Milking It

I have never… Ever… Been comfortable having big breast. When I was 10 and I started developing I thought please god let these things deflate, they are completely useless. Man was I wrong.
At 10 years old I did not know what my body was capable of…

I knew from the moment I was pregnant I was going to breastfeed. I never though twice or had to weigh the pros and cons. I watched my mom do it with my younger siblings and I thought it was the norm. What I did not know is it would be the hardest thing I would do in my life. I took the class before giving birth, I listened to the nurse after Juliet was born but I still struggled.
I found that breastfeeding was not the norm and many people consider it “crunchy” (by the way, why do we have to label everything? that’s a whole different post) It’s normal now a days to give babies formula and never even attempt to breastfeed. That is crazy! To me, anyway.

So the first couple days before my milk came, I panicked. The nurses were some what helpful but most of the time they would latch her for me. I panicked so much that I even sent my mom; my level headed, baby go to, mom into a panic. I panicked because I felt like she wasn’t getting anything, like I was doing it wrong. Then my nipples started to crack and bleed, and… I panicked. I thought “that’s it, it’s over”. By Juliet’s 3rd day of life I was a hot hormonal mess with some seriously jacked up nipples and a very concerned husband. That night my milk came in and I felt more confident but my nipples were still bleeding and raw and I knew I was doing something wrong. We took her for her first check up that week and I was sent to lactation for some help. Sharon, the lactation consultant was my saving grace. She taught me to hold Juliet in a football hold and to start soaking my nips in warm Epsom salt water followed by lanolin ointment twice a day. I wanted to hug and kiss this woman for her help. I went home and did as she said. Within a day I was nursing my baby girl with so much ease that I looked forward to feeding her. I felt so happy that this little being was getting everything she needed from me.

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Two months into mommyhood and I have it pretty much down. I’m not afraid to nurse in public, that’s how confident I am in what I am doing. I never thought I would get to that point. I plan to nurse for a year and I would even like to become a milk donor, I work in a hospital and there is a donation program for their NICU so I’m going to look into that.

My simple advice to new moms is do not give up. Really it’s that simple, it’s going to get easier. The first couple weeks are almost hell, almost. Also, get yourself some reliable resources and support. I go on the La Leche League website and forums a lot for advice and information.

I posted some links in the links page of my favorites. Happy milking.