Rules for Breastfeeding through a Pandemic

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I can’t call this anything except “pandemic breastfeeding”. I never expected to EBF (exclusively breastfeed).  Had life after baby remained normal, he would have spent time in our church nursery, spent the night with grandparents, and would have experienced a night away from mom with a baby sitter. With baby #2, it’s been anything but. If you are expecting a baby during this pandemic, and aren’t sure what to do about nursing or pumping, or both, I’ll try to steer you through a few of the potholes.

breastfeedingRules for breastfeeding through a pandemic:

When you’re with the baby, nurse the baby. It’s a good rule for if you have time away from the baby. With baby #1, I worked full time.  I pumped at work to make sure he had enough milk for the next day. These days, there isn’t much time spent away from baby #2. We’ve had a few opportunities for bottles to be given, and even a little weekend away for mom and dad after “lockdown” lifted. I’m still trying to find ways to create a little distance when mama needs a break. However, since I am truly breastfeeding on-demand, I feel his growth spurts and when his needs change, unlike I did with baby #1. I know when I need to eat more calories or even sleep more in order to properly provide for his nutrition.

Build a milk stash. If you hope to sneak away for an extra hour or two, it would be beneficial to build up a small milk stash. You don’t need to store gallons and gallons of breast milk, but a few extra bags will give you what you need for your mama-break. Pump in the morning after your baby’s first nursing session for a few extra minutes to build your milk stash. At the end of April, life didn’t seem to be changing much, and after a series of unfortunate events, I gave up my morning pump session. The few times we’ve needed a bottle, we have lived off the stash I produced January-April.

If you have a problem, call a lactation consultant. They can seriously help with any issues you’re having. This round of breastfeeding, I feel like I’ve dealt with it all: mastitis (3 times), clogged ducts (weekly), overproduction, refusing a bottle, and currently, I’m managing through a nursing-strike on the left side. When I haven’t been able to figure it on my own, I’ve called my doula for help, and she always offers valuable advice. Your lactation consultant will schedule a virtual or a socially-distanced appointment to help you with the issues you are facing with your little one. There are even a few Latch Clinics taking place to answer questions and provide support!

Breastfeeding is no easy task, and whether you make it 1 month, 6 months, 18 months, or more, you are working hard to provide for your baby!

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Katherine and her husband, Christopher, grew up in Dallas and met at SMU (Go Ponies!). They have been married 13 years, and although they love The Great State, they lived in DC and Baltimore for seven years, where they experienced actual seasons and great seafood! They made their way back to Texas seven years ago to be closer to family. While working full time and pregnant with their curly-haired Little Man (February 2015), Katherine completed her Master’s degree in Communication and Leadership at Gonzaga University. She continues to work full-time as an Executive Assistant in downtown Dallas. Katherine loves dining in Dallas’ local restaurants; chips and salsa are her weakness! When she’s not running after her family or busy with church activities, you might find her working on a homemade craft or two. You can catch up with her on IG @withlovebykitty

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