I did a poll on my Instagram story and discovered that to most (19 voted it was easy, and 11 voted it was hard) mothers thought breastfeeding was easy to them. I specifically asked if breastfeeding their firstborn came easy and was natural to them! I have to be honest; this was a little shocking to me and does not represent my experiences with either of my children.
Since I had such a different experience than what appears to be most, I thought I’d share my breastfeeding journey with both of my children. I hope this helps someone who didn’t have it so easy! I get you :)
Pain, pain, and more pain. Nothing I was doing at home was working. The first minute of every single nursing session, which as we all know for newborns is frequent with little breaks between, was intense pain so bad that it often brought me to tears.
What felt like it should be so easy wasn’t anymore.
It was important to me personally to breastfeed my children, and I hated that it wasn’t working.
After two weeks, I was done with it. My right nipple had cracked and was literally bleeding after each nursing session. I would favor the left side and then was panicking because my supply might tank. It didn’t, but I was worried it might because everyone online tells you so. I had all the creams and nothing changed. I was over the pain and dealing with other things like sleep deprivation and my husband going back to work, too.
I went to target one day and tried the nipple shield which did absolutely nothing. I would pump instead of nursing because it hurt less, and there began my hatred for the pump. That’s a story for another time, but seriously, fuck pumping. Being a working mom, that thing and that buzzing noise is the bane of my motherhood existence.
After nothing was working and my sanity was being shit on, I finally went to the lactation consultant through Danbury Hospital. They worked with me, weighed his feed (which shocker he took a completely large amount for a little guy, almost 6 ounces), and helped me correct the latch. She told me how to do a finger switch to make sure my nipple was around his mouth and checked for a tongue tie.
She didn’t start stretching from feeding every two hours until after six months. She loved nursing at night and I would just roll her, half asleep, from one boob to the next. She gained like crazy, didn’t even seem hungry half of the time, but then would want to feed again in thirty minutes. It was so time consuming and exhausting.
BOTH of my kids self-weaned from breastfeeding around 10 months old. Each time it was super bittersweet for me and I miss those right before bed feeding sessions when their eyes are droopy and they’re peacefully fading between dreams and awake. I loved the ease of being able to feed them anywhere and being able to help them, make them feel better, and comfort them in times of sadness.
If breastfeeding didn’t come easily to you or you suffered from bad latches, broken nipples, mastitis, or any other breastfeeding issue, what made you push through and keep on keeping on? Please share your breastfeeding stories in the comments!