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I breastfed with Lily and absolutely loved it. It was the right decision for our family, but no judgement on you mommas feeding your babies formula, because fed is best and every family and every baby is different. I can only speak to our situation and why it was perfect for us; be open to what your baby needs.
I knew it was a really healthy option for her and that she would get a lot of vitamins and antibodies through my milk. It was worth all the pain of the first few days (more on that later).
If you’re interested in learning more about the health benefits to both you and your baby, I suggest taking this great course on breastfeeding at Milkology by Stacey Stewart. I personally took this course and enjoyed it. It is a little boring to watch, but easy to follow and very informational. It is also broken up into 5-11 minute videos so it is not as intimidating and you can do it in your own time. It’s about 90 minutes long total, and only $19. Read my review of it here.
Because I had enough supply to feed her, it was a lot more convenient to just breastfeed her instead of packing and prepping bottles, formula, warm water, etc. There is also a lot less to wash! I know I’m blessed to have enough milk for her, and to be home so we don’t have to do bottles (which would have been so hard because she refused bottles whenever we tried). Out and about, I could see it being more convenient to give her a bottle instead of covering us and trying to keep her under the cover (she’s so nosy) while feeding. It also would have been nice if hubby could have fed her, but it worked for us.
Formula is expensive! Even with coupons, formula costs a lot and feeding myself was much cheaper. I ate more than I ate when pregnant, but it was still cheaper to just breastfeed, and then we never had to worry about running out and running to the store either (sometimes we had to wait for my milk to replenish and that was difficult but at that point there wasn’t much to do).
However, there are some not-so-nice things about Breastfeeding:
Pain first few days:
Lily had a shallow latch so she did damage to my nipple, which was corrected at our 2-day appointment by a lactation consultant. The advice she gave us was to really mash her face into my breast to make sure the nipple was far back in her mouth, and it worked. If you are experiencing pain breastfeeding, really try to see a lactation consultant. kellymom.org and lalecheleague.org are great resources. La Leche League also has free local groups that meet and can help troubleshoot lactation issues with you, which has been so helpful for us. I also highly suggest taking a course before birth so you know what to expect, such as this course by Stacey Stewart at Milkology. (Read my review here.)
Gassiness from my diet:
She was really gassy as a newborn, and eliminating dairy from my diet helped her be less gassy. I could have cut out other foods in an effort to help her still but I didn’t want to cut out vegetables (things that cause gas for newborns are dairy and then things like broccoli). She was able to pass gas much easier after cutting out dairy so that was enough for us.
Once she started teething, she started biting me. I tried to smother her into my breast but that didn’t work. I said “OW!” A few times out of shock and pain, but she found that funny. What worked for us was sticking my finger in her mouth to make her open her jaw and then stop nursing for a little. Because of all the trial and error, she was biting me off and on for about a month. Something that helped me through it was noticing that she would do it when she was teething a lot so giving her a toy to bite or some camellia drops would help soothe her so she could eat without biting. A proud moment for me is that we kept breastfeeding through that (it helped that she refuses bottles so I also wasn’t tempted to just give her a bottle). She will still occasionally bite me but she knows we stop nursing when she does it and doesn’t bite when she’s hungry.
If you want to learn more about the logistics and what to expect from breastfeeding, I highly suggest the Ultimate Breastfeeding course on Milkology by Stacey Stewart. It is highly informative and easy to follow, and only $19. She also has courses on pumping at work, pumping exclusively, and pumping in addition to nursing on breast. Read my review here.