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Yeah, that part kinda sucks and yes there are various creams you can use. alot of moms swear by lansinoh-and its what they usually give you in the hospital. Well my 1st HATED the taste (you shoulda seen the faces he'd make- hilarious) and it didn't seem to work that well for me and i had really bad cracks that bled. I found Motherlove nipple cream at a local breastfeeding store (you can also find it online) and now i won't use anything else- it completely healed my nipples within hours.
To avoid the whole cracking thing, you need to make sure you get a good latch....with as much of the areola in baby's mouth as possible. When baby is rooting, wait for him/her to open as wide as possible, and/or pull gently down on the chin and then put your nipple in. When you deliver, don't leave the hospital w/out being comfortable getting a good latch- if they have a lactation consultant great, but if not the nurses will help you.
The first 2 weeks are the hardest. You'll feel like the only thing you do is nurse 24/7, but it gets better. My biggest piece of advice tho is not to give up when it gets hard. When I was bfing my first (he was my lil barracuda baby, a very voracious eater, LOL) he went through a major growth spurt at around 3 months. He would scream whe I ran out of milk because he was still hungry and unfortunately i started supplementing with formula thinking my supply was low. What I wid=sh I had known then was that when baby goes through a growth spurt, you need to feed more often and your milk will increase in 1-3 days...yes it may be a bit frustrating, but baby won't starve and you'll be able to bf longer than if you start supplementing. I know that once I started formula it all went downhill and he was completely weaned within a month and I really regret that. But I learned and bf my 2nd for 19 months!
I will say that I LOVED IT!! Not every moment of it, but I am so glad I stuck it out. The every days of it are a blur now. I think there was a time around a week or two PP that I was just exahusted. But the only time I had pain was a bout of Thrush.
The nurses at the hospital where pushing formula , because they said she was dehydrated and becoming jaundice (no one in both sides of my family ie sisters and sister in laws) had used formula in over a decade and my mom nursed me till I was 3, so I refused the formula and my milk came in 3.5 days after my c-section and nursed every 2-3 hours for the next 8 months. I never had a cracked nipple, but I did have a clogged duct that hurt (but not when I nursed).
The biggest thing is to learn how to get the baby to latch right and I did take a breastfeeding class prior to birth and something that suck out to me was making sure the baby's hips are facing you. It's hard to eat with your head turned. I also went to a breastfeeding support group at my hospital for 12 weeks after where you could weigh your baby and make sure they were gaining weight. Mine was gaining a POUND a week.
There are tons of BF supplies out there. Breastpads are important if you leak and most women do to some extent. There are also hot or cold packs for your boobs, nipple guards (not recommended unless you are having real trouble), Lanosh Lanolin is the best. It will help prevent cracks and when you are done using it for your boobs, it makes a great lip balm.
Also. There are going to be times when you want to quit. Unless there is a medical need to. Here is what I did. Set your self a goal like 3 or 6 months. If anytime you want to quit before that, give a two week notice: meaning "if in two weeks I still feel this way, then I know it's what I really want" most of the time, that feeling passes. It usually happens during a growth spurt when you feel like you are doing nothing but nursing and sleeping and eating if you are lucky.
I found the hard times are worth the reward. Not having to have bottles, or formula. or clean water at the right temp, and the poop (ok, it doesn't smell good, but it doesn't reek either). Knowing that my baby is growing because of me and not some factory with who knows what actually making it to my can of formula. Not to mentions the bonding. The way your baby NEEDS MOM. DD would take bottle of EBM, but it was so much easier to just nurse then pump.
When ever we are in a store and DH hears a baby cry. He whispers "give that kid a boob"
And it really does get easier. you get more confident, and they learn how to latch without help.
it has been difficult at times so far, but so worth it! i have had a cracked nipple & it sucked, but it mostly hurt the first bit of each feeding and then it was okay. i even had scabby (sorry - gross) and bleeding nipples at the end of the first week. Thea spit up a bit of blood one day! it freaked me out but i knew what it was from.
the thing that has helped me the most is a book called THE NURSING MOTHER'S COMPANION by Kathleen Huggins. she is a nurse and a lactation consultant. i read the hell out of it before the baby was born and it helped me feel so much more prepared and confident about what i was doing. and any time i worry that something isn't going right, i run to that book. it just is full of information and suggestions on how to correct problems.
i knew before Thea was born what positions i was going to try the first time i fed her and things to try to get her to latch on. it has been good to have a plan.
and a lactation consultant came to see me at the hospital and that was helpful, but mostly reassuring that i was doing okay and to just keep trying. the nurses were also kind of helpful but the pushed a nursing sheild at me the first day b/c one of my nipples is inverted & i wish i never had used that! i still have a hard time with that boob, but we just have to be persistant and resist using the sheield (they can make baby not want to altch on to a normal nipple & can also inhibit milk production b/c your milk glands might not get stimulated correctly as they do when baby is nursing naturally).
so sometimes we struggle for 15 minutes or more to get latched on for a ten minute feeding, but if she is hungry, she will eventualy get on there. the book has great suggestions on how to hold your boob to get nipples to stick out better.
i love the fact that i am breasfeeding! i don't always love doing it,... sometimes instead of thinking how special that time is, i think, "thank god she finally latched on" or "why does it take an hour to get a full feeding in sometimes (especially every night) when other times it only takes ten or fifteen minutes" or "all this kid does is terrorize my nipples". but then i think that i am so proud of myself and that i am doing the best i can, so i keep doing it. and it feels so good to see your baby full and happy and healthy and growing & know that you did that!
I had a friend that told me to just suck up the pain because it will go away and it did and I loved her for that advice. You can go to the BFing board and find out lots of good info. If I could go back in time I would have done a lot differently, mainly I would have got the help that I needed right from the start. I kept thinking I could do it on my own because the help I was getting was crap and by the time I got a good lac consultant I couldn't make enough even with pumping constantly and medication. I LOVED bfing and I wish more then anything in the world that I could have done it. There is nothing like it. I really hope everything works out for you.
The first 6 weeks can feel lonely and VERY tiring but that's also the time period where you have the most growth spurts. They usually occur around 4 days, 7 days, 3 weeks, 6 weeks, 3 months and 6 months. All you will feel like you're doing it BF but if you give yourself permission to do nothing but BF it helps. Set up a comfy place with water, snacks, the TV remote and remember that the laundry, dishes, and other stuff will sort it's self out in the end. Breast milk works on a supply and demad process. The more the baby demands (i.e. a growth spurt) the more milk you body will make due to the demand.
So supplmenting is useless and will actually be counterproductive (tempting...but do more harm than good). Another key thing is BF babies usually eat every 2hrs and NOT the usual 3-4hrs like FF babies. Remember that you count the start of a feeding session at the beginning and not when the baby last ate (i.e. if the baby started to BF at 7am and finished at 7:30am and wanted to eat again at 9am than that's 2hrs since the last feeding...you count from when they started not when the finished).
If you feed on demand you will NOT run out of milk.
BM is very digestable and goes through their system much faster than formula...hence why they're hungry more often.
A good latch will save you LOADS of pain and frustration. A good latch should not cause any pain.
Ask lots of questions!!!
It can feel daunting in the beginning and my original goal for BF'ing was to make it to 6 months and here we are at almost the 1yr mark and still going strong (and yes, you can get pg while BF'ing).
Every one has their own experience. I didn't love it or hate it. It was something I knew was best for my child so I did it. I did not have any cracked or bleeding nipples. I made sure and used the Lanishone (or what ever it is called) after EVERY feeding. It was not easy, especially when I was in a public place and she needed to eat. We had scoped out a few breast feeding friendly places (there are a few malls around that have breast feeding areas for moms. tHey have privacy curtains and all). You are ALWAYS on duty and that is hard. DH can't take those middle of the night feedings and such. I also would have to make sure i fed her before we went anywhere so I knew I had a few hours to accomplish my tasks. My nips were ALWAYS super tender. It is not an easy thing to do, but the benifits are so great. I will be BF Ellie also!
I don't have too much advice because it's been almost 14 years since I BF
My boob baby is starting HIGH SCHOOL! Okay freak out moment over.....
I loved breastfeeding. For me it was almost as amazing as being pregnant. To know my body can sustain my child and she will grow and thrive is AMAZING.
I do remember the first couple weeks being hard. My nipples did get really sore. I remember one day that I just sat there with my shirt off in my room and cried and cried. Then I picked myself up... refused defeat and called the on-call nurse at the hospital for advice.
I nursed Amanda till she gave it up at 10 months or so... if I remember right.
I can't wait to do it again!
__________________ Bobbie mom to : Jeremy (22) Amanda (19) Matthew ( 4) and Daniel (3).... RYAN DAVID 1/4/14 8lbs 10oz 20 3/4 inches!!! My miracle happened! step-mom to: Stephany (23) and Krista (20) step-grandma to: Wesley (3), Rosemarie (7 months)
On 1/31/12 at exactly 16 weeks pregnant Noah came too soon. He was our 7th loss
If you would like to see pictures of my sweet (but tiny) boy they can be viewed at www.caringbridge.org/visit/noahdarrohn they aren't the easiest pictures to look at but I am willing to share them with anyone who would like to see them <3
I just wanted to encourage you again. You can do it! I've loved BF'ing and treasured the experience I've had with Makenna and look forward to BF'ing this lil' one too.
Not everybody has a hard experience and has pain and sore nipples. In fact, the only time that my nipples have been sore is this past week and it's because I'm pg and BF'ing so they're tender from being pg.
Long story short I loved it. I was heartbroken when my milk dried up at 3 months I wanted to BF till at least 6 months.
I had some trouble the first day, but the NICU nurse basically said "do you want to do this? if so im going to help" she grabbed Gavin's head, and my boob, and made him latch on. weirdest thing to have someone do that but it worked!! I never had the bleeding nipples or anything. it is all in how your baby latches on. I worked with a lactation consultant when I worked in Pediatrics, and she used to give me all sorts of pointers since i was her assistant. lol.