Some Breastfeeding Questions & Answers

Good morning!

Over the past few months, I’ve received all sorts of questions about my experience with breastfeeding. I finally had a chance to sit down and reply to some of them, so I thought I’d share my responses on CNC. Moms and moms-to-be, I hope you find them helpful!

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Are you still breastfeeding?

I am not. Quinn is currently drinking formula and eating solids.

Why are you being so secretive about breastfeeding?

I didn’t realize I was being secretive. Haha! Sorry about that! I just haven’t talked a lot about breastfeeding on CNC because, honestly, I didn’t want all of the judgment from readers who didn’t agree with my decisions. I know I write a blog and put myself out there, so I should expect this type of feedback, but being a mom and breastfeeding is hard enough by itself, so I didn’t want random people weighing in on it, especially when they didn’t know anything about our situation. It’s been a little while since I stopped breastfeeding Quinn, so now I feel more comfortable sharing my experience on CNC.

It seems like you’ve stopped breastfeeding. What made you decide to stop?

Quinn and I exclusively breastfed for 4-months. Around this time, as you might remember, I had a really bad UC flare, so my doctor put me on a high dose of Prednisone to get things under control. He assured me that it was safe to continue breastfeeding (Quinn’s doc said the same thing), but the steroids made him miserable. Quinn was fussy and cried almost all day long. I mean, the steroids made me irritable and anxious, so I can only imagine what they did to my poor baby.

After many conversations with our pediatrician and Mal, I decided to stop breastfeeding Quinn. We gave him formula instead, which, at the time, was heartbreaking for me. I actually cried about this decision, which still surprises me because I wasn’t even sure if I wanted to breastfeed in the beginning. I actually really ended up loving it, so I hated the fact that I had to stop because my stupid immune system was messed up. (I know there’s nothing wrong with giving your baby formula””obviously, since we’re more than happy with our decision””but it was still a tough choice for me at the time. I was mostly just pissed at myself/my body.)

Our pediatrician encouraged me to keep pumping and then freeze my breast milk just in case things changed. Quinn would eventually gain weight and get bigger, so maybe the steroids wouldn’t affect him so much? Plus, I eventually started Remicade and weaned off the steroids all together, so quite a bit of the breast milk stored in our freezer has a really low dose of Prednisone in it. (Each bag is labeled with the  date and how many mg of steroids I was on when I pumped it.) Over time, I pumped less and less and my milk supply just totally tanked, but it coincided with Quinn starting solids, so it all worked out. He’s doing great on the formula (never fussy after eating, rarely spits up) and he loves all of the new foods we are giving him, so I’m not sure if we’ll ever give him the steroid-laden breast milk from our freezer.

I’ve heard intense exercise can decrease the milk supply. Did you experience any changes in your milk supply when you got back to exercising intensely?

I actually asked my doctor this exact same question, and she said unless I’m a professional athlete, who exercises for 8 hours a day, it shouldn’t be an issue. And when I was exclusively breastfeeding, I never noticed a change in my supply when I went back to CrossFit and running.

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When you got your colonoscopy, could you still breastfeed during the liquid diet prep? Did it affect your supply? Could you breastfeed right after the procedure?

I called my GI doctor with all of the same questions. I breastfed normally during the prep and right after my colonoscopy with no issues. The only thing my doctor advised was making sure that I was well-hydrated before and after the procedure, so I drank lots of water and Gatorade, and I didn’t notice any sort of drop in my supply.

Why don’t you like nursing in public?

I wouldn’t say I didn’t like nursing in public, but I tried to avoid it when I could. (I would pump a bottle ahead of time.) Mal, Quinn, and I would often go out with friends, and I always felt a little uncomfortable whipping out my boob (even if it was under a cover) in front of them. I’d often bottle feed Quinn or hop in the backseat of the car to nurse him. I realize breastfeeding is a wonderful and amazing thing that shouldn’t be hidden and, of course, I totally agree with that, but I just never felt completely comfortable doing it out in public.

I know you had a breast reduction in the past, so I’m wondering if you experienced any difficulty in nursing or did things work out fairly well for you in regards to supply and being able to feed after delivery?

Yes, thankfully, everything worked out just fine. I was worried I might not be able breastfeed after my surgery (in 2004), but everything worked out. No issues with supply, latching, etc.

Has Quinn had any issues transitioning to a bottle?

He hasn’t had an issues transitioning to a bottle, so I think we kind of lucked out. The kid just loves to eat, so he went right from boob to bottle to solids without any problems.

85 Comments

  1. Thank you so much for sharing! I had a baby last May and it has been so fun to watch Quinn go through many of the same things as my little one. I totally appreciate you (and all of the blogging mommas) to share as much as you do. I have never felt as under fire as with pregnancy and parenting. Everyone has an opinion. I have also had so many times where I have felt scared and alone and uncertain. I am so hesitant to ask others because I am afraid of being judged. Seeing mommas like you who are successful with some things you try and struggle through others makes me feel very validated. Thank you!!

  2. Thanks Tina for sharing such a personal update. I must admit I was curious too but would never have asked, so thank you for being so open and honest about the path you chose which was right for you and Quinn. My son is 9 months and just started at daycare so we are about to go through a transition too, so it’s great to hear different stories and experiences so we can work out what is right for us. Lovely to see so many of your reader’s comments are supportive <3

  3. Thanks for sharing, I’m actually expecting in May and even though I don’t yet have a child, I already am getting my share of ‘advice’ and ‘opinions’ – I can’t imagine how much it will increase when our little girl is actually here! My husband and I just keep talking about how we need to make the best decisions for our situation and our family … and take it as it comes. You have totally accomplished that in spades!!

  4. Good for you lady! I think the whole “all or nothing” breastfeeding mentality is so harsh on moms. Breastfeeding is HARD, period! Sure, some women get it down right away, but there are so many situations and circumstances that I seriously feel no one has the right to judge. At the end of the day, we do what is the very best for our babies and you certainly are! 🙂

  5. You are awesome. Thank you for sharing this!! So glad you have found something that works for you and Q!!

  6. Breastfeeding is the hardest thing I have ever done! I totally understand your not wanting to share, because I feel like there is a ton of pressure out there to breastfeed exclusively for a year, be proud of it, and enjoy it. I am so thankful I was able to breastfeed until my son was 10 months old, but it was incredibly difficult and I would be devastated if someone had judged my decision to stop. I was also like you in that I did not like to nurse in public, so outings also had to be very planned or I was nursing in the back of a car. :).

  7. Thanks for sharing! All that matters is that baby gets fed and mom is sane 🙂 at least that’s what I tell myself. I will say I breastfed both my girls and the first one was a nightmare and I wish I’d had the courage to switch to formula. The second was so easy that I am still nursing her to sleep at 18 months old. Every experience is different and moms need to find a way to support one another rather than judge. Quinn is adorable and I am sure he doesn’t think twice about where his meal comes from.

  8. I’m still breastfeeding my son who is over one, we have never managed to find a bottle he would take so we just sort of went with it. At this point he only feeds once or twice a day. I can totally imagine wanting to be a bit more private with it, people are so judgy in both directions! Too long or too short. I think you have to do what works for you and your baby. Not worth it when you have a fussy baby because of something that you have to take. That must have been a tough time 🙁 thank you for sharing your experience!! Quinn is a lucky little guy!

  9. I just wanted to say thanks for sharing this post! The only advice I ever give to new moms is just do what’s best for your family whether its about feeding, sleeping or anything else. You’re doing great!

  10. I’m sorry you felt hesitant to post this due to judgement. That shouldn’t be. Mother’s should support each other! You’re doing a great job – you’re taking care of baby Q and that’s all that matters, keep it up 🙂

  11. Hi Tina,
    I know it’s way personal, but as a mom I always enjoy these types up updates – just love hearing how other mamas out there are doing I guess? Anyway, a big congrats on the 4 months and I’m sorry it was heartbreaking to stop; I am not usually a commenter, but I just want to say I understand how hard those decisions can be and, though in hindsight we realize it was all okay, in the moment can be really rough. Good for you for sticking with your gut and I’m sure Q is much happier on formula then the S-Milk 🙂 Sorry you are having to go through so much extra stuff as a new mom, but his cute smiles say you are doing FANTASTIC. XO
    Janine

  12. Good for you for doing what is best for your baby, period! You and Mal are great parents from what I see here. My pediatrician told me that any breastmilk was better than no breastmilk so 4 times, 4 months, 4 years whatever works, as long as your baby is thriving. I cried each time I weaned my kids (all four of them). I had to wean my first baby a little earlier from the others because I had my wisdom teeth pulled and I got a terrible infection and had to be on major drugs. It was an unexpected, fast weaning and it was emotional for both of us. But she just turned 12 and all is well, she is a beautiful young lady who doesn’t give a hoot if I weaned her early, in fact, she would probably never want to discuss it! Q is a doll, I love seeing his little mouth all gooey and messy. What a cutie! Always do what is best for YOUR family and don’t worry about what anyone else thinks, or says, or comments. Big hugs lady.

  13. Thank you for sharing this. As a first time mom, I really struggled with my supply and had to stop pretty soon after birth. With everything you were able to do while breastfeeding, I honestly found myself getting so annoyed. How was this possible? How come I couldn’t do that? Man there is nothing like comparing yourself to someone after having a baby. I think you made the right call for all of you and I understand how emotionally unexpected that decision is. Seems like Quinn is doing great lately too!

  14. Thank you for putting yourself out there. I’m hoping to breastfeed (in like 2 weeks when our little lady is due…eeeeek!) and I admire and respect your feelings on everything you said. I too write a blog and sometimes can’t put it all out there till I’m ready. Either way, we’ve got to keep doing what’s right for us and our families, you are doing that~ way to go Mama!

  15. Thanks for sharing your experience, Tina. Haters gonna hate, don’t worry about them! I had to pump and formula feed my daughter also. I was very angry with my body and felt really down on myself as well, but realized soon after starting formula how much happier my baby was. Then I forced myself see what my body COULD and DID do (conceive, carry and deliver a healthy baby), versus what it couldn’t (produce enough breastmilk). You absolutely did the right thing for your family!

  16. I’m so sorry you went through all of that. 🙁 I can’t imagine how frustrating and emotional that must have been. While I respect everyone’s right to privacy in this regard, I also think it’s great that you put it out there. You tried, but your body wasn’t cooperating and it wasn’t what was best for your son. Each decision is personal and doesn’t need to be defended. I hope you don’t get any jerks telling you otherwise.

  17. You are wonderful for sharing all of this. As a mom too, I like hearing about others experiences. Breastfeeding is hard and making it 4 months is an amazing accomplishment!

  18. I just wanted to say thank you for sharing all that. I was wondering some of the same things you addressed. I know so many people have their own thoughts and beliefs about breastfeeding – but you have to do what works for you and your baby. Thanks much for sharing!

  19. I’m so thankful for this post! I am an avid CNC reader and also a first time mother of a four month old. I have struggled with the same decisions, especially after a really bad case of Mastitis and my son falling into the 10th percentile for weight gain. I shed many tears, but realized that I did the very best I could. Baby Hank is now happier than ever! Thank-you so much for the reassurance, you ROCK!

  20. You’re doing a great job mama! So hard to make these big decisions about your baby and your body. I can sympathize 🙂

  21. Interesting! Speaking of breasts…any chance you can share your favorite sports bras? Been looking for new ones and would love some with good support.

    Thanks!

  22. Thanks for sharing your story. Never feel guilty that your medical issues affect your life choices. It is all to easy to do. I often find myself apologizing for being blind in my right eye, which is really just totally nuts and dis-empowering.

  23. I’m expecting in April so I’m scouring your baby posts! I can’t say enough how much I appreciate this post. I was always really freaked out by breastfeeding and I was judged, not even being a mom yet! I know now that I’ll try because it’s best for the baby. But it’s so comforting to know that someone shares a lot of my feelings. I know that I won’t be someone who wants to breastfeed in public much either. I salute the moms who are able to do it. But I’ve always been such a private person, I just don’t see me being comfortable and I know that could affect the baby. Thank you and I think it’s wonderful you were able to do it for four months!!

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