Tag Archives: breastfeeding

Seven Thoughts I Have When I’m Engorged

 

When people asked me during my pregnancy if I was planning to breastfeed I always responded, “I’ll give it a whirl, and if I can’t, I’ll just give her formula.” Brushing it off like it wasn’t a big deal to me.  I’ve heard that breastfeeding was hard, so I didn’t want to put too much pressure on myself to do it in case I was not able to.

Well, I’m able to. Not only am I able to…I love it! I love the bonding experience, the angle at which I can see her (and no one else can get that angle!), and the fact that my body can produce the nourishment she needs in order to grow and thrive.

As much as I love it, I’ve learned to deal with some downsides of breastfeeding, in particular: Engorgement!  Here are seven things that go through my mind when I’m engorged:

1) Am I…? Yep!

karen mean girls boobs

It starts out innocent enough. I know it has been a few hours since I last nursed or pumped, so I give the girls a feel. Lumpy? Check! Hurts to move? Check! Hard as rocks? Check…Yikes!

2) I can’t believe my boobs right now!

jennifer garner 13 going on 30

This statement is two-fold: A) I can’t believe how good they look! I’m a member of the itty bitty committee, and to look down and see that cleavage is mind blowing! B) I can’t believe I have two massive boulders on my chest right now. How is this physically possible, and why didn’t anyone warn me?

3) Am I leaking?

breastmilk_leaking

Now that I’ve successfully determined that I’m engorged I need to make sure I’m not leaking. I usually am, but I wear nursing pads regularly so I’m not dripping through my shirt.  Given my “mombie” status as of late, I need to triple check they are there. Those things can really only handle so much, sometimes they get soaked!

4) Maybe I should pump?

chelsea teen mom

When engorgement hits, I urgently think of if I can relieve myself. If I wake up in the middle of the night from the pain, I go back-and-forth in my head about either being too exhausted to pump, or if I get up and start pumping will my baby start wailing because of good old Murphy and his law! Typically, I stay in bed, stay awake because I’m in pain, then baby wakes up shortly.

5) Ugh..I’m done breastfeeding!

sammi jersey shore

I set a goal of breastfeeding for a year, and on days where I’m engorged, and can’t get rid of my clogged ducts, I toy with the idea of waving the white flag. I work full time, and am pumping in the Mothers Room three times a day, which is not as efficient as feeding baby, so more times than not, I’m walking around uncomfortable.

6) Eh, the discomfort is nothing in the grand scheme of things.

that 70s show

Mom guilt really sets in when I start to think about giving up. I think to myself that the discomfort is just a minor sacrifice I can make for her to benefit from breastfeeding.

7) She’s ready!

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Is that a cry I hear? Time to go feed my daughter…And get some relief!

 

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Body After Baby: My Journey

I’ve always been one of those people who doesn’t know how to take a compliment. I can’t just say, “thank you!” and walk away. I’ve always known this, but I’m noticing it more now as I get complimented on my body after giving birth. #humblebrag

I’m not gonna lie – I’m thrilled that I was back in my pre-pregnancy clothes eight weeks after giving birth, and I’ll make you hate me even more: I didn’t have to break a sweat to do it.  I know women’s weight in general is a touchy subject, and recently, women’s weight after giving birth has become a hot-button issue, with articles popping up talking about how phrases like “getting your body back” should be banned. I think it’s things like that, that linger in the back of my head that make me uncomfortable when I get complimented on this particular issue. Like I’m supposed to, as a new mom, go through the right of passage of struggling to lose the baby-weight. I of course graciously say thank you, but then offer up the following explanations because although from the outside it may have looked like losing the baby-weight was easy, it still took its toll:

I’m breastfeeding

and

Oh, I also gave up dairy because I’m breastfeeding

and my favorite:

Well, I gave birth at almost 33 weeks, so I didn’t gain as much as most people

Ah, the good old, “I’m breastfeeding” excuse. It is a known fact that you do burn more calories while you’re breastfeeding because you’re body is working to make milk.  You know what isn’t easy? Breastfeeding! Breastfeeding is hard work. It’s exhausting. You are the sole provided for your baby. If you’re not breastfeeding, you’re pumping. So yes, I lost my pregnancy weight and I look great, but I’m exhausted, my boobs hurt and chances are I’m starving because you work up quite the appetite while breastfeeding.

Speaking of breastfeeding…There’s a chance if you’re breastfeeding you may have to cut out certain foods from your diet because it will upset baby, like dairy and soy for example. I’ve cut out both. I’m sure that’s difficult for just about anyone, but for myself in particular it flat out sucks because I’m a vegetarian. The bulk of my protein comes from dairy and soy-based meat-free products.  How do I get my protein now, you ask? My diet basically consists of hemp protein in my oatmeal, Amy’s non-dairy burritos, Morningstar Farms Black Bean Burgers, and walnuts. I found out early on in my mommy journey the things we will do for our kids. Sloane’s health and comfort comes before mine.

Lastly, we have the most uncomfortable excuse, the “I had a preemie,” excuse. Since I didn’t make it to 40 weeks I didn’t gain as much as someone who had a full-term pregnancy, therefore, I did not gain the weight the majority of women do, and in turn, did not have to lose that much weight. Instead of worrying about my post-baby weight I spent 10 emotionally grueling days in the NICU watching Sloane struggle to gain weight and keep her temperature regulated.

How’s that for conversation?

Body after baby