My Breastfeeding Journey
I should start this off with a disclaimer – even though I really shouldn’t have to. If you read this post you are going to know all the details about my journey with breastfeeding and it wasn’t always pretty… literally.
From the time I was young, I always knew I was going to breastfeed my babies. I wanted that special bonding experience. And no, I am not shaming moms who do not breastfeed. It is every mom’s decision IF she breastfeeds and how long she does it for.
I knew my goal was to breastfeed until my children were one and then I would stop.
To be honest, I was completely clueless when it actually came to breastfeeding though. I knew the basics like what a latch was, cluster feeding, that babies breastfed a lot, and that it wasn’t supposed to hurt. Other than that, I was knew absolutely nothing and planned on asking my questions to the hospital lactation consultant when the time came.
Finally, after Izzy was born and less than an hour old, the nurses asked me if I would like to breastfeed. The first time went pretty well. Her latch wasn’t the greatest but I thought that it was just because it was the first time and we would both just have to learn how to do this new thing together.
The worst part was the contractions I got while breastfeeding… BOY are postpartum contractions BAD!
From then on, I breastfed Izzy on demand – which was quite often – and Collin and I kept track in our notebook the hospital gave us. I always needed help latching her and a lot of the time it would hurt so bad but I figured it was just my nipples getting used to breastfeeding
My absolute biggest regret was not buying nipple cream before the hospital and putting it in my bag. You. Need. Nipple. Cream. It is an absolute necessity.
And lather that stuff on before, after, and in between every feed because you’re going to need it so you don’t end up like me.
So, I am going to be completely honest. The first two months of breastfeeding were the hardest by far. I wanted to quit every day, every minute, every second. Especially while I breastfed.
I was in so much pain all the time. I couldn’t wear my bra without it hurting, Izzy’s latch was just terrible (due to her small mouth, high palette, lip tie, etc.). I was bloody and scabbed and bruised. Like I said in the disclaimer – it wasn’t pretty at all!
But every time I wanted to quit I told myself how it was so good for Izzy.
I reminded myself how badly I wanted to breastfeed and how this has always been a goal of mine.
I told myself that she will get bigger and it will get easier. Which it did!
It took a few months but the pain went away and I was no longer in any pain. Izzy still breastfed all the time (this girl was attached to me) but it wasn’t difficult breastfeeding her anymore. It became a truly beautiful bonding experience and I thanked myself for not giving up even when it was difficult.
I never supplemented and I started trying to wean her at 12 months – which she wasn’t ready. So, I let her wean herself, which she surprisingly did at 14 months.
So, my advice to you, mama, is whatever your goal is try you hardest to stick with it. And if it doesn’t work out do not beat yourself up about it! Things aren’t always going to go according to plan and that is okay.
My advice for the mamas who really want to make (exclusively) breastfeeding work is to not give up, do not supplement ever unless you pump too (that can affect your milk supply), always feed on demand, and to BUY NIPPLE CREAM. That I just cannot stress enough!
I plan on doing another post specifically about my breastfeeding must haves which will go in depth about my favorite products. So if you need recommendations I got you!