I had no idea how time consuming it would really be, how hard it would be physically and emotionally. I feel like my whole day revolves around Sawyer’s next feeding.
When Sawyer was born he wasn’t set on my chest. We didn’t get that skin to skin time. Kurtis wasn’t allowed to cut the cord. They plopped the baby down next to me as I was being wheeled out of the operating room and that was the first time I touched him.
About an hour later, after our family and a few friends had been in to see him, my nurse announced it was time to try breastfeeding. She positioned him correctly, and waited. I was amazed that Sawyer seemed to know exactly where to go and what to do. He tried and tried to latch but couldn’t. The nurse and my best friend, Jessi (who is also a nurse) tried everything to help, and after about 10 minutes of trying, we had to give him a bottle.
“This happens a lot with babies who are extra early,” My nurse said “you might just have to be a pumping mom.”
The next few days went the exact same way. Every 3 hours a nurse would come in and try to get Sawyer to latch. After 10 minutes of no success we would give him a bottle. On day 3 my milk came in with a bang. Holy cow, was it weird to go to bed with the chest I had known all my adult life and wake up with them literally 5 times bigger. And they were heavy and painful.
That afternoon a lactation consultant came in to help us. She was amazing. So patient and nice and she taught us all the tips and tricks we could use to help Sawyer latch so I could breastfeed like I wanted to. She introduced us to our saving grace and worst enemy, the nipple shield. We tried it out and like magic, Sawyer latched. I was so so happy. And although I have nothing but nice things to say about my lactation consultant…that was it. Once the shield worked, she left, with no instructions on how to wean him off of it.
And trust me, I’ve tried. It’s okay, really. It’s a blessing and a curse. I would so much rather use the shield our whole breastfeeding journey than have to exclusively pump. I am incredibly blessed to be able to breastfeed at all. But, as a result, I have to be extremely prepared. I always have one in my diaper bag, an emergency one in my car (learned that I needed that one the hard way), and all over the house. And let me tell you how hard it is to nurse in public with one!
I hated nursing in public to begin with. I know that breastfeeding is natural, and no one should give me a hard time about it, but still. I hated it. The covers never covered enough and trying to hold my shirt up, unclip my bra or tank, put on the shield, and get him to latch, all with a fussy, squirmy baby in my arms was the worst. And 9/10 times Sawyer would knock the shield off because he was so flustered, and I would have to put it back on multiple times before he would eat. All underneath a cover. I dreaded nursing in public and decided I would pump in advance and give him a bottle if I knew we had something going on during a scheduled feeding, which was almost just as hard.
But then, someone suggested a nursing poncho. I was intrigued and looked them up. I found Milkmaid goods on Instagram and knew I just had to try one. What makes them easier is that they cover your full torso, front and back. What made me so insecure with a regular cover is that the sides and back were open, and I felt like I was constantly flashing everyone, and I probably was considering how much trouble I always had with it. Now that it’s getting cooler, if we have a day out, I can just wear my poncho as part of my normal outfit, it’s so cute! When it’s time for Sawyer to eat, I actually usually run to the bathroom, take my shirt off and put it in my bag, attach the shield and then just add baby! I’m so much more comfortable, there’s no more wrestling with my cover to make sure it’s covering what it needs to (it never stayed in place). It’s so much lighter than my old covers as well, so Sawyer and I aren’t too hot. I want one in every color!
I love Milkmaid Goods so much, I’ve teamed up with the owners, Stefanie and Amy, to give my readers a 15% off discount! You can check out their shop here and use code “lovely15” at checkout! They also make adorable swaddle blankets for your littles!
Did you have any issues with breastfeeding, especially breastfeeding in public?
Disclaimer: I recieved this product in exchange for review but all opinions are my own.