“Theres no use crying over spilt milk.”
The person who came up with this phrase clearly never had to spend hours milking themselves to collect no more than 1oz of breast milk.
It has taken every piece of willpower and determination to provide my baby with a healthy milk supply. I’ve spent more hours than I can count massaging, cooling and heating, power pumping and scrolling through the internet trying to gain a supply.
It’s bloody hard work!
Now it’s not for everyone I can appreciate that, some women do not want to breastfeed and that’s okay as long as you and baby are happy.
I know some women try with all their might and still have no success for a multitude of reasons. Just remember it’s bloody hard work and you did everything you could.
It is hard work though. I’m not saying that for pity, or to make anyone feel better. It’s just a fact. Or at least it was for me.
First off there’s the latch. I don’t know how many times I was asked if she had latched properly. I don’t pissing know! You see she’s my first child, and prior to this moment where I had a brand new baby thrust onto my boob, I’d never breastfed before. So I really had no idea what a ‘proper latch’ felt like or really looked like for that matter. You can read all the books, blogs and magazines, you can even watch YouTube videos if you like. But until that baby is attached to your boobs you don’t really know what to expect.
You’ll be glad to know that this is babys area to work out and they usually master it within a few days (it’s natural instinct) you just need to keep an eye on what’s going on and ensure they have a tight seal making for maximum drainage and little air consumption (this can cause extra gas/colic neither of you want) in time baby will be a pro.
SORE NIPPLE’S! I was not ready for this. Not even a little bit. It’s super dang painful! They become cracked, blistered and feel like someone used a sand blaster on them before setting them on fire!
However … It doesn’t last forever.
At no point in your life have you had your nipples sucked on with such force for so long or so often. (Even if that’s your thing) it’s completely unlike anything else you’ve experienced. Babies have an incredibly strong suction, their lives depend on it so they can empty a bottle with low flow teats in thirty seconds and I’d bet on it taking you up to five minutes.
This causes alot of friction and discomfort at the beginning for you but as your body comes to terms with it (and your nipples toughen up) but there’s a huge variety of products out there that can help with this stage. THIS was my favourite balm a little goes a long way and it works quickly ( it doubles as a great product for dry lips and skin too) And these guys got me through those first two tear filled nights.
They’re leaking! Yup your boobs will leak milk alot untill your milk supply evens out. Lots of big wet boob marks. Basically my advise is this:
- Wear dark clothing if you’re out and about so the marks are hidden. And take a spare shirt with you.
- Wear a good bra with moulded cups to help soak up extra moisture (pads still leak)
- Invest in some breast milk collectors – be warned you will resemble Madonna with these on so layer up (cardigans, light jackets and over shirts hide the cups and any lumps you want covered) you can add that precious liquid to your daily yeild too! (Some days I could collect 2oz)
- When feeding on one side pump on the other, it keeps your supply building and saves any loss. That or wear your milk collectors.
- Sleep on a towel till things settle and keep a change of shirt to hand at night. The number of times I had to have the bed or blindly search for tops in the night till I started doing this is ridiculous.
- Get some cheap nylon sports bra style bras for bed. I got some thing similar to this as your boobs change shape rapidly and they are stretchy and comfortable to wear. Your boobs get heavy so it’s good to have something to provide support and keep them in place (and you can still wear pads)
- For the love of God put nipple balm, Vaseline, nipple cream anything on your nipple BEFORE you put the pads on! Every brand I tried stuck at some point and man does it hurt to pull them off.
My supply has dropped! This can happen for any reason or no reason at all. If baby is sick for a fortnight they might not want to feed as often, so your supply drops. If you are sick for a fortnight your body puts it’s needs ahead of babies so it pays less attention to keeping the supply strong. You need medicine to help you but that can interfere. Birth control hormones can decrease supply. Baby decides to drop the night feed for a few weeks (don’t kid yourself it’s rarely forever) and your back to square one. There is also medical reasons that can cause a a decrease so if you are ever unsure contact your doctor or contact the breastfeeding network. There is lots you can do though, massage,power pumping, bed breaks (these were my favourite – two days, you baby and your pump) latch baby more often, pupm one side as they feed the other. Herbal teas, and there’s even certain foods that can help too. The biggest thing … Percivier! If it’s not medical and you can but are just having trouble of late lactating you have to work at it.
Milk it! You will spend most of your life now milking yourself. That’s just a fact of life. You’re gonna be permanently attached to a pump in hopes of draining even just half an Oz of that liquid gold. I was gifted this guy and it did me a great turn. It took six months worth of a beating being used multiple times a day and it was great. Sadly it was out of stock when I had to quickly replace it so moved onto this (mainly for the next day delivery) and I’ve been super happy with this one too, intact we’ve become great friends since baby can’t hurt herself on it (she loved putting her little hands under the handle) I like having a manual for during the night and when on the go. But this little gem was a great buy. I got it originally so I had one a but didn’t want to spend a lot incase it turned out a I couldn’t feed, but I I love it. Now I wont deny the more expensive brands are good but I found this works just as well I’ve again bought two as the pieces wear out but for the price it’s not an issue. Basically get what works for you and your budget. Also what’s comfortable as you’re gonna spend alot of time together.
So that’s just some of what goes into breastfeeding. There’s more to it for some of us, and less to it for others. But either way I’m happy to do it as hard as it can be at time because it’s for my little one, and for her I’d do anything.
And remember fed is best!
Love and hugs,
*I am not funded to advertise any particular product I just like to share what works for us*