Parenting Adventures - Guest blog

My journey into motherhood began with a lot of surprises, which really prepared me for what was ahead in raising children! My husband and I worked with both a midwife and a doula to have a natural birth but ended up with a c-section with our first pregnancy. Our second pregnancy was a difficult VBAC. Since I didn't get the birth experience I desired, I was determined to make breastfeeding work for my children. I am happy to be visiting today as a guest blogger, to share my experiences on what worked and what didn't work for us when it came to breastfeeding.
You can read more about my parenting adventures and my life as a children's author on my blog, Be The Difference,

Things That Worked
1. Preparation: My husband and I took a breastfeeding class. When the going got tough and the baby wasn't latching or I was frustrated, Dave would step in and remember things we learned in the class and help me out. We started using a breast pump right away. Dave fed our girls one bottle a day right from the start. We utilized the lactation consultant in the hospital and she actually had me pumping in the hospital to help my milk come in. We did not experience any nipple confusion from the bottles but I have noticed that sometimes my baby will get frustrated when she's really hungry and she has to wait for the let down before my milk will come in to feed her. In this case, she would prefer a bottle.

2. Support: Our doula came to the rescue a few times at the beginning when my youngest was having a hard time latching. Look into this before delivering, but most lactation consultants are available by phone, email and some will even do home visits after your delivery.

3. Positions: Some positions just didn't work for us. Laying down and nursing did. In the beginning when you are so tired, laying down to nurse is just the kind of break you need. Just be sure to be careful if doing this in bed in the middle of the night. It can be very dangerous!

Struggles We Had

1. Hard to clean bottles-Our bottles have not had any problems with leaking and they have very few parts that need to be cleaned. However, the plastic gets a film on it from the fat in the breastmilk. We often times have to wipe them clean with a paper towel. This is the same with our pump parts and bottles, they are hard to clean and I always thought it was from the fatty layer you see when you pump.

2. Cream-One of the biggest issues I had was raw nipples. One was so bad that my midwife prescribed a cream. It was way better than any of the over the counter nipple creams. Ask your doctor if this is an option for you! My nipples were raw for 4 weeks with my first child and only 2 weeks with my second.

Breastfeeding isn't for everyone. It's super time consuming, hard work but most moms will tell you it is worth it! It is amazing to be the provider of nutrition for your child to grow.

What is your take on breastfeeding? What struggles do you have?