Now the point of this post is not to scare anybody only to point out that breastfeeding can be more difficult than some may think.
Completely natural, good for baby, good for mom, and not always as easy as "they" say it is.
When I was pregnant I was truly honestly excited about breastfeeding. I thought (because I had never heard other wise) that it would be this beautiful, natural, easything.
That right from the start your baby goes to the breast and knows exactly how to properly latch, that your milk comes in right away with no issues, everything is right in the world and you are both able to just relax and bond when you breastfeed.
And you know for some it is just that easy, but the more women I talk to the more I find that it isn't always so.
Honestly, breastfeeding can be really rough, and drain you both physically and emotionally. You can feel as though all you are doing is breastfeeding that you hardly have time to do anything for yourself-like go to the bathroom.
When your milk does come in (usually an average of 3 days after birth) it can also be very painful. Your breasts can become engorged and feel as hard as rocks. You can get clogged ducts which are super painful and if you do not remove the clog (which can be difficult) it can turn into an infection which is even worse.
Your nipples can feel like somebody took sandpaper to them and that they are about to fall off. They can get blisters, crack, and bleed making you crying in pain.
Your baby can have latch issues making it even more difficult.
But if you have determination to stick with breastfeeding and get over each bump that you (may) encounter you can have a great experience and that beautiful picture that is in your head.
But, it is ok to choose not to continue with breastfeeding, not every mom can make it work and you should not feel like a failure because of it. While it is healthiest physically for both mom and baby, you do have options. One being formula, and the other being donor milk through a "milk share" program like Human Milk 4 Human Babies. It may seem odd to some but there are a LOT of women out there who are willing to just give extra breast milk that they have pumped to moms/babies in need.
Demitri and I have hit bump, after bump, after bump on our so far short breastfeeding road. First, he is tongue tied (meaning the tip of his tongue is heart shaped) and he has a short frenulum (the webbing under the tongue). Because of both those issues he could not latch properly and my nipples became blistered, cracked, and bled.
I had to use a nipple shield to nurse while they healed. My milk supply in my left breast just dropped off and we are still working on getting it back up. Demitri started losing weight because he could not get enough milk to satisfy himself and properly grow. And now that I stopped using the shield he had to pretty much learn how to nurse all over again.
It was frustrating beyond belief and I shed lots of tears... but despite all those issues we have stuck it out and things are so much better now! I am so glad that I didn't give it up. Daniel has been super supportive of my breastfeeding the whole time and always tells me that I am a rock star.Ameda Hydrogel Pads
Finally if you want to have success with breastfeeding you MUST have a good support system. As I said breastfeeding is emotionally (and physically) draining you will have tearful days and nights and having somebody that you can just cry to and get a hug from will be a life saver. See if there is a La Leche League in your area that you can get hooked up with. Don't delay in seeing a lactation consultant if you feel even the slightest need to.
And when I was have a really rough time a online friend told me this, "it's ok to stop breastfeeding but don't do it on a bad day when you are feeling emotional and defeated" that was definitely something that got me through a few rough nights.
Products not to be without!
Bamboobies (nursing pads)
Wireless Nursing Tank Tops (Target)
Lansinoh HPA Lanolin