First off breast-feeding is hard!
Everyone I know who’s breast-fed has said how hard it is, so I wasn’t expecting it to be a walk in the park. But breast-feeding a baby that arrived three weeks early was not only hard but often very frustrating.
From the get go Mason would not latch on to my nipple. The nurses in the hospital tried to help but he would just get super frustrated and start to cry. His whole body would turn red from frustration. So they introduced me to the nipple shield. Ever since we’ve been breast-feeding with one. Mason can latch on a lot easier and is able to breast-feed.
Secondly, breast-feeding takes a ton of time.
Mason is a super slow eater and often falls asleep during feedings. So when they say you should be feeding an average of 15 to 20 minutes on each breast per feeding they don’t know what the heck they’re talking about. Maybe there are some babies that are able to just feed like that but not Mason. And when you’re supposed to be counting the time in between feedings from when you start a feeding I am often only given 30 to 45 minutes before I have to feed him again. (As a newborn you’re supposed to feed every two hours so if it’s taking him 45 minutes to an hour to an hour and 15 for one feeding session you get what I’m talking about.) Could you imagine how easy it would be for your arm to fall asleep with all that cradling to get baby in the right position for breast-feeding? Well you definitely need a breast-feeding pillow to help your arms out. This one from Dr. Brown’s is great because it’s on a angle to help prop baby’s head at the right angle for breast-feeding.
Third, breast-feeding hurts.
My nipples are raw from breast-feeding Mason even with the nipple shield. Because in between feeding Mason I’m also having to pump to keep my milk supply up. The pumping is honestly what really hurts my nipples. When I’ve tried to feed him without the nipple shield just to see if he’s able to latch on now that he’s a little bit older that’s when it gets really painful. Honestly I know they said to give him another two weeks of feeding on the nipple shield before taking it away, I’m not sure that I want to for my own sake.
Oh and in case you’re wondering it’s not like your nipples just go back to feeling great after you’ve breast-fed they continue to hurt all day long, or at least they do for me. Putting on clothes after I breast-feed is another kind of painful, having my skin touch either my nursing bra or fabric of a soft tee shirt before bed really hurts. So thankfully just like the nipple shield for helping with nursing there’s a thing called a breast shield which helps protect your nipple in between feedings when you’re wearing clothing. I didn’t have this at first but oh man am I so happy I have it now!
Fourth, sometimes you got to deal with leaky boobs!
I remember waking up one morning, getting out of bed and noticing a stain on my sheets and wondering what the heck?!! Only to realize that my boobs had been leaking all evening and now I had a wonderful circular stain from my breast milk on the sheets. (Seriously not cool!) Luckily there’s a solution for that and it’s called nipple pads. I now am forced to wear my nursing bra when I go to bed with nipple pads inside of them in case I leak. When my nipples are feeling really raw I’ll wear my breast shield at night to let them air out even more. Oh and the nice thing about the breast shield from Dr. Brown’s is that it collects any breast milk that leaks over night.
* Just wanted to add as a side note that the draft of this post was written while breast-feeding using talk to text on my iPhone. One way this momma is able to multitask! Oh and PS Mason has just fallen asleep on my boob 😂 #momlife
This post was written in partnership with Dr. Browns. As always the opinions expressed in this post are my own and not that of the company.
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