So far N and I have been incredibly lucky to be successful with breastfeeding. Prior to N's birth I took a breastfeeding class at our local hospital (which I highly recommend) and read through the materials they provided in the days before my delivery. While I was in the hospital I met with a lactation consultant each day. I found it extremely helpful to have them assist with getting N latched on those first few times and offer suggestions about how to hold him, etc. On day two, we did have a little issue with how N latched on (the nipple on this side is shaped a little different than the other one) which resulted in some pain/minor cracking. The lactation consultant gave me some of the gel breast pads which were awesome. I wore them constantly for the next few days until I read the directions and realized they weren't really made for long term use - oops!
Since returning home, things have gone really well. I feed N on demand, but don't let him go longer than 3 hours during the day without a feeding. He typically wants to eat every 2 or 3 hours anyway, especially if he is awake. I usually have to wake him up in the late afternoon for a feeding, but other than that he usually lets me know (rather loudly) that he is hungry. Most of the time he takes a pretty long time to nurse, about 40 minutes total (20 minutes per side). The only issue with this is that if he wants to each every two hours, that only gives us an hour and 20 minute break between feedings. Needless to say, that doesn't give me a lot of time to get things done around the house when I'm home by myself. We are getting the hang of it though and I think he's starting to get a little faster some of the time.
Since he was 10 days old, we've been going to a breastfeeding support group that is sponsored by the hospital too. I love going to the group because it gives me a chance to weigh N every week, ask any questions that I might have about breastfeeding to the other girls there, and just get out of the house. At this group there are a lot of moms with older babies (4-5 months) and it's really nice to hear them share their experiences with breastfeeding.
Since I'm planning to return to work when N is 12 weeks old, I invested in a Me.dela double electric breast pump. I started pumping after N's first morning feeding when he was two weeks old. The first few days I got about an ounce and a half total and now I'm up to about 3 ounces total. For right now I'm freezing the milk but I am planning on having J start giving N a bottle a few times a week just to get him used to the bottle before he starts daycare. That's on our agenda for sometime during the next week or two. Any recommendations for how to do this?
Overall, I feel incredibly blessed that our experience with breastfeeding has been positive so far. I'm crossing my fingers that it will continue to go smoothly when I return to work.