As a new mum, I thought breastfeeding would be easy. How hard is it to stick a boob in your baby’s mouth and he sucks on it? It’s actually really hard since you and your baby don’t know what you’re doing. I was so frustrated that I couldn’t do it. My first son wasn’t getting enough milk in the hospital and he kept crying and crying. The nurse on duty finally heard and said that I needed to supplement. I felt defeated. I really wanted to give him my milk.
I kept trying to breastfeed at home, but I still couldn’t breastfeed properly. My nipples were in so much pain. Sometimes, they would bleed. I was mad at myself since I couldn’t figure it out. I would get mad at my husband because he kept saying to try and I would give up and we would have to give him formula. I never gave up, though.
I tried the nipple shield and that worked, but it felt so weird having my baby suck while this plastic shield was on my boob.
My husband Ivan looked up lactation consultants that accepted our insurance. He called and there was a long wait, so he looked up other consultants. We went to a lactation consultant. She weighed the baby beforehand. She observed as I fed George. She weighed him again and he was getting milk. She showed me how to breastfeed and I watched and then breastfed the right way. I hoped that this would help me out. Of course, once I got home, I couldn’t do it right and it still hurt. Everybody says that it shouldn’t hurt if you’re doing it right.
I still breastfed George even through the pain and my frustration. I went to a Breastfeeding Milk Circle where you feed your baby with other mothers. They were all sweet and talked about a product that catches milk on your free boob. I am real shy and thought it was weird that the group was in a public space where anybody in Well Rounded Mama could see you breastfeed.
My midwife suggested going to a chiropractor to help with George’s latch. I went to Dr. Koury a couple of times and it was helping. I was so relieved. I stopped going even though Dr. Koury wanted to see me more because it was so far and it wasn’t covered by my insurance. I’m so glad that her adjustments with George helped his latch.
Breastfeeding does have its downsides though. I’m glad that I didn’t get mastitis which I was so afraid of getting since hearing about the horror stories online. I did get lots of milk blisters (or bleb or nipple blister). This occurs when you have skin on a milk duct with milk stuck behind it. This milk blister shows up as a painful white, clear or yellow dot on your nipple or areola. It’s really, really freaking painful to feed when you have a milk blister. I looked online to see how I could get rid of the milk blister on my own. I tried applying heat before breastfeeding. I didn’t do the saline soak since I’m lazy. The heat didn’t work, so I went to the next suggestion. It said to clear the skin from the duct. This is usually done at a doctor’s office to avoid infection, but I was too determined, crazy and too cheap, so I decided to give it a go. I washed my nipple with soap. I loosened the edge of the blister skin with my fingernail. I sterilized a needle by holding it in a flame until it is red hot. Then, I lifted the blister off with the needle. Definitely not for the faint of heart! Washed my nipple with soap and water afterwards. After, I would hand express breast milk from behind the milk blister to get the thickened milk out. It comes up in clumps or strings. I kept getting milk blisters, but I still continued breastfeeding. I was used to getting rid of the milk blister with the needle, but it was still something I didn’t like doing.
After all my struggles with breastfeeding, I was proud that I breastfed George for a year which was my goal. George eventually got bored of it and wanted cow’s milk instead. I’m so glad I was able to bond with him and give him all the health benefits. I struggled to remember how to breastfeed with my new son Theo, but I got a good latch a few weeks after starting. You may struggle with breastfeeding, but keep going.. you’ll be an expert in no time! Soon, you’ll be able to breastfeed everywhere with no problems.
The infographic introduction below is written by Jenny Silverstone at Mom Loves Best. Check out the great infographic at the end.
Breastfeeding has a well-earned reputation — it can strike fear into the hearts of new mothers who have heard all the horror stories about pain, cracked nipples, and latching difficulties. It can be intimidating and time-consuming. Let’s face it: Breastfeeding can be a giant pain in the butt.
It’s also one of the most important things you can ever do for your baby. The benefits are real, and they’re big. We know breastfeeding isn’t easy. It can be tempting to quit at the first sign of trouble, and sometimes moms have reason upon reason to give up. That’s where we come in. Because we know breastfeeding can be overwhelming at times, we’ve compiled a list of reasons why you shouldn’t quit doing it, even if you really want to.
Our infographic below gives a shortened version of our article, 111 Benefits of Breastfeeding. The health benefits for babies are frequently mentioned by nurses at the hospital shortly after women give birth. The benefits breastfeeding provides moms aren’t usually talked about as much. Neither are the societal implications of breastfeeding or the financial reasons you might want to consider giving breastfeeding the old college try. We cover all those reasons in our article.
Will our article make breastfeeding any easier? No, but it will give you that little bit of strength you might need to keep going forward. Because that’s one of the great things about breastfeeding — in the beginning, it’s incredibly difficult, and you sometimes feel like you’re getting it all wrong. But if you stick with it, you’ll get the hang of it, and you’ll start to look forward to those little moments. Those moments when you’re giving your baby something no one else can — a great, healthy beginning to his or her life.