How I survived 16 months breastfeeding our fourth {and last} baby

How I survived 16 months breastfeeding our fourth {and last} baby

I am not ashamed of saying I am PRO breastfeeding. Growing up I never saw anyone breastfeed. Honestly didn’t pay enough attention as a kid to ever notice any women ever doing it in public. My mom didn’t breastfeed, my grandma didn’t breastfeed her, and I never saw a family member do it either because it wasn’t done in our family, not publicly anyway. Yet, I always knew I would breastfeed my own children.

I didn’t have the best experience with breastfeeding our first two daughters. My only regret is not being informed with them. If I would have known what I knew with our youngest or had the resources I am certain we would have successfully nursed just as long.

I was able to breast feed our youngest two daughters for far longer than past the few weeks mark. They were healthy and I was so thankful I didn’t have to rely on any formula for them. Our third for 10 months and our fourth for 16 months…woohoo! So PROUD of those numbers!

Here are my tips for a long and successful breastfeeding journey.

-GOOD BREAST PUMP. It wasn’t till our 4th and last daughter that our insurance paid for this. A good pump has a pretty price tag on it and we couldn’t afford one with our older three so I just didn’t have one with them. If I did I probably could have exclusively breast fed them without the use of formula. However, I am SO thankful that we had formula as an option to keep our girls fed and healthy.

-BREASTFEEDING SUPPORT GROUPS I’m going to be honest when the lactation lady stopped by my room to talk to me after having our first daughter I was like “who is this weird hippie lady???” I’m just going to say it…I was a total idiot for having such a closed mind. Although I always knew I would breastfeed I had never heard of people that wanted to help other women breastfeed. I didn’t know that was a thing, like a real life thing. Fast forward to our third daughter, I was DESPERATE for help. I had thrush {which I’ll talk more on next} and I was willing to do anything to make it better. I was determined to make nursing work with our third, after failed attempts with our first and second. I called that “weird hippie lady” and she was an angel sent straight from heaven! After we had our fourth I went to every breast feeding support meet up I could. The ladies are wonderful, there is no judgement. You weigh your baby, eat tasty snacks and ask any questions that you might have. Our local meetings are ran by the LLL, La Leche League . They are THE BEST!

-THRUSH I mentioned this above and it is such a PAINFUL thing to have. I got thrush with both our third and fourth daughters. If you’ve never had thrush it feels like razor blades are coming out of your nipples. It hurts. And your poor baby’s mouth starts to turn white on the inside and I imagine it’s itchy for them too. The first time it happened I had no idea what was going on. I was scared and didn’t know what to do except call the doctor. Of course it was the weekend so I called the doctor on call at my OBGYN and he literally told me women can not get thrush through their nipples, it was made up. Yeah….so glad he was not my regular doctor. I called my regular doctor the next day and he wrote me prescription to take care of it. Unfortunately, it didn’t work. I was about to give up on the whole successful breastfeeding journey. As a last effort I called the “weird hippie lady” and thank goodness I did. She was so kind, so helpful, and KNEW exactly what I needed to do to make the thrush go away. She recommended I get Gentian Violet* to get rid of it. And holy crap it worked!! I told my grandma what she recommended and she knew what it was. She said they used that stuff often when she was growing up. I will warn you it is PURPLE. It will stain anything and everything it touches but that’s a small price to pay for it’s magical powers…it doesn’t really have magical powers but it’s pretty amazing stuff!

*this is not medical advice, please consult your medical professional before using any new product formedical purposes

TWO SHIRT METHOD this is the way I nursed our 4th daughter in public most of the time. For the few short weeks I nursed our oldest two I ALWAYS used a thin blanket to cover. Let me tell ya, this was such a pain in the butt! The blanket would fall down then I would get all nervous, baby would unlatch and milk would drip everywhere…talk about a new mom’s worst nightmare! With our 3rd daughter I started to implement the two shirt method but still occasionally did the blanket thing. By the time our 4th daughter came along I said “screw it! If you don’t like it look away!” and I just did my thing. Honestly, in my opinion, you can’t see anything nursing this way. And if you do, you’ve probably seen more skin exposure on tv so what’s the big deal?

NOT CARING this one is HUGE. When you push past the fears of “what if I offend someone”, “what if I make someone uncomfortable”, “what if…” and you just let it all go. Trust me you will have a much more pleasant breastfeeding experience if you just stop caring what others think.

-FAMILY SUPPORT I have been blessed to have a pretty amazing husband that FULLY supported my breastfeeding journey. His advice was always “if they don’t like it **** em” he has some pretty colorful language most of the time. But without his support there’s no way I would have been successful at breastfeeding our youngest two for as long as I did.

PILLOWS you don’t need anything fancy but I do recommend using pillows for support, especially during the first few months, while you’re at home to nurse your baby. You will feel so much more relaxed and it will in turn give you more confidence as a breastfeeding momma.

NURSING PADS in the beginning I used disposable ones, but those can get pretty pricey when you need to buy them every week. So I eventually made my own. They were thin, but discrete and did a great job. I don’t have a HOW-TO post to make your own but if you can sew it’s super simple. You can always buy some from a handmade seller on Etsy {CUTEANDFUNKY, MAMAMELONCA, PCFAO, I am not affiliated with any of these shops, nor am I getting a commission from them. I simply want to spread the love of handmade}

FINDING YOUR RYTHM This is going to be different for everyone. I think what’s important is to just keep trying till you find your comfort zone. There is no shame in trial and error. If your new mom friend said a certain hold position worked for her and you try it and it sucks for you…that’s ok. That just means it didn’t work for you and you try something different.

I hope these non traditional breastfeeding tips help you on your breastfeeding journey. If you have questions ask them down below.

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