If you are here because you saw the lovely image of a woman’s breasts then congratulations you are about to read a blog about breastfeeding, gotcha! Don’t go just yet if you are a guy though, I have some really great tips for newbie dads. How to be encouraging of your wife to breastfeed, everyone knows the breast is best!
My experience with breastfeeding has been effortless, seriously, I am one of the very blessed few that never had a problem with it, I continue to this day to breastfeed my 13-month old son. I feel deeply for the mothers who so badly wanted to breastfeed but because of medical reasons, the baby wouldn’t properly latch or whichever the case may be and weren’t able to. There are tons of ideas to help such as lactation cookies, certain foods, and herbs; but, through what I experienced and learned the best way is to feed your baby as often as he/she wants. When there is a need for supply your body will usually provide it. A pump is very helpful to really get your supply going. Not many women know but it is a law now that your health insurance has to provide a breast pump to you, usually you can apply for it within 30 days of your due date. Follow this link here to read more information on this, this site is the exact one that I used to receive my completely free double breast pump made by Medela. I ordered it on a Wednesday and received it the very next day, there was no hassle from my insurance company.
What I would do is after my son was done feeding I would pump the rest out which was still about 3 oz per breast. I was able to pump so much that I donated over 300 oz. to a milk bank for premature babies. The milk bank sent me a check of $300 to reimburse me for the breast pump, but since I didn’t even pay for the pump I profited the money. If you are interested in donating start here, the process is quite lengthy to be milk bank approved, there is a questionnaire, two forms to be filled out by your doctor and the babies’ doctor stating that donating the milk would not interfere with the health of either mom or baby, a DNA swab to prove that it is you only donating the milk, and a blood draw to test for any diseases. It is quite strict to donate but the milk is going to premature babies, they are being as careful as possible with these precious little babes.
I also even tried selling the breast milk on a site called onlythebreast.com, some requests even come from men who know the wonders of breast milk and swear that it improves their athletic ability. Can you blame them? There is a reason why it is called liquid gold. But even my husband who loves the gym wouldn’t try it, that was just too much for him, haha.
I have read that a lot of women are afraid that their babies are not receiving enough milk, and that they are always waking up to feed. The babies’ stomach is about the size of a ping pong ball, with him/her growing so fast and how easily breast milk is absorbed into the body, they are definitely going to be feeding a lot. On average I was feeding my son about 12 times per day for about 15 minutes per feeding. Now it is only about 3 times per day for only 10 minutes or less. As your baby grows the less you will be breastfeeding. It is easier to see how much your baby is in taking with formula and measured bottles, but I believe that if you let your baby feed as long as they want and as often as they want they will most of the time be okay. Your pediatrician will be measuring and weighing your baby often, and they will tell you if there is an issue with their growth.
Get educated! A lot of the stories that I have read and heard of mothers giving up on breastfeeding is because they lacked knowledge in the proper techniques of holding the baby, how often to be breastfeeding, how to get your milk supply up, etc. There are baby classes going on at hospitals, tons of books on this subject or just ask any mom who had a successful experience with breastfeeding. After I had my son I barely needed the nurses’ help with feeding him, I knew how to do it from what I read, I felt like I was well equipped going into this and that only came from spending hours of research.
For the dads:
The mother of your child just gave birth, she is in A LOT of pain. The first two weeks she needs you like she has never needed you before. everything is sore and she has to care for this new little person while being solely the source of food. Establishing this connection between mom and baby is crucial and painful. She needs you to be fully supportive of her. You can do this by:
- Telling her how proud you are of her.
- Help with making her comfortable while she is breastfeeding-some babies take up to an hour per feeding.
- Get her food, water or whatever she needs while breastfeeding.
- Have her get comfortable and then bring the baby to her.
- Help with chores around the house as much as you can so she can focus on breastfeeding.
- Take the breastfeeding class with her so you can learn everything there is to know, you both are a team now to be the best parents to this new little person.
- Help with washing the breast pump parts-this can be quite the hassle.
The benefits of breastfeeding are endless, of course there is all of the awesome health benefits for the baby; but, it is also so convenient. I was able to co-sleep with my son in my arms until he was 5 months old. When he would wake up in the middle of the night I wouldn’t have to get up and warm up a bottle, I was right there! I was able to get so much more sleep this way. He only got sick once in his first year, I believe this is because of how healthy I am and that helped his immune system out incredibly. He eats every solid that I give him. Spit ups were rare and so were gas bubbles which makes for a happier baby. Obviously we saved so much money this way also, with formula costing about $1 per ounce, that adds up quick!
I highly encourage you to seek this path with your baby, it’s a real struggle in the beginning to establish and so many times there is an opportunity to throw in the towel, but I promise that you will be totally satisfied with the experience if you decide to stick it out. I could have thrown in the towel so many times when my son was a baby. Going back to work was tough and bringing my pump with me everyday was annoying, I also had co-workers that would make fun of me calling me the amazon woman for my decision to breastfeed-I think they were jealous though. Then we moved across country, I had my mother take care of my son as we drove across, luckily I had an electrical outlet in my SUV, I had to pump while we were driving, I can only imagine what the truck drivers thought I was doing-but it was a free show for them! Then upon acquiring my new job I had to ask for them to provide a room for privacy for me to pump, this was embarrassing to ask of a new employer-especially with all of the managers being men… but they were so great with providing me a very quiet room with a “Room in Use” sign I had to flip and with a mini fridge! I could have given up at anytime but I was sticking to my decision, I wanted to give the best to my son, don’t we all? My discomfort, embarrassment, and hassle is worth it if it is the best for him.
How was your experience with breastfeeding your baby? Would you do it again?