Friday, 10 April 2015

The one thing I wish I knew before I had a baby....


...that breastfeeding wasn't all that easy. All the images we see of women breast feeding portray happy mamas smiling down at their angelic suckling babies. Not this mama. For the first month of breastfeeding my first born, I suffered. Breastfeeding hurt. A lot. Cracked, bleeding nipples are never fun. Throw in a starving needy newborn into the mix and you have the perfect recipe for a full-blown meltdown. The anticipation of my baby waking up and wanting to nurse was gruelling. I would curl my toes and clench my jaw while nursing in reaction to the pain. I eagerly participated in a breastfeeding class and received one-on-one support from a certified lactation consultant. I was told that if my baby latched on correctly, I shouldn't feel pain. Well, my baby had a perfect latch and was gaining weight beautifully but I was STILL in a heck of a lot of pain. Creams only helped so much. So how did I survive four long weeks of torture? With support from another mother who endured the same breastfeeding fate. My sister reminded me that there was a bright light at the end of the very dark tunnel. That one day I would wake up and nursing would be pain-free. She was right. One day I did wake up and breastfeeding suddenly became magical...the pain had dissipated. Was the month of pain worth it? Yes, absolutely. For me it was. I'm giving my baby nature's perfect liquid. I never have to worry about heating up bottles, sanitizing nipples or stocking up on formula. So this message goes out to all the expectant mothers who have the desire to have the support of many mamas around you. The start may not be easy (fingers crossed you will be one of the lucky ones with no issues) and there will be days where you feel like you've hit rock bottom, but please don't give up. I promise you it gets better. You can do it.

Breastfeeding survival tips!
  • Stress totally affects milk production. Relax as much as possible. Take baby to bed with you and have someone at home to bring you meals/snacks/drinks.
  • Use a pump to get your milk flowing before your baby latches on. They won't have to suck as aggressively which is easier on sore nipples.  Out of all the pumps I have trialed (and I am a self proclaimed pump expert) I LOVE the Medela Harmony Manual pump for occasional pumping.  No fussing with tubes, super portable and powerful!
  • The Booby Trapper is one awesome breastfeeding cover. It has a double plastic ring so you can easily view your baby and ensure optimal positioning during nursing. Also doubles as a sun/wind cover and keeps baby from getting distracted while nursing.  
Booby trapper

breastfeeding cover
Hee Hee, That's actually my little one's hand peeping out....
  • Massage breasts while taking a hot shower to help soothe engorged breasts.
  • Bamboo nursing pads are much gentler than disposable pads. I found the disposable kind would stick to my already sensitive nipples.  I liked Applecheeks and Bamboobies pads.
How did breastfeeding go for you? Share your breastfeeding adventures and tips below!  We'd love to hear your stories!

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