How to Breastfeed without Burnout

How to Breastfeed without Burnout

How to Breastfeed without Burnout

I’m about to get super real and I hope I don’t tick anybody off. I’ve breastfed both of my babes — Henry until 11 months and Maggie exclusively thus far. But the reason we chose to breastfeed? Because it’s free. Breast milk is free, guys, and formula is spendy. Yes, obviously I love the health benefits and everything that nursing does for a baby. I love the bonding and all of that jazz. But I also believe that formula fed babies turn out just as great as breastfed babies. This just happened to work well for us. That being said, breastfeeding is truly hard work. Both physically and mentally, it’s a major challenge. Just the fact that your body is singlehandedly sustaining another body is incredible, and enough to blow your mind/totally exhaust you.

Nursing has gone relatively well with both of my little ones, but this time around I did have some knowledge going into it that has made it easier on my body and better for our family. Read on for a few tips and how they’ve been working for us.

Stock Your Supplies  Right from the get-go, make it easy on yourself. There are so many tools available to address breastfeeding issues, and using them can make the time so much more enjoyable. When we brought Maggie home I identified a few places around the house where I’d most likely be feeding her and stocked them each with burp rags, lanolin (so helpful if you’re in some pain while nursing early on!), water bottles, and snacks. Breastfeeding makes you hungry, yo!

Use a Support Pillow I can’t tell you how much easier a nursing pillow has made all of the hours that I’ve fed our little ones (which, at the end of feeding Henry, I calculated to be around a thousand hours). If you’re at home and breastfeeding, these are true lifesavers. They help position and hold the baby in the right spot for you so that you can relax and get comfy; they also save you lots of strain on your back and neck. Added bonus: you can nurse hands free. True story — I’m currently writing this post sitting at my desk while I’m nursing Maggie, which is only possible because I’m using a nursing pillow. I love this one for newer babies and this one when they get a little older and more sturdy.
How to Breastfeed without Burnout
Location, Location When we had Henry, I wasn’t quite sure where to nurse at night. He stayed in our room for the first 8 weeks and I never really found a good routine. With Maggie, I knew I wanted to make it as easy as possible. So we put my favorite chair in our room (because I fall asleep too easily nursing in bed!), made sure all my supplies were in reach, and also set up a diaper changing station nearby. This way we never have to leave the room at night, feedings are super comfortable and fast, and Henry isn’t disturbed at all.

Let Dad Help With Henry I had this weird notion that I had to do it all myself if I wanted him to be exclusively breastfed. Henry had plenty of bottles but I didn’t really get into the swing of that until he was a few months old. This time around, the plan is to let Ryan help with bottles much more frequently. We started Maggie at one month with Munchkin’s Latch bottles and she took to them right away. Lots of moms worry about whether bottles will confuse the baby and hurt their ability to nurse, but these particular bottles are perfect for going back and forth because they’re so similar to the breastfeeding experience. The baby is really in control of the flow because of the bottle nipple, which moves and reacts just like the breast. I also love the little valve on the bottom that eliminates air bubbles — Maggie’s reflux sometimes means we deal with lots of spit up and barf but there hasn’t been one bit with these bottles. (They’ve even got their own special bottle brush, which makes cleaning way easy.)

How to Breastfeed without Burnout

How to Breastfeed without Burnout

So we’ve been letting Ryan do more bottles, which not only helps me avoid burning out, but gives dad a chance to get some good baby time in. I love watching him give her bottles — there’s something special that happens at feeding time and I want him to experience that too. And whenever she comes back for the next nursing session, it’s been a super easy transition thanks to the Latch bottles.

Dress for Success Do yourself a favor, ya’ll, and get a few killer nursing bras. Ugh, there’s nothing less comfortable than a bad nursing bra. I prefer them without underwire (this one still has a nice structure to it and doesn’t give you the uniboob look), with a little padding.

One Day at a Time When in doubt, take a step back. Breastfeeding is hard, gang. It’s not a sprint, it’s definitely a marathon. So if you’re having a tough day or even a tough single feeding, take heart and know that the next one will be totally different. Give yourself and your baby some grace and understand that it’s a huge learning curve for the both of you, even if you’ve done it before. Maggie is definitely a different animal than Henry was, and we’re still figuring it out. But don’t beat yourself up if you hit some bumps.

If you are a breastfeeding mom and have any other tips, we’d love to hear them in the comments! Or if you’re new to the game and have questions, please don’t hesitate to ask. We moms have to stick together! 😉 xoxo
How to Breastfeed without Burnout
This post is sponsored by Munchkin. All opinions are my very own. Thank you for being supportive of the partners who help keep Lovely Indeed rocking!

7 thoughts on “How to Breastfeed without Burnout”

  1. Chelsea, I love the photos, so sweet. I nursed all 3 of mine until they could have real milk. I had some formula on hand in case of an emergency but never had to use it. I pumped some extra when I could. All of my kids were in the top percentile charts on doctors visits and were what my doctor called Barracuda babies. They went on cereal mixed with breast milk before bed so I could get some sleep. Your daughter is a beauty. Congrats, Pat S

  2. Awesome post! Our little girl is due in about 4.5 weeks, and you reminded me that I never really had a great nursing pillow for our little guy. Since he’ll be 2 when she arrives, the hands-free nursing will definitely be a game-changer so I can read books with him, etc. while nursing. That’s my fav bra, too! Although I take the padding out, because, let’s be real, my boobs are about twice their normal size anyway…

  3. i just wanted to thank you for talking about breastfeeding without seeming heavy-handed or judgmental. there are many women who want to nurse and can’t, or choose not to for myriad reasons — and i so appreciate your sensitivity to that. this doesn’t have to be a mean conversation!

    i also love that you brought your husband into the feeding fold. it’s an amazing thing that he can have that time with your daughter 🙂

  4. I would like to add – if you are longing to breastfeed and having trouble, don’t give up! Although it is natural, it isn’t easy, so seek help! Seek out your local La Leche League, get in to see a lactation consultant! I remember looking up YouTube videos and other resources to try and fix my firstborn’s latch hit eventually went to see an LC! It is a learning curve so give yourself grace! If it doesn’t come easy, that’s ok, but get some help so you can reach your breastfeeding goals! For me, it was so difficult with my firstborn but we worked through it and hit 24 months! It came a lot easier with my second and we are going strong at almost 11 months and no end in sight! You can do it Mommas!

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