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I didnít have any expectations before starting, except that it would be harder than I thought. DH and I took a BF class and got some great information. Iíd advise anyone planning to BF to take a class.
Our hospital was great. Itís trying to adopt the WHO guidelines for BF in hospitals. Our son never left our side (He was about 12 days late and I had an unscheduled CS). His latch was great, but I didnít hold him tight enough. He was slipping off my nipple and he did some damage.
It was awful. I would swear, I would cry uncontrollably, Iíd get pissed at DH. I felt like our son hated me Ė those hormones !!! I felt like such a failure because at the BF class they said it should never hurt. I saw a number of LCs. They all said that it just had to heal. I followed the advice to let the nipples heal. I used a nipple shield and one got better, but the other was still really bad.
It didn't help that my ILs were visiting - they planned their flight without asking they came from overseas, so there was nothing we could say or do at that point. I was really frustated listening to their advice and telling me that I could quit. It was so irritating. It also made it difficult to BF at times, I just wanted to be alone.
There was never a time when I wanted to quit, it just wasnít an option in my mind. I figured I just had to get through it, but it was so hard to believe that it would get better. Thatís when I came here and got some great support. It made me cry, I was so relieved to not be alone and to have hope. I devised a reward system. Ever 12 hours, I would get a point and I could exchange the points for any treat I wanted. Mentally, that really helped me. And who doesnít like treats!
My family doctor suggested I take a break from nursing and pump. I didnít want to, but after crying and debating it for a while, we decided to give nursing a 48 hour break from one side. I pumped and used a little cup. It took a bit, but he lapped up the milk pretty well. After 24 hours we switched to bottles and that went well too.
The break helped, but it still didnít make it completely better. I finally got an appointment with an MD BF specialist. She had me feed him and weigh him. He was latching fine, but I was letting him nurse for too long Ė he was just chewing on my nipple. She also said that given his weight and age, he could go 4 hours between feeds and helped me figure out how to do that. She also told me that all the advice on healing the nipples was the opposite of what I needed to do. She gave me a prescription for a cream and they got better in 2 days.
By 8 weeks, everything had changed and was so much better. My goal was to nurse for 6 months, but after reading about the benefits of BF and being on this board, Iím going for longer. Now he feeds about 5-6 times a day, and for about 5-10 minutes. That has been his schedule since he was about 3 months old.
For any new mommas out there Ė you CAN do it. Iím so proud of myself and it was worth it. Knowing that Iím doing something great for my son is a wonderful feeling. And I feel like I'm setting a good example to him - even though he's too young to know it. When things are tough and worth it, dig deep and try try try.
And then they get older and they look up at you when they are nursing Ė itíll melt your heart!
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!