In the beginning, it’s okay to admit that sometimes breastfeeding sucks. It isn’t always this perfect picture of you looking into your little babe’s eyes that you expected it to be.
Sometimes as women, we can have flat or inverted nipples.
Sometimes, you can get an infection (called mastitis) where your breast feels hot to the touch and you spike a fever and feel like crap.
And sometimes, if you’re like me, your boobs never stop leaking and you think you’re going to go crazy if you feel one more random letdown.
Max and I have a great breastfeeding relationship now, but sadly, it wasn’t always like that. Every single thing that I just described above? We dealt with it all.
As soon as Max was born, he latched onto my right breast like a champ. He was doing incredibly well at nursing and I was ecstatic. However, whenever it came time to put him on my left breast, he wouldn’t be able to latch and got really frustrated. (He certainly wasn’t the only one.)
From doing research while pregnant, I knew I had an inverted nipple on the left side and that I may need to do a little more work with Max to ensure he could latch.
The nurses were zero help when I was in the hospital and trying to figure out how to breastfeed. Every time I tried to talk to a lactation consultant, who all happened to be NICU nurses, they were busy. I felt bad taking them away from the babies that really needed help, so I didn’t want to keep asking.
I asked my nurse for help again, and she said I could try something that goes in your bra when you aren’t nursing to help and shape your nipple so that it’s ready when it’s feeding time.
This was the most annoying product ever. It was bulky, it was almost moving around, and you could see the bulge in my bra. I was trying to stay calm but I was so irritated. I was tired, super sore and trying to recover from my c-section and just wanted to feed Max without all of the frustration that was present.
We finally were discharged and after some more research online, I went to Target the next day to buy a nipple shield.
This allowed Max to latch, but he was so inefficient during feedings when I would wear it. I tried to only use it in the beginning of feedings to help move my nipple into the correct shape for his latch and then remove it, but that only resulted in more frustration with both mama and baby.
On a late night google search, I came across the Lansinoh Latch Assist. Before a feeding, you use it to gently draw out your flat or inverted nipples out so that it’s easy for the baby to latch on. You guys. This product was a life saver. And the best part? It’s non-invasive so the baby is able to have direct nipple contact unlike when you use nipple shields. (I really thought I was going to go insane if our latch issues continued on any longer.) At two weeks old, Max was finally able to nurse effortlessly on both sides. We were finally on our way to having that perfect relationship that I’d imagined.
When Max was four weeks old, we went back home to visit family. Out of nowhere, I felt super achy and just blah. As we all know, this is the last thing you want when you’re on vacation. We were eating dinner and suddenly I could tell that I had a fever. I checked my temperature and, of course, it was 101 degrees Fahrenheit. I had a clogged duct several days prior and was working around the clock to massage my breast during feedings, nurse Max with his chin pointing towards the clogged duct and pumping when I wasn’t feeding to help get the clog free. I knew I must not have been successful and it turned into mastitis.
This is where the Lansinoh TheraPearl 3-in-1 Breast Therapy Packs come in. Not only are these helpful when you have a clogged duct or mastitis, but they help to relieve engorgement, as well. When you’re dealing with engorgement, they’re best when cold. Simply chill them and place them on your breast. The design makes it so that they’re able to wrap around your breast giving you as much relief as possible.
When clogged ducts and mastitis are causing you problems, sticking them in the microwave for the recommended time can provide relief from the discomfort.
Are you a pumping mom? You can use them too! If you heat them up and stick them on your breast right as you’re beginning to pump, they can assist with letdowns and even reduce the time that you spend pumping. What pumping mama wouldn’t want that?
Now, onto the nursing pads. Do you remember my post the other day about how crazy my letdowns were in the beginning and how I would leak EVERYWHERE? It was so embarrassing. But – these disposable nursing pads (finally) allowed me to wear the same bra for longer than an hour before I ruined it with milk.
These nursing pads are ideal for those days when you’re nursing a newborn, or when you’re like me and would randomly leak ounces of milk at a time for nine months. They are worth every penny. They come in boxes with 36, 60 or 100 nursing pads to make sure none go to waste.
Thanks to these products, now we DO have that perfect & special breastfeeding relationship I always envisioned us having.
I hope you guys found some new products that you want to try! I want to know about your breastfeeding journey! Are you breastfeeding or are you planning to? Did you deal with any of these issues? Tell me more!
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Want more breastfeeding posts? Look no further!
Breastfeeding with SILVERETTE®
Leaky Boobs and Oversupply. Oh My!
Breastfeeding (with teeth), TV and bed sharing – oh my!