Breastfeeding Sucks

23 Oct

I had this whole post planned about how breastfeeding is hard. . .and it is.  But it shouldn’t be–let  my experience be a reminder that breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt.  To me it is the most natural, healthy, efficient, economical and beautiful way to feed a baby.  It is such a wonderful thing to know that this little person was created completely by me.  My husband gave some DNA at the beginning, but from fertilization-on, the ingredients for every cell in this little boy’s body came from me.  Inside my  body the placenta created nutrients; now it’s my milk.  Amazing!

But it hasn’t been an easy ride.  Pregnancy was pretty easy for me–I feel like my body is breaking down more now.  My wrist hurts, I have an ingrown fingernail and toenail (I’m guessing the infection comes from my tired immune system?).  I am still very aware of things ‘down there.’ My breasts hurt much of the day.  I was still taking 600mg of ibuprofin at 5 weeks post-partum to ‘take the edge off’ feeding–Not cool.  So yesterday I finally went in to see a lactation consultant.  The final straw was Wednesday night when the babe spit up a big pile of bright red blood.  He seems to be in perfect health, so the blood is most likely from me.

So we headed in and I was lucky to get my fave nurse/LC.  She is so nice and knowledgable.  She put us both right to ease.  The babe latched right on and the usual pain hit my nipples.  It’s hard to describe: like little knives flowing through my nipples.  She checked his latch and although he likes to fold his little lips in (rather then out in a fishy-face), things looked good.  But my nipples are shiny pink, one nipple is missing a chunk of skin, and the type of pain indicated a yeast infection–thrush.  I was surprised: thrush is usually described as white spots in baby’s mouth or constant nipple pain.  But it looks like I have thrush and babe doesn’t show sympotms.  He also has a small tongue-tie that may affect feeding.  When he finishes feeding (and he feeds well! he drank almost 4 oz while there!), my nipple is shaped like lipstick–this is a sign that he’s pushing them up against the roof of his motuth.  Also not cool.

So there are a lot of little things that we can point to that aren’t quite right.  But first and foremost is the (thrush.  So she said to stop by the drugstore and pick up Monostat 7 which treats yeast infections.  After each feeding, coat the nipples and things should clear up–and they are! There’s still pain, but it is getting better.  I don’t shout out (or cry) as each feeding begins.  The other awesome thing she gave me are breast shells which are plastic cups that sit over the nipples and protect them from anything touching them.  It allows them to air-dry (thus ridding them of the warm moist environment that yeast likes) and protects them from the evils of a bra.

And so today I am much happier.  I didn’t take any iburpofin.  I did take a bit of tylenol just to ease the transition. But things are looking up on the feeding front!

Meanwhile, baby is happy and satisfied–and growing like a weed!

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