Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Uncanny truths about Motherhood- Breastfeeding

I will not lie. The hardest thing that comes with having a baby for me is breastfeeding. Its two fold, one, I am not a small boobied girl and so it takes work to make it work. It’s not something that I want or care to do out in public, because it’s a task, a chore, and it involves me taking off many layers and well, I don’t think that’s so great to do in public. 2nd, it makes me ravenously hungry. I am NOT one of those lucky lucky suckers that loses weight when I nurse. On the contrary, I gain it and become heavier than I was when I am 9 months pregnant. Well, life isn’t fair so I will move past that, but this is what I know.

It is so great to have that bond with your child if you can do it and the time spent, I don’t think is ever forgotten. For both mother and child. The development that occurs and things that are "taught" when a child nurses are special in my opinion and their immunity system as well, will love your for it. With my first little booger, I had no idea what I was doing. I was so not willingly to just whip it out there in the hospital and let many different people grab, squish and move my boob around. I wish I would have. I would have learned a lot. I was too “uncomfortable” and thought it should be something more private for me to learn. Well, my son was 13 weeks old and I had already had 6 breast infections, or mastitis. Sooooo not fun! How come nobody told me about mastitis? How come I had to find out the hard way?? I didn’t even realize that if I was feeding incorrectly it would cause this. I also didn’t know that nursing shouldn’t hurt. Now, I’m not talking just a little discomfort, but pain. Real pain, where I was crying and in tears because it hurt so bad. In my mind though, this was what was best for my child, so I continued to do it. I should have listened to my husband, when he said, that can’t be right, that there must be a better way. (Don’t let him know he was right though, OK?) I was stubborn (still am- working on that) and kept trying to go at it uncomfortably.
A proper sucking technique and latch-on will make all the difference. I learned this the second time around. And I also learned that babies only need to eat 2 ½ to 3 hours. When they are fussing an hour later, it doesn’t mean they are hungry. {I will do another post on sleep and different cries shortly.} I did not know this and offered my breast which in turn brought on more pain and suffering. Do not offer the breast (or bottle) every time your baby cries. If you are nursing, I think that is the fast and quickest way to a downward spiral. You will be exhausted! This is know, because I was there. I didn’t know any different, and because he sucked, or latched on every time (DUH!!) I thought that he was hungry, and well I was just becoming a human pacifier. I don't use, or really believe in pacifiers, so why I was becoming a human one? Well, I didn't know I was.

Lanolin cream by Lansinoh was my life saver. It helped me tremendously and kept me from cracking. I didn’t ever have bleeding nipples, just very worn out ones. I also hear that there is something similar to a big Chapstick tube maybe from Johnson & Johnson that works well!
The pump for me, worked when I just couldn’t nurse and did feel better. If you have a good pump and don't have to do the work, another thing great for a new mom, less work, can make all the difference. I have the medela double breast electric one. I was in so much pain before, when I was doing it wrong, that of course it felt better when I could get proper drainage. I could never use a nipple shield, that didn’t work for me. It was so big and I couldn’t get that, along with my breast, into my poor babies’ mouth.

It does get easier and better with each child, or at least it did for me. When the second one came around, with a proper shield, I was comfortable and “expert” enough to be able to stop at Legoland, and Sea world and feed my baby without taking an hour out of my day and having to undress myself. Keep trucking along and get more comfortable with it. It will come along. I was even able to just sit and do it naturally while I had Tonya take pictures of me and my babe. I would have never guessed the first time around that I would be so comfortable to do this. Of course, Tonya isn’t a stranger so I could do it with her, but just saying, I wouldn’t have done that, and didn’t, with my first child. That’s why with my second I wanted pictures so badly to say, this is something I accomplished. Something that I overcame and was successful at this certain task. I also never thought I would be able to put up a picture of me doing this. But if it helps but one person out there,if someone tries it, or keeps going maybe because of this post, or picture, and succeed in breastfeeding, then it’s worth it for me.
Having said and gone through all of this, don’t think that it’s not worth it. I would and will go through it again. It still hurts every time you start because of the engorging that occurs and the soreness until your nipples can callus or get used to it, but again, I think it’s something that if you can do, is great for you and your baby. Much cheaper too! This time around, I needed to stop when my babe was 7 months old and boy, I can’t wait until he can have real milk and we aren’t dishing out 25 bucks a week on formula. That reason alone, I think, would make someone want to give it a go!


Dana said...

that is a beautiful picture.

Sarah said...

ahh. breastfeeding, no one ever tells you (except this post) just how darn hard it really is.

Bikmans said...

Fantastic post! I laughed and cried as I read it. OH the plugged ducts and mastistis so not fun. The things I wish I would have known.

threeboogers said...

Dana, thank you, I love it as well.
Sarah, I agree. That's exactly why I write, so people may know.
Cheryl-Me too! I wish someone would of told me, that is why I want to write these things down to tell those that are first time mothers and will be. Maybe, it will make it easier for them.

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Trying to savor the little moments in our lives that make the memories.