Oh, It Was Just The Beginning…Posted: January 14, 2012
My breastfeeding tale began like that of most other moms. I had heard all about the benefits of breastfeeding for both mom and baby and couldn’t wait to try it out. I was so excited; I had read tons of material on the subject, my most favorite of all being So That’s What They’re For by Janet Tamaro. I was excited to give my baby this gift and to see what it was all about… what it would feel like, and could it really be that difficult?
When Cleo was born, we got right down to it. She was nursing within the first hour. I will never forget that feeling of pride and, “Look, we’re doing it!” as I stared at this little person I had just met. The colostrum awed and amused me because it was so bright, and I knew it was full of amazing nutrients for my little one. I just knew she was so smart, to be working in step with me already. The smartest baby in the world!
That was pretty much the end of the easiness for quite some time. What they don’t tell you is that when you are feeding a brand new baby for a half hour (or more) every two hours nonstop for days upon days, your nipples get very sore. I don’t care if you have 100 pillows supporting you in all the right places and a perfectly placed hand cupped breast to guide the baby in… Nipples are sensitive and nursing takes some getting used to! Cleo never had a bad latch and I still had to deal with sore, cracked nipples. Even now, four months later after a long day of pumping and nursing, my nips are tired and ready for a break. A break does not come when you’ve got a brand new bebe (but eventually, thankfully, it does come).
The days in the hospital are tough because of all the visitors. I’m not even talking about family members, I mean the nurses, the doctors, the social workers, the lactation specialist. I guess at first I was excited to have her come in and help me, but by the time she showed up, I heard practically nothing she told me. I thought with frustration, “I will never be able to set up this amount of pillows around me on my own at home.” And I never did. Eventually Cleo and I found our own posture that was comfortable for the both of us, and we have never really looked back. Sometimes I’ll grab a pillow and sort of lean on to it for a bit of relief, but mostly she just finds a way to snuggle in to me. It’s a perfect fit.
I guess my point is, it’s never quite what you expect. You can read all the information and instruction you want, but only YOU and your babe can truly find what works for the two of you. Next time I shall tell you the story of The Great Mommy Panic and the home nurse who saved our sanity.
If you are a new or expecting mama, with questions about breastfeeding, I encourage you to check out kellymom.com. It’s a great online resource for all things breastfeeding. The ultimate.
Have a lovely weekend. Goodnight!