Sunday, January 19, 2014

My truth about breast feeding

I always thought I’d be one of those moms that breastfed my kids til they were 18 and going off to college. I also dreamed of pumping and donating a million ounces to babies in need. I tried so hard with all 3 girls and each baby actually got easier but it was never what I imagined. Before my milk even came in my nipples hurt like hell and looked like raw chewed up ground beef. Nothing like the women in the breastfeeding pamphlets/videos with perfect Hershey kiss nipples. This continued for about 2-3 weeks except they were now even more raw and cracked and pretty much chewed all the way through from a baby that has no teeth. Yes, I tried lanolin, calendula, breast milk, cold packs, warm packs, vinegar, Neosporin, and any other thing I read was supposed to help. With Ava, it was the worst, my nipples bled and the poor baby was spitting up blood. She started as an aggressive eater and still is. Then she developed thrush. I quit very early with her. When my milk came in with all 3, I would wake up feeling like I was drowning in my own milk because they leaked so badly. I tried a pump but that made it worse to the point that I seriously felt like I was going to bust and it hurt like hell. With Kayla, it was the worst, I developed mastitis. Not only was this natural way of feeding extremely painful, it was time consuming. Really, you’re going to take 60 mins to eat, it doesn’t even take me that long for a 7 course meal (ok fine, I’ve never had a 7 course meal) then sleep for 45 then want to eat again. Then right when I’m finally getting the hang of it and actually nursing in public like I’ve always dreamed instead of having to take off my whole shirt like I did at first- I have nothing. I go from drowning to dried up. I had a few days of leaving the baby with the sitter for full days and barely getting a chance to pump and it ruined me. I tried the oatmeal, fenugreek, mother’s milk tea and any other thing all these breast is best people preach to me and still nothing. Never got engoreged, nothing. Plus, the baby wasn’t gaining and was only 11.11 lbs. at 5 month. I gave up. I feel ok about it for the most part but still sometimes feel a bit of guilt. I wonder what mothers did in the past, without pumps or even formula- probably jumped off a bridge!! A friend made that comment to me and it’s so true.

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