If you are a new mom or thinking about becoming one, the topic of breastfeeding is bound to come up.
Every woman’s experience with breastfeeding is different but it’s comforting to get insight from moms who have gone through it.
To get the low down on the subject, we asked Charlotte moms what breastfeeding was like for them. Here are their anonymous responses:
How long did you breastfeed?
My first daughter 15.5 months and my second daughter 21.5 months.
9 months with my 1st child, and 18 months with my 2nd child.
What was your experience like breastfeeding in public around Charlotte?
I never had any bad experiences, though I always covered up. I nursed in restaurants, parks, even during story time at the library.
Honestly, I have not really tried for fear of judgement.
Very positive. I never experienced anything rude or negative.
One Saturday morning, I was walking around First Ward Park pushing my 4-month-old in a stroller. I was going to feed him a bottle of breast milk and then go pump in my car. While walking, I noticed another mom nursing her daughter in the park. I thought to myself, “If she can do it, I can do it!” So when he got hungry, I sat down in the park and nursed him. I was a little self-conscious but felt empowered!
Good. Breastfed in multiple public places, obviously kid-friendly ones, so everyone was very supportive.
What about breastfeeding or pumping at work?
My employer was very supportive. I pumped twice a day at work.
I was lucky enough to work for a company with a mother’s room, where I could pump during the day.
What is something that surprised you about breastfeeding?
That it’s hard. Even for the second kid when you think you know what you’re doing.
How rewarding the entire experience was.
How much I enjoyed it. It was tough at first but it is one of my favorite things that I was able to share with my girls.
I remember how hard it was in the beginning. It was very painful for me and I would literally sit and cry while my son nursed. My sister told me that one day it wouldn’t hurt anymore (which was hard to believe at the time). But then she was right! It is actually an enjoyable experience for me now and I love to bond with my son.
How hard it was to get my son to latch on at first. I started using a nipple shield, but then I had to make sure I had that thing at all times, which was kind of a pain! I was so glad when I was able to wean him off of that thing!
It’s a hugely time consuming job!
Did you have any funny/interesting breastfeeding experiences?
My older daughter used to nurse her baby dolls right next to me!
I used a wrap and I was shocked how many strangers would ask to peak in my wrap to see the baby.
Rock hard boobs with too much milk led me to a strange experience, inserting cold cabbage leaves into my bra to help manage the pain and decrease milk supply. It was strange but somehow it worked!
My 4-month-old has recently starting smacking my breasts while he is nursing. I believe I have figured out that he does it when I’m empty or when he is finished. He’s like “OK mom, I’m all done!”
Any tips for first-timers or things you wish you had known?
Stick with it, get lots of help from the amazing lactation consultants that are available, and be confident in knowing that you have a right to feed your baby anywhere and anytime you need to.
I loved the freedom and modesty of my wrap. I never got heckled or bothered using it in public places.
I wish I had known more about how to prevent a breast infection – it was painful. Thankfully it was short-lived.
Relax and trust your instincts. You were made to do this.
Get good prenatal coaching and work with lactation consultants so you get a good latch at the hospital.
I will give the same advice that I was given…even when it is extremely difficult and you feel like you are failing, KEEP TRYING and KEEP WITH IT. One day it will come so naturally and you will be so happy that you stuck with it.
Pregnant and planning to breastfeed? Atrium Health offers maternity classes on breastfeeding and many other topics to help expecting mothers and their families prepare for their new arrival.
If you need help after baby arrives, make an appointment with a lactation consultant at many of Atrium Health ’s pediatric offices throughout Charlotte.
Need a pediatrician? Call 704-512-6923.
(This content was co-created with Atrium Health.)