|| I would only put my triple chin on the internet for a photo this epic — FYI ||
Since August is National Breastfeeding Awareness month, and since Ashley is newly pregnant – we thought it would be fun to bring you a little breastfeeding Q&A with both of us. We have so many pregnant ladies and moms who follow us on here – and we absolutely adore creating this content for you.
In this post I’m sharing my experiences. Please remember that these were my experiences – and that breastfeeding may not be the same for everyone. I’m sharing all the breastfeeding related things I have learned over my 3 pregnancies – and all my best breastfeeding tips and tricks. I had Ashley ask me her top breastfeeding and baby related questions – and I answered them to the best of my ability! Enjoy
Shop Emily’s Breastfeeding Favorites:
Ashley: Ok – Does it hurt?
Emily: SO – everyone says that breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt…. that it is SO natural… blah blah blah.
Here’s the truth – from someone who has been there 3 times now. It did hurt. At first. It did not feel natural to me. At first. It was hard. At first. But as with all things – practice makes perfect and it got easier and easier. I hired a lactation consultant all three times to help me and I am SO thankful I did. Every baby is different, so each of my babies had different latching/breatfeeding issues that I needed to address. In the end, I am SO happy I breastfed, but it definitely wasn’t without difficulty.
My nipples were very chapped and sore for about 2 weeks with each of my kids. For some women that is normal. I used this kit here and these nipple pads to help heal them. I would slather on the salve and then put the nipple pad inside my bra. This made A WORLD of difference.
Ashley: What pump did you use?
Emily: I used this pump here and I absolutely loved it. I had an oversupply and it never let me down.
Ashley: What else do I need?
Emily: You will need extra pump parts (here, here and here), this breastfeeding pillow, and this kit was a lifesaver. I also think that having a manual pump on hand is amazing for travel so you don’t have to worry about carrying on your pump with you or losing your pump. I have heard that this has happened before and it scares the living daylights out of me. I also think that having a hands free pumping bra – this one is just $10 – is invaluable.
Ashley: How do you store the milk?
Emily: I stored milk that I was going to use over the next couple of days in these little bottles, and then any additional milk I had went into these bags and then into the garage freezer. ***Pro Tip: you want to keep your milk in a fridge or freezer that will be opened as little as possible to keep the temperature consistent and avoid any thawing or bacteria growth.
Ashley: How long did you wait to give your kids a bottle?
Emily: Since we knew all of our kids would be starting daycare eventually, we started the bottle very early with all of them. I know that SO many people caution against this, but I did it, and it didn’t change anything with my nursing. All my kids nursed just fine, and they never had issues taking a bottle. I think we started William on a bottle as early as 5 days old. These are the bottles we used.
Ashley: Which carseat is your favorite?
Emily: We have used the Chicco Keyfit for all of our kids and I absolutely love it!
Ashley: What if breastfeeding doesn’t work? How long did you go with each kid?
Emily: Here’s the deal. Breastfeeding is a beautiful thing, but it doesn’t work for everyone — and that is OK. As a new mom and as a mom in general, there is SO much pressure put on us by society – and by ourselves. In my opinion, that is all negative noise and we need to block it out. Here’s the real truth – we’re all doing the best we can. We’re all trying our hardest. We all love our kids more than life itself. If breastfeeding isn’t for you… I get it. It isn’t for everyone. If it is… that is amazing also.
Personaly — I had an oversupply. William had a bad latch at first. Caroline had reflux. There are a million different things that can happen when you are breastfeeding, and bottom line – you have to do what is best for you… and best for your baby. There are so many incredible – proven medical benefits – to breastfeeding. However, what is most important… is that FED is best. However it happens.
As one of the wise teachers in my kids’ school told me when I was having trouble pumping and producing after going back to work…. “When you look into these classrooms… can you tell me which kids were breastfed and which ones were formula fed? Oh that’s right… you can’t. Be easy on yourself.”
Let that soak in for a second.
Obviously I am a proponent of breastfeeding, if you can. But if you can’t, or if it becomes mentally difficult, or if your baby just isn’t latching… I am here to tell you that all of my babies were formula fed at one point in their lives, and they are ALL thriving. So take all the stress and pressure off your plate. None of us need to take that on.
I have loved shopping at Walmart for all of our baby supplies and breastfeeding products. We have one right down the street from my house, and it makes it so easy to pop in to purchase whatever I need. Also – I love that Walmart has free two day shipping on most everything I could ever need when it comes to baby and breastfeeding. Their selection of baby products and breastfeeding items is just SO massive and we love that their returns are SO easy as well!
Thank you to Walmart for sponsoring this post.