Hmmm... let's recap the year plus in one word.
We had baby #2! And baby#2 is now 8 months old. I know. It was just a couple weeks after my last post I think we found out. Being as we had an unsuccessful pregnancy 6mos prior to that, I kind of went into 'safe' mode. But all was well, had a great pregnancy, great delivery, healthy baby hereto referred to as the Boob Man. And a great nurser he is! Can't get much greener than breastfeeding I suppose. The Boob Man popped out and promptly latched on for an hour before I realized maybe dad should get to hold him... The first 6 weeks were pretty rough getting acclimated to the process and dealing with engorgement, thrush, blebs, etc. But it was so worth it.
And now for... What Your Mother Never Told You About Breastfeeding.
My mom breastfed all 4 of us. I don't remember my brothers but I do remember her nursing my sister. In turn I remember nursing my dolls and stuffed animals! That's how we learn, right? By example. I try to remember that daily. So Boob Man came out and latched on no problem right away. An hour the first go then another half hour after dad held him for a few minutes. I believe the fact that we got him right to breast helped immensely. We were unable to do that with my first baby and I attribute our struggles in part to that immediate glitch.
Given our stellar start, I thought we were home free. I was wrong.
In those blissful first few days I didn't realize he was latched on improperly. Yep. I realized that on about the 3rd day. As my milk came in. And when I say came in, I mean barely a B to DDs. (Jaw-Drop) Due to the improper latching I had some royal owie nips. Add engorgement and painful letdown to it and taking a shower, wearing a shirt and nursing every 2hrs or less was pure torture. For 6 weeks. Every hour and a half. 24/7.
But I did it! And we are still successfully nursing today at 8mos.
Let me tell you what helped me through the worst of it and hopefully I will help some poor tired Mom just trying to do her best, as well.
Improper latch: This one is hard. They first come out and their mouths are so little! I remember looking at my breast thinking, 'It's as big as his little head! He can't breathe!' And it is a little tricky. The best place to start is a comfortable nursing position. It might take a few tries to figure out what works best for you. The lactation hospital ladies always tried to get me to do the football hold. That just isn't comfortable for me. We are a standard cradle hold, sometimes cross cradle, with the football reserved for plugged ducts. So, get your position mastered.
Then, the latch.
Taken from Just the facts Baby.com: 'As you bring the baby toward your breast, her chin should touch the breast first. (A baby's nose shouldn't touch the breast except in extreme cases when the breast is unusually large.)
Keep your baby's lower lip as far away from the base of your nipple as possible so her tongue draws lots of your breast into her mouth. Your baby's bottom lip should cover more of the areola than her top lip.'
I think that's when I got it. It seemed the lac nurses in the hospital were just getting him to open his mouth wide and then jamming my breast in his mouth.(Terrible!) Summed up: Open wide, touch chin to breast first. And another thing- eventually you want their lips to flare out but it might take them a bit to do that or you might have to try and gently move their lips out as they are learning. It took my son a few weeks but he did get it eventually.
Kellymom.com is an excellent resource for all things breastfeeding and I recommend spending some time on their site. I would have been so lost without their guidance those first months!
And I promise it won't be another year!
Check out this store for supplies that help breastfeeding moms!