Welcome to the Aprilof Breastfeeding
hosted by Motherwear Breastfeeding Blog
After reading the theme for this carnival, "Thrush and mastitis and blebs, oh my!" I knew it was for me. When my first daughter was born the nurse and lactation consultant said that they had never seen such a wiggly newborn. My little one would not latch on for anything. I was frustrated because I had dreamed of an easy latch on and bonding experience with my little girl. When she finally got the latch on down I then began my difficult journey with returning Mastitis (breast infection), cracked nipples and low milk supply. It was suggested by my lactation consultant to pump and dump in between nursing. The pumping in between nursing sessions with my baby helped to relief some of the pain. I used the excess milk and spread it onto the infected areas of my breast. Breast milk has an abundance of vitamins and healing properties.
This was my daily routine:
I breast feed my baby on the breast that was least infected first. I opened my bra and let milk flow from the infected breast onto a towel while nursing with the other breast. I pumped the side I was not nursing on, to completely drain my breast. (You may save the pumped milk to feed your baby.) I dumped mine because of the amount of blood in the pumped milk. As stated above I used the excess milk and applied it to the infected area.
All though I was nursing my little one; I experienced very little nurturing. I felt that I was pushing through the pain to do what was best for my baby. My lactation consultant was sure that if I relaxed while breastfeeding it would help my milk to come in a bit more and help to heal my sore breasts. She worked hard trying to get “me” in a good comfortable position while nursing but relaxing my shoulders while trying to hold my baby so she wouldn’t loose the precious latch on; left me anything but comfortable and relaxed. I took warm showers prior to breastfeeding but again as soon as the process started, I was tense due to the pain. I tried using regular bed pillows to prop my baby on while nursing and got rid of all my breastfeeding pillows. This just added to the frustration. My baby slipped around while using the pillows and my shoulder and back ached.
In my frustration I called my friend Heather and cried on her shoulder. I knew she could make a nursing pillow which would allow my baby to latch on properly, stay latched on and rest comfortably. She loves me dearly so I knew whatever she came up with would also allow me to have a comfortable nursing experience. Two weeks later, Heather sent me a wonderful, organic Nesting Pillow. The pillow is filled with buckwheat hulls which lock into place allowing the baby to stay in position and keep the latch on as if snuggling in a little nest. The best part is that I could finally relax and bond with my baby while nursing comfortably. Heather provided me and my baby with the comfort I needed to enjoy my breastfeeding experience. I also felt comfortable using it because I knew my baby was resting on a chemical free, safe nursing pillow. I then used it for my sleeping pillow and my back pain, neck pain and headaches where gone! She is the sweetest of friends, nurturing and loving and the most amazing Auntie to my two little girls (and many other babies.) The Nesting Pillow that was once a loving gift for me is now a gift for women around the world.
When pumping, the only effective pump was my electric one called the Medela Pump In Style . This is truly the best pump. Don’t try cheap, travel or hand pumps. Purchasing the Medela Electric Pump is well worth the money. I have since passed it on to other Mother’s (Using a hand-me down pump is not recommended by the manufacturer, Medela) so it was a great investment. My own breast milk was the best treatment for sore, cracked nipples. It took about one month for my baby to master breastfeeding and about four months for me to become relaxed and healed. I don’t regret sticking with breastfeeding through the pain of Mastitis, cracked nipples and low milk supply. My daughter went on to nurse for 2 ½ years. The bonding and attachment experience plus knowing I gave her the best “organic” milk ever was well worth the difficulties experienced in the first four months! Enjoy breastfeeding. A gift that truly keeps on giving!
Please visit other Breastfeeding Carnival stories:
(I will be adding links throughout the day)