Being a first-time mom, I had no idea what Sophie’s and my feeding journey would look like! (And you can’t truly know what it’ll be like with each child until you try!) I definitely wanted to breastfeed; I wanted Sophie’s immune system to get the benefits of breastmilk, and I wanted the special bond with my baby girl – not to mention it’s FREE and a great way to save money! 😉 However, I knew that there were so many variables involved, so I reminded myself that no matter what, fed is best.
Our nursing journey began the second Sophie was born! We were blessed to get over an hour and a half of skin-to-skin time after delivery to cuddle and to let her nurse for the first time. That was so rewarding.
Nursing was most definitely something to get used to, though, especially after the blur of events from Sophie’s birth subsided. I’ll be honest: I shed a lot of tears in those first 2-4 weeks. I fought through intense pain at the beginning of our nursing journey. Sophie herself was always an incredible latcher and eater, thankfully. But I was discouraged. I had been taught that “if it hurts, the baby isn’t latched correctly.” That’s not always accurate. My baby was latching PERFECTLY (according to nurses and others that I asked). It just plain hurt as my body got used to it. But that pain was actually short-lived in the grand scheme of things. I was absolutely, totally determined to make it work. And it did! And it eventually stopped being painful!
(I’m still not a fan of the advice that if it hurts, you’re doing it wrong. If you’re a new mom and you’re discouraged because your baby is actually latching just fine but it still hurts, it might be my same situation: a short-lived uncomfortable thing as your body gets used to it. Sometimes, and for some people, things just are uncomfortable for a while as we get used to it. I want to encourage you to keep seeking help, advice, and support! And then make the decision that is ultimately best for your family/situation.) But time went on, it got better, we all got used to nursing, and it became woven into the fabric of our day.
My husband was so supportive the whole time, not pressuring me either way. After the first month, breastfeeding was second nature and so much less of a big deal than it felt like in the first couple weeks. It was a day-by-day, one feeding at a time kind of thing. I didn’t give up and I’m so glad I persevered with the way I personally wanted to feed my baby.
And I was rewarded with an empowering journey (still going on today) that has been full of the sweetest moments. No matter what my feeding journey looks like with any future children, the fact that I’ve been able to nurse Sophie is something I’ll always be grateful for.
Sophie was 100% exclusively breastfed until 5.5 months, when we began to ease into offering her some baby cereal and vegetable purees. She is still breastfed today at 9 months old (in addition to eating a couple meals each day). My goal is to make it to at least one year, but we’ll see how it works out.
Nursing is both for Sophie’s nutrition and comfort, and like I said, it’s been full of such sweet moments. I do pump 1-2 times per day, even though I’m a stay-at-home mom, because I like to mix Sophie’s baby cereal with milk as part of her supper. I’m trying to consistently pump twice a day just to give us a little buffer of extra milk in the freezer. (I’m not one of those ultra prepared moms with a freezer full of frozen milk! I didn’t prioritize it all that much initially since I was home with Sophie all day from the start, so I got behind and never caught up.)
Enter: Oat Mama
My breastfeeding journey has taught me the importance of filling my body with good things that will in turn help my daughter!
I came across the company Oat Mama on Instagram a long time ago, and immediately fell in love with their products and the heart behind their company.
Oat Mama was created by two mom friends who shared a passion for breastfeeding and for baking. They loved granola bars but realized there wasn’t much available for lactation bars. I love how their philosophy is to provide comforting, convenient nutrition to nursing moms – tasty products that also help to boost moms’ milk supply!
I’m not exaggerating when I say that Oat Mama granola bars are the most delicious bars I’ve ever had! I’m really picky when it comes to granola bars. (I’m one of those people who will totally crash if they just eat a small, sugary bar for breakfast. I need something that feels like REAL food!) Sometimes the more “healthy” bars that have a specific purpose like energy or nutrition don’t taste all that great; Oat Mama bars don’t fall into that stereotype! The flavors are so yummy, and the bars themselves are so filling (something we nursing mothers need!). They recently released a new variety, Lemon Poppy, which tastes just like yummy lemon poppyseed muffins. My favorite varieties are the Chocolate Almond Coconut and Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, although they’re ALL so delicious.
Oat Mama bars contain those key ingredients that mothers often look for to increase breastmilk supply (things like gluten-free rolled oats, brewer’s yeast, nut butter, flax, fenugreek, etc.), and they’re the perfect on-the-go snack or something to reach for for breakfast.
Oat Mama also offers beautiful gift boxes that include different combos of the tea and granola bars – such a special, sweet gift for a new mom!
I love Oat Mama’s products. I love their heart for nursing moms (a “you’ve got this!” attitude). And I love knowing I’m putting food in my body that will benefit Sophie!
To give you a taste of Oat Mama products for yourself, I’m thrilled to be giving away a $30 shop credit to one lucky reader!! So for those of you who are pregnant, nursing, or if you know someone who is a new mom: this giveaway will be right up your alley! Enter below!
And then keep scrolling to take advantage of the promo code, too!
In addition to this fun giveaway, Oat Mama is offering a special discount code just for all of Just Bee’s readers!!!
Use the code HANNAHO2018 for 10% off your entire order!!! Happy shopping!
** Discount code is good for one use per person.