Hey everyone! Today I am so very fortunate to have a guest blogger to tell us all about breastfeeding! I plan to breastfeed Kynlee once she arrives but I really didn't know too much about it. Jessica, from The Southern Belle Baby, fills us in on the good, the bad, and the ugly with breastfeeding... and I'm so glad she did! I've been a follower of her blog for a while now and I just love to read her posts! Click here to see her blog!
Thanks again, Jessica!
When you think of breast feeding, maybe you envision a mother cuddling a sweet baby to her chest, an effortless exchange of milk underway. Well, that's a nice thought. Because in the beginning, that is generally NOT what happens. At this point, I have breast fed my son, Knox, for six months, and yes, that is generally how our nursing sessions go (when he's not biting my nipple or sucking on the side of my boob), but let me tell you that in the beginning, things are different.
Before I even got pregnant, I knew that if I was able, I would breast feed. It was something I felt passionately about and really wanted to do. I knew all about the health benefits, the bonding aspect, ease of preparation (ie NONE), cost savings and secretly I was really excited to get big boobs (goodbye, A cup!). On our third day in the hospital (Knox spent some time in the NICU) my milk came in. And holy cow, did it come in. My boobs were gigantic. It looked like I had just gotten porn star-worthy implants, I had gone from the B cup I had attained during pregnancy to at least a DD overnight. Oh my gosh, how they hurt. They were engorged, which is what happens when your milk comes in for the first time, so don't be surprised when you wake up with rock hard cantaloupes on your chest. (Don't worry, it goes down in a few days).
After dealing with a the mega boobs for a few days, onto the next issue: latching on. Knox was the laziest eater ever, he required constant stimulation to stay awake and focused on his job. Of course, he could barely fit his tiny mouth around my giant knockers, but eventually the job got done. It would probably take an hour per nursing session, so I was tired chick only going two hours between feedings. After a few weeks, he got the hang of things and got much more efficient. Now, it only takes 10 minutes.
Let down is another thing that I didn't really understand before it happened to me. You don't just pull the baby to your chest and the milk is there. It has to let down, first. For me, let down feels like pins and needles, not overly painful or anything, but I can feel it. Then, the milk is a-coming, and if there isn't a baby's mouth over the top of the exit, it's going to go somewhere: generally, EVERYWHERE. My boobs sprayed like a super soaker (and they still do), and there's another fact you may not be aware of- I kind of figured human nipples had one hole, like on bottle nipples. Uh, nope. When your milk sprays, it goes in five different directions because there are multiple milk openings on the top of the nipple. Hence the need to buy some absorbent breast pads- your shirts will thank you.
Despite the sore boobs, leaking nipples and other "negatives," breast feeding is one of the most rewarding and amazing things I have ever done. Looking down at my sweet little guy while he eats is still such a sweet sight, even months into the journey. And things DO get easier. The first few weeks are tough, and I absolutely recommend to everyone to utilize the knowledge of a lactation consultant. My hospital had two on staff and I visited multiple times until I "got" it. Eventually, things settled down- my boobs returned to a human size, my nipples didn't feel like they had been rubbed raw (get Lansinoh lanolin for those things... trust me) and nursing became the joy it is today. Hang in there- it's worth it!
The Southern Belle Baby Blog
The Southern Belle Baby Blog