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Breastfeeding Journey #1

When I was pregnant with Kayleigh, I knew from the start that I wanted to nurse her. My mom nursed all 3 of us and to me, it was always framed as a wonderful bonding experience and something that mamas just did.

Throughout pregnancy, I truly didn't do much preparation for the upcoming breastfeeding journey (outside of taking one 2 hour course) and wow I wish I had done more! Hindsight is always 20/20 but I won't dive into that rabbit hole today.

I had a "goal" of breastfeeding for at least 6 months but let's be honest, I had no idea what that would mean or look like. Ultimately, Kayleigh nursed for about 3-4 months and then I exclusively pumped until she was almost 9 months old.

Let's jump into the full story!

About an hour after she was born in the hospital trying to latch her for the first time. I went for the classic cradle hold thinking she would just magically latch and start nursing. Well, I don't know about any other mamas experiences but tiny, fresh little newborns aren't really made for that hold just yet! At least Kayleigh wasn't. For the next 24-36 hours in the hospital, I was wishing I had packed my Boppy pillow and got a lot of help with from the nursing staff and IBCLC on staff.

The nurses taught me the "C" sandwich (how to squish your nipple so baby can easily latch onto the whole area) and the cross-cradle hold (my favorite). When we left I was still feeling shaky about my newly forming nursing skills but when we got home, it was like a light turned on and suddenly we got the hang of it!

That first nursing session at home was so wonderful and beautiful.

However it didn't always stay that way. Kayleigh was a great nurser for a while but she always took too much/I had an oversupply/overwhelming let down which let to us both being covered in milk quite often.

Around the time she was 2 months, I started pumping in the evenings before I went to bed to get a freezer stash started for when I went back to work and we introduced a bottle.

At 3 months when I returned to work, she took bottles throughout the day and I'd nurse her at night or first thing in the mornings. I made a rookie mistake by changing the flow of her bottle nipple to stage 2 and it all went downhill in a hurry. She refused to nurse and the lactation consultant I talked to told me I was crazy. That a 3 month old baby wouldn't go on a nursing strike.... insert eye roll here. I was devastated at the idea of ending our nursing journey because I really wanted Kayleigh to have breastmilk for her first year of life.

For another month we kept trying but after so many failed attempts that ended with me pumping and one battle with mastitis, I chose to exclusively pump.

Exclusively pumping allowed me to keep a set schedule and still get to enjoy all of Kayleigh's wake windows with her, instead of struggling with her and missing play time because I was tied down with my pump.

For the rest of my first breastfeeding journey, it was smooth sailing. I'm blessed with a strong supply so I was quickly able to fill our freezer and feed her fresh milk. I kept a steady schedule until I was ready to wean.

Maybe I'll do a post soon about the details of my EP journey and how I weaned from the pump!

I share this while long story to hopefully connect with other mamas who are in the same boat. And to lead into future posts about things I would do differently (and have with McKinley) and suggestions for exclusive pumping.

Pump used: Spectra S1



Hi, thanks for stopping by!

My name is Jordan! I am a wife and mama of two. I look forward to having you join me on my motherhood and holistic journey!

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