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3 Important Things You Need to Know If Breastfeeding

3 Important Things You Need To Know If Breastfeeding
Written by Tiffany H
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Breastfeeding can build a precious, intimate bond between Mama and little one. It can also bring incredible challenges and stresses that you can be (at least mostly) prepared for as new parents.

Due toย my awful, 9.5 months-of-misery, experience with my first, I am hyper-aware of how prevalent the first thing is. When I was a new mama, no one around me had much knowledge of them, so we suffered every feeding. Every. Single. One. That was every two hours if I was lucky, but most often he wanted to nurse every hour, especially at night. The first 6-8 weeks he would cluster feed for hours at a time.

If I hadn’t researched the importance of breastfeeding prior to his birth, along with the toxic ingredients of sugar, GMOs, and glyphosate (Round Up) in commercial formula, I know I wouldn’t have been able to keep going.

These are 3 important things I wish I knew way back when I was a new mama.

3 Important Things You Need To Know If Breastfeeding

#1 Baby should be checked for tongue and lip-ties ASAP after birth

My first, Baby Boy, had BOTH.

They caused (in ME):

  • plugged ducts
  • severe nipple pain
  • bruising and rawness
  • thrush
  • unexplained fevers of 102+ with chills and severe weakness
  • shooting, burning, itching breast pain that came on during a feed and lasted hours

Day 2 after his birth, it was like a switch flipped and my calm, happy baby started screaming inconsolably. We scrambled trying to find comfort measures for him and ended up following the ‘5 S’s’ from Happiest Baby on the Block. He needed to be swaddled past 6 months to be able to calm down to sleep. My doula was the only person to bring up the possibility of ties, but we dismissed it as we didn’t think he matched the symptoms.

We didn’t realize how many of MY symptoms matched.

Finally, at 9 months and after texting her ‘this is worse than labor and delivery’, she brought it up again. She gave us the name of a doctor. We did an email consult with Dr. Kotlow in Albany, NY, and he determined that Baby Boy did have both ties.

The first time breastfeeding after his 5 minute laser surgery was nearly pain-free. I sat there, a puddle of emotion, shocked to my core by the difference. We went on to successfully nurse another 7.5 months. I’m so thankful we finally figured it out, but I’m sad that I missed enjoying those 9.5 months of breastfeeding (or doing anything with) my baby because of the amount of misery I was in.

We learned our lesson and when Baby Girl was born we had her checked right away. She had a lip tie, but no tongue tie. Her laser surgery was 1 week after her birth. I was already getting plugged ducts during that time. We haven’t had any issues with her latch since and we’ve been going strong 16+ months so far. ๐Ÿ™‚

#2 Breastfeeding might be uncomfortable at first, but not unbearable

Even if Baby does not have either tie, breastfeeding can still be a little uncomfy at first. Your body does need to get used to the friction from nursing, and some babies do have what they call a “Hoover suck”.

However, unlike I was and many mamas are told, if the pain is pretty intense, don’t just write it off as ‘wimpy nipples’. After having a lactation counselor check Baby Boy’s latch days after his birth, we determined I just had to get used to it. I cried and ‘labor-breathed’ through so many sessions. Hubby had to buy me a swimsuit bra so that I could shower, because it hurt too much to even have water run over them.

The hopelessness of the situation was incredible. I believe it contributed heavily to the Postpartum Depression I suffered with. Having to live in a high level of pain, 24/7, as if it is normal and without any relief from the pain can affect someone deeply. If I could save one mama from that same fate, it would make that whole time worth it.

A few other tips that can help with normal breastfeeding discomfort:

#3 Breastfeeding is worth sticking out

Even after those 9.5 long months of suffering, I believe breastfeeding your baby is worth it. Some mamas can’t produce enough milk or have health issues themselves preventing a good breastfeeding relationship. However, in most cases that’s not the case. Your milk is important for baby, and (normal) nursing releases feel good hormones to relax you. Scientists are also beginning to correlate breastfeeding with lower rates of breast cancer.

And lastly I want to say, if you end up being unable to nurse, DO NOT beat yourself up about it. I know amazing mamas who weren’t able, or didn’t have the support or knowledge to be able to continue nursing their little one. It makes them NO LESS of a mama. I would’ve been one of the statistics if I had just a tiny bit less knowledge, or one less person encouraging me to stick it out.

*In the case of being unable to breastfeed, I highly recommend looking into Nourishing Traditions Book of Baby and Childcare. It’s full of great info and ways to nourish your baby even if they can’t breastfeed.*

But, above all, please don’t give up, Mama. Find a support system of women who will encourage you through the tough times. Get baby checked by a pediatric dentist specializing in Laser Frenectomies if you and/or baby are having issues. At the very least, find a highly reviewed lactation consultant who can also advise you about them. Your midwife or OB should be able to refer you.

Whatever the case, it’s a worthy endeavor to make breastfeeding your little one a priority. I’m here cheering you on and can’t wait to hear about your experience. Hang in there, sweet mama!

What were your experiences with breastfeeding?

3 Important Things You Need To Know If Breastfeeding

About the author

Tiffany H

Hi! I'm Tiffany, mama to the handsomest little boy and sweetest little girl, and wife to the best man ever. I love my Savior, being a housewife, mama and personal 'bakist' to the hubby, living naturally, and making real food taste yummy. I hope you enjoy this little glimpse into my crazy, happy life. Join me on the journey, let's get to know each other!

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2 Comments

  • I’m currently breastfeeding my 6mo baby CJ and it’s definitely been a challenge. I don’t have any terrible issues other than low supply. I do have to supplement with formula but she’s taken to both extremely well. Now we’re introducing some solids, and I’m hand expressing like crazy. My flow has gotten much better, and she’s enjoying that. So I’m just trying to keep my head up!

    I also have a blog, so you can read about my breastfeeding journey here : http://lovinglifewithlee.com/breastfeeding-journey-0-to-3-months

    *Subscribing and following. I found this post and Pinterest so naturally, I’ll be pinning.

    Thanks for a great post Tiffany

    • Hi Lee! Thanks for sharing your journey! I tried to check out your website, but it appears to be down. I’ll try to check back later, hopefully you have your IT people on it. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (Hubby takes care of all that stuff for me!)