Thursday, July 5, 2012

The "Joys" of Breastfeeding

Okay... I don't normally do these kinds of posts on things like breastfeeding, but this has been my life the last week and I just feel like sharing! If you don't like reading about boobs, nipples or breastfeeding... just stop reading now. =)

This is my breastfeeding rant - everyone always posts these lovely "breastfeeding is wonderful!" posts AND obviously I am breastfeeding my child, so I am all for it, BUT seriously... no one ever talks about the horrible first week. I don't care how lovely and wonderful or flowers and roses it is the rest of the time..... the first week is painful.

Here is my Top Ten reasons why breastfeeding in the first week sucks (literally):

  1. Stressing about whether your milk is ever going to come in or if your baby is going to starve to death first.
  2. Wondering WHY you ever worried about your milk coming in because now it's TOO MUCH!
  3. Waking up in the middle of the night because your boobs hurt from being so full and it's not time to wake the baby up for a feeding yet. 
  4. As a result of #3 getting up in the middle of the night to hook yourself up to a pump for 20 minutes so that you can go back to sleep until the next feeding.
  5. Cracked, bleeding, scabbed-over nipples that you cannot get enough lanolin cream on to make a lick of difference.
  6. Having the unfortunate sense of oneness with a milk cow.
  7. The let-down reflex is actually painful... why is that?
  8. Trying to figure out (or remember, in my case) HOW you get this newborn baby to open their mouth wide enough to latch on properly.
  9. Having your husband watch in horror as your poor nipples are being stretched out in the breast pump (I try to limit this unfortunate experience as much as possible)
  10. Dreading the next feeding because of all of the above when you know you should be cherishing those moments with your newborn baby.
Of course... it's all worth it and at the end of that first week, everything seems to be settling down. It's not so painful and we're getting a routine. I was so sure of myself this time around since I nursed my first one for a year and felt I was pretty experienced. What I seemed to have forgotten is that at the end of that year we were BOTH experienced and starting over with a novice newborn was a little harder than I remembered. Although, he is a champ and has caught on right away.

I definitely recommend picking up some reading material before your baby is born if you're planning to breastfeed. I know it helped a lot with my first one. Breastfeeding is hard, especially at the beginning. I really liked So That's What They're For! by Janet Tamaro. 
Also, if your hospital has lactation consultants staffed in their birth center, you should have them come by and see you before you leave. I even did this the second time around just to make sure that Zachary was latching correctly and I wasn't forgetting something before we went home. 

Okay... well that is my one and only breastfeeding post - moving on!

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