I’ve had this post planned for a long time I just didn’t know how to really talk about it. It’s totally awkward talking about my boobs. But I really REALLY think that this post might be beneficial so some other MOMS out there, who were/are in my boat. And yes you read that right… today I am talking about MY BOOBS and how awful it was to breast feed my first little mermaid.
If you have read this post you will know I had delivered my first baby girl Alexsis, in the hospital with random midwives and then my second Evalyn, delivered in our home in my bed. This being said I have to say the support that I received from the first time to the second time was completely different.
When I saw other mother’s breastfeeding it looked so simple, so natural. I was so excited to be a part of that. A beautiful bond in which, a mother nourishes her baby with her own milk that was produced to love and nurture her baby. It was so important to me to be able to do this. Then there was reality…OUCH! Breastfeeding was so painful. I tried and tried and tried again. I tried until my nipples were raw and bleeding. Even with my trying and asking for help nothing seemed to work. My little baby wasn’t getting enough milk, I was completely engorged, bleeding, and felt like a complete failure. I was so sad. I had to turn to the bottle and let my milk dry up. This is what that doctor told me. I guess I just wasn’t fit for nursing my baby. My boobs were broken, and so was my heart.
The second time around I was convinced that I was broken and that I just wasn’t meant to breastfeed. I was sad but I had been through this before so I was prepared. I discussed my sadness to my wonderful midwife and she told me the MOST WONDERFUL news. She told me that I was not broken that maybe I had been doing it wrong. She gave me hope. YAY! I was so excited.
When Evalyn came and it was time to nurse I faced the same problems I had with Alexsis. I was bummed. My midwife had shown me a few holds but little Evalyn still wasn’t latching. It hurt so bad I wanted to scream! The pain was excruciating, and here I was back to being “broken”. I wasn’t going to give up though and I didn’t. Then a miracle happened (yes I consider this a miracle) my friend/teacher who taught the hypno-birthing classes called me to see how I was doing, I told her how amazing the birth went but that I was sad because my boobs were broken. Right then and there she set up a time with me to help me fix this problem. She was a nursing expert and had helped many mothers with this SAME PROBLEM. What? I wasn’t the only one with broken boobs!?! She came over to my home and she gave me a few tips. That was it. I WAS FIXED. It still took time for Evalyn and I to learn together but I don’t think that I would have ever been able to nurse if it wasn’t for my dear friend Zylina.
I want to share that tip with you. It’s so simple and yet so great! She told me that the baby needed a mouthful. I needed to make sure she latched to more than just the nipple. I needed to feed her a “boob sandwich” haha that sounds so funny to me but it worked. Cup your hands in a “C” shape four fingers under your breast and thumb on top like you are holding a sandwich. Try to tip the nipple up so that it is aimed for the roof of the baby’s mouth and past the hard gums. This took a few tries but IT WORKED. My nipple was no longer being pinched. PLUS my little Evalyn was getting way more milk.
The second thing I learned about breastfeeding was how to handle the engorgement. My nipples were fine now what was I going to do with the painful engorgement? Well from trial and error I found out that a RICE SOCK was the best thing ever. Right before feeding I would heat up our rice sock and I would massage my breasts with the warm sock. This would help my milk let down and soften so that I could get a grip of the “boob sandwich” to feed. It felt so amazing. The release was such a nice feeling. I was doing this. I was nursing my baby and it was amazing.
There was ONE MORE THING I had to learn and that was the football position. I had kept with one position because it worked…until it didn’t. I ended up getting large lumps on top of my breasts that would HURT so badly. It was as if the milk wasn’t draining in these parts. So I then read about clogged milk ducts, yep this is what it was and it said to change feeding positions so that all the milk was released. I tried rotating positions and IT WORKED. No more clogged areas.
After about 3 weeks of trial and error I was a breastfeeding CHAMP! My baby had doubled her weight and was as healthy as could be. The engorgement subsided and I no longer had to use the “boob sandwich” technique. Little miss bug and I had learned together and now I just had to place my nipple by her cheek and she would latch on like there was never a problem.
I’m grateful for this learning experience. I’m grateful that I am able to nurse my baby. I love nursing time. I love the bonding and the way she looks up at me when she’s eating. There are times she’ll take a break just to smile at me. I LOVE THIS.
I wanted to write this post to other MOMS who may have broken boobs. I was that mom and I learned new tricks. I had the support and I am so thankful for this. I wish you good luck and seriously don’t be afraid to ask and get help. It isn’t as easy as it looks well not for everyone. I feel privileged to be able to nurse my baby and I just hope that this post can help at least one struggling, broken boobs, MOM.
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