97 thoughts on “Adjusting to Breastfeeding

  1. dunsany

    I just had a vision of you breast-feeding him and blogging at the same time. Henry sidling next to the keyboard, as you reach over and type.

    Mighty Congradulations!

  2. Lynne

    The really telling thing about that post is that you were in a sleep deep enough to allow for a dream. Go you! That’s great news for your first week of motherhood!

  3. Leiah

    Oh Maggie, I know of what you speak. Don’t worry, it does get better and all that pain is worth it when you get to look down at Hank and he tosses a little half smile at you. Just keep swimming!!

  4. tammy

    This is probably why the La Leche League does not use “Mom: The Other White Meat” as their tagline.

    I’m just sayin’. Congratulations on your cute little tax deduction!

  5. hell insomnia

    My first week of breastfeeding occurred when gas was over $3. I was watching the news, looking down at my carnivorous baby and thinking, “No, Brian Williams. This is pain at the pumps.”

  6. slouching mom

    I agree with Lynne. Being able to dream in those early weeks is everything. My kids never figured out (or is it I who never figured out) how to nurse lying down, so it was off to the rocking chair three, four times a night. Congratulations, Maggie! And get yourself some Lansinoh cream, if you don’t have it already. That stuff is magic.

  7. Bookratt

    Conratulations! What a cutie-pie Hank is!

    The wild dreams, well, I cannot fix that! Wait till you get the one where complete strangers in the grocery store (bank, pharmacy) ask you if they can have some milk, too! You will never look at your teller (butcher, pharmacist) the same way again.

    BTW, you’re not having pain while breastfeeding are you? If nursing hurts, I think it’s time to fix that, as it should not hurt.

    Except maybe for engorgement, if you let it go too long and get mastitis or an infection as a result, that’s definitely some discomfort, but not actual pain.

    The women I know who said breastfeeding hurt or had cracked or bleeding nipples, had latch-on problems or didn’t use breast milk to wash the nipples after, or didn’t use cream on the nipples after every other feeding session. Lansinoh is great stuff for that.

    The “perfect” latch-on for you and your son will come with time, and is partly dependent on your hold on him during, and eventually it will just click for both of you. But if 5 days after you start, you are still experiencing pain while breastfeeding, please have an in-home visit performed by a lactation consultant (my HMO insurance paid for that visit).

    They can help you by actually doing the latch-on part for you. Your dr (ob) and dr or nurses (at the pediatrician), strangely enough, may not know how/may not be lactation consultants or trained in this, and may look at you and say “yep, you’re good”, because it looks ok to them, like they’ve seen in a book, but may have no REAL idea what they’re talking about.

    The lactation consultant will weigh the baby (with a nifty little folding scale they bring, which by itself is very, very cool), show you a better swaddle (better than mine, anyway!) and watch for a bit while you feed, so you can feel absolutely sure you are all getting along nicely. I felt wonderful after she came to see me. I was so relieved!

    I breastfed for 15 months. I still miss it. And my “baby” is 4 this month!

    Good luck to you and your new little family! The best is yet to come and I sincerely wish you and Brian only the best with your little peanut.

  8. Arianne

    Actually, a well known lactivist blogger started making t-shirts that said “The Other White Milk”. She got slapped with a lawsuit from the pork industry, only to have it finally rescinded and apologies sent her way when everyone freaked out about it.

    Congrats! Hope you all are adjusting well.

  9. Jen

    You know, some women actually become so proficient at it that they can walk around while they breastfeed! I am continually amazed when I see women capable of doing that–I breastfed for 15 months and could barely do it sitting up, let alone walking. I always had to lie down on my side to breastfeed.

  10. Amy D.

    I’m so glad you get to sleep long enough to have a dream, even if it is a little bizarre. I wanna see a pic of you in your Valentine’s Day sweater. Stop it. Hilarious!

  11. Ali

    I just wanted to stop by and say congratulations! And also that I received your book for Christmas and I positively ADORE it. It has given me so many ideas for getting my blog back up and running.

  12. Karen

    I’m another on the Lansinoh bandwagon. I actually only talked about it on my blog just this past week!

    Hope you and Hank are both doing well. Take Care

  13. Maya

    Hi Maggie! Just wanted to drop a quick congratulations to y’all. Hank is as cute as can be and can’t wait to read his birth story. Holiday sweaters are the debbil, fo’ sho’.

  14. jessica

    I’m going to also tout Lansinoh’s praises. I used it from the very start and never once had cracking.
    My little girl is weaning herself off the boob already (against my wishes! she’s only six months – how did she hear about these things they call bottles?!?!) , I really miss our time together. So I “force” her to nurse in the early morning and at night now just to get these last few months of “our time” together, before she’s a toddler and too busy to be bothered with affection and cuddle time; I think she does it just to humor me.

  15. amanda

    Were you expecting the rush of comments from breastfeeders? We are an effusive bunch because once you get over the hump it is marvelous. No bottles to pack, no powder to spill in the car, a hale and hearty Hank, incredible weightloss, less armomatic explosions from little heinies and the list goes on.
    I was not a cream fan, I tried cabbage leaves as a compress, and while they did cool and soothe, I felt like some sort of demented Midsummer Night’s Dream understudy. The one pearl from a stranger in a grocery store that stayed with me and ultimately rang true was: bear down and stick with it to six weeks. It can hurt, it can be exhausting, you can feel like giving up, but if you just make it to 6 weeks it will get easier. And it did.
    Whatever happens you have already done an incredible job!
    And with that I’ll shut my trap and go and nurse my 9 month old. Stay tuned for wisdom on nursing a tot with teeth.

  16. jr

    Not that you asked…but I was told by my Lactation Consultant to NOT use the Lansinoh cream, because it can actually prevent a good latch. She said just to rub some expressed milk into the nipple after each feeding. Worked like a charm! Never used the cream, and I never cracked once…and I breastfed my daughter for 13 months!

    One of my friends is due soon with her first, and she really doesn’t want to breastfeed. I told her that as long as she *feeds* her baby, it will all work out. ;)

    There is so much pressure out there on so many fronts!!

    Good luck!

  17. Jocibug

    Maggie, I’m so happy for you and your beautiful baby. Jr’s comment is right on the money. As long as you feed your baby, it’s all good.

    I tried and tried to breastfeed, and had infection after infection (in many different places). It hurt like hell for over a month, until we discovered that it not only hurt, but I wasn’t producing any milk. We switched Bella to a bottle, she fattened up beautifully, and we’re all happy.

    I bet it will get better for you. You’ll be a champ like my mom, who could push a grocery cart while nursing a baby. But if you should decide to bottle-feed, it’ll still be great, and your little boy will grow up happy and healthy.

    The best and worst part about motherhood is that everyone has a suggestion for you.

  18. megan

    All benefits and politics aside – the whole breastfeeding thing terrifies me. Being a food source is a wild notion I can’t quite wrap my mind around.

    On a completely other note: my sister-in-law loves her Hooter Hider, she can whip it out in style whenever there is (screaming) demand. But who am I to give shopping tips to the pro of pros… (bebeaulait.com) :-)

  19. samantha

    I have to agree it’s Lansinoh-my-god-i-just-had-an-orgasm-my-breast-no-longer-feel-like-they-need-removal cream all the way dearie.

    And Johnson & Johnson breast pads — they don’t stick and they’re super super absorbant.

    I got low on them one time and ran out while in a store–I ended up using one of the baby’s diapers while out–there is no shame to what you will do for a dry blouse. So don’t run out of that or the Lansinoh-my-god-i-just-had-an-orgasm-my-breast-no-longer-feel-like-they-need-removal cream. I wish I had your address so I could send you a couple of crates of it. Plus it keeps the baby’s lips moisturised (sp?) and you don’t have to wash it off between feedings!

  20. Corinne

    Hang in there, Maggie. It really does get better, and sooner than you think. I remember hearing “six weeks and you’re over the hump” and thinking I would DIE. I think 3 weeks is more accurate. You can do it! And it is really great when you get it figured out. Does he turn bright red when he’s eating? So funny, little lobster baby! I’m so so happy for you, my total-stranger-web-friend.

  21. Carrue

    Congratulations on your new baby! As people stated above, you just need to get through that first month before breastfeeding gets to be somewhat comfortable. In addition to the Lansinoh cream, I highly, highly, highly recommend the Soothies Gel Pads. You can put them in the fridge or right out of the package and it’s instant relief. My lactation consultant told me they are good for 5 days. They saved me.

  22. Sandi

    Hey – I bought your book and was wondering how soon it gets shipped? So excited to start reading it.
    Thanks!

  23. C Carter

    Congratulations! Hank is beautiful.
    As for nursing, it’s a great thing and while “natural,” it’s not something we naturally know how to do. So, if it hurts, get help from a lactation specialist NOW, don’t wait 3 or 6 weeks. If it’s so natural, it shouldn’t ever hurt. That means something is not right and a little help would be good. I did wait longer than that thinking, “Hey, I’m smart, I should know how to do this.” Wrong. As soon as I got help, the entire process was easy and completely painless. Then, when our second child came along, I actually did know how to do it.
    You seem like a very smart woman. Take care of yourself and you will be a better mother to your beautiful little boy. Best wishes.

  24. Beans

    I think 3 weeks is a good marker for getting it “right” (or at least better and healing). But as for the delirium that may ensue due to sleeplessness – you’re on your own to make that up. At 4 weeks post-birth, I was nursing my son in the middle of the night in a comfy chair set up in his room. I became convinced that there was a little gnome staring out of his closet at me. I thought about it and “knew” it was ridiculous, but couldn’t stop making out his shape amongst the clothes and supplies, etc. For fear of waking baby I did not yell out to my husband to check it out, rather I put on a brave face, put baby to bed and timidly felt around in the closet – ensuring that there really wasn’t a gnome. I honestly was not on any drugs – pure lack of sleep!

  25. Meredith

    Delurking to congratulate you on the birth of your son and give you a big cheer for breastfeeding. It IS an adjustment but so good for baby Hank and Mighty Mom. I agree with another commenter on the lactation consultant; well worth the money and they are a good source of information (much better source of info than my OB who told me it breastfeeding is supposed to hurt…wtf?) It’ll get easier. Feeding by feeding it gets easier. Hang in there!

  26. Lane Meyer

    First: I have to say Sir Hank is just precious.
    Second: Lansinoh is the ONE thing that kept me breast-feeding my only son for 18 months. The only thing that prevented my son from latching on was cracked nipples BEFORE my midwife told my husband to RUN not walk to Rite Aid for the heaven sent Lansinoh. We had a real rough start with the whole BF thing but after a few weeks all that pain was well worth the 18 months of not dealing with formula. Not to mention the all of the other benefits of breast-feeding.

    What ever you decide as a mother is the right decision. You already look like a pro ;)

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