Thursday, January 7, 2010

Breastfeeding With Real Babies, Part II

And then there was pain.

All the books say, "just make it through the first two weeks, and you'll have everything under control."  For me, the first two weeks were a breeze, and then all of a sudden Willow lost the ability to latch properly, and was either biting my nipple or screaming because she couldn't get on at all.  That situation, thankfully, resolved itself within a couple of days (was it engorgement?  Really late engorgement?) but I was left with nipples that were no longer pleased with this breastfeeding thing.

I mean OW.  A friend said breastfeeding hurt her more than childbirth, and I wouldn't go that far, but it was certainly no longer the peaceful pleasant experience it had been.  I had been using Lansinoh religiously, but it just wasn't getting the job done. 

Things are now starting to improve, I think.  Only rarely do I bite my lip in pain, and it quickly subsides.  I guess I'm still just a late-bloomer.

More amusing is trying to maneuver under the pup tent, as my sister dubbed the Bebe au Lait.  My first time nursing in public, the thing got flipped back and I didn't notice, and ooh la la, I'm flashing the entire waiting room at my doctor's office.  Which, really, isn't that bad a place to do it, considering, but there were expectant fathers there.  Not to mention my own father.

I do better when I have somebody there to hold Willow while I unbutton and flip down the bra top, and then load her in and be there to pull her back out.  When it's just the two of us, I can get her into position, but getting dressed again after she's done is well-nigh impossible.  I sat in a coffee shop yesterday with my shirt only half buttoned because I simply couldn't manage the other buttons.  People may talk about how portable and convenient breastfeeding is, but it's not without its little challenges. 

While I've always felt perfectly blase about other women nursing in public, with or without a nursing cover, I'm a little more conflicted about it when it's me.  Part of me is all, "the hell with all you prudes, I'm just going to nurse my baby without fussing with this stupid apron/tent, it's perfectly normal and natural and you can all just suck it up.  Get it?"  But then the other parts of me are saying, "these are my breasts.  Exposed.  That guy standing behind my chair--he can look down and see my breasts even while I'm using the stupid apron/tent.  These are my breasts.  Exposed."

So I don't think the pup tent is going anywhere. 

Gratuitous baby picture:

1 comment:

Laura said...

Sorry you're in pain. I cried a lot for the first 6 weeks. I told myself to give it 6 weeks and assess, then 6 months and assess. Ended up making it to 26 months. It DOES get easier, although that's cold comfort at the beginning.

I couldn't nurse in public. P wouldn't nurse with anything covering her head, so I nursed in my car several times a day. For the record, a Sentra is NOT a good car for this activity. And, of course, on planes. But see they always put babies in the last row of the plane, so that means nursing in front of every bloated middle-aged man urgently waiting for the bathroom. Unpleasant. They have a tendency to stare.

She's a doll. You've got a good one there, for sure! Good luck!