Breastfeeding is natural, its healthy for the baby, it helps mom to loose weight, it helps fight against different illnesses….. Well yes breastfeeding is all of the above and then some, but its sooo much more that goes into breastfeeding that they don’t tell you. My journey with breastfeeding went a little like this.
After each of my nursing feedings for about the first month I cramped. Like needed to take a pill cramped. Apparently this is normal, of course I had no idea nor have I ever heard anyone talk about it before.
Cluster Feeding or Not
I started breastfeeding within the first hour he was born and it went well. He latched very easily. That night he slept through most of the night I had to wake him up to eat (it was going on close to 5 hours since his last feeding). Day 2 was a little different. He was doing what the nurses thought was cluster feeding. This is when your baby eats only a little bit of milk in back to back feeding (less than normal time) vs eating to get full every 2-3 hours. This is said to be normal and my son would adjust. We came home on a Friday and his 1st dr. visit was on that Monday so all weekend he was off and on fussy. When we got to the dr. he said something wasnt right he is losing too much weight and to go see a lactation consultant. She tells me.. oh he’s not eating, he’s moving his mouth but sometimes he swallows and sometimes he doesn’t…. What???? I was so upset because I had no idea.
At this point we were going once a week there for a month to make sure I was pumping ok, he was eating ok, I was nursing ok, and he was growing ok.
My let down started about 1 week after I gave birth to my son. This is when your breast are full and/ or are releasing milk. So for me this happened at both times if I was nursing or full and sometimes would start leaking. Some women experience this sensation and others dont but if you are not sure trust you are not having them. It would not be a question because it can be very strong and painful feeling of tingling in your breast.
My nipples itched soooooo bad. I have no idea what the issue was with that. I think the only thing I used was either something cold or warm.
I struggled with producing enough milk for my son. I started pumping at 1 week old and doing both bottle and breast. I used milk flow by upspring, they sell this at Target, and it comes in 2 powder flavors berry and chocolate. Both flavors taste very good I mixed the chocolate with milk and the berry with juice. I also had the chocolate chip oatmeal cookies which were good. Mostly I used the drinks and it helped me produce a lot more milk. I would recommend this product any day. I built my milk supply but after his 2 growth spurt I was done trying to play catch up again.
Pumping is actually not bad. No my breast didnt get stuck and no it doesn’t hurt. You may experience 1 size producing more than the other and I mean by maybe double. Also you may not pump a full feeding at 1 time. A lot of women dont I didnt. Sometimes i needed to pump 2 even 3 times to get a full feeding. I pumped about 4-6 times a day. Between nursing, pumping, working, and taking care of everything this became very draining.
Sore and Bleeding
If your baby is not latching on correctly you will know. It’s always been that misconception of dont breastfeed because it hurts well not exactly true. I started feeding and things felt fine. Well after time went on it became painful, my breast were so sore and even started to bleed a little, I knew something was wrong. I didnt even want to nurse my son. Thankfully going to the lactation center for me helped as the nurses corrected my mistakes and bye bye pain.
If you are experiencing this go see the dr, a consultant, even watch YouTube videos to make sure you are nursing correctly. Also putting warm compresses and use ur milk to rub on them will help them to heal. They have a lot of creams out there, but try your milk first. It’s natural, free and helps heal a lot even for your little one!
My breastfeeding journey ended at 5 months. This post is not to discourage anyone and I would breastfeed again. It’s only to inform you of the things I did not know before I started breastfeeding. Did any of you ladies experience these symptoms or what was your journey like?