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Thursday, August 28, 2014

a BABYfeeding story - Kristina Desmond

Thanks to Kristina Desmond for sharing her wonderful BABYfeeding story of learning the ropes of breastfeeding! I love how honest she is about the struggles and about how naive she was before trying breastfeeding. I think what she says are things we ALL can relate to! Thanks, Kristina!

Images from Kristina Desmond

  • 1. When pregnant, what was your plan for feeding your child? How did you think you would do in the hospital? How easy did you think it would be?
    I didn't have a real plan. I just knew I wanted to breastfeed bc I knew that was the best option for me and my child.  
    I thought it would be easy, boy was I wrong.  
    I thought the hospital would force formula but I was wrong there as well. The hospital was pro breastfeeding.

    2. How did you prepare for feeding your child while pregnant? Did you read any good books, check out Web sites, take classes, take free items from your doctor's office, talk to other moms, etc.? How prepared did you feel going into the hospital for feeding your child?
    I read books and did a lot of researching online.

    3. How did the first week of feeding go for your child? What did you try? What helped, what did not help? What challenges did you experience that first week feeding your child? How did you FEEL with feeding your child that first week?
    We were in the hospital 1 week. Baby girl was in the NICU for 3 days so I pumped and she had a feeding tube with my breastmilk. After she came out of the NICU I was able to breastfeed. The lactation consultant in the hospital was very helpful. She was very knowledgeable. I didn't expect my boobs to be groped by the consultant though. She would squish my nipple and shove it in the baby's mouth, lol. That was a little awkward! That first week was very hard. I was dealing with so many emotions and was exhausted.

    4. What surprised you about how hard/easy it was to feed your child at first?
    I thought the baby came out knowing how to breastfeed. I didn't know you had to teach them to latch on correctly. It hurt and was painful. I used a lot of lanolin cream. I would wake up with my breasts engorged, leaking and painful.

    5. What do you wish people had told you about how hard/easy it would be to feed your child in the beginning?
    I wish they would have told me that it's not easy. That it would hurt. I didn't have a lot of moms around me that breastfed. Most of them formula fed. I wish I had known that most breastfeeding moms get worried they are making enough milk, that I wasn't the only one. I was a wreck and had to be constantly reassured that my baby was getting enough to eat.

    6. After that first week, what was your experience feeding your child? What was your routine? 
    The hospital gave us a chart to keep track of feedings. We followed what we did in the hospital...feeding every 3 hours. We had a growth spurt at the 2 week mark. Baby girl ate almost every hour from 5pm to 9pm each evening for a week.  

    I would pump after each feeding. Sometimes dozing while pumping. lol. I hated pumping. It was so time consuming but I wanted to have a freezer stash for when I went back to work.
    7. What tips do you have for either breastfeeding or formula feeding, or exclusively pumping or some combo in between? What specific things helped you to feed your child the first few months? (Drink more water, bring baby to you when nursing, try 2 oz of formula at first, try different bottles, etc.)
    Make sure to drink lots of water. Gets lots of rest and nap while baby naps. Lots of skin to skin. This is one of the things I wished I had done more of. But I was so thankful when baby girl fell asleep that I didn't want to wake her by having to button or zip up her jammies. Lots of holding and snuggles. I miss those already and she is 7 months and so independent. She doesn't like to be held much anymore, she wants to go, go, Go!
    8. What is your advice to moms who are experiencing pressure, expectations, judgment, or otherwise unwanted comments about how they are feeding their child?
    I was told I was feeding her too much or I wasn't eating the right foods bc she spit up a lot. I fed on demand. I listened, I got frustrated and upset but I knew I was the mom and I knew what was best for my child. I made 3 month goals that I wanted to reach and rewarded myself when I reached them I am almost to the 9 month mark and we hope to make it to a year with breastfeeding.
    9. If you felt Mama Guilt over how you fed or did not feed your child, what was that like for you? What's your advice to other moms who experience that guilt?
    I felt mama guilt if I didn't breastfeed my daughter first thing in the morning when she woke up. My husband would sometimes let me sleep in and give her a bottle of pumped milk.
    10. What are you most PROUD of about how you've fed your child?
    I am most proud that we have made it to 7 months and that I was able to go back to work and continue to breastfeed.  

    My previous job made it a little difficult at first bc they did not know the nursing working mothers law and asked me to pump in the bathroom. I was their first pregnant employee. I set them straight. I was a mama bear and stood up for myself.

    11. If you have more than one child, was your experience feeding your children the same or different? In which ways? What's your advice to a mom who did not get the experience she wanted with one kid, could it be different with feeding another one?
    first time mom

    12. What have you learned about yourself as a mother through the process of feeding your child?
    I was a very non-empathetic person before having a child and having a baby has made me more compassionate. I never knew I could love someone so much and give so much of myself to my child. It is a selfless act to breastfeed and give so much of yourself to your child.

    13. What supplies, equipment, brands, accessories, etc. were your favorite as far as feeding your baby? (bottles, formula brand, nursing or pumping equipment, etc.)
    I use advent natural bottles. I got the lansinoh double electric pump from my insurance company and it was great to use those first few months but I now use my medela hand pump that the hospital provided me to pump while at work bc its quicker and more efficient for me. I I sleep in a nursing bra even to this day. I love the gerber flannel burp cloths more than the thin cotton ones. They are more absorbant. lansinoh freezer milk bags are a must.

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