Mamas, you’ve heard it all: the days are long, but the years are short . . . you’ll miss these early days when they’re older . . . hang in there, the first year is the hardest. Well, it feels a lot harder when my nipples are FALLING OFF. Let’s discuss breastfeeding, y’all.
In case you’re concerned, my nipples are, thankfully, still attached and finally in decent working order. But I suppose I assumed breastfeeding would be easy. While many other areas of motherhood have come naturally to me and I want to have ALL THE BABIES, breastfeeding turned out to be a seemingly insurmountable challenge at times. In the early days, I would have rather given birth again. I’m not joking.
National Breastfeeding Week
But it’s National Breastfeeding Week, and this opportunity to pause and reflect means a lot to me. Now, at seven months and counting, I realize that this is the most beautiful thing I have ever done: to nourish this sweet little soul; to firmly establish a connection with my sweet boy that I know will last within his heart for years to come; to know that he has a place where he feels absolute safety and peace in his busy little world.
Somewhere around five months, things got easier and I was finally able to settle in, feel more at peace while nursing, and actually enjoy the time. I went from a place of growing anxiety at feeding time to looking forward to the calm breaths and quiet hand holding while nursing. How there is room in our hearts for such ranges of emotion, I will never understand. If you are considering your options in feeding a new baby soon, I hope that you will experiment with breastfeeding, if possible.
My breastfeeding journey has also helped me realize that #fedisbest. Each mama has her own path and every growing baby deserves celebration! This is my path, and I am grateful that I can celebrate this week.
- Boppy v. Brest Friend Pillows
I have both, and they were both lifesavers for different reasons. The Boppy fits better in my nursing rocker, while the Brest Friend has amazing back support and a firm, flat surface for optimal positioning. If you only get one, get the Brest Friend. Trust me.
- Earth Mama Angel Baby Nipple Butter
Great stuff! Apply, then air dry for a minute.
- Nipple shields
Hopefully, you don’t need one, but don’t hesitate to explore them if you think you might! It can help your little one “get it” in the beginning. As they get stronger, they often drop it on their own in a few months. Just be sure you use it properly with the help of an IBCLC.
- Coconut oil
For the tunnels of your pumping flanges, if you pump! And the right size flange, too.
- Nursing tanks
They are so great I wore them around the house often and now under blouses at work.
You’ll have questions pretty much every minute. Get acquainted with trusted resources such as KellyMom.com, La Leche League, and ABCKidsINC. Facebook mom groups (including the local Charleston La Leche League Group) have done wonders for me!