Alright so I had the baby, CHECK. Now all I got to do is put him on the boob and I’m good to go, easy breezy. SIKE!
When the nurse handed my son to me to breastfeed I assumed it was going to be a walk in the park. (Hell to the no no no) The first issue arose when the lactation consultant was trying to show me all these types of positions. There’s the football hold, cradle, cross cradle, lying down, all these things and it was just so much to take in. I couldn’t get comfortable for the life of me! Everything was awkward and I was starting to cramp up doing so much. You really don’t have much space when you’re in those hospital beds.
Now the real challenge…”is latching” (putting the baby on the breast). Eliaz definitely gave me a run for my money in the beginning. I could not get him to latch by myself. But with the help of the nurses and lactation consultants I was able to have my son latch. Let me tell all this now, when a baby does not latch properly ggiirrrllll the pain is excruciating!! OMG I cannot put into words how it feels when a baby does not go on the breast properly, utter pain. I spent 3 days at the hospital and during that time, I was just trying and trying to get my son to latch and it was not happening. I was getting so frustrated; I was damn near at the brink of tears. The nurses tried to encourage me but it just was not working for me. The only time I got a successful latch was when a nurse helped me. Unfortunately you can’t take the nurse home with you so the thought of me being home alone with no help put a lot of pressure on me to get it right. I finally caved in on the 2nd day and said I wanted to pump because latching was getting over whelming. But I still wanted to try latching in between pumping.
Fast forward. I’m home with the baby I’m trying the latching and my nipples are on fire! Everyone wants to promote breastfeeding but they don’t mention the sore, cracked nipples that can occur or the engorged breasts and leaking, need I go on? Breastfeeding is hella stressful and is not easy! I finally was like “screw it” I’m going to try exclusively pumping. Little did I know, exclusively pumping is just as stressful as putting the baby on the boob! You have to wake yourself up at all times of the night, assemble all the parts and sit there and pump for however long. Do you have any idea how annoying that is?
Despite my struggles, I kept on going and I kept on trying. There are times where I did break down and cry because I thought I was a failure for not being able to breastfeed properly. Now here I am almost 4 months in and I am breastfeeding like a pro! The only time I give my son formula is when he is with other people and sometimes at night. Breastfeeding my son is one of my biggest accomplishments. I feel good about myself and I absolutely love the bond my son & I are building. YOU CAN DO THIS! Here are some items I’ve listed that will help you if you’re struggling with breastfeeding.
- Nipple Cream- if you’re a newbie to breastfeeding, mostly likely your nipples are going to be super sore. This lansinoh cream gave me so much relief and eased the pain
- Breast Pads- the brand I liked was the avent brand. It holds up a lot of milk so you do not have to keep switching in new ones every 10 minutes
- Manual Pump- make sure you have a manual breast pump because you can take it easily anywhere. If you get engorged frequently this is quick and accessible. No more full boobs! My fav is the from Lansinoh and its very easy to put together.
- Nursing Bras/Nursing tank tops- Heaven sent! Instead of having to lift your entire bra or shirt, these nursing clothing allow you to just clip a strap down and breastfeed in literally a snap. When you’re done, just clip it on again and continue with your day.
- Mother’s milk tea- This milk tea I drank every other day helped me up my milk supply when I was not producing enough milk.
If you are still having trouble with breastfeeding visit a lactation consultant! I found a healthcare center near me that had breastfeeding meetings and helped mothers with their nursing problems. I took initiative and went to learn because I wanted to get this down packed. I was around other mothers, hearing them speak, going through the same thing made feel better. As with any problem you might be facing in motherhood, you are not alone; most of us have been there and done that. If for whatever reason, you’re unable to breastfeed and you have to give your baby formula that is okay too! Formula feeding does not make you any less of a mother. As long as your baby is fed and growing, you are doing the right thing. Keep the faith and keep on pushing!