I consider exclusively breastfeeding my 2nd baby for almost 6 weeks now one of my greatest achievement in life! (I mixed fed before) 5 weeks ago, my breasts were super engorged, my nipples sore and cracked and I almost gave up!
When we were still in the hospital, I felt proud nursing Tobias round the clock and I thought all was well in the breastfeeding world- I thought I was a pro! But about 5 days into it, I dreaded every feeding session, my toes would curl from the pain and I would cry while Tobias nursed. My nipples started to crack and it was so painful – (even more than going through child birth in my opinion)
I almost gave up. During one of those nights, I almost asked my husband, Marco to buy formula but I thank God I didn’t instead I manually pumped the really affected breast while I unwantingly nursed Tobias in the other.
On the 11th day, I couldnt take it anymore and went to see a lactation expert, I cried as soon as she asked me what was wrong. So she checked my breasts and I learned that they were engorged and had a lot of clogged milk ducts. She taught me how to massage it and taught me the correct way to latch.. and since then, breastfeeding became a breeze. Not right away but it definitely became easier as the days went by.
It really is very important to be truly informed and educated about breastfeeding even before you give birth. I actually attended a short breastfeeding talk with Ms Abbie before I gave birth and learned a lot but it was still very different learning from the actual experience. But being informed really does help!
So for those who are about to give birth and are planning to breastfeed and for those who are in the beggining of their breastfeeding journey and want to give up or learn more, here are some of the things I have learned that may help you:
• Mamas, the first 2 weeks are the hardest, after that it just gets easier (so hang on)
• Learn about breastfeeding as much as you can! Attend lactation talks and seminars if able.
• Prepare your nipples- make them tough, I started using lanolin cream only after my nipples cracked, so for you pregnant mamas, start applying lanolin cream daily even before you give birth.
• Breastfeeding wont start to hurt (atleast in my case) while still in the hospital, even when the latch is wrong, so make sure your baby is latching on correctly to avoid cracked nipples altogether.
• Apply cold compress when breasts are engorged and warm compress before each nursing session to help with the milk flow.
• Drink lots of water, eat healthy and take lactation supplements.
• I was also prescribed Lecithin (to thin out the milk and avoid clogged ducts) and Advil for the pain
• Seek help! Dont suffer in silence, breastfeeding should not be painful. Consult a lactation doctor/ expert.
My breastfeeding buddies: Medela Lanolin Cream, Lactaflow, Lecithin, Reusable Breast Pads form Avent, Hot or Cold Compress from Avent, Haakaa, Manual pump from Hegen and electric pump from Avent.
It’s also very important to have a support group that will encourage you and help you through the first few weeks of breastfeeding, in my case I would like to thank my sister for encouraging me, my mom too, my beetfriend Ivy. My husband- who went out in the middle of the night to look for a lanolin cream for me and who bought me a nursing pillow, Ms Abbie Yabot for encouraging me and giving me advise even though she’s away, my friend Princess and her husband Doc Bistek, our kumpare who is also Noah and Tobias’ pedia for encouraging me and for introducing me to Dr Jamie Isip- Cumpas and ofcourse thank You Jesus for Your undending supply of grace and strength and joy through it all.
5 weeks ago, I wondered if I would last another day or even another session of breastfeeding- but look at me now! So mamas, don’t cry na, if you feel ready to give up, just look at your Little One and know that you are doing so well and it will soon become easy… again you are not alone. You can do this! One day at a time…
The tips I have written here are from own experience, it may or may not work for you, it is still best to consult your doctor or lactation expert to make sure.
Write your questions, tips or comments below and let’s help each other out!