I decided to do a series on mine and Everleigh’s breastfeeding journey because I truly believe that without the honest stories of others and the support of people who are educated in breastfeeding, I would not have made it this far.
When I was pregnant everyone told me I was going to have a hard time breastfeeding because it would be painful. They said I would have cracked, dry, bleeding nipples. I. Was. Terrified.
I gathered all the “necessary” supplies. A nipple shield, lanolin, cooling gel pads ect ect. And….nothing happened.
Once I started feeding Everleigh at the hospital she latched on with no problems and it didn’t hurt at all. We got home and I waited for the pain to start and still nothing. My milk came in and I thought it would start hurting then and, aside from the pain of initial engorgement, nothing. I finally accepted the fact that it just didn’t hurt. My little girl was a champ at nursing and I was proud!
This is the problem NO ONE mentioned. Why, I have no idea because it’s so common! When you go into labor, especially if you are GBS positive, you will get a dose of antibiotics. This kills ALL the bacteria in your body. Even the good stuff, which can cause an oversupply of yeast in your body. You pass it through your milk to your baby and it is NOT a pretty sight. The first sign was my burning itching nipples. Then Everleigh got patches of white all over her mouth and a terrible rash on her bottom. After a little research, some suggestions from the pediatrician, and 3 cases of it…we finally got rid of it for good. It took probiotics for me,baby probiotics for Ev, Gentian Violet applied to my nipples and Everleigh’s mouth (if you get thrush…this stuff is a MUST!) and apple cider vinegar sprayed on her bottom at each diaper change.
UNDER SUPPLY & OVER SUPPLY
Undersupply was always something I worried about,even before I started breastfeeding, but oversupply was something I never thought would be a problem. One day we were changing Everleigh’s diaper and noticed that it was green and bubbly. We turned to Google, like so many times before and it told us that I may have an oversupply of milk and she was getting full before getting the fatty hind milk at the back of my breasts. This was an easy fix. I just block fed her, which means I stuck to one side for a few feedings at a time.
Then came undersupply. After the episode with oversupply…this issue had left my mind until I started noticing Ev getting frustrated at the breast. She would get tense and cry and unlatch every time. I started worrying that she wasn’t getting enough milk, but every website told me that undersupply was a rarity and that I shouldn’t worry. So I didn’t. Until she started getting dehydrated and not peeing as much. Then I started to worry. But I ate more oats, drank more water, and started taking Fenugreek supplements and it eventually went back to normal.
This one was, and still is a hard one for me. Sometimes I feel like all I do is feed Everleigh. Sometimes I don’t even know why I wear a bra anymore. My boobs seem to always be out. Having roommates makes this the hardest issue I’ve had to deal with. Nursing is so much easier when you can just “let it all hang out”. Nursing in public is still something I’m not fully comfortable with…and I’m slowly trying to get over it and feel empowered as a breastfeeding mother. I’ve seriously contemplated switching to formula, but always choose the health benefits over my own discomfort. I have to give kudos to my mom, sister and husband for keeping me in check here. They always encourage me to keep going….
And here I am.
Waiting to hit the 3 month mark…and the 6 month…and the 9 month…and the 1 year.
I’m really looking forward to making it to 3 months because I hear it only gets easier from there.
Stay tuned for my next post in the series of Our Breastfeeding Journey.