Being able to nurse my daughter has been such an amazing experience. I love every single minute of it. Everything that you hear about breastfeeding is so true - it's painful, you get dry, cracked nipples, your baby can get thrush from a yeast infection, etc. After hearing all those negative things why would you want to breastfeed? Is it really worth it? Should you even bother? Will I even like it?
Yes, Yes and Yes! It is absolutely worth it. Buggy was born first thing in the morning and would not even nurse until later that evening. The nurses helped with me with the different positions and we tried every which way to get her to nurse but she just wouldn't take. I was heartbroken. I knew when I got pregnant that no matter what I was going to nurse. I wanted to experience that bonding with my baby that many have spoken about. Nothing worked. Buggy wouldn't latch on. Finally the nurse said she was going to try one more thing and ran out of the room. She returned with a Nipple Shield. You just put it over your nipple and it helps the baby latch on. Amazingly enough the baby started nursing. I used the nipple shield for about 3 or 4 months before I went au natural. And I didn't have to worry about cracked nipples and all that horrible shit you hear about when you nurse - or so I thought.
Three days after I came home from the hospital with Buggy I called my nurse and told them that I had 103F temperature, chills and body aches. She didn't believe me and had me take it while on the phone with her - really like I would like about that just to go back to the hospital and have more of that delicious chicken salad - yes really it was that good! Anyway, I thought perhaps I had broken a stitch or something and they told me to come right to the hospital. That morning was Buggy's first appointment with the pediatrician and I was so upset that I could not be there - so not fair! But nothing I could do but wait until daddy got home with Buggy.
Back at Labor & Delivery they took me right in and started an IV. Being a newborn, Buggy was not allowed inside with me so it was bonding time with Daddy. After a bit the nurses finally told me I had Mastitis. That is something that never even occurred to me since I do not remember my boobies being sore at all while nursing Buggy. Four hours later and a nice nap I was able to go home.
After I recovered from the Mastitis is when I started feeling the pain and let me tell you there was pain. Every time the baby nursed on that breast it was like someone punching you in the gut and knocking the shit out of you. It was excruciating and there were many times I thought about stopping. I kept asking myself if this was really worth the pain I was going through. I would cringe when I had to nurse the baby and because you have to keep switching sides there was no way to avoid it. So I took it like a champ. I would suck in my breath and hold it until it didn't hurt as much. This went on for months and at least once a week I would think about stopping but then I would look down at my beautiful baby and know that I had to keep going.
Eventually I started pumping and that helped a bit. I also started massaging my nipple and trying to express just a bit of milk before I nursed. I did feel so much better. I also massaged in the shower and used a heating pad when I could. When I pumped I would try and squeeze my boob from back to front to make sure I got out as much milk as I could. Slowly I started to feel much better and the pain disappeared.
As painful as my experience was I would do it again in a heartbeat. Looking at your child and knowing that she is being fed by what your body is producing is just amazing. I would look at her chunky thighs and just couldn't believe that was all from me. As they say, breast is best but there are many women out there that choose not to breastfeed or can not breastfeed. I do not understand why women need to bash each other for choosing to feed their child formula over breastfeeding. There is no need for that. There is no need to be a total BI-ATCH because someone chooses not to nurse their child. It's none of your damn business why your neighbor prefers to bottle feed. Even if women breastfeed for a month or two then that should be applauded. So for all you ladies who did a round of applause to you, for all those who chose not to I applaud you too - that is your choice and you chose what was best for your child. It's OK to tell those who give you the evil eye to shut the hell up.
So if you are having trouble, speak up, ask for help. There may be different ways for you to try that you have not thought of or even considered. It may just be worth it. I absolutely love breastfeeding my baby!