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babysugar Diaries: Yikes! Breastfeeding

Getting ready for a newborn is quite possibly one of the most exciting times in a woman's life. Washing itty bitty onesies in Dreft, buying newborn diapers, pulling out the My Brest Friend, Boppy, and burp clothes, and attaching the crib bumper have got me all worked up to bring baby home. On my last Walgreen's run, I stocked up on newborn goodies — nursing pads, maxi pads, lip balm, and a tube of Lansinoh to help cure "cracked and sore nipples."

One thing I am not exactly fired up for? Breastfeeding. So many women think there is nothing more incredible than the bonding experience that breastfeeding offers a mother and her child. While I nursed my daughter for eight months, I was never one of those moms that LOVED breastfeeding. Call me terrible if you will, but it was more like a job than a pleasure. There were no tears shed when it was over — for either of us. I am wondering if this time will be different. Will I obsess over nursing my newborn or will it run like clockwork? Either way, I am sure the first two weeks will be brutal as my body acclimates to the change, but I will hopefully have success and nourish my child to a healthy start.

What were your emotions on breastfeeding?

Join The Conversation
JennyJenJenMurph JennyJenJenMurph 8 years
I never had enough milk for my guy. I never engorged and the most milk I could ever pump was about 2 oz. at a time. Plus, he was VERY jaundiced and everyone recommended using formula until that got solved. I finally just stopped pumping altogether around 3 weeks because I never had enough to exclusively use breast milk and he seemed to dislike the taste of it in relation to the formula.
Jessiebanana Jessiebanana 8 years
Cracked and sore nipples...I have to stop reading lil' sugar or I'll never have children. I'll just resign myself to being a teacher.
Greggie Greggie 8 years
I disagree with limiting nursing, nursing on demand is pretty much the only way to establish a good milk supply in the first few weeks. Limiting is notorious for causing supply problems and leading to supplementation. I've also always been told there's no way to prepare your nipples, it just depends on your skin type as to whether you experience soreness or not. One thing I do recommend is using breastmilk on the nipples and letting it air dry. It works much better than Lansinoh and is an antibiotic in and of itself. It'll reduce the chances of cracked nipples being infected, and speeds the healing.
Lindaloo52 Lindaloo52 8 years
I have successfully nursed four daughters. Actually all are different. The most successful starts have been 1st and 2nd. I was young and read a lot , the first I actually tried to prepare my nipples like the book says and limited the nursing time. No soreness,except at engorgement. The second I lived in Hawaii, and dropped my bikini top , to expose for sun and again no soreness. the third and fourth I bled, no preparing, (thought I was the expert) worried about the fourth too, she lost weight, and was not latching on correctly. But, like one of the previous writers mentioned, the first two weeks (especially with first babies is tough, since you don't know what to expect). So, bottom line limit the nursing in the beginning, since they can suck like no machine can, and try and prepare your nipples. If you can even sit in a room with a heat lamp that will help too.
Evalicious Evalicious 8 years
I BF my daughter for 8 months and stopped because my milk was drying up. It was difficult to do and I still feel guilty because I wanted to make it all the way to a year. I have to admit the first month was HELL! My milk came in the day I left the hospital and that night as I was breastfeeding I was horrified when I looked down and saw my daughter covered in blood. After panicking I realized it was my raw nipples. So my hubby went out and bought a pump and that saved my cracked nipples and allowed me to continue without much pain. Now, my daughter is 11 months, and she has not had any colds or stomach problems, and I honestly believe it to be the breast milk!
SweetnLow SweetnLow 8 years
We didn't have any problems with her latch or abilities. The problems we had were all with me. I started leaking the big C at 3 months pregnant which was horrid. At 30 weeks I could completely soak a normal breastpad- no lie. (This time I just started at 20 weeks and is still really light, knock on wood!) With one inverted and one super-extraverted, DD had to learn to handle all types of nips. Then there was my super-enormous waterfall of a letdown- we had to learn special holds in order to keep her from choking to death. (I had to recline and put her on top.) I loved it- but I hated it. It did feel like a job, and I hated the nurse-a-thons, the mastitis, the trying to figure out what to do in public settings (or at the in-laws house, etc.) It also made me feel deatached from my DH because I felt like he wasn't doing anything. It was.. an effort. Then I hit 6 weeks and dried up overnight, literally. Here one day, gone the next. We tried everything to get it back- meds, layin' in, everything short of the supplemental nurser (and I didn't try that b/c I didn't know about it at the time.) I beat myself up for so long and I guess didn't realize what I had till it was gone. :( This time I'm really excited about it.
Greggie Greggie 8 years
They've been recommending that bumpers be either not used or removed by the time the child starts rolling for at least 8 years, since I had my first.
beccalu beccalu 8 years
Kinda off topic here... but I noticed that you mentioned attaching crib bumpers and I thought I should let you know that many children's safety organizations (American Academy of Pediatrics, Consumer Product Safety Commission and the First Candle/National SIDS Alliance) now recommend not using bumpers because of the risk of suffocation. As far as breastfeeding, I am pregnant with my first now and hoping to have a good breastfeeding experience when the time comes. I think I would be really let down if I couldn't do it or if it wasn't the bonding experience I thought it would be.
givecoup givecoup 8 years
Agree with all the previous posters that something that should be so natural and easy is really difficult. It took about a month for the pain to ease (popping ibuprofen the whole time) and then not until 3 months did it become much easier and my son's latch got less painful. It's too bad the side laying feeding doesn't really work until they can latch on themselves. Nevertheless, we're at 14+ months and still breastfeeding (once in the morning). We managed to do the entire time up to 1 year without formula (sans the first few days post birth as latching was difficult) and are almost weaned. Once the latching got better I really enjoyed the closeness, ease and calming capabilities of breastfeeding. I didn't think I'd mind it but I'm starting to stress out about stopping the feeding -- what now will I use as the ultimate calming technique? I highly recommend it but realize it isn't for everyone and I have been lucky to be able to work from home so as to continue the feeding. Hats off to those who pump exclusively and those who pump at work.
mhg mhg 8 years
i definitely loved it after my son was a couple of months old, but at first, wow. i spent a fortune on the LC and a baby scale (don't ever get one of these things because they are highly addictive and stressful) b/c the little dude would not take enough during a feed. i was miserable for a few weeks, BF first, then topping him off with a syringe of expressed milk (yes a syringe so he wouldn't get nipple confusion) and then pumping the excess milk out. anyway, that went on for a MONTH and then, he got bigger and it was smooth sailing until i weaned my guy at 13.5 months. it was such a struggle at first, but i was determined. i totally agree with previous poster that something so seemingly natural, something that women have done since the beginning of time, could be so difficult. what did women do before LCs? anyway, good luck to all those new BFing moms. as mothers, we all do what we can, what we think is best for our kids, and i feel it's important to support each other in these choices, even those with which we disagree.
fjaril fjaril 8 years
I am enjoying bf'ing my son. I've been lucky so far that we've not really had any problems. I enjoy being able to nourish him and for me it's good for my health. I felt bad for my husband b/c he wanted so much to help and participate with feeding,and seeing him feel helpless when he couldn't soothe the little guy. Once we could give him bottles, it felt better for hubby, but he did really miss the bonding. I think we'll make it to a year and we'll see what happens then.
schnappycat schnappycat 8 years
It's obviously a very personal decision, but for me the pain and frustration I faced just wasn't worth it. I tried to BF and ended up just pumping for a few weeks before switching entirely to formula. My son was too impatient to latch, even after several visits with a LC, and he was miserable and crying at each feeding, which made me miserable. We didn't bond at all. My husband bonded more with him while feeding him bottles while I pumped. To me, it was silly we were all unhappy. My son had enough breastmilk his first few weeks to provide some health benefits and it was all so much better once we switched to formula. I had no regrets and still don't. I tried, it didn't work, and it was the right decision. I doubt I will even try to BF my next child, or I might just pump for a few weeks again. Formula just works for us.
rorygirl rorygirl 8 years
I am still breastfeeding my son, who is 8 months old. When I first started, my goal was to make it to 6 months and there were moments along the way I didn't think I would make it. But now at the 8 months point, I don't want to stop! My sister-in-law gave me the best advice to get me through the beginning - she told me the first two weeks are hell, but then it will get better - you just have to get through the first two weeks. I had engorgement issues at first and of course it hurt, but I just kept it in my head that it would get better and it did. All the health benefits for me and the baby are great, but the best part has been the bonding. The rough patches have been exhaustion (I went back to work at the six month mark, so I pump during the day and before I go to bed so make milk for him to drink while I'm gone) and when I got sick and couldn't take anything since I wanted to keep breastfeeding. My best advice is to keep a positive attitude about it. If it makes you miserable, then I would say it is not worth it.
psterling psterling 8 years
I wouldn't want to breastfeed for any other reason than the extra calories burned, lol.
macgirl macgirl 8 years
With my first child I just thought it was going to be the most natural thing in the world. After 4 weeks of excruciating pain during the entire time of nursing, parts of my nipples were falling off, and finally stabbing like pain through my back when I would finish a feeding I went for help. Obviously to you pros the problem was an incorrect latch. There was no re-teaching my little pirana so I started pumping and that dried up real quick. I was very much looking forward to my new baby. With nearly a decade under my belt since the last baby I was informed and excited to get it right. Sleepy jaundice baby wouldn't latch correctly and when he finally got on correctly he would nod off and slip off the nipple. I finally had to start pumping to get him to eat and by the time he was a bit bigger there was no going back. For something that seems like it should be so natural it was a huge source of stress, guilt and depression for me- both times. If I was going to have another child I would still try it again. I think I would just have a better grasp of this might not work like I want it to and I need to be OK with it if I need to turn to pumping.
Greggie Greggie 8 years
I'm obviously a big fan of it, but I certainly don't think it's for everyone. Don't feel pressured into it. If it's something you want to do, be sure to get some good support with an LC and nurses. If it's not something you want to do, don't let anyone tell you you're wrong.
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