I will never forget the first moment the nurse showed me how to get Jameson to “latch” onto my boobs in the hospital. It was such a weird sensation and at first was super uncomfortable. My arms were in super awkward positions holding onto my son. My nipples were burning from the constant tugging. I was nervous, confused, and happy all at the same time. I can’t really explain how amazing it felt to look down and see my son content on my boobs for the very first time. But that’s exactly what it was amazing.
Fortunately for me my son latched on immediately and was sucking away. For some mom’s it is not always that easy and sometimes they won’t latch and they might even refuse your nipples. Kyleigh will actually be discussing her journey with breastfeeding as both her kids refused to breastfeed at first. She will discuss how she fixed this. So, if you are going through anything like this please find her story and you can always reach out to ask questions.
One of the hardest parts about breastfeeding for the first time was ensuring your baby was latching on properly. If your baby does not latch on properly you can develop bruises/cracks on your nipples and it will make your breastfeeding journey that much harder. This is what happened to me. Jameson was not latching on correctly and I did not realize it until I already had cracked nipples. Let me tell you the pain was UNREAL! Every time Jameson went to breastfeed after I had cracked nipples I wanted to cry and scream at the same time! I wanted to quit multiple times through this period but luckily I reminded my self 1) of the benefits of breastfeeding and 2) I had friends who continued to get me through it. So I am here to tell you, if this happens to you keep pushing through it girl! It gets better and after a few days of applying nipple cream non-stop and practicing positions the pain started to diminish. Your nipples literally learn to “toughen up” and it gets easier. Eventually you will get to the point where it doesn’t even phase you when your baby is breastfeeding and it feels natural/normal. I promise you will get there even if at the time it doesn’t feel like you will.
I was in the hospital for 2 days and I saw the lactation consultant (LC) twice while I was there. If I have any advice it is to make sure you ask as MANY questions as possible. I would ask for more hands on methods as they can sit there and explain things to you all day. However, you won’t fully understand what they are saying until you practice. Practice with them in the room and you can also call the LC during your stay whenever you want. DO THIS! I didn’t and I wish I did. Call them and have them practice different positions with you and to make sure your baby is latching on properly. Take advantage of this when you can because once you get home you pretty much are on your own unless you go see a LC privately (which I did) or you use google which is hard to do.
After I got home from the hospital I was constantly questioning myself when it came to breastfeeding. Is he latching on correctly? How long should he be on my boobs for? Is this normal that he just wants to be on my boobs all the time? Is he getting enough to eat? Due to the insecurities I was feeling with breastfeeding I went to see a private LC. It was expensive but for me it was worth it. She spent hours with me making sure he was latching on properly, practicing different positions, measuring how much he ate from each boob during one feeding, and so much more. I felt way more confident and comfortable with breastfeeding after my visit with the LC. If you are having any difficulties or doubts I would highly recommend seeing an LC in your area.
I will be sharing more stories about my breastfeeding journey as it has not been the easiest for me thus far. I have developed mastitis twice. I have also had to go dairy and soy free due to some sensitivities with my son. I’ve also dealt with clogged ducts multiple times. You may read this and wonder why is she still breastfeeding? Although all of the things I have encompassed with breastfeeding have been hard it is 100% worth it. The bonding experience you have with your baby when your breastfeeding is unlike anything else. My favorite part of the day/night is breastfeeding with my son and soon you will understand why.