Dear Mom who struggles with breast feeding,
After 4 months, I am starting to feel like I have gotten completely comfortable with nursing Baby Goo. It was so horrible in the beginning, I wouldn't have believed that I could get to this good place. What a shocker that was; this was my third child, it should be a breeze to nurse. I had so many troubles with my first that I thought I had all the expert advice possible. The second baby was no problem at all so why all of sudden, was I struggling like I had never done it before.
Enough about me, this post is for all you soon-to-be moms or brand new moms who could be struggling with breast feeding. Let me tell you, it can be very hard, very painful and frustrating. Whoever says it's natural, is...well, not in touch with the majority of the world! Is it worth it.....YES! A hundred times yes. Once the pain is over, I was so glad that I didn't give up. I don't knock those who couldn't do it, for whatever reason, but I want to encourage those who are stubborn about it like me. And for those of you who had an amazing experience, "great", please be gracious to those who haven't.
Here is what I learned:
1. Get help right away. It may feel like everyone and their dog is grabbing your breasts but if it helps, let them! Everyone will have something different to contribute, one of them will work for you.
2.At the first sign of trouble, get an appointment with a lactation consultant. Sometimes, it can take a month to get into one and you just may quit by then. You can always cancel.
3.Give yourself a break. Not everyone else had it easier. When you ask around, you will get the horror stories, that will actually strangely make you feel better. I remember my husband calling all my girlfriends talking about nipples and pumping out of complete desperation for me.
4.Rest. Rest. Rest. Drink lots of water and eat well. Don't stress about your home or other people.
5. Tell yourself over and over, "this will get better." I went through it twice, gaping wounds and all...and now I barely remember the details.
6. Dr. Newman's All Purpose Nipple Ointment. My doctor hadn't heard of it and had to Google it but the pharmacist had, she had a tub ready to go!
7.Relax. You may get too much advice to the point where every time that baby cries you panic because there is just too much to think about to do it right. In the end, you will find what works well for you and baby. Really, I am not even sure if it was what the nurse, the lactation consultant, the lactation doctor or the 10 well meaning women said to me that helped or if it was just time. One day, it just seemed to come together and I am comfortable and pleased.
I hope this helps someone. Sometimes we just need someone to tell us,"you can do this."
And you can.