those. I've been lucky enough to only get sick a few times so I didn't really worry about not being able to use meds.
I WOH and stopped pumping at 16 months, so I no longer have to deal with lugging a pump around, though that sure was a pain!
Unfortunately, I'm having a really hard time with all my "dislikes" listed above, so I'm pretty sure our nursing relationship is coming to an end. I was really hoping DD would self-wean, but I think I'm going to have to nudge her a little bit.
WOHM to DD, born 5/4/09
Congrats on making it so far! I quit pretty early (6.5 months) because work was doing such a number on my supply, despite all the supplements, and because I kept getting plugged ducts when I couldn't pump at work. It's definitely been bittersweet giving it up.
- cuddling/closeness (which really only applied either during the first morning feeding or the bedtime feeding; DD was too squirmy/distracted for the rest of the feedings)
- the nutrition
- the immunologic reassurance
- going out without needing bottles/formula
- not needing to buy formula (the cost, the hassle is annoying)
- the weight loss! And I was still able to eat/snack a lot and remained at or just below my pre-pregnancy weight
Didn't love/don't miss:
- the stress of not knowing how much she was eating. Now I realize that DD sometimes just likes to "graze" and not eat a "full" bottle, but I when I was nursing and working, it drove me crazy if she would only nurse for 5 minutes or less. I was wracked with guilt that she wasn't getting enough and I was doing something wrong
- plugged ducts. All. The. Time. Once I returned to work that is.
- dietary restrictions. Less of an issue once she started with solids, but I still tried to avoid some spicy or gassy foods in case they irritated her
- cleaning pump parts/prepping BM bottles
- spending all my free time at work pumping
- not wearing all of my old clothes (chest was too big for some of my old tops), or my old bras.
That being said, I really miss the cuddling...
This is a good thread, esp for those who are pregnant and want to learn more about what it's like to BF.
-Health benefits to mom and baby, that I won't get into.
-Knowing they can nurse when sick.
-Convenience (I'm a sahm, so rarely pump, but love that I don't have to worry about preparing a bottle)
-Bonding & snuggles
-Nursing sounds that babies make, I think that they are very cute.
-Baby milk coma
-Easiest way to soothe your child
-Seeing them grow on YOUR milk, it's amazing!
-Forces me to sit and rest to nurse, which I sometimes forget to do, when we seem to be constantly on the run.
-EBF diapers, lol.
-Nighttime parenting was basically ALL on me, since I have the boobs. I get through it, but it is tough the first 6 mo with the frequent nursing sessions at night and I go through periods resenting DH, b/c he gets a full night of sleep.
-Unable to go anywhere w/o baby (travel, wknd away with friends or DH), I have only have spent ONE night away from my kids so far.
-Nursing bras, I'm sooo ready to be done with them. I know that there are better ones out now, mine are ratty from 7+ yrs of use, but DS3 will most likely wean within the next yr, so it's not worth it for me to get new nursing bras.
-Toddler nursing can be very trying, like everyone has pointed out, the squirming, kicking, pinching, hitting, biting, and trying to teach nursing manners.
-Weight gain, yup. I hold onto weight while BFing, I don't gain much from pregnancy, so maybe that is why I don't see a lot of wt loss, but I am so HUNGRY when I am nursing, I tend to eat a lot and ALWAYS gain weight after that initial loss of pregnancy wt. However, this is different for all women, I know some that have dropped several dress sizes, from Bfing alone and no exercise and end up weighing less than before they even had kids, so it can do wonders for some.
Mom to a LEGO master, LEGO apprentice,
DUPLO kid & LEGO eating goat dog
Member of the BBB I Love Brussels Sprouts Society, since 11/11
What I loved:
Both of my girls were pretty easy nursers. DD1 was content with 20 to 30 minute feedings from the time she was born. From very early on she let me know when she was done. DD2 was also pretty content, but in some cases would fall asleep in the middle of the feedings which would mean I would fall asleep too. She fed a little bit longer than 20 minutes, sometimes 40 minutes.
I didn't NIP with DD1 on a regular basis, it wasn't something I was comfortable with because DD1 wouldn't eat with a cover on (didn't start early enough I guess), but with DD2 I did it way more often with a great Babe Au Lait cover I got from a BBB mom and she had no problems with it. I NIP'd her at 8 days old and it was second nature to her from that moment on.
With DD2 before going back to work I had a weeks worth of milk frozen. We ended up using it for emergencies. I could get about 4 oz. of milk per side while pumping, usually first thing in the morning. I would also wake up at 2 am for a while and pump once I was engorged when DD2 was sleeping through the night. I didn't leak nearly as much as I did with DD1.
With DD2 when I weaned her at 3 months old (I had to go back to work at 3.5 months) I was completely at peace with the fact that I had weaned her when I did. I had no regrets at all.
What I didn't like:
With DD1 I did everything possible except take drugs or supplements to get more milk. I drank beer, I ate oatmeal daily, and I drank probably close to a 1/2 gallon of water a day. I got lots of sleep too. I couldn't pump more than 2 oz. per side per nursing session. I did have a little bit better luck with DD2 (I think because she was born sucking), but still never got a great supply compared to others here.
I didn't like the idea of pumping outside of the home at all. I had to be in the right mood to pump, and I wanted to be in the confines of my own bathroom to do it.
With both girls I never had to change bottles in the middle of a pumping session.
With DD1 I was bummed I stopped breast feeding and pumping at 4 months old as my original goal was 6 months old, but in the end it was better for me and less stressful not to pump at work.
With DD2 that Target was out of Johnson & Johnson nursing pads for a 1/3rd of the time I was breast feeding, Amazon didn't keep them in stock, and Diapers.com wouldn't ship them to my area. Those were seriously the best nursing pads.
I can't really complain about the weight loss thing because with DD1 by the time she was 6 mos. old I was down to within 5lbs of what I weighed when I got pregnant, and with DD2 I was down to what I weight when I got pregnant with her, but I didn't lose a pound more and didn't fit into all of my pre pregnancies clothes like a lot of bfing moms (here) claim to do.
WOHM to two wonderful little girls born in April
(Frontier 80 booster, Graco Turbo high back, & a Harmony Cruz)
(BLVD70, RA55, & a Safegaurd Go)
baby 2, 4-2009 (our Tri-18 baby)
(yes, that is my weight, not proud of it, but I am going to lose it!)
Last edited by AnnieW625; 06-26-2011 at 11:50 PM.
for me, i love though how easy it is to BF, at least in the long run.it's just easier and i don't have to think about how much i should feed her or preparing bottles..i just let her nurse when she's hungry. for the first month or so i had to pump like crazy and use bottles and it was so annoying..so much easier to just whip it out and kick back. plus, we cloth diaper so BF poo is just easy to deal with.
oh and with my first i was shy about NIP and would pump and bring a bottle and heat it up whenever we went out to eat or to go shopping. sometimes if i had to nurse in public i'd use a cover or go to the car. That was such a PITA and i want to kick myself for going thru all that trouble bc really it was so unnecessary. with my 2nd i didn't have a spare second to pump (i had a toddler to chase after as well) plus i stopped caring what other people thought, so now i just BF DD wherever (in a restaurant, in a store, wherever), without a cover (discreetly of course). makes BFing even more easier.
Last edited by ♥ms.pacman♥; 06-27-2011 at 12:14 AM.
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