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More breastfeeding questions

  • I have a Bebe au lait that I like better then the bobby, but they both feel a little ackward. Is there something better? Does everyone use some kind of pillow at first?
  • I tried sitting in bed last night, but that felt impossible for whatever reason… How do I get comfortable while she’s eating, or don’t I? 
  • Do they ever just latch without your help? I feel like I’m shoving my boob in her mouth whenever I see an opportunity…
  • Will I always have to sandwich my boob?
  • How do you keep track of side and time, or don’t you? Is there a favorite app for my phone? 
  • How long do you feed on each side?
  • How do I know when she’s finished when she pulls away so often? I feel like I’m constantly putting my boob away and then she starts crying again for more…

25 thoughts on “More breastfeeding questions

  1. I never got good at this. We did combo formula and breastfeeding from the get go because I always worried he wasn’t getting enough. I did swap an elastic from one wrist to the other to keep track of which side. By 3 months we were all formula.

    1. I guess I’m not against pumping and bottle feeding, but oh the time involved, and so maybe things to wash every night. Ugh.

  2. The Sprout App is brilliant! It tracks everything from colour of poop to which side teeny nursed from. Good luck!

    1. Downloading it now, thanks!!

  3. I liked the Brest Friend better than the Boppy, it’s a little more sturdy and you can clip it around your waist.

  4. So I used a free pillow… You know the one that came from a coupon you get from a pregnancy book. I’ll look it up for you, but it’s smaller and easier to maneuver.

    As for sandwiching, you won’t always have to but honestly I did a lot of research on Pinterest about latching. I looked up the physics of it,like a crazy. I swear this helped so much though. It helped in terms of getting her head at the right angle and helped with understanding what position is best.

    1. Also try different positions! She might like a laying down better or reverse football or whatever. This will also change as she gets better at it.
      I also looked up how big a newborns stomach is so I had a better understanding that they won’t eat a lot but have to eat frequently subsequently. And so the nipple shield if you need! You can wean her off of it but it can help so much initially.
      Oh and don’t get too hung up on the amount of time she’s on each side. Get a general idea of how long total she’s on but don’t overwhelm yourself with the details!
      And last thing, she will get better. But you have to remember she’s learning too and she has To go from the lazy bottle feeding to working harder at the breast. Give her time. Be patient and easy on yourself. It’ll work out and she will figure it out. I promise it will be worth it!

      1. Doesn’t feel worth it yet, but I’m not giving up. We just hit her due date so maybe things will start improving now.

    2. I’ll have to look up that pillow… and thankfully Nadia is getting a bit better at latching without my help.

  5. Hated pillows. Could never get C to latch well with them. Finally figured out laid back positioning. Also bought a wedge pillow to use behind me in bed, works well with laid back. Really the best chair to nurse in is a recliner!

    1. I tried laid back, if I’m thinking of the same position you are. Nadia’s face just kind of gets smashed into my boob. I must be doing it wrong!

      1. It should be smashed in to get a good latch. Just the nostrils need to be a bit exposed to let her breathe.

        1. Hum… interesting. Sometimes Nadia pulls away and keeps my breast in her mouth, like she stretches it. Is that normal?

          1. Can be. Is the nipple lipstick shaped after she nurses? That can indicate too shallow of a latch.

            1. It’s just really flat. Her mouth is still so tiny though…

  6. And don’t try and set time limits, goal is for her to empty. Would say just limit to no more than 30 minutes a side of good nursing to avoid tiring out. Found it also helped to give a bit by bottle first before putting on breast. Then I didn’t have screaming hungry baby trying to eat.

  7. – I used the My Brest Friend. For the first month or so I’d actually put a pillow on top of that to get them higher up to my boob.
    – I fed in bed at first, and again, if you are gonna do so I’d recommend sitting straight against the headboard and then use the boppy/my brest friend plus a pillow on top until she is bigger
    – Yes, but not at first. Give it a few weeks and she’ll get better as she has more practice and more importantly, her mouth grows!
    – Nope! Maybe for a month or two. Like above, as her mouth grows, it’ll get way way easier!
    – I used an app called Total Baby but there are plenty of apps. I want to say I used it for the first 3 months or so.
    – Yeah this part is just hard at this age. Mine would have a lot of instances where they’d only nurse for 10 minutes at a time. I tried my best to space out their feedings but when they are this tiny it really just is on demand.

    Since you produce so much milk, I think once you and Nadia get the hang of it you’ll find breastfeeding is a whole lot easier than pumping. With my oldest, I had some major road blocks the first month while we figured out what we were doing but in the end I was so glad we stuck with it because it is so easy once you get the hang of it! In the middle of the night I would barely even be awake to feed them which made it really easy to fall right back asleep.

    1. I can’t imagine feeding and barely being awake. I’ll look forward to this!!

  8. I guess there are probably women and babies who have an easy time with breastfeeding at first, but that was not the case for me. I can very clearly remember the early days and what you are experiencing. To answer your questions:

    I found that for the first week or so it was really helpful to have someone help me get pillows and baby positioned. I did not find sitting in bed to be particularly comfortable. I tried it thinking I would be most comfortable there but it wasn’t the case. I needed good back support and would mostly sit on the couch or in a chair with a firm back.

    Yes, Nadia will eventually be able to latch on her own, but it will take some time. I can’t remember how long it took for June but it was probably a good month, maybe longer. I had to wait for her to open her mouth and then pull her head to my breast each time.

    Babies do great with bottles because the milk flows without much work on their part. They get lazy and fall asleep at the breast because it’s very comforting, and if the milk isn’t flowing quickly. Once she’s suckling if she slows down you can actually compress your breast tissue and milk will flow into her mouth, encouraging her to suck.

    Not sure about others, but I did the sandwich hold for a long time.

    In all honestly, breastfeeding was an extraordinary amount of work and required a lot of commitment. I don’t say that to discourage you, I think you’re already finding it out. It was not easier than bottles at first. But once we both got the hang of it it was an incredibly rewarding relationship. No matter what, Nadia is going to get your milk. You have already shown amazing dedication by pumping, scalding and freezing your milk for her. You will figure out what’s best for your situation. You know where to find me if you ever need to vent or have questions <3

    1. Thank you, this is all great advice, and I’m sure I’ll need more in the months to come 🙂

  9. Breastfeeding is realllly hard and time consuming at first. But if you push through, it becomes so much easier than bottle feeding. If it doesn’t work, you are absolutely not a failure. But it will take awhile for you both to get the hang of this, so don’t think you are doing anything wrong now. Definitely enlist LC’s for help!

  10. This is what I learned through my own breastfeeding journey – for all the talk about breastfeeding being natural, it takes time for mom and a kid to get a hang of it. Like with kids learning how to walk. The instinct is there but it doesn’t happen overnight.

    Don’t compare yourself with other moms because everyone is different, and seemingly easy breastfeeding journey might have hiccups. I started off strong with my kid, but around 3 months when you don’t have as much of powerful letdowns we ran into problems because the baby wasn’t used to “working’ hard at the tit to get the milk going. It took us 5 weeks to get over it.

    Offer breast (both) as often as possible in quite and shaded room. For the first 3 months I pretty much kept my kid on my boobs for hours on end. Don’t stress out about counting how often she ate, how long and so on. And please don’t drive yourself crazy with keeping track of which breasts you use last time, and etc. Look for the clues if the baby is full in her body language, when she is full she’ll be relaxed, feels heavy and drowsy.

    I highly recommend visiting Dr. Jack Newman’s website for some reading. His site has tons of information, and it can be easy to drawn in it, but maybe just glance over some of the articles.

    Lastly, I also benefited greatly from having a lactation specialist come to our house. I had a wonderful nurse specialist come to our place, who gave me plethora of useful information, and showed me great exercises to help my kid to have stronger latch. She went above and beyond. We were in a middle of moving to East Coast, she even volunteered to look for good resources for me in the area to make sure I had support if needed. She is based in Seattle. Her site also has great deal of tips and suggestions.

    Tons of luck!

    1. I think I have been too concerned about having Nadia feed evenly on both sides. Keeping track is hard and seems to take my focus off her. As for the full baby, we never really get to see those cues, as she screams and cries during and after most feedings… hopefully this all improves soon!

  11. It gets easier and if you decide to pump, that still takes a lot of work so be proud of yourself. Even my third time nursing I forgot what it was like with a newborn. So you aren’t ever alone in wondering about it all and asking those questions. I also think pacifiers are great because I don’t want to be her human pacifier…I waited a bit before pushing one…till she was good and decent at nursing, maybe a month in.

    It’s overwhelming in the beginning but as long as you are getting some amount of sleep, it will get easier. If she is eating every 2 hours for 24 hours and you are going days, then give yourself a break and pump and bottle feed. Sleep is key to making it through the beginning…just my opinion:)


    1. Yes. Sleep! For some reason I feel bad when I pump and give her a bottle. It’s the same feeling I get when I cheat on a diet. Weird, I know…

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