The Breastfeeding Diaries: Laura from Tiny Toes, Little Nose

May 29, 2013

Hi Everyone!  I'm Laura from tiny toes, little nose.  I have been married to my husband, Conor, for almost 3 years and became a mom to the sweetest little boy, Liam, 10 months ago.  I'm a stay-at-home mom and love every minute I get to spend chasing Liam around.  I am a huge advocate for breastfeeding, so I am thrilled to have the opportunity to share my experience.  Liam has been exclusively breastfed, which is something I am extremely proud of.  I absolutely love breastfeeding and feel that the bond it creates between mother and baby only grows stronger with time.  While nursing a newborn has its magical moments, nothing compares to the sheer joy an older baby shows before, during, and after a nursing session.  I can't imagine stopping anytime soon!

Breastfeeding is something I knew that I always wanted to do.  My mom breastfed my brothers and I and always talked so fondly of the experience.  When I became pregnant, she bought me La Leche League's book, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, to get me excited about the journey that was ahead of me.  I read the book cover to cover and absorbed all the information in anticipation of Liam's arrival.  I also attended my local La Leche League meeting during the last month of my pregnancy.  I wanted to get myself established with this group of women beforehand, so I had the support once my baby was born.  I loved being surrounded by so many nursing moms and hearing all of their advice and stories as I anxiously waited for Liam's birth.

I had a long and traumatic delivery (which you can read about here) and could not have been more exhausted once Liam was born.  However, nursing him was my top priority!  I wanted to try breastfeeding immediately.  After a little latch check on my nurse's pinky finger, Liam latched right away.  It was the most natural thing! Liam would start to fall asleep not long after beginning to nurse, so I would rub his little ears to encourage him along.  The following day, nursing was still going well for us; my chart even read that I was "breastfeeding with minimal assistance."  I was so proud of the two of us!  The first night we were home with Liam went fairly well.  Both my husband and I were exhausted and slightly worried that he wasn't getting any colostrum even though he was latching and sucking like a champ!  I was able to hand express some colostrum, so I felt confident that Liam was getting something for all his efforts; we decided to trust my body and trust Liam's instincts.  My milk came in 3 days after Liam was born and he continued to gain weight at an excellent rate.  During the 1st week, my nipples were slightly sore, but no bleeding or cracking.  I attribute this to the excellent latch Liam had and finding a nursing position that worked well for us.  I did use coconut oil to make sure my nipples wouldn't get too dry from all the nursing, and it seemed to work perfectly.

Since Liam was born, I have always nursed him on demand.  I am comfortable nursing in public and in front of others; so, whenever the baby is hungry, he eats!  And he eats a lot!  Nursing on demand helped me immensely when establishing my supply and fit right into my parenting style (I would
consider myself to follow many "attachment parenting" practices).  Breastfeeding came relatively easy to me, but not without a few struggles along the way.  When Liam was only a couple of months old, I started noticing that he would frequently choke at the beginning of a nursing session.  I had such a powerful letdown, sometimes he just couldn't handle it.  This resulted in him popping off my breast numerous times and breast milk going everywhere!  I had to change my shirt and bra multiple times a day.  I even embarrassingly sprayed down the lady sitting next to me at a La Leche League meeting once!  I had somewhat engorged breasts on a fairly regular basis and noticed that Liam was starting to have a bit of mucus in his stools.  All signs pointed to an "oversupply".

I of course asked for assistance at my next LLL meeting, and the women were so helpful!  I learned that if I laid way back while nursing Liam, the let down wasn't as powerful and he could handle it better.  I also began more of a block feeding schedule (feeding on one side for multiple nursing sessions before switching to the other breast).  These two things helped immensely and Liam and I were right back on track.  I would still say I have a bit of an oversupply, but I've learned to manage it.  Sometimes when Liam is teething or not feeling well, he doesn't eat nearly as much; therefore, I quickly become engorged.  I used to occasionally pump on those occasions, but now I just hand express enough to make myself comfortable.  Also, at 10 months post partum, I still have spontaneous let downs!  It blows my mind and is the strangest thing to be shopping or doing laundry and bam! all of sudden, milk is coming!  Because of this, I still wear nursing pads daily and have actually soaked through them on occasion!

These little speed-bumps in our nursing relationship have always worked themselves out!  I absolutely love breastfeeding and can't imagine raising Liam any other way.  It totally works for me and my family!  I have no plans to wean Liam anytime soon.  I hope that he self weans when we are both ready, but if not, I may start that process myself when my husband and I decide we are ready for baby #2.  For right now, I can't imagine not having the special time we share while breastfeeding.  Liam is so busy now that he is mobile; I just cherish the moments he settles down in my lap, looks up at me with his beautiful blue eyes and relaxes while getting a "snack".  Even though he nurses throughout the day and night, I love every moment!

For any new or expecting moms out there, I highly recommend reading The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and attending your local La Leche League meeting while in the last month or two of your pregnancy.  These two things will be a huge help and confidence booster as you head into your nursing relationship with your baby.  Trust your body and that it will provide for your child!  In the event that you experience any difficulties, I encourage you to surround yourself with supporters. Know that numerous women have worked through a multitude of breastfeeding struggles and gone on to nurse their babies for many months and even years!  You are about to embark on what I feel is one of the most wonderful and amazing journeys in a woman's life.  Embrace every minute that you can, it truly is one of the most special gifts!
All photos courtesy of Haley Sierra Wedding Photography

You can catch up with the rest of the Breastfeeding Diaries series at the top of my navigation bar.

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6 Comments »

6 Responses to “The Breastfeeding Diaries: Laura from Tiny Toes, Little Nose”

  1. What a beautiful post! I'm Laura's new follower! Such an incredible story she has! I'm so jealous that all these women have had such success with breast feeding! My son wanted nothing to do with it! Looking forward to the next post!

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  3. Great advice for expectant mothers......even if you have no difficulties breastfeeding, it is good to have a reference book and a support group!
    Nice post.

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  4. Thanks for having me Julie! You are so wonderful to be hosting this series. Looking forward to following along as Hudson grows up!

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  5. Jennifer CoddingMay 30, 2013

    Thanks for sharing Laura. I am proud of you and Liam. Similar to your story, my Mom was a member of La Leche League and breast fed me until she was pregnant with my little sister. I know who to turn to when my time comes. Please say hi to Conor and Liam for me.

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  6. I read the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding while pregnant and it was by far the best book to prepare for breast feeding.

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