When I think about my past experiences and what no one ever told me; it isn’t all sunshine and daisies. If it works out for you, breast feeding is totally completely worth it! If not just enjoy those special moments while your feeding your baby, they still look at you with that amazing wonder. In the movies, women go through a painful quick or not so quick delivery, then they are happily breast feeding their new little bundles of joy and life goes on.
With baby number 1, latching on was a huge difficulty. I was like “here’s my boob now drink up.” Nope, she couldn’t latch on good and I kept hearing this clicking noise. The nurses would grab baby, grab breast and try and make the two work together. When we got home, baby girl cried all night and I tried everything. Finally, just after I though “great baby hasn’t even been home one night and I am a failure at breastfeeding” she let out the BIGGEST man like burp I have ever heard and went right to sleep.
What I learned:
- Relax, all things will come together and your not a failure, just enjoy learning and bonding with baby.
- When you hear the clicking noise gently break the suction between babies mouth and your breast by placing your finger between both and try, try again.
- Try different positions.
- I get huge cramps when baby is new and I only feel it while nursing. It makes relax while nursing fairly difficult.
- I take Motrin (according to doc, this is ok for both Mom and Baby).
- The reason our uterus cramping is because it is still working to get back to size, you know that NON Watermelon size.
- Know that this will indeed pass. My experience has been 1-3 days of pain, but only while nursing.
With my first, my milk came in I had the biggest breasts I had ever seen in my entire life. No REALLY my breasts were like rockets. For one second, I thought WOW! and then the pain hit. I was so engorged with milk and my nipples disappeared. My bra didn’t fit and baby definitely couldn’t latch on. The books said discomfort “pfffft!” let’s be honest, it was painful.
- If I just couldn’t handle it I took Motrin (consult your doc or midwife.)
- Take warm showers, try warm compresses, and definitely wear a bra, those two sisters need a lot of support.
- Stay on a schedule with nursing and don’t let baby have a long nap.
- Express milk, no matter how painful, you have to get those girls down to a manageable size and reduce the pain.
- Again, this will soon pass. It takes 2-3 days to reduce down.
When I didn’t eat right and when I was stressed, my supply went kapoot!
- Eat right
- Get rest
- Drink lots of water
It seems with all my babies, at some point they want to just breast feed all day long. Your nipples will be painful from use and from the engorgement. This creates some very sore, tender nipples.
- Sometimes they are just nursing wrong. Restarted the breast feeding Break the seal and re-attach until you feel like there is way too much boobie in babies mouth.
- Express some milk to release some of the engorgement, don’t worry there is plenty of milk there.
All the breast feeding, wet and dry exposure can crack and make nipples bleed. I experienced this with all my babies and it always makes me a little reluctant or hesitant to latch baby on the next time because it hurts so much.
- Try to keep the nipple clean after every nursing.
- With the last baby I discovered (what had already been out there all this time) Lansinoh. The tiniest little bit relieved my discomfort and it kept my nipples moist and protected.
- If you can use something like this every day about a month before baby comes. It may not make nipples impervious to pain, but a girl can dream!
My poor little ones. If they weren’t sucking right they got gas. If Momma ate something off they got gas. I didn’t know they were lactose intolerant either. Everyone is different, but I had to avoid dairy products.
- Avoid gas causing foods. Just remember, if it makes you gassy, it’s probably going to bother the baby.
- Keep a food diary and take note of how your baby reacts that day. You will soon learn what foods your baby experiences discomfort with.
If your baby does get gas, try these things for relief:
- Baby massage
- Lay baby down and make bicycle motions with their legs.
- Warm bath
- Try some baby simethicone products like Mylicon.
- Don’t wait too long to feed baby, she’ll be mad, eat angry and cry. When they cry with gusto like that they swallow air.
- Once she eats and burps, she’ll be a happy camper…
- Always burp baby after feeding, it might take the longest time, but that little itty bitty burp can mean a lot for comfort. Try both the “pat pat” technique and the gentle rub, moving down / up.
With my 2nd and third baby I wanted to get right back on track and lose weight. But I didn’t eat right or drink enough water. That lowered my milk supply.
- I know you are ready to jump on that “fit train” and get your pre-pregnancy body back, but slow down. You need to take in your proper amount of calories. It’s not hard, just make good choices and eat healthy.
- Drink lots of water.
All these things sound painful, horrible and they are to a degree, but much of the discomfort during the first 2-4 weeks of breast feeding is only for a short time. With luck this information will help you in some way. If you’ve consulted with your breast feeding consultant, tried everything you can, or your doctor suggests you move to formula, don’t feel bad it’s just time to move on. You tried your hardest and given it your best shot. You are still giving your child nourishment and love while enjoy those special feeding moments. Look into their eyes, feel their fingers, notice the similarities of family members.
Breast feeding sources:
La Leche League
- Most companies that supply bottles, pumps and other supplies have some pretty good information as well.