Breastfeeding Diaries: The First Time

 

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This article contains affiliate links and may result in my compensation. These items are true and honest recommendations for things that I would or do already use. Thank you so much for your support.

   If you’re reading this then you have likely decided to breastfeed or are seriously considering it. Now, I have to tell you that I am not writing this to talk you into it one way or another just as it is not meant to freak you out. I am however, here as your friend, to be honest; the first few times nursing can be TOUGH. Again, I am here as a friend. I am not a doctor, nurse, or breastfeeding expert. I am here to give advice from my own personal experiences with breastfeeding. Always consult your doctor or an expert should you have any continual difficulty. 

   Let me start by painting you a little picture: you’ve just given birth, you’re tired, emotional, and probably very sensitive (both emotionally and physically). They hand that sweet baby to you for his first feeding, you don’t even have time to think, you’re just so in love with the little life you’ve create, he latches to your nipple and OUCH!

   That was not what you were expecting. The nurses will of course explain that it’s perfectly normal, that your breasts just need time to adjust and they’re right. Breastfeeding in general should not be painful but those first few times (when you and your breasts are new to the game) can be difficult and uncomfortable. Here are some tips to help you push through those first few days:

  1. Ask for help.
    Simple and very true. Breastfeeding can be tricky and you need to listen to your body. If something doesn’t feel right, you need help getting baby to latch, or just need some encouragement, don’t hesitate to ask for your hospital’s lactation consultant. If they are unavailable you can call the Le Leche League helpline (visit llli.org to find a local chapter in your area or call 1-877-4LALECHE). Many hospitals are now offering classes as well.
  2. Be Prepared.
    There are a few items that I wish I had known about from the very beginning. I recommend looking at the following list and deciding which items to stock up on ahead of time, or even register for! (Haven’t created your registry yet? Click here to begin!)

    Lansinon Lanolin Cream This cream will both sooth and protect dry, sore, and cracked nipples (eek the truth hurts I know!). The best part is that it is a 100% natural product, meaning it is safe for both you and baby.
    Found at: Target
    TIP: some hospitals will provide you with samples but to be safe I recommend having a tube on hand.

    Disposable Nursing Pads These won’t help with pain but they will save you a whole lot of embarrassment when your milk comes in! Simple to use and comfortable to wear, I used them the entire year I breastfed.
    Found at: Target

    **These last two items are for extreme cases (I personally used BOTH of these those first 2 days at the hospital)

    Soothies Gel Pads These provide instant cooling relief and are even reusable for up to 72 hours.
    Found at: Target
    TIP: You can also use cabbage leaves (cooled in the fridge first) or you can even put a (unused) diaper in the freezer and apply directly to the breast when needed!

    NUK Nipple Shields These are basically armor for your nipples. Just because your nipples are sore doesn’t mean baby will give you a break and stop eating. These provide a great break for you while still giving baby what he/she needs.
    Found at: Target

  3. Remember it will pass.
    Yes, it hurts and yes, it’s hard; but so was childbirth and you got through that right? Be patient with your body. If breastfeeding is something you truly want to do then remind yourself of the reasons and remember that you will be happy you stuck with it in the long run.
  4. Look at your baby.
    A big reward of breastfeeding is the connection it gives you and your baby. The endorphins nursing releases may just be the ultimate helping hand in sticking with it. So just take a deep breath, look at that beautiful baby, and enjoy the moment.

I hope this helps! If you have decided to nurse, please just remember that breastfeeding should not be painful. Remember that you are not alone mama and please take advantage of some or all of these tips. You will survive those first couple of days and it will be smooth sailing from there!

2 thoughts on “Breastfeeding Diaries: The First Time

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