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Breastfeeding: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly (Updated)


I want everyone to know that I really am an advocate for breastfeeding. I believe that “breast really is best.” I nursed all of my children and actually wish I could have done it longer!

 

The Bad

However, I really could not fathom how difficult and painful it is! I am writing this post because if this is the stage of life that you are in, I want you to know that you are not alone! I was told by many people that if I was in pain, then I was doing something wrong. I really believed them when I was nursing my first child. However, now that I have had four children and had pretty much the same experience with all four five, I’m thinking, I kind of know and yes it HURTS! I mean if you really sit down and think about it, how could it not?  Aren’t your lips uncomfortable when they crack and bleed? I think that having that same condition on a more sensitive part of your body, would hurt more, and then add to the fact that they can’t get a break!

 

The Ugly

With every single one of my children I remember being in excruciating pain! My nipples were cracked and bleeding. I did everything that I was told to do: I put lanolin on after nursing and walked around with my bra undone to let them air dry (which somewhat helped). I tried to nurse more, but all to no avail! It hurt, it hurt so bad that I was crying (I’m sure hormones have nothing to do with this either! 🙂 ) I remember sobbing while I was nursing and telling my child that I was sorry. I was sorry that I was hurting and I was sorry because I didn’t feel like a good mother. I mean, nursing is supposed to be a beautiful, natural thing, right?!
With my first, I remember it being very painful for about five weeks, my second about four weeks, my third about three weeks, and the last about two weeks. With everyone I remember looking at my husband with tears streaming down my face and telling him, “I’m not sure how much longer I can do this.”

 

The Good

That seemed to be the magical moment. I had to get to that point with each one, but after I got to the place where I was so close to stopping, it seemed to get better, slowly! Then after a few months, it wasn’t painful at all! For the most part, I really looked forward to nursing time. It was a time to bond with my child, a time to marvel at what a blessing they are, and a time to take in how little they are, how sweet they smell, and how soft their skin is. Towards the end of each child’s nursing time, I found myself crying again, because I wasn’t ready to be done, but my children were! With my last child I remember having the hardest time with this. When he was showing signs that he was done, I would cry. I was crying because I just kept thinking, is this going to be the last time I ever get to nurse a baby?!

 

Tips

With my fifth child, I was told to nurse for as long as possible because of his health issues.  Since it had been so many years since I’d nursed and I felt that nursing was paramount, I decided to cut to the chase and just get some help.  I took advantage of the free breastfeeding clinic that was offered at the hospital that I delivered at.  They were a huge help and I kind of wish I would have taken advantage of this service with my other children.  I left with a few supplies , more knowledge and more confidence.

Here is what helped me the most with my transition to nursing the fifth time (which was my easiest):

  • air dry as much as possible after a feeding
  • Medela SoftShells Breast Shells For Sore Nipples
  • Lansinoh Soothies Gel Pads, 2 Count (cut these in half or fourths to make them last longer)
  • the clinic also gave me a RX for a special ointment
  • check and see if there is a breastfeeding clinic in your area and take advantage of their services, the sooner the better!  🙂
  • have realistic expectations
  • make sure that they have “fish lips” when they are latched on
  • make sure their chin is touching your skin
  • wait until they open up very wide and then quickly latch them on (speed is the key!)
  • when latching them on, aim your nipple for the upper back part of their mouth

Any other tips you’d like to add?

 

 

  

Read my review here.

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Birth Story #5

2013-08-07 12.38.57Birth number five was a doozy, not sure it can be considered Bradley because I had Pitocin, but no pain meds, so maybe so.

I had a prenatal appointment, the office is only a mile away from our house, so I packed up the kids and we walked to my appointment. I mentioned that I had felt pretty wet that day and the doctor checked me and did a test. She said I was leaking amniotic fluid and was at a four and eighty percent effaced. She told me that I was not walking home, to call my husband and have him pick us up. After he picked us up, we went home, got the kids ready, waited for my in-laws to come get them and I took a shower. We loaded up the van and headed to the hospital, we got there between 2:30 and 3 in the afternoon. After I was admitted they checked me again and nothing had changed. We waited. My mom and grandma arrived and a little while after, my husband went to pick up dinner. After they ate, we started walking around the halls, hoping to speed things up. Very little progress was made. At 7:00 PM, I was at a five. The doctor encouraged us to start Pitocin, I was very scared and leery to do so, but really thought it was the best. I progressed about a centimeter an hour. Contractions were really hard and painful. They checked me a little after 9:30 and I was at a seven. I asked about an epidural and they said it was too late. I started to panic thinking that I couldn’t endure the pain for another 3 hours. I started to whine and beg. Around 9:45 I started shaking and they prepped the room. It wasn’t too long after that, that I felt the urge to push. I think I started pushing around 10:15 PM. I felt like I pushed about six to eight times, but my mom said I only pushed about 3 times. His head hurt coming out, but when his shoulders came out I yelled “Oh shi!! I then started to apologize and almost everyone started to laugh. He was born at 10:22 PM or 2222 military time! He was a little over eight pounds. We did skin to skin, where he proceeded to pee all over me, twice! He took a little while to start nursing, but once he got started, he nursed for over thirty minutes!

Read about my other birth stories here!

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Your Pregnancy Week by Week

Your Pregnancy Week by Week, 7th Edition (Your Pregnancy Series)

 

I think this is the BEST pregnancy book.  Yes, I have read the other, more popular pregnancy book, and I like this one so much better (hands down!)

 

When I was pregnant with my first, I bought the more “popular” pregnancy book.  When we announced our pregnancy, one of my student’s parents gave me this book.  As she handed me the book she said that she was sure I had the other book, but this one was better, she was right!

 

What I Love About this Book

  • Format, instead of having monthly sections, it has weekly.  So much easier to stay up to date!  Each weekly chapter is approximately 7-10 pages long.
  • Dad Tips throughout the book
  • Interpretive drawings
  • Actually written by a doctor

 

Contents

Preparing for Pregnancy

Weeks 1 & 2-Pregnancy Begins

Pregnancy Weight Gain Chart

(Weeks 3-40)

Week 41-When You’re Overdue

What Happens after Your Pregnancy?

Resources

Glossary

Index

 

I totally recommend this book.  I’ve read it several times, I’m always amazed at how much you forget!

 

 

Your Pregnancy Week by Week, 7th Edition (Your Pregnancy Series) Your Baby’s First Year Week by Week

 

 

 

Other Related Resources

Your Pregnancy Week By Week Facebook (also have an app) (not sure if it’s affiliated with this book/authors)

Your Pregnancy Week by Week, Miniature Edition

Your Pregnancy for the Father-to-Be: Everything Dads Need to Know about Pregnancy, Childbirth and Getting Ready for a New Baby (Your Pregnancy Series)

Praying Through Your Pregnancy: An Inspirational Week-by-Week Guide for Moms-to-Be

4 Book Set; Your Pregnancy Week By Week; Pregnancy Pure & Simple; the Everything Father-to-be Book: A Survival Guide for Men; the Everything Baby Names Book.

Your Pregnancy Recovery Guide

Your Pregnancy After 35

Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You to Know about

Your Pregnancy Week by Week

 

 

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