Before you read on let me say that this post is not meant to discourage any mommy’s out there who are struggling to breastfeed. I promise you it gets better and I hope this post gives you hope that even though it is hard and ugly at some times it gets better!
So, like I said… IT’S HARD
In every sense of the word breastfeeding was hard for me. Physically, emotionally and mentally hard. Getting a good latch was hard, my boobs literally got HARD, breastfeeding in public was such a struggle, learning how to get my baby to latch while having to use an annoying cover was hard.
If you’re a mom who had a magical breastfeeding experience let me tell you how jealous I am of you. As soon as I found out I was pregnant I knew that I wanted to breastfeed. Everyone had told me how “natural” it is and how “breast is best.” I had a heard a few bad stories about how sore you get and blah blah but I had NO idea.
Right after Jaxon was born (I’m talking minutes here) he latched perfectly to ONE side, it’s like he already had a preference to one boob right out of the gate! I tried different holds and everything. Nope. Wasn’t working!
Then came the pump… Let me tell you ladies I would rather cut off a finger than have to be strapped to a pump 24/7 again. Having to pump was draining… Literally. Since I was SO sore to keep my supply up I had to pump every hour and a half to two hours. I felt like a cow.
I had read on other mommy blogs that the first two weeks of breastfeeding you really have to push through because, hey your nipples aren’t used to having a little tiny human sucking on them every hour and a half! And it’s exhausting being strapped to a pump all day, or being a human pacifier. Those mommy bloggers were rjght! Every latch would make me tear up, it felt as if a little needle was poking my nipple every time! I pushed through those two weeks though determined to make this work. (Tip: I used the Honest Co. Nipple balm to help ease the pain and help repair my nipples in between feedings).
Side note: You WILL accidentally squirt milk into your babies eye and on his face. It just happens. Don’t feel too bad about it.
As the weeks continued everything seemed okay even though we still only had a good latch on one side. I consulted with a Lactation consultant who gave me different holds to try with BF on that side and nothing worked. I also wasn’t producing enough anymore. I felt so defeated. I was sore and in pain trying to do what everyone said was best for my baby. I didn’t understand. This was supposed to be natural and amazing and instead I was having trouble at every turn.
It was a rough first month and a half for me, but I was determined not to give up. We finally got a good latch on both sides! I still have to supplement formula sometimes, which I felt so guilty about at first then I remember I decided a long time ago not to let anyone make me feel bad for the way I raise my baby. All I see is “Breast is best” swirling around the internet and honestly I believe a fed baby is the best baby! Breast feeding did not come as natural to me as I thought it would, it was a struggle to push through and unfortunately some moms don’t even get the chance. One of my good friends who had her daughter a few months before I had Jaxon struggled from the very beginning as her milk never came in! As moms we all need to unite in motherhood and support each other no matter how we choose to feed our perfect little humans.
I am grateful that I was able to get through the tough times and continue to breastfeed baby J. Every time I look down into his little hazel eyes looking up at me as he eats I can’t help but get a little emotional. It’s an amazing bond him and I share that I wouldn’t trade for the world. Having to work so hard for it almost makes it that much sweeter now. Breastfeeding IS as magical and amazing as people say it is, but it doesn’t always begin that way. If you have the desire and get the chance to breastfeed PUSH THROUGH. Don’t give up even when it seems like it doesn’t get any better. Trust me, it gets better I’ve been there! I promise it is so worth it.
If you’re a new momma reading this congratulations and good luck on your new amazing adventure (breastfeeding or not) it’s AMAZING.