I am exclusively breastfeeding my son and hoping to do so for about a year before weaning him. I’ve been feeding on demand which can be so… demanding.
I knew from my readings while pregnant that breastfeeding isn’t as easy as you’d like to think. But – wow! – I couldn’t have imagined how painful it was going to be to start. A few bad latches early on while we were still in the hospital and the sores from it lasted for days! It’s so upsetting to find yourself wanting to avoid feeding your child just because it hurts so much. There were definitely a few feedings I cried through. I even started to worry he had thrush! Thankfully that wasn’t the case.
After about a week and a half, my nipples healed and it did start to get easier.
When the pain was at the worst I made up a care routine that really seemed to help.
- First, I used a washcloth to compress a mixture of warm water and Epsom salt. Let it air dry.
- Then, I expressed a small amount of breast milk and spread that on my nipples. Let that air dry.
- Lastly, I rubbed on some coconut oil.
I don’t know if I really needed to do all 3 of these steps, but everything healed quickly and I felt like each step helped.
Beastfeeding has gotten easier, but it can still be tough sometimes. My main focus has been working on helping him to get a deeper latch. The little bugger doesn’t always like to open up so wide! I told him: I need 😮 not 😯
I can really understand why breastfeeding might not be for every Mom. Once I overcame the initial pain, the hardest part for me has been that no one else can feed him but me. When I’m completely exhausted, nipples are sore, and my husband lays next to me snoring…it can be frustrating. However, I also know that breastfeeding is my choice. Many women choose to pump and use a bottle which is a perfectly fine alternative. I think knowing I have a way out, if I really needed it, helps give me the strength I need to continue. Also, practice makes perfect! It will only get easier. Well, that is until his teeth come in. We’ll see what happens then! 😁