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Y'all know I'm lazy. Like, LAZY lazy. I was crap at tummy time because it was too hard to get back up again after being on the floor. I don't do Mommy and Me classes because it would involve putting on pants and showering. My baby co-slept because I didn't have to get out of bed at night to nurse her. Yeah, I'm hella lazy.
If you've been following my parenting journey then you know it was a nightmare of a struggle to breastfeed. The process of breastfeeding was VERY overwhelming and exhausting for me. There were so many times when I got completely flustered and felt like it was too much work. I reached out to lactation consultants and asked them for help. Using their tips and advice, I was able to figure out the easiest way to breastfeed without feeling overwhelmed.
Here's the Lazy Bitch's Guide to Breastfeeding:
(*If you cannot or are not breastfeeding – no judgement. As long as you are feeding for your baby – you're doing it right. FED IS BEST.)
In The Beginning, Do What They Tell You
You just had a baby (after carrying it around for 10 months). You're bruised and battered and exhausted – but suddenly, everyone is on you to nurse your baby. It can be super overwhelming so my advice? Just do what they tell you. Nurse every two hours? Yes, ma'am. Change positions often? On it! You need to try everything and often so that your boobies (and you!) know what to do. Plus, babies need to be fed constantly in the beginning. Once you've figured out what works for you then you can tell ignore everyone and do your own thing.
Eat The Right Stuff
There are tons of infographics and posts out there on the “right” foods to eat while nursing. The interesting thing to me is that the foods on these lists are so clean – and that's completely opposite from what my lactation consultants told me! Of course, eating clean is wonderful for you and for your boob juice but, in the words of my LC, “You know what makes breast milk? Protein and fat. So eat lots of eggs and cheeseburgers.”. That is a direct quote, y'all. Your body NEEDS that occasional cheeseburger so don't feel guilty having one… or two… or coughmecough more.
Learn the Latch
One of the hardest parts of breastfeeding for me was learning what the proper latch felt like. Melanie's wasn't right so I was in a lot of pain and bleeding. Once I learned the right way (which involved shoving my finger in her open mouth and pushing it into position), breastfeeding was a breeze. After a while, she learned how to do it herself and we were off and running.
Pick Your Position
There are like, a billion different positions to hold your baby in while you nurse. Try them all (you'll probably try the Fireman's Hold a lot – it seems to be every lactation consultant's favorite) then pick the couple that work best for you. You will need to pick at least two different ones since changing positions can activate more of your milk gland/storage bits. My favorites were the cross carry and laying down.
Lay Down On The Job
Hands down, the easiest way for me to nurse is laying down. This is how I do morning, evening, and nighttime feedings. While Melanie was young, we co-slept for months to make this even EASIER. There's no messing around with baby heads or propping up arms – just lay there and git yer boob out.
Use What You Need
Sure, ideally all you need to breastfeed are the baby and your boobies. However, it's okay if you need a little assistance and here's my suggestions for helpful stuff to have on hand:
Water: This is for you. Breastfeeding is SUPER dehydrating. I kept my Starbucks tumbler filled and near me at all times (though I was also known for making teenage siblings fetch me icy pops, too).
Boppy Pillow: SO GREAT. I know they're not for everyone but Melanie and I LOVED ours (and still do). I did nearly all my nursing in those early weeks sitting up in my bed in my bedroom. The Boppy pillow saved my arms. We still use this every day. P.S. Buy extra covers so you can change them out when you spill soda on them coughcoughmecoughcough.
Lansinoh Hpa Lanolin For Breastfeeding Mothers: In the begininng, Melly's improper latch created open sores on my nipples AND THEY HURT. One of the lactation consultants gave me a sample of this nipple cream and it was amazing! It not only healed my sores but soothed them, too. I now have a tube next to my bed and apply it regularly.
Nipple Guards: This is tag-teamed with the nipple cream above. The lactation consultants gave me a pair of these to use while nursing. It made everything a lot more bearable and I ended up using them almost exclusively for weeks.
Here's the thing. Breastfeeding is BORING. Like, SUPER BORING. At first, you'll be all consumed with the figuring out how to breastfeed process and then you'll be excited to be doing it and cuddling your baby. But after that? Not so much. So check out my ideas for passing the time while your baby enjoys a little nipple tipple.
Any of you breastfeed? Any tips?