Tuesday, August 3, 2010

World Breastfeeding Week

My last post was on breastfeeding, but in light of it being World Breastfeeding Week, I would like to share a few more thoughts.

Did you think about breastfeeding when you were pregnant? I did. And, in my mind I really thought it would be a cinch. I would just buy a special bra, slap in a nursing pad, and feed my baby when he got hungry. Ha ha, if only it were that easy. I have a tendency to be an optimist when it comes to these things.

While pregnant, I had been glancing through several of my breastfeeding books, but honestly, the information doesn't make as much sense until it is actually happening to you and you are trying to figure the whole breastfeeding thing out as you go.

My experience hasn't been as challenging as some, but I can say that I understand why women quit just like I understand now why women want to be induced and get epidurals. But, I was one determined mommy to not do any of the above. Having cracked, bleeding nipples is not fun though. My toes curled up and I would clench my teeth each time I latch him on. I consulted a lactation consultant during the first weeks of breastfeeding and I contribute my healing to her suggestions. Ultimately, I think it came down to the Medela Soft Shells for Sore Nipples that made the difference. After four and a half weeks of painful feeding 8-12 times a day, I used the shells for three days and, voila!, my nipple was scarring over and healing. And, now, he latches on and I have no pain. It is just a joy to feed him now. Ladies, please hear this...DO NOT quit until you have tried to get help from a professional first. It is worth it for your sake and your baby's.

To all the women out there who are dealing with early breastfeeding issues, listen to those who have come before you (just as I did) - IT DOES GET BETTER, I promise.

What a joy to know that I am giving my son the wonderful gift of breastmilk. It is building his immunity, our bonding, and it is so healthy for us both.

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