My First Few Days Breastfeeding: The Problems + Solutions

My First Few Days Breastfeeding: The Problems + Solutions

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Delaney Thornton

Every time a friend of mine tells me she’s pregnant, one of my first thoughts, after being extremely excited obviously, is that I hope they plan to breastfeed. I loved breastfeeding my daughter and I learned so much about it in the first year. I made so many mistakes, and someone how I managed to get myself right back on track every single time. If you’re reading this, I’m assuming this isn’t the first article you’ve read about nursing, so I’ll skip the boring scientific part about all of the amazing benefits that it comes with. Instead I’ll just tell you that for me, my depression and anxiety went from a level 10 to a level 3, my daughter was not sick ONCE in her first year, I saved approximately $1,700 from not having to buy formula, I never had to bring bottles, just my own body (except for the first three months when I pumped occasionally, more on that in a future post)… I could literally go on. The pros far outweigh the cons when it comes to nursing so I strongly suggest you give it a shot! So now, let’s get to the part where I actually tell you how I successfully breastfed my daughter in the hospital.

My First Few Days of Breastfeeding: The Problems + Solutions

I knew from the day I found out I was pregnant that I wanted to breastfeed. I had dreams of being this holistic mom who did everything naturally, and while my birth plan got thrown out the window with an induced, medicated labor that eventually led to a C-Section, I really held on to the breastfeeding because it’s the one thing I had left. A few of my friends who had babies before me said they gave up breastfeeding because a) they weren’t making enough, b) the baby wouldn’t latch c) it hurt, this list also goes on. I knew that I could do it no matter what problems I ran into, and guess what? I ran into all of them. Here’s what happened + how I fixed it, and just some added tips.

Problem 1: I had a C-Section so I didn’t get to have that first few minutes of crucial bonding time, which already set me back.

Solution 1: the very second they handed her to me when I got of recovery, we got right on it. The earlier, the better. This really helped. If I would have waited any longer, she would have gotten overly hungry and frustrated and wouldn’t have latched.

Problem 2: She wouldn’t latch or didn’t latch correctly.

Solution 2: Sometimes the baby just won’t latch. This could be because they’re not hungry, or they’re too frustrated; sometimes they just need some guidance. Hold their head with whatever side you’re nursing on, and pinch your boob (yes, I use the word boob instead breast I hope you’re okay with that because if not…..boob) with the other to get it to fit in their mouth better. If they still don’t get it or seem uninterested, express some milk and rub it on your nip (nipple makes me cringe so we say nip here 😉 ). Most of the time, this draws the baby’s mouth to the right place.

If he or she isn’t latching correctly, then use your finger to open their mouth wider by pushing their chin downwards, then when it’s open (this may be for only a split second) shove your boob in there. You’ll know it’s a good latch if you can’t see any of your nip.

Problem 3: inverted nips? what the hell is that. I didn’t know either, but apparently I had them. If you have them too, don’t worry, Darling, I have a solution for all of your problems.

Solution 3: Pump. Seriously? Yeah… it works. I’m not talking pumping the whole way through to bottle feed, I’m talking only a few seconds. The suction from the pumping will get those little peckers right back to where they need to be (did I just say peckers?)  and bonus! it will already get the milk flowing for the baby so they don’t have to do much work.

Problem 4: Not producing enough 🙁 WHY GOD, I’M MEANT TO DO THIS

Solution 4: Don’t worry it happens to almost everyone who breastfeeds at least once. That agonizing moment where you think you’re losing your supply, truly sucks. There are quite a few different ways to increase it: feed more or pump more. Just do it constantly. Your body makes what it thinks the baby needs and it makes that decision based on how much milk is being expressed whether it’s by baby or breast pump. You can also increase your supply with certain foods + herbs. But wait it get even better… you can make them into cookies 😀 Nothing better than eating cookies and getting to make more milk for your babe at the same time. My all-time favorite recipe that I’ve made a gazzilion times is ~ this one ~ (I made it look all fancy because it really is the holy grail and it doubled my supply). I recommend making these a week before your due date and freezing them. I always made two batches at a time and froze the second one, a month later they’d still taste amazing

Problem 5: (Last one I swear). Sore, cracked, bruised, bleeding nips. Sounds like a horror story, and it kinda is.

Solution 5: Freakin’ nipple shields. Buy them. Buy them now. Have them in your hospital bag.. They absolutely saved my life. So these things are clear, rubber pieces in the shape of a nip that you put over your own to protect them. My nips were black and blue and bleeding because they weren’t used to a leech, aka your adorable new bundle, feasting on them all day. I did research and found these lifesavers, which my mom had to run out and get for me because the hospital didn’t have any. I suffered for much, much longer than I should have if I would have been prepared. So like I said, buy them now. You don’t want to use them too often, or for too long, because they can cause clogged ducts, aka a living hell, which can then lead to mastitis, worse than hell. I got it because I used them too much, since I didn’t have anyone to tell me otherwise (so… you’re welcome). This could have been a separate problem , but that’s okay. These gel soothing pads were also lifesavers. Put them inside your bra after you’re done breastfeeding, and ahhhh, instant relief. I also recommend nipple cream for preventative measures. If you start using this a week before your due date, your nips should be protected.

Tip 1:  Lactation consultants are there for a reason, so use them. Call them whenever you need them. Call them every time you nurse so they can help or just tell you you’re doing it right. The second you leave, they won’t be there anymore. So use them whenever you can.

Tip 2: When they first start sucking vigorously, they aren’t getting anything sometimes. They do this when they are trying to get your milk to let down. Once it starts coming down, their suck will slow down and become more rhythmic. So don’t think that you have no milk right, just watch how they suck.

Tip 3: Bring your mother freakin’ boppy pillow. If you don’t have one, you can get it here. It is seriously amazing and I couldn’t breastfeed without it. This pillow is designed to fit around your body for comfort, and to free up one of your hands by supporting your baby. This was the only way I was able to guide my daughter’s head. Bonus, if you have a C-Section like me, this pillow protects your incision from the baby’s kicking and moving, and it also helps support you when you’re not nursing either.

Okay, so we can all agree that breastfeeding is not easy, but it is so, so, so worth it. Believe me, there is nothing more satisfying + rewarding than being able to provide for your child with your own body. So, like I always say to all of my prego friends, “the least you can do is try”. And that is so important. If you try and then run into one of the above problems, please refer back to this page, because I truly believe that these solutions and tips will work for you too. And if they don’t? Then pat yourself on the back for trying because not everyone can say they did that. My goal is to get as many people to successfully breastfeed as possible, and hoping this article can do that. Thanks for reading guys! Please share to help other moms out and subscribe if you want to read more about this and the rest of my crazy life.

xoxo, Delaney.

  1. Delaney G

    August 17, 2017 at 8:06 pm

    I will be referring back to this soon!

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