Boobs. Well now I've got your attention don't I?
This is the story of my journey so far as a nursing mommy, or my favorite term: dairy cow.
Our society is seemingly obsessed with breasts for every reason except what they were made for. If you don't believe me just go look on the lake during any holiday, or check out "Party Heat: lake havasu". Yeah, I'm just so proud of our town. Society loves boobs...unless you happen to be using them to feed your baby. Thankfully more people are coming around and breastfeeding is making a comeback.
Before I even got pregnant I knew I was going to breastfeed. Afterall, it's perfectly formulated for my baby and enfamil can't even begin to compete with it. I always have food at the ready for the baby, and at 2am it's much nicer to just attach baby to me rather than get up and prep a bottle. The bonding experience and feeling of love you get is amazing as well. Plus one of the biggest perks...it's FREEEEE! Have you looked at formula costs lately? It's expensive!
So, I did all my homework and made my choice. In our childbirth class we were given a booklet on breastfeeding. It was full of pictures of women happily smiling at their babies while they fed them. I figured thats exactly how it would be. I had heard a ton of women say "oh it was sooo painful at first" but my book, and just about everywhere else, said breastfeeding shouldn't hurt. I figured those women who said it hurt were just doing it wrong.
Well Roxas was born and I added dairy cow to my resume. Moo. Although his initial feeding went well it all went downhill from there. The nurses at our hospital were wonderful but all of them had different advice. At any rate we came home and I started getting used to being a 24hr, all you can eat buffet. Fast forward a week and we found ourselves in the presence of a lactation consultant. Breastfeeding had become what everybody said it shouldn't be: painful. It was excrutiating. I could probably have had my nipples pierced and it would have hurt less. Anyways, we were getting help from a pro, she would be my magic cure right? Well she did help, and showed me how to get his mouth open more because his latch was shallow. It wasn't the cure though.
In the weeks to come feeding became worse. I developed a huge crack that would open up and bleed at every feed. I would often have to psych myself up to feed my son and then I would scream, cry and yelp as he latched on. Thats an awful feeling by the way- not wanting to feed your baby, talk about guilt. Roxas was gaining weight perfectly though so we were doing something right. I was so close to giving up many times. Thankfully I have a ton of support from my husband, family, and friends who helped me stick with it. It helps that I'm impossibly stubborn too.
Now, 7 weeks later I can feed Roxas with only a slight wince at first, and things are on the mend. Although now I have developed a case of mastitis (boob infection) which makes me feel like I have the flu and the infected breast is very tender. I caught it early so with my antibiotics I should be better soon. Lots of rest until then, hence the blog post.
So, all those books are wrong if you ask me...sometimes breastfeeding hurts! You might be lucky and have no problems at all, in that case count your lucky stars and if you value your life keep your mouth shut around any mommy who is having a hard time. If you aren't lucky I encourage you to get some good support stick it out, it really does get better! I'm so happy I stuck with it. There are so many great things about breastfeeding and I love being about to provide food for my baby. It's also pretty cool knowing that the food I'm making for him is what's keeping him alive and healthy.
So my journey as a dairy cow continues.....