As you may or may not know, I have always been extremely pro breastfeeding. In my book there was no other option. Sure I was aware that it was possible that my body wouldn’t cooperate, but if it was up to me I was going to stick to it no matter how hard it was. The good news is that for the one month with our little man in our lives I have been breastfeeding successfully (or so I think), and although it hasn’t always been a roses and lollipops….both me and Christian are getting along well. Therefore, I figured I will start a bit of a journal of my breastfeeding journey…why not? I share everything else right?
I found it pretty scary in the hospital when Christian was born that they just kind of give you the baby and leave you to figure things out. “Here ya go!” I told them I was exclusively breastfeeding, and therefore they brought me the baby on demand when he was hungry. I had taken 2 breast feeding classes, but a classroom can’t prepare you for the real thing. In the beginning there is only colostrum, and although they say that’s all your baby needs, you are left wondering if they are correct. “Liquid gold” they call it, and I was extremely pleased to see it when I squeezed my breast…phew!
I couldn’t have been happier with the lactation consultants in the hospital. As a matter of fact I met with 3 of them. The first was in a breastfeeding class, and the second was the second night I was there. The second worked with me for a full hour showing me different things. I didn’t even ask, and when she heard my baby crying she came in to help. She was a lifesaver. My other life saver was the third LC. She came in on the day I was to go home when yet again she heard the baby crying. She saw me struggling, and came to my rescue. Little did I know that my milk had started to come in…I didn’t even notice! Sad the LC had to tell me. I was just so happy to know my milk was coming in! It was my biggest fear that it wouldn’t. She then pointed out something that may just have saved my whole breastfeeding experience…low and behold I had flat nipples. That means that when my breasts were full they weren’t sticking out so that Christian could latch on. That’s why we were having so much trouble! Then she gave me my lifesaver…a nipple shield! This beautiful contraption saved me…yes I believe this little clear plastic thing made the whole experience possible. From then on little Christian was able to latch!
The day my milk came in was painful. But the pain was overshadowed by my happiness that it was actually there. Not to mention the pain only lasted for a day or so. Thank goodness! I had a houseful of family here, but still Christian and I got to bond over nursing time. He seemed to be doing so well. My mom kept telling me I would need to ween off the shields, but I was so worried because it was going so well. Why rock the boat? They were a pain in the butt though. I would always have to wash them, and he would always try to pull it off with his hands. But still…he was eating, and when we went to our first pediatrician appointment he was gaining weight. So things were good! The only down side was he was gassy. At the time I took it to be just a underdeveloped digestive system of a newborn, but now I know/think the gas came from the extra air in the shield.
Over time I would try to pull the shield off mid feed, and sometimes he would take it. Then, as time went on I found that I no longer needed the shield at all! And would you know…he is much less gassy without the shield! Thank goodness! Although Christian is happier with out the shield, my nipples sadly to say are not. Ouch! I guess they need to toughen up a bit! I use lanolin regularly now, and that helps a bit, but I think it will just take time.
Currently, I have just started pumping which I will save for another next breastfeeding post. For now, just know that Christian and I are doing well.