19 Aug

Let me tell you about my experience with breastfeeding.  Mainly I’m telling myself for next time.  

My entire life I just knew that I would breastfeed my kids til they fell off.  I was breastfed until I was 15 months old.  I was Mrs. McJudgy about people not breastfeeding.  I thought why in the world would they not, its so good for babies and they are just being selfish by not.  Rewind to several years later, my sis n law had a baby.  I saw her in the hospital and she was breastfeeding her baby and she mentioned, breastfeeding hurts, it causes you to contract which hurts, that’s all she said, until I was about 4 or 5 months pregnant she brings it up again.  She says “breastfeeding hurts at first.” I said “how?” She said “Well sorta like your nipples are being ripped off”  I thought psh… I was born with a dislocated hip, I have a high pain tolerance, so I asked my Mom, she said the same thing.  I start to believe them, but didn’t think too much about it.  I was more worried about my milk coming in.  I mean I wanted to do this so bad, that about a month before I had Noah I cried worrying that I wouldn’t be able to because so many people have trouble.  I wanted to nurse my babies, it was and is still very important to me.  Fast forward to the hospital.  I nursed Noah right after he was born.  He had an amazing latch and GREAT suck. I was sooo relieved! So many people tell you so many things and its hard to remember it all, much less decide what you’re going to do.  People had told me time after time, do not let him snack, make sure he gets full feedings so that’s what I did.  When he nursed he did GREAT he would nurse and then come off like normal.  When he cried every hour and a half I would pacify him in other ways thinking he can’t be hungry I’d give him a pacifier, walk around with him…. When we left the hospital he weighed 7lbs 6 oz, which is normal for babies to loose weight.  That first week was a struggle I could only figure out 1 position and that was the football hold. He also slept alot! There was one time during the day where he slept for 8 hours! I was told not to wake a sleeping baby so I didn’t, so he slept that plus the 5 hours at night, then I remember 1 time where he slept for 4 hours when some friends where over, plus his 5 hours at night…so I just let him sleep.  Then my nipples started hurting soooo bad! I’m talking feeling like they were ripped off and being stabbed bad, like in my gut.  Every time he wanted to eat I cringed.  We went to the Dr. that Friday for his 1 week.  He had lost down to 6lbs 11oz! Which is not good! The Dr. wanted me to start supplementing.  I said no, I’m just now figuring this whole thing out give me some time, so he had us come back in a week.  My sis n law and brother n law brought me a nipple shield that Saturday, and that helped with the pain a tremendous amount.  I nursed around the clock! It was like once I put Noah on he would not come off.  I’m talking 2-3 hours, it was bad! At the 2 week appointment he had gotten back up the 7lbs, 3oz, and the doc was ok with that so he didn’t make us come back for another weight ck.  At the time I was relieved that he was ok, but looking back he should have made us come back. We didn’t have a 1 month appointment, so we didn’t see a Doc nor weigh Noah until he was 9 weeks old.  Looking back that is not a good thing, but at the time I didn’t know any difference.  I focused on my nipple healing and I used the nipple shield on both nipples for a long time.  When I got done using it I took it off and Noah took great with out it.  Then…your suppose to keep nipple cream on until your nipples are finally well.  My nipples were kind of pealing to get to the tougher skin, well I like an idiot didn’t put the cream on and just put the pad on, so the skin dried to the pad so when I went to rip the pad off you can imagine what happened… another sore, so back to the nipple shield! After our appointment I made sure Noah ate every 2 to 2 and half hours, but I let him sleep at night.  I would have to take him off to after 30 min on each side because he was just using me as a pacifier.   He kept on sleeping his 5 hours, but he would even get up to 6 to 8 hours on the week he turned 8 weeks old.  When we went to his 8 week appointment he only weighed 8lbs 3 oz.  He wasn’t even on the growth chart.  Which it isn’t a bad thing to not be on that chart, but gaining 1lb in 7 weeks, is not good.  They need to gain at a min 5oz a week. The doctor wanted me to put some formula in his bottles that he was going to get at G’s Moms.  I didn’t want to do that either.  I decided I would just feed him another time.  At that time he was only getting 7 feedings and I had a scale at home, so I decided I’d feed him 8 times and just keep track of his weight.  I weighed him after the Doc appointment that Fri and he weighed 8lbs 3 oz and then weighed him again that following Wed, I was going to wait until that Fri, but curiosity had gotten me so I just weighed him…he weighed 8lbs 5oz.  I was so upset.  I ended up giving him a formula bottle and I was done breastfeeding! I had put so much work into this, and when I mean work, I mean literally 8 hours a day for 9 weeks and my son still wasn’t getting enough.  Its a very emotional battle.  I called a friend and when I told her what I’d done I went back and pumped.  This was Wednesday.  Thursday and Friday I just continued feeding him 8 times.  He also started getting fussing after a feeding, he wouldn’t stay on anymore.  That Saturday he would only stay on my left side for like 2-4 min… and I thought there is no way he’s that fast now.  Rewind to when I had to start using the nipple shield the second time I got to where I’d only use it on the right side, not on the left.  I was trying to keep him used to being able to feed with out the nipple shield, because I didn’t want it to become a necessity.  Then I figured out that he latched better to the right side that the left and so the left sides supply was dwindling.  He started coming off EVERY time upset like he hadn’t gotten enough so we would feed him the breast milk I had pumped, then when we ran out of that we gave him formula.  I went on a pump vacation and would latch him on for what he would latch on and then pump, and then pump 45 min after 


In summary, to do it different next time…. Change positions in the beginning, it will hurt like HELL, but it will help if you change positions.  Nurse them around the clock.  That doesn’t mean leave them on around the clock, take them off but just not for long!, what you do to one nipple do to the other, and don’t use a nipple shield if you can at all avoid it! 


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