A Breastfeeding Memoir

 

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All of the information I read about breastfeeding prior to Sam’s arrival did not prepare me for what was about to ensue.  It’s amazing that such a precious mouth can produce such intense pain!  Lactation consultants and La Leche League sites reassured me that “breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt unless you have a bad latch”.  Well (no offense LLL), but let me offer you a more truthful rebuttal :: BREAST FEEDING CAN HURT!!!

Does it hurt for everyone?  No!  (And if you are reading this and breastfeeding didn’t cause you to bat an eyelash…well, bless your pretty little head and be sure not to leave a comment! 🙂 )  But I happen to be of the fair skin persuasion so the odds were not stacked in my favor to begin with.  And despite the fact that Sam latched perfectly from Day 1, by Day 4 the ladies were bloody and chapped and looked more like prisoners of war that had narrowly escaped.  Lanolin cream helps but what would have really helped was to know that this was not the result of a bad latch, that it was normal, and that it too would pass.

Breastfeeding is not for the faint at heart.  But I am so glad I stuck with it.  The girls are well-adjusted to their new role and akin to shoe leather so we can all laugh about it now.

All this to say, I love that I have been entrusted with the role of feeding Sam.  These sweet moments will fade all too soon and I cherish that I get to provide for him in such a personal, sacrificial way.   Take it from someone on the other side – stick with it.  For me, the pain lightened significantly after Week 3 and by Week 6 the girls were veterans.  I salute them.

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2 Responses to A Breastfeeding Memoir

  1. Katie West says:

    Oh Brooke-how I appreciate your honesty, I had a Very rough time breast feeding Jackson, my first also. It was the most excruciating thing(and that’s after having two all natural births). So I can fully sympathize w/you, but regardless it’s so worth it like you said-he nursed til he was 20 months(and I was 5 months pregnant w/Mary Lynn). I even went through a few bouts of mastitis, thrush, and bloody, scabbed ladies became my norm for awhile! Good job sticking with it-I’m serious, good for you!! To give you hope, nursing Mary Lynn could not have been more opposite, from the second she latched it never hurt so just b/c it did the first time doesn’t mean it will w/all babies-though I’m sure it helps that the ladies had ‘been there done that’ already! Would love to see you sometime!!
    ~Katie West

  2. the bedells says:

    Word. I totally relate!

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