Stick It Out

breastfeedingcafecarnivalWelcome to The Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival!

This post was written as part of the Breastfeeding Cafe’s Carnival. For more info on the Breastfeeding Cafe, go to www.breastfeedingcafe.wordpress.com. For more info on the Carnival or if you want to participate, contact Claire at clindstrom2 {at} gmail {dot} com. Today’s post is your tips to succeed. Please read the other blogs in today’s carnival listed below and check back for more posts July 22nd through August 4th!
 


 

970308_10153110681710503_1849587919_n“Stick out those first two weeks, however tough they are!!”

I heard this over and over again when talking to people about breast feeding. I still think this was the best advice I was ever given. I spent lots of time crying next to the pump, crying with lactation nurses, crying at my husband, at my baby, and at other women those first two weeks after Ari (my little boy) was born.

And at about two weeks, the fog lifted.

I know I’ve been blessed with a (somewhat) easy road when it comes to breastfeeding. I’ve watched others friends struggle or not even attempt breastfeeding because of the horror stories they live and experience, and I get it now. It’s hard. So hard. I remember lying in the hospital bed with that first night as Ari cried all night long! The poor guy was hungry but I couldn’t figure out how to get him to latch, so instead I just lay there crying with him as I felt guilty, like I was starving him because of my own inabilities.

Over the next few days I learned what blessings lactation nurses are. Seriously, gifts from God for struggling new moms. They taught and showed me the things you can’t learn just from reading a book. You don’t actually understand the term “shaping” until a nurse is showing you how to mold your breast in such a way that it fits into your baby’s mouth in such a way that provides for better latching. I absolutely loved the time I spent with the lactation nurses and I’m much indebted to them when it comes to the breastfeeding success I’ve had with Ari.

I didn’t know these nurses provided free services for mothers who gave birth at their hospital. This was such a blessing. I’d encourage all moms-to-be to look into the lactation services at their hospital. In the midst of all the reading and researching you do during pregnancy, this wasn’t something I thought to look into.

Now that we’re past two months and still going strong, these are some more practical things I’ve learned along this short way, and wish I would have known to start off.

999989_10153110681560503_849607266_nEven if you’re doing it right, breastfeeding can still hurt at times. That pins and needles feeling you get when your milk lets down? Yeah, that isn’t the most comfortable. But your milk is letting down!! That’s a good sign and it’s hurting!

I never felt or knew when my milk came in. I thought I wasn’t going to make it after several days of searching for this feeing everyone talks about when your milk comes in, but I never felt it. Because of that, I thought I was going to have to stop breastfeeding if Ari wasn’t able to get the nutrients he needed. It wasn’t until a friend mentioned that she knew someone who never felt their milk come in, then I finally calmed down. And sure enough, one day I just started noticing the creamy white milk in the corner’s of Ari’s mouth and I was a very happy and comforted momma!

Loud babies are good eaters. Again, this is something a friend said her nurse told her. I was always worried because Ari is such a loud, obnoxious sounding baby when he eats. I didn’t notice many other babies doing this, so I still thought he wasn’t latching correctly. When feeding him at a friend’s house she told me her nurse said they love hearing loud babies when they eat because they can actually hear them getting the good. That was also comforting to hear.

It’s work. I felt so selfish as I sat in the small lactation office when I realized I was actually going to have to put some effort into learning how to breast feed my baby. With four or five nights of no sleep, picking up a new skill wasn’t something that sounded too fun to me. But I knew it really was the best choice for my baby, so I gave up on the idea of it all happening and coming so naturally to you as a mom, and really started working with Ari and applying the things the nurses were telling me to do. I swear, after that moment of reality check, we have been fine since.

The only other problem that I couldn’t anticipate was how breastfeeding played into how much Ari would spit up. I quickly tried to force both sides just because that’s what I thought you do. At a few weeks old, Ari was eating about ten minutes on one side, and I would quickly try and switch sides before he fell asleep. He was only getting three or four minutes on the other side, never getting to the rich hindmilk. Because of this, he started spitting up fountains of milk. I can’t remember where I read or heard it, but I learned that because he wasn’t getting to the heavy hindmilk, he was spitting everything up because of the overabundance of foremilk. Now I only keep him on one side per feeding, even if it is twenty plus minutes. My body has adjusting to producing enough on one side for each feeding, and the spitting up problem has almost been completely eliminated.

Because of all of this, I am now a firm believer in the two week rule and learning along the way. I love the convenience and beauty breastfeeding provides and I hope this helps other moms out there trying the same.

44603_10153110682195503_1340345126_nLexy Sauvé grew up on C.S. Lewis, Shakespeare, and Hans Christian Anderson, pursuing her love of literature and writing since kindergarten. Besides writing, her current interests include being a stay at home mom and all that entails: the sometimes mundane arts of housework, cleaning diapers, cooking, and creating a home for her husband of two years, Brian, and her new little boy, Ari Judah. Lexy and her family currently live in Ogden, Utah.

 


 
Here are more post by the Breastfeeding Cafe Carnival participants! Check back because more will be added throughout the day.

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