The challenges of breastfeeding

Before I brought my newborn home from the hospital, the one thing I really wish someone would have told me about was the challenges of breastfeeding. They try to help guide you in the right direction before you leave the hospital, but I left more confused than I was going in. By the time I got home I felt completely overwhelmed and frustrated beyond belief! I discovered that the reason was because there is really no real right way to breastfeed your baby. The best thing that you can do is to take the information and tips they give you in the hospital in stride and follow your own instincts. You are the only one that really knows what is best for you and your newborn. I’m going to go over the most common problems that I’ve come across when breastfeeding. Hopefully I can help someone else be more prepared than I was. 

For Moms with babies just like Hazel, breastfeeding can be a painful experience and potentially very stressful for Hazel… at least in the beginning. It is a learning experience for both mom and Hazel. Hazel is eating every 2 hours at first, so if you both don’t get it down pretty quick the pain can get worse really fast. My nipples got extremely sore and blistered. I came so close to just giving up, but I’m so glad I didn’t. I had to resort to using a nipple guard because I couldn’t stand the pain. If your nipples are getting painful there are a few things you can adjust to fix it. First, check your babies latch, try a different breastfeeding position, wipe your nipple with something cool and clean after every feeding, air dry your nipples and use nursing pads and just try to remain calm. Your nipples will get used to it after a certain period of time. The goal is for it to be an enjoyable experience for you both.

I found that the slightest adjustments can make a world of difference. If Hazel’s head is tilted a millimeter in the wrong direction when feeding it can cause a ton of frustration for both of you. Just be patient and try all of the different breastfeeding holds. Make tiny adjustments, find a good one and stick to it! I truly believe that the reason most moms give up is because they are frustrated. If you are frustrated, so is Hazel, and if she is in that state there is a very slim chance of being successful. 

Not having breast milk can obviously propose a big problem. In the beginning, mom will produce small amounts of breast milk for Hazel because the hormonal changes that trigger milk production happen slowly. This causes most moms to worry about if their baby is getting enough milk. I know how difficult it is to not stress out about it, but you really just need to trust your body and know that it is giving Hazel as much milk as her tiny tummy can handle. Don’t forget, the more often she feeds the more milk mom will produce! The best way you can tell if Hazel is getting enough milk is to count her wet and dirty diapers. She should be producing 5-7 wet diapers and at least 3 dirty diapers in a 24 hour period. If she isn’t then there might be something wrong and you should contact her pediatrician.

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