Thursday, August 5, 2010

Breast Feeding Ain't all its cracked up to be

This is a post that has been rattling around in my mind for about 8 weeks now. I know breast feeding is best for babe and I know about all its benefits. What I didn't know was what incredibly hard work it is. I had heard of cracked and sore nipples and I had researched what to do if thar happened to me but I figured I wasn't going to be the gal that happened to. Instead of this wonderfully dreamy breast feeding experience I got something else altogether. I was recovering from my cesarean section and dealing with the pain and discomfort that comes with it. I was exhausted and emotional. On top of that I and Saylor had to figure out this thing "they" call breast feeding.

I am sure you can guess by now that my initial breast feeding experience didn't go so well. The first couple days were actually pretty good. Saylor learned to latch on fairly quickly although at first he did push my nipple out with his tongue. hehe silly boy. Then something changed. He wasn't latching properly despite having the lactation consultant and the nurses help in the hospital. I didn't realize quite have the latching thing right. Once home things got worse and my milk supply decreased. I did get cracked and sore nipples. I was told to get some calendula,from the marigold family.What I got was a calendula spray a very nice yellow spay and oh the relief it gave. Within 3 days more very painful nipples were healed.

As I have mentioned previously I had 2 wonderful midwives who were supporting me. After several visits and a lot of help we finally got the latch figured out but by then it was too late any my supply had decreased a lot. So I started taking a prescription to help with that. During this time I had been on a rigours feeding schedule with Saylor. Breast feeding him every three hours, pumping and giving him a bottle of expressed milk with formula added. Adding my my distress was that Saylor wasn't gaining weight like he was "supposed" too. This sure a lot for a first time mom to cope with! There were times when I was crying at the same time Saylor was. I remember one moment he was feeding and I was crying and using a receiving blanket to wipe my tears. Oh the humility!

Today 10 weeks later breast feeding is much easier. I am still pumping and giving Saylor a bottle as needed. I am constantly wondering am I feeding him enough? Am I doing this right? When is my milk going to dry up? I wonder each day is today the day when I won't be able to breast feed any more. I have "mommy guilt". I expected this breast feeding thing to be work but really not this much work. I haven't gotten the courage to breast feed in public yet. I have breast fed him at a friend's place who has dealt with some of the same issues and her daughter is a week older then Saylor. One day I will breast feed in public but I will do it when ready and definitely covered up! No one needs to see my now saggy milk sacks! Ahh the wonderful things I can do as a mom.

I am so grateful that I have had amazing support with breast feeding and learning how to be a mom. Without all the support I am not sure I would still be breast feeding. So each day I cope and do the best I can. I think that's all I can do.