So I have decided to share about my breast feeding experience, it has been a long journey. My first tearful experience trying to nurse, a day after delivery, was the beginning of many. It was just so painful and poor baby J continued to cry. They evaluated his suck and discovered his lip would suck in so he looked like a grandpa with no teeth, numbing on things. They (the nurses) said I needed to get my finger in between my nipple and him and flick out his lips. Easier said then done, since my finger is about a third of this mouth. I was given a nipple shield as well because I was apparently flat. Well around the same time we went down to Monticello I got my first breast infection, the same time I was trying to wean off the shield and things were difficult as it was, well that was the first of many. The last infection was a double wammy because I also had a vaginal infection, (I thought I was just getting recurring yeast infections, because of the antibiotics, not so) so I was on two antibiotics, from which I had a reaction to and broke out in hives. So after almost giving up on breast feeding several times. My experience breast feeding has included two trips to an Instacare, two visits to doctors, one called in doctor consultation, and two nursing lactation consultations within the first four months if breast feeding. I thought I would share what I have learned
-Breast feeding is HARD
-Do not judge those that give up, there is no shame in formula feeding, pump feeding or a mixture of everything
-Sometimes the professionals don’t know anything
-It’s okay to give your baby a bottle every now and then while breast feeding, it is not the end
-Pumping can be just as hard, long and painful
-The sooner you get help the better, don’t just suffer through it
-You are not alone in struggling to breastfeed, it is hard for lots of mothers
-Sometimes it is better NOT to look things up on-line, sometimes it makes it worse
-Cracked nipples, breast yeast infections, and mastitis are all painful
-Sometimes the professionals can’t tell the difference between cracked nipples, breast yeast infection and mastitis
-If you have more then one vaginal yeast infection in a row, ask your doctor to swab and test you
-Yeast is a natural thing to have on your body, just like bacteria is on and in you, yeast is there too. Yeast becomes a problem when it does not have bacteria to balance it , so it grows out of control or in areas it shouldn’t, it is called an “opportune infection”, so don’t try to rid your body of it. Those websites that tell you to sterilize everything, every time, so that your a basket case trying to keep everything clean, don’t believe them.
-Sometimes breast infections is just a series of bad luck, sometimes it is not something you can control or prevent, so get help and then don’t stress about breastfeeding, because it is not worth it
I have come full circle after 5 months of breast feeding and while sometimes I still have to “grit my teeth and just get through it” I can know enjoy the experience and bonding that feeding my baby has brought. I am grateful for all the support and love I have been given through it all and am so glad Jami is my husband because he helped me do whatever it was I needed.