Okay time is passing by too quickly! Angie is now 23 days old. Where is the time going? The days pass by so quickly, even though all she does is eat, sleep, release… Repeat! Change is happening quicker than diaper changes at this point. Her cry is changing, it is getting louder by the days. She actually has tears that fall from her eyes now. It breaks our heart everytime. Especially when she does the frown, like a real frown and then her bottom lip quivers. It hurts your heart.
Open segment for breast feeding.
Within minutes of Angelina being born, my maternal side had to kick in. She was hungry, real hungry. Of course she was though… She worked hard for 9 hours straight, with no breaks in between.
Now as a new mother I had no idea what I was doing, the midwife actually placed Angelina on my belly and I just watched. Just minutes after being born, Angie slowly moved her way up my body, manuevering her body against mine to my breast. Apparently it is natural instinct for a baby to know how to feed from the mother. This parts really interesting, wait for it. By Angie working her way up from my belly, she is massaging my stomach and helping me to pass my placenta. Amazingly beautiful right?!? I thought so!
The womens body is truly beautiful. Our bodies just know when its time to start producing milk. Its like a switch is flicked as our babies are exiting our wombs. An all you can eat restaurant, open 24 hours a day, made specifically for them. My first time feeding was pretty simple. The feeding was probably half an hour or so. It seemed exactly what I thought it would be like. I barely felt anything. But boy oh boy was I amazed with the milk production! Still am sometimes!
Now when I got home, I realized something. This new connection my daughter and I had is something that needs attention every 2-3 hours. For small little babies, they can eat a lot! Now the wear and tear it does on your nipples, it is not easy and I hate to say it ladies… It is painful. But the good news is, if you get your baby to latch on (aka suck) correctly “apparently” it only hurts for the first couple of weeks and gets only better from there. And if your child is not latching correctly, there are lactation consultants that come to your house to help you with feeding. They usually come for a couple hours and fix the problems and go about there way. I have heard many mothers say that this source has been very very helpful to them.
So what happened to me? I word of warning, our bodies take 3-4 days before we begin producing our full milk supply. So in the beginning, you may here from friends and family that you are not making enough milk, maybe breast feeding isn’t for you, your baby is still hungry, give them the bottle, etc. STAY STRONG! Trust your body. You are a mother, your body was able to make a baby over 9 months, i’m pretty sure this milk part will be a breeze. Just wait it out till Day 3 or 4! I thought I was doing good (judging by the other women I was talking to). We fed every couple of hours, she slept like a champ, she was happy, I was happy, things were good! There was pain, but bareable. But if your talking about putting a t-shirt on that rubs against your nips, stay away! That was worse. A bras been my safest bet. Holds it all in, pushes your nipples against you and keeps your watermelons from touching your knees.
Then it happened… I started cracking and bleeding. Of course the tears followed… Now what? Just like I threw in the epidural card, I threw in the formula card. Thank God for hubs, he brought me back to sanity. Started talking me through… Is this what you REALLY want to do? Will you regret this later? It worked… I didn’t do it. Instead there is this magical helper called a nipple shield I am now using. Needless to say, I am now no longer bleeding and my war wounds are beginning to heal. Not going to lie, I feel like Madonna circa 1980 when I’m wearing it during feeding, but hey it works.
Now the funny, yet painful part. Almost every morning I wake up looking like I just won the wet t-shirt contest in Cancun. When your boobs are full you drip and leak, its now become a joke for us. Might as well make the best out of it. It hurts because you feel like your going to burst at any moment, but its nothing a hot shower and a bit of self milking can’t fix.
So ladies, with all that being said. Nothing can break a bond between mother and child and breast feeding definitely strengthens that but all I say is be prepared. I now wish I had taken the breast feeding class being offered before giving birth. It would’ve been nice to be better prepared for my new fulltime job as Angelina’s milk producer. We feed like crazy, learn the basics… You’ll need it! If you need help, reach out to a nearby lactation consultant, they eat, sleep and breath breastfeeding, they will give you support and answers. Thirdly, now that i’m on my third week I can actually say that it does get better with time. Patience is key. Something i’m still struggling with. Lastly, I am still trying to get over one, but if your child doesn’t necessarily feed off of you and get full, or doesn’t fall asleep after an epic feeding, or isn’t latching on correctly, or if pain is taken this experience away from you it does not mean your an inadequate mother. Nothing can ever make you look or feel imperfect in front of your child. A child always has and always will look at their mother for an unspoken love. No matter what form it comes in, you are your childs everything. No one or nothing can take that away from you. Remember that…
Now I do have a confession, we have given Angie formula a couple times now. When I feel as though my nips needed a rest and some recovery time we have gladly pulled it out. I felt guilty originally, but now i’m fine. I get it now, i’m doing whatever I have to do to make this a comfortable experience for both Angie and I.
What has been my go to’s:
– to help heal cuts and cracks I used HPA Lanolin by Lansinoh. It is free of harmful chemicals and does not have to be removed when feeding
– Contact nipple guard, Google it!
– Lansinoh nursing pads. I’ve tried a couple and this is the brand i’m sold on. It does the job and hasn’t given me an embarassing moment… yet!
– Drinking fennel tea as it helps with milk production.
– Taking my placenta pills.
Again I am here to help ladies! I am loving all the messages and emails I am getting and I am glad I have been able to help. Please feel free to ask away! AND TAKE A BREAST FEEDING CLASS IF POSSIBLE, be prepared so you can be a Breast Feeding Super Hero!!