So I went to a breastfeeding class on Monday.
Since then, I've had dreams about breastfeeding, and am considering molesting one of RockNoodle's dolls for practice. I also spend an inordinate amount of time checking out my breasts--which is useless, since clearly there won't be much resemblance between what they look like now and what they'll look like when they're open for business.
Obviously, there's a big part of me (the part that balked at the idea of taking the class in the first place) that thinks this is all ridiculous and overthinking, and honestly women have been feeding their babies (and other people's babies) for millennia, and it can't be that hard. Also there's the other part of me that keeps cautioning, "Chill. For God's sake, chill. Breastfeeding is great, immunities, blah blah blah, but if it doesn't work out it doesn't mean the baby will die or be stupid or hate you."
Which I get. But I feel like I should at least give it a good try. And now I'm armed with all this knowledge--latches, holds, C-holds--and I feel like it's all very vague and theoretical. Could someone let me borrow their baby? Just until I get the hang of it? Would you mind terribly?
Don't study it. The right way is whatever way works for you and the kid. Try not to get caught up in the counting and timing and switching sides and all that nonsense. Drink lots of fluids, eat oatmeal, try the teas, take deep breaths, trust yourself, cry a little, and when you're about to lose your cool, call La Leche League. You'll do fine.
I second the La Leche League recommendation, and we have a great chapter in our town. They saved me. Seriously.
The holds don't really matter after a couple of months. It's important in the beginning to make sure that you don't always use one position, since that can lead to (sorry, tmi) blocked ducts and infections. Though slight infections might just be par for the course - I had three or four of them, and they resolved themselves within a day or two.
Give it a go for at least a few weeks, as it takes that long to just get used to it. After a while it will be second nature. And you're right - don't worry too much about letting it go if it's not for you. I thought my son would be upset when I started giving him bottles of formula after 6 months, but he is completely healthy, happy, and content. I'm sure it was a harder adjustment for me than for him.
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