I'm a firm believer in BFing, and I know it's not for everyone, nor does it work for every mother, but I thought I'd share some things that I personally learned from BFing DD to help new Mothers out there who are going to plan on BFing. NOTE: some of these are strictly geared toward full-time working Moms:
1. Pump when baby eats at daycare. I made the mistake of only pumping 2x daily at work when in fact DD was getting bottles at daycare 3x daily. Pumping at the same time she ate helped me stay on track with milk production and helped her feed at the end of my work day, b/c my milk was ready and so was she. Eventually I started pumping 3x daily at work but sometimes I had to wake up at 1am and pump just to get enough milk for DD at daycare that day. DON'T DO THIS TO YOURSELF. Pump when they eat if you can!
2. Don't stress if they don't BF when it's time. They will eat when they're hungry. I battled this a lot. I broke down in tears so many times b/c DD wouldn't feed from me. She became lazy from getting 3 bottles a day at daycare and then when it was time to BF from me, she didn't want to work for it. She went 15 hours without eating one time and I was a wreck.
3. When pumping at work, make yourself comfortable. I regretted pumping for 6 months in our bathroom (only private room we have) on the freaking toilet. It was cold and very uncomfortable. This go around, I will take a conference room chair and put a pillow behind my back and relax while pumping. Maybe even take my phone in and play games or listen to music. I feel I didn't get the best milk production b/c I wasn't relaxed.
4. Change your pads with every pumping/feeding session. I had thrush 2x. I don't wish this on my worst enemy. It hurts so bad. I had to rub my nipples down with ice cubes before pumping to numb the pain a bit. I discovered that keeping the same breast pads caked with Lanolin all day long kept it moist in there and allowed bacteria to grow. Lanolin is great and it stayed in my pump bag. It does help with soreness! Just keep those pads fresh all day!
5. I have a very old pump, but it works fine. Medela rocks. However I would looove to get a hands free pump, but not sure it's in my budget. I've heard they're great and I would imagine your milk production would be greater if you didn't have to hold the cones/bottles to your boobs for the entire session.
6. Relish the moment you're feeding your baby. I went through withdrawl after I had to start supplementing DD after 6 months. I loved the skin to skin contact and her nestled into me was the greatest feeling ever. Cherish those BFing moments. Our babies grow way too fast!
7. Stock up on milk when you're on maternity leave. I only got 3 weeks so I was a pumping machine, as I had to quickly build a stash in my freezer.
8. DON'T GIVE UP: I wanted to quit so many times due to frustration and low milk supply. I was jealous of other Mom's who BF'd for a year. I would looove to BF for a year. Even though I only made it 6 months, I learned so much and knew that deep down, I was a strong Mom. It's hard to be a full-time working Mom and pump and expect the most milk production. The pump doesn't get out the amount a baby can get out. The more you feed, the more you make. So hang in there, and don't give up.
These are just quick tidbits that I've been thinking of lately and wanted to share and hopefully help others when they're going through their first BFing journey. I feel more confident this go around and I'm excited to relish in feeding my baby. I pray I can go longer this time and learned so much from my first time, that I'll know what to expect and hopefully work out any kinks if there are any.
GL to you all and remember, seek help if need be with any questions/concerns you have. There are plenty of women/lactation consultants out there willing to coach and help!