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I just want to put up an encouraging note to the new mommies who may be struggling with breastfeeding and considering giving up.
Is formula feeding easier? Maybe sometimes, yes Does breastfeeding take work? Yes, but it's also easier in other ways (no bottle to make or wash!) Is continuing to breastfeed worth it? YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Breastfeeding was just plain painful for me in the first two months. There, I said it. For me the pain was not in the nipples, but deeper in the breast, and would hurt most after breastfeeding. I worked with a lactation consultant who initially thought I had thrush. But after trying some prescription cream, it made no difference. We never did figure out what it was, but it went away after about two months. I honestly think it was the sensation of my breasts filling up with milk after feedings... Now I would not advocate for someone to not get medical attention if you are in pain for a prolonged period, but I just wanted to state that what I felt was temporary. After that, no more pain.
I also got really engorged at around day 4, post partum. It SUCKED! I tried to pump to relieve the pressure, but that made things worse. I think I injured my nipples! So I was in tears, feeling so engorged, not able to pump, and not able to feed my baby! I came onto this board crying at around 2am one night and pleading for somebody to tell me what I could do. Thank the Lord I got some awesome replies here that were very encouraging. I swear if I didn't have this board, I would have given up. I didn't really get any magic answers, but the replies helped me feel like I wasn't alone. (And by the way, Emma was eventually able to latch on, so the engorgement went away.) Since then I've asked many other questions and have always gotten great replies that I found helpful.
Did I consider quitting at times--ABSOLUTELY.
But I hung in there. And I'm so glad I did. Emma will be one year this week and we are just weaning now--so we'll make the ONE YEAR milestone! I know that probably seems like a lifetime away for you new mommies, but just know that it does get easier. I would say I became completely comfortable breastfeeding at around 3 months--and when I mean comfortable, I mean that it was mostly pain-free for me and I was sure that Emma was getting plenty to eat. Breastfeeding became a pure joy, something I will remember forever. It's such a cool bonding thing between mother and baby. I'm already looking forward to nursing the next one!
IF YOU ARE HAVING TROUBLE BREASTFEEDING, PLEASE POST YOUR PROBLEMS/QUESTIONS IN THE MAIN BREASTFEEDING FORUM. THE BREASTFEEDING MOMMIES WILL REPLY AND TRY TO HELP. THIS IS A GROUP THAT WANTS YOU TO SUCCEED!
Oh gosh Kallie, I had no idea you and Emma went through so much in your first few months of breastfeeding! Way too go for hanging on getting through it!
I know I stared at a can of formula sitting there on the counter for at least the first few weeks contemplating "just one bottle" but never did!! And I am so glad, here we are almost a year later!
I just want to add that something I always tell new nursing moms who I meet or moms who are thinking about nursing is you have to change your thinking - I believe that nursing has never been easy in the first weeks and that is just the way it is. Our society in the US that wants everything fast and everything easy has a hard time with breastfeeding. It's just not naturally easy for the majority of women! And THAT in itself is NATURAL! I didn't mean to thread jack, sorry Kallie! I'm done
Thanks for posting this. I am in that place right now (new baby is 2 weeks old) where it's so painful (poor latch and tongue-tie) that I am contemplating quitting. I really want to stick it out and this post gives me hope. So, thank you.