Many women think that breastfeeding is easy. All you do it put the baby up to your breast and the baby starts sucking…right? Well not exactly.
Breastfeeding is a learning process for both mom and baby. Baby start sucking while in the womb, so they know how to suck (usually) but need some help in flaring their lips and not sucking on their tongues. Most mothers have not had someone sucking on their nipples for extended periods of time, so the learning comes from getting used to that and positioning baby for comfort and maximum stimulation of the breasts.
Breastfeeding has discomfort in the beginning for sure, but well worth sticking with it. After the first couple of weeks, the pain subsides, and it is nothing but pure enjoyment. I believe, the bond that takes place while nursing your baby can not be replicated. There is just something special knowing that you are the only one your child wants when he or she is hungry, and your body is providing his or her complete nutrition.
No matter if it is your first or your fifth, the first 2-3 weeks is the hardest for breastfeeding. I personally went through crazy pain, bleeding, cracked, infected nipples, engorged breasts making it impossible for my baby to latch, thrush, mastitis and needing a shield while nursing. But I would do it all again for the pure joy that came after the first couple weeks.
Find someone that will support you on this journey and give advice when needed. There are many lactation consultants, doulas, midwives, nurses, and doctors that are willing to help if your desire is to continue breastfeeding. I encourage you to seek them out when you need the extra help.
Even with my fifth baby, I was meeting with my lactation consultant, crying in her office, begging for help as an L&D nurse. It is ok to need help, many mothers do. This does not mean you are a failure, it means you are a mama that strives to do what is best for your baby, even if that means sacrificing your comfort for a short time.
I had a woman that helped me with breastfeeding my first and I know I would not have continued if it was not for her help. I want to pass this help on to you! I am available to answer questions or just talk about what your concerns are. My website gives you 15 minutes to chat with me about anything pregnancy, birth or postpartum related at no charge! I want to see you succeed just as much as you do! Do not give up, it will get better. I promise!
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