Breastfeeding is slowly starting to become normal again, which I’m still confused as to why it was ever seen as “not normal” to begin with. Before I get to into this blog I do want to state that I believe in “Fed is best”. I don’t believe you should ever feel forced to breastfeed your child if you don’t want to. I don’t think a woman should ever feel like less of a woman because she can’t breastfeed. As long as your baby has a happy full little belly that’s all that matters, but I just want to share my personal experience and breastfeeding journey.
Before I got pregnant with Alice I said I wouldn’t breastfeed. It wasn’t that I was against it I just felt uncomfortable and thought seeing a woman put her baby on her boob was super awkward. I was one of those people who would stare at a woman for pulling her boob out in public and popping it in her babies mouth. So I do apologize if I ever stared at any of you and made you feel weird. I believed that breastfeeding should be done in private and if you absolutely had to do it in public then please cover up, I don’t care how hot it is cover up… Yeah I was one of those dreaded people.
After I found out I was pregnant with Alice I still felt weird about breastfeeding so I had made up my mind that she would be formula fed. I told myself that with her being formula fed I would be able to get more sleep because her father could get up and make bottles and feed her. So I never did any research on it or even thought about it. So when my water broke early and we were sitting in the hospital waiting a couple of days to induce my labor I began to think a little more about it. I looked into what benefits it could have for preemies; I looked up stories from other mom’s who pumped and fed their babies breast milk via a bottle and how it helped strengthen them a little more. After a lot of research during the 3 days leading up to my induction I still wasn’t so sure about latching her onto me but I thought I would give pumping a try.
So after she was born I pumped a lot while she was in the hospital and then pumped some after she came home but I just couldn’t keep up. I tried to set a schedule to pump but I just couldn’t do it so when she was around 3 weeks old we started strictly feeding her formula. I hated myself for not being able to continue to provide for her but it wasn’t in the cards for me to do that.
When we found out we were pregnant with Vi I decided to do some more research on breastfeeding. I was overwhelmed by all the information but I was determined I would breastfeed Vi. I was determined to be her full source of nutrition for as long as I could.
Vi is now 5 months old and is strictly breastfed. I have pumped a few times and attempted to let her dad feed her but she prefers straight from the tap.
Breastfeeding wasn’t easy at first. In the hospital she came out and latched on like a pro, she must have been doing her own research. Lactation consultants came to my room and I told them I didn’t need any help she was doing just fine. Day one at home and she seemed to have completely forgotten how to latch. I was in tears thinking that I was going to have to end this journey after only 5 days. I cried and yelled and cried some more I put myself down yet again telling myself I had failed. Finally after what seemed like forever (it was only like 2 hours) she finally latched on again. Things went smoothly for a few days and then the pain hit.
Everyone tells you breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt and they are correct to a point. After breastfeeding for about 6-8 weeks the pain will go away and any pain after that point means something is wrong. Once the pain started for me I had only been breastfeeding for 2 weeks but was about to throw in the towel because I could not handle this pain. I have an extremely high tolerance for pain but this pain was different. It felt like a thousand firey razors were being scraped across my nipple and then salt was being poured in the wounds.
I had done some more research on the pain and had read I shouldn’t be in pain also read that pain was normal the first few weeks. I read articles about tongue and lip ties. I think I read every article there was. I finally went to her pediatrician to see if it was something wrong with her. Her pediatrician looked and there were no ties everything looked perfect. So I went and saw a lactation consultant to see if her latch was bad, was told her latch was perfect. I was done I didn’t want to continue. I told my husband I couldn’t handle it anymore I had been in pain at this point for 3 weeks (Vi was 5 weeks old.) I decided to go see my OBGYN to see if there was something wrong with me because this could not be normal. Turns out it was normal and she told me she was going to prescribe me this ointment that would help.
When she told me she was going to prescribe this ointment for me I just smiled and walked out of the office. I had already tried every ointment I knew about, and all these different oils and home remedies and nothing worked but I went and got it anyway. Let me tell you this ointment I believe was made by God himself! After applying it I heard angels singing. Jack Newman’s All Purpose Nipple Ointment is a must of you decide to breastfeed. I have had a few pains here and there but we found out I have Vapospasms which is rare so don’t let a scary word scare you away from breastfeeding.
Again any pain after 8 weeks you do need to get evaluated because it could be a lip or tongue tie it could be a latch issue but it’s not normal at that point. Breastfeeding is an amazing experience, and an amazing bond between you and your baby is created. But if you can’t breastfeed or decide not to don’t think there is anything wrong with that. Like instated before Alice was formula fed and she excels in a lot of things she is extremely intelligent. So don’t think you are hurting your babies development. A fed baby is all that matters. I just wanted to share my journey. I will eventually write a blog on breastfeeding facts and information on perceived vs true low supply. This was just more of my personal experience and journey with breastfeeding. So keep on being the amazing mommies you are.
Peace.Love.And Keep Adventuring