Breastfeeding: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

According to my breastfeeding instructor…breastfeeding is not supposed to hurt. Now this is contrary to everything I’ve read and heard from family and friends. But according to this woman…it’s true! Since I paid money for this class, I chose to believe her and learned a lot of good tips in my 3 hours of instruction.

It was a miracle that I even went to this class in the first place because I truly struggled with the idea of putting my boob in the face of a child. I know it’s my child, but STILL! Does anyone feel slightly weird about putting their boobies in a little kid’s face??!!! I was fully prepared give my little bundle of joy formula until I heard about some of the effects of doing so. Some of the downsides of feeding your kiddie formula include a lack of natural immunity from their mothers leading to more infections and your child may very well be heavier than breastfed babies particularly in their early years of life. Some of the advantages of breastfeeding include the price (it’s free), breastfed babies have higher IQs, protects against childhood Lymphomas, reduces incidences of asthma and obesity, and reduces Mom’s risk of developing breast cancer (WOOOHOO)!

Here are some other things I learned from my breastfeeding class that’s worth sharing:

1. The Latch is EVERYTHING!

Apparently the key to avoiding used and abused nipples is getting the perfect latch every time! It’s all in the positioning. Not to get all technical on you, but the issue most new moms have with breastfeeding is that their nipples land on the hard ridge of their child’s mouth. The idea is to have your nipple land in the soft palate region and avoid a lot of extra hard ache and healing cream. Here’s a pic of what it should look like if you have a good latch…

breastfeeding
Sorry, I couldn’t crop out the man’s head!

2. Free breast pumps, while free (thanks, Obamacare) is not what it seems.

Yes, you do get a free pump and something to collect your milk in, but that’s about it. Depending on the insurance you have (details may vary) there are a lot of things you still need that you will have to pay for. For example, you will need milk storage bags or containers to store your milk. And speaking of storage, you will need a cooler to keep your milk in should you find yourself pumping at work (also not included); you’ll need wipes to clean your breast pump and bags to sterilize your bottles and equipment. Hell…they don’t even give you the bag to carry your pump and accessories in. Expect to spend another $100-150 on supplies for your pump…if you look on the bright side…at least you didn’t have to pay for the pump itself!!!

breastfeeding

3. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

One of the major themes of the class besides the latch being everything was that there’s no shame in asking for help. New mommas are encouraged to seek help after delivery in the hospital or with lactation support groups in your area. The instructor was nice enough to pass out a sheet of phone numbers, email address, and support groups who assist with this sort of thing. When you go to your class, be sure to grab a list of professionals in your area.

4. Most importantly, milk storage guideline.

One of the most comforting things about pumping and bottle feeding (something I’ll have to do when I go back to work), is that I know exactly how much milk my little man will be taking in. When he’s solely on the boobs, I will just be hoping and praying for the best! Nonetheless, this is what I’ve learned about how to store breastmilk:

Guidelines for Breastmilk Storage

Room Temperature

Cooler with 3 ice packs

Refrigerator

Freezer

Thawed Breastmilk

4 to 6 hours at 66-78F

24 hours at 59F

3-8 days at 39F

6-12 months at 0-4F

Use within 24 hours

 

I hope you find this information as helpful as I did and good luck with feeding the kiddies!

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