Saturday, February 4, 2012

Breastfeeding...OW! Trials and Tribulations

Prior to baby being born, we took a breastfeeding course hosted by Amelia Tavares at our midwife clinic.  Of all things baby related, I thought this was the one thing that I really needed to get some lessons/tips/tricks on (little did i know this was just the tip of the iceberg in baby raising!).  I highly highly recommend a breastfeeding session for soon to be mom's! i dont know about other people but this didn't exactly come naturally or simply even with the course all said and done. if done wrong...bless your poor nipples!

Max was a sleepy baby when he first came into this world. Didnt even know how i would feed him as he just wouldnt rouse for more than 2 seconds...and certainly wouldnt rouse long enough to latch and feed.  The wonderful night shift maternity nurse at SPH also noticed this and she taught me how to express my colostrum (what is colostrum? click here) into a teaspoon and feed the liquid gold to Max.  My milk hadn't come in yet, but i was given the compliment of "you have a lot of colostrum in there" and it immediately gave me a boost of confidence.  Of course, i thought i could rely on this for a few days...but she said "No!" and that once he roused i had to teach baby how to feed off the breast. this spoon feeding went on for about 24 hours, i was worried though as time was ticking (that 24 hour mark) and he didn't have one wet diaper yet that would lead us to being discharged. but alas, it all worked out.

My milk came in essentially on the night of day 3 (day 2 i was doing some spoon feeding still). OW! my breasts were E-N-G-O-R-G-E-D. it was a horrible my breasts trippled in size, they felt heavy, and felt like rocks under the skin. it hurt like hell for the shower pressure to touch my nipples! OW! To boot, my boobs were so engorged that baby couldnt even latch on the nipple as the fullness essentially flattened the surface! When you have a hungry, screaming baby...this IS NOT a fun position to be in!

I was so frickin happy that i had a pump, but i was stupid/naive as to how i was supposed to use it! sadly, i pumped my breasts EMPTY just because i didnt know what to do with this engorgement.  I knew the concept of empty boobs = body makes more milk, but for some reason this didn't click in with me sooner than later?! So again, i pumped my breasts empty! One breast can take me 5 minutes for 100ml...WOW! im definitely not in short supply. I would feed on one breast...and pump out the other for some comfort..and i kept doing this for a few days. DUH!

Then i woke up and fed more often. this resulted in my breasts evening out in terms of engorgement and i was able to NOT have to pump. this meant that i was able to tell my brain to just make enough that the baby needed..not excessive amounts due to my pumping action! Thank the lawd that this sunk in!

my issue about a week-ish or so ago was that it hurt like a biatch whenever baby latched on. my nipples were red..and getting cracked from the constant demand. it's like someone just came up to you from behind and pinched your nipples hard..and then let go. that's what it felt like every 1-3 hours every single day.  my latch was good (in my opinion) but my poor virginal nipples!  Thank goodness for Lanolin!

lanolin is this viscous ointment that you apply on your nipples and it just adds that extra moisture that is very much needed. so, my nipple first aid from day 3 has been air drying the nipps with breastmilk (the cure all) and then adding some lanolin after every other feed.  it still does pinch now..but maybe a 1-2second OW (!!), instead of the 3-4second version prior...believe me, the mere milliseconds make a HUGE difference.

Now, my breasts are generally softer. no further major engorgement like before. i cant always remember which boob i last fed on, so i just give both a shake or a nudge just to see which one is fuller and needs emptying! i think the engorgement is worse at night as im not feeding as much (like every 2-3 hours), and then i can definitely tell just by sitting up which breast is full. but, no more flat nipples! yes!!

Max seems to like and latch on my right breast easier than the left. but im not going to make the mistake of excluding the left from the feeds..i need to keep this supply up for many more months to come.

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