Breastfeeding Q’s Answered: Part 1

Posted: January 26, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Well you all certainly want to know more about breastfeeding. I received so many great questions that I will have to split this into two posts! Please remember all of the following answers are based off my own personal experiences. I’m not a professional except with my own body and my own children. Now that’s out of the way – let’s get to the questions. And for those not interested in the milk makers, scroll through for a fun announcement!

What were the best resources for you?
When pregnant with Makenzie I read a lot. I found the most comprehensive resource on breastfeeding related topics was the American Academy of Pediatrics book.

New Mother's Guide to Breastfeeding

The book covered a lot of information and helped me have an idea on what types of things to expect. We also took a breastfeeding class through the hospital during my pregnancy with M. While both were certainly good resources, it didn’t truly prepare me. Personally, I couldn’t learn or grasp the information until I could practice with my own child. The consultants from the hospital were fabulous at helping answer questions. I certainly recommend learning as much as possible, but don’t let it overwhelm you before you actually get there.

How often do you do it?
In the first few weeks the frequency of feedings is much higher. Right now I feed Braedon every 2-3 hours during the day. Then, he typically goes 4 hours between feedings at night. The daytime feedings stretch to every 3-4 hours as they get older, and with time the night feedings gradually drop. With Makenzie, she was down to eating 5 times during the day (every 3 hours) with no feedings overnight by 4.5 months old.

How long is the average breastfeeding session? Do you switch boobs every few minutes or just alternate feeding sessions?


The average session for me is about 30 minutes of feeding time. I usually do an entire feeding on one side and then alternate each feeding to keep things balanced. I do have the more rare issue of oversupply and forceful letdown (aka my milk comes pouring out…aren’t you glad to know that?). For that reason, I have to feed on one side each feeding to get enough of the fattier milk into him. The longer he feeds on one side the richer the milk becomes. It is standard for many women without that issue to feed 15 minutes per breast each feeding. Once again, something to figure out what works best with your own experiences.

How significant is the pain/discomfort?
The first time around…very. I was actually pretty shocked at how much it hurt. The swelling during engorgement literally had me feeling I was about to split in two. My nipples cracked and that hurts as badly as it sounds. The “letdown” feeling of the baby getting milk burned like crazy and I would tear up with almost every feeding. BUT!!!! A huge but….it was very temporary. Someone told me give it 6 weeks, then it magically gets better. I wanted to quit so many times with M but stuck it out. Then, bam. Six weeks in and it became the easiest thing ever. No pain. With baby B, I experienced very little pain after the first week of readjusting to breastfeeding.

Do you pump and use bottles ever?

We haven’t started yet…but I did with M and plan to with B. I started pumping extra to get M used to taking a bottle on occasion at around 3 or 4 weeks post-partum. I would pump once extra in the evening after feeding to build up a supply for when I couldn’t feed. Then I would always pump at any feedings I missed. I also pumped extra after occasional morning feeds and night feeds when I felt my milk supply dropping at all. *Ahem ahem Fitbloggin roomies – that means I will be pumping all weekend with you. You still love me, right? :D*

Question of the Day – How would you spend your feeding time? I either read blogs and catch up on emails or listen to M read me books. Night feedings are all about the snuggles!

Fun Announcement! Braedon’s Newborn Gallery is up and running!

You will have to create an account to view them, but it’s quick and she will not have access to your email from it. Once you create an account, click “Access Gallery” and use the code “braedon” to enter. Click to enjoy! And thanks to Laura Brett Photography for her EXCELLENT work!

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61 Comments to “Breastfeeding Q’s Answered: Part 1”
  1. Great information Tina. I would just snuggle, but that was almost 9 years ago (Max will be 10 next month), so no blogs for me to read. I over produced with Max too. I donated my milk to the donor bank in NC. It felt great to do that since I had a friend, that had her baby at 23 weeks and she couldn’t make enough milk. She didn’t get my milk, but the bank is there for those who either can’t feed their babies. It is a huge commitment to breast feed, but it is such a great thing to do.

  2. Baby B is so adorable!!!!!

    Tina thanks for the G&A on breastfeeding — we aren’t having kids soon but it is definitely something I want to learn more about before we do decide to have a baby.

  3. Marg says:

    His newborn pictures are great!!!

    I didn’t realize it would hurt so much, at least it gets better.

  4. Me-Linh says:

    OMG Baby B is so cute in that picture! He’s like sleeping and smiling at the same time. I had no idea that breastfeeding hurt in the beginning! But that makes sense as it’s a new thing your body is doing.

  5. Allie says:

    Cannot believe how beautiful your baby boy is!!! Awesome pictures, the photographer did a great job 🙂 Thanks for all the info about breast feeding, it is very interesting to actually know what all is involved and the specifics!

  6. Awww, I love his smile in that picture!!!

    Thanks for the information– the idea of breastfeeding totally intimidates me, but so many mothers say that it’s pretty amazing!

  7. LindseyAnn says:


    I love how open you’re being about all this.
    I have a story about a hotel roommate and pumping: the summer before I student taught, I went to France for two weeks with my supervising teacher and some of her/our students. During the trip, she and I shared hotel rooms (which, FYI, are much smaller than American hotels and usually only have one bed.) She had just had her daughter 3 months earlier and was still pumping on the trip. I tell you, nothing brings a supervising teacher and a student teacher closer together than that kind of experience, though being around her while doing that made me feel less squeamish about the idea of breastfeeding. It’s something I’m considering down the road should the fiance and I have kids.

  8. Those photos are adorable! How will you ever choose? 🙂

  9. I’m basically bookmarking your entire blog for whenever I have a baby – you post the best information!

    Great pictures – Baby B is such a cute little peanut! And it’s amazing how much he looks like M! I think it’s sweet that you got some shots of her during the newborn session – such a sweet big sister!

  10. Stephanie says:

    OH man. That face!!!!! So precious!!!

  11. GORGEOUS photos–wow. Thanks for the really helpful post.

  12. great post! it’s refreshing to hear real-life answers to questions instead of just book answers!

  13. Marie says:

    I also had to feed on one side then the other so Cooper would have plenty of the good milk. It’s weird walking around lopsided though! But once I got going I never had to pump to keep up my milk supply, which was wonderful. Braedon looks so much like Peter.

  14. My chest kind of ached just reading this.. 🙂

  15. PS – the pictures are amazing!

  16. Man, feeding sounds so scary and so worth it! I can’t wait for post #2!

  17. Mandy says:

    I love all the pictures!!!!

  18. My sister is of the more small chested variety, and she said when her milk came in the first time her boobs were HUGE. She ran in to show her husband and was like, “Honey, LOOK! But DON’T touch!” 🙂

  19. Jess says:

    OMG those pictures are GORGEOUS!!! I love them. That is so awesome, you’ll have these forever! PS. Great tips on breastfeeding – I remember you mentioned the 6 week thing and I passed it on to my sister who was battling with her first child at that very time and it made her feel SO MUCH BETTER to know that in just a couple more weeks she’d be out of the “worst” of it, ya know?

  20. Jen says:

    Great post! I wish I would have had this 3 years ago when I was breastfeeding!!! I didn’t breastfeed my first two at all because I was going back to work right away and really didn’t want to pump. With my 3rd, it was the best experience and there are some days I really miss breastfeeding him. He lasted 1 year until I got a massive breast infection, and he got thrush, after that he wanted nothing to do with the boobs anymore.

  21. Thank you SO much for doing this. I always worry how it will be one day to breastfeed. I feel much better after reading your post, you give me hope that I can push through it too one day! THANKS!!

  22. Kelly says:

    Goodness!! I had no idea how much went into it. I will admit it looks painful but I am sure that after a while you get the hang of it. My mom only stuck with for 6 week with both me and my brother. I guess she never got to that spot when it didn’t hurt. When I had kids, god-willing, then I plan to breast feed for as long as I possibly can.

    Completely random (and potentiall TMI type of a question) but does your nipple size affect your ability to be better at breast feeding? I just wonder because honestly mine are, ahem, really small. I mean I have small boobs but I also have really small nipples. (see told you that was TMI) but just curious.

    • Tina says:

      I don’t think the size does but the shape of some (if they indent in which is not too common) can affect a baby being able to latch. And plus, nipples get bigger I swear during pregnancy. LOL

  23. this was so informative! i’m not quite to the baby-making stage yet, but i like to educate myself early! 🙂

    also, i have to say good for you for sticking through the pain. i know breastfeeding is less of a priority for some people, and you have to do what works for you, but i have friends who stopped breastfeeding after a couple days only because of the pain. hopefully knowing to expect some major pain thanks to your and their experiences, i’ll be prepared enough!

  24. YES I still love you even if you are pumping during FitBloggin! I promote breastfeeding so I’m all about you squeezing milk outta those boobies! 😛

  25. Bravo! So glad you are bringing attention to breastfeeding and sharing your experiences. It is the best gift you can give your baby if you are able to breastfeed and there are so many misconceptions around it. Breastfeeding was one of the most difficult things I’ve done – it didn’t come naturally to me or my son. And it was very painful for about 4-5 months before things finally got better. But I stuck with it and made it to 17 months with my son. I also pumped for over a year while I worked full time. It was a sacrifice, but one I was willing to make and would again. I share my own tips in a post I did back during World Breastfeeding Week at

  26. Angela says:

    He is SO cute! This is some great info Tina…. I will keep it in mind in the (much later) future! 🙂

  27. Those pictures are precious. Congrats again Tina!

  28. Oh dear… while the other stuff is fine, must there be pain involved? Ay-yi-yi.

    I hope Part 2 involves something about “how to do this in public, whether you can do it in the car, etc.”

  29. Erica says:

    Ok, will you be my mentor 🙂 I feel like I’m going to be SO lost when the baby comes! Your blog is going to be a huge resource for me. I’ve heard about the pain- it makes me nervous 😉 And that picture of Braedon…amazing. What cutie pie. And I love the name too- just beautiful.

  30. Braedon is SO cute Tina!! SO CUTE!! Love that smile. Thanks for the info on breastfeeding. I am def going to try to do it when I have a little one. No matter how much it hurts, I know its sometimes I want to do.

  31. lindsay says:

    You know I love a good Boob post! Seriously, Its a great read and great questions that I always wanted answered.

  32. I was an overproducer as well. Fist bumps? Anyhoo, I ended up donating to a total of 5 babies. it felt wonderful. Like you said, though the engorgement pain really sucked, it was very temporary. The 2nd time around was much easier. I quit pumping for Baby Boy when he was 7 months old and he would have expressed milk (I had a ton!) in daycare and nurse when we were together. It’s so worth it. Now that he’s weaned I really miss BFing.

    B is so, so cute!! Love that precious smile. 🙂

  33. Elisabeth says:

    Braedon’s pix are so cute, Tina! =))

    The breastfeeding info is really helpful. Many of my friends have tried it, but given up fairly quickly, so it’s good to see some info on sticking it out. Hopefully I’ll need to apply this info soon! =)

  34. Rach says:

    Oh my gracious, I had no idea it was so painful to breastfeed at first! I’ve always heard about “discomfort” or whatever… not that it was so painful! Thank you for sharing and being so honest! I’d much rather know what to expect than be blindsided!

  35. I love you! Thank you so much for answering my question! While I’m sad to hear that it really does hurt that much, I’m also very relieved to hear that it does indeed get better.

  36. Heather says:

    I’ve always been a little curious about breastfeeding. I am nowhere near ready to do it myself, but it’s always good to know things like this for the future! Thanks for all the info!

    The pics are absolutely BEAUTIFUL! Baby B looks like a little man in the pics with him and M! I can’t get over it! Love em!

  37. Em says:

    Thank you for being so candid about this! I’m obviously not there yet but since I can’t handle pain well, seeing other mothers fight through the pain will motivate me to stick with it as well. You’re such an amazing mother!

  38. Thanks for this. I love reading breastfeeding stories. Baby B’s pics are gorgeous!

  39. Great post and advice! Baby B is the cutest baby ever!!

  40. Baby B is so cute! He looks so happy and peaceful in that picture.

    I dont know if I want to know the answer…but how umm…how low do they go? does breatsfeeding make women saggy? 🙂

  41. Michelle says:

    Baby B is SO GORGEOUS!

    Loving the BFing post – share the knowledge!

    I also had overactive letdown (and I think I could have fed a small country), it was especially bad the 2nd time. I didn’t even realize that I was supposed to do block feedings either (you’d think I would have learned the 1st time!) and couldn’t figure out why L was hungry all.the.time – she wasn’t getting the fatty milk. It all came together finally, thankfully!

    Keep up the good work mama!

  42. Elaine says:

    OMG!! He is adorable! I love newborn pictures!

  43. You have the best posts, Tina! I am so coming back here and rereading when I’m breastfeeding… someday. 🙂

  44. So excited and yet nervous to think that someday I’ll be doing that too! you’ll be my mentor for much of motherhood I”m sure 😛

  45. Karen says:

    Back in the day when I breast fed there WAS no internet! Isn’t there something amazing about that mom/baby connection that you have when they are latched on:)

  46. Amanda Estes says:

    Thank you for your posts! I am due in June so I’m trying to read up on any information I can so this helps so much! Congrats!

  47. Great info!! I tweeted you before I saw this post :/

    My sister in laws mom is a lactation consultant. Or whatever they are called…I keep hearing all these breast feeding horror stories, so I am trying to prep as much as possible! However, can’t really afford to take another class at the hospital. They are all so expensive!

  48. I LOVE breastfeeding. It’s such a magical time with my little baby. It did take about three or four weeks before my nipples stopped hurting and lanolin was my best friend but it was still good.

    I can’t say enough about how important breastfeeding is and how beneficial it is for the baby. Mine hasn’t had a bottle yet at 4.5 months and I hope he doesn’t have to ever!

  49. Summer says:

    What a beautiful little boy! I love his expression.

    I think your breastfeeding answers have sufficiently terrified me into waiting even longer than already planned to even consider children 🙂 The pain all sounds so…well, painful! You are a supermom!

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