Breastfeeding Sucks!

breast feeding (source: www.rockabyebabyhire.com.au )

breast feeding (photo credit: http://www.rockabyebabyhire.com.au)

Pardon the pun, but breastfeeding sucks. I never thought I would feel this way and of course I firmly believe that breast is best. But man it has been a long and hard journey! I had a friend warn me that breastfeeding can take quite a while to get the hang of and be quite painful! Well it was!

The day after I had given birth to our little girl I had some help from the midwife to express some colostrum and syringe feed her. This was partly to do with the fact that my nipples were already starting to crack and they just wanted to make sure that something was coming out of my boobies. Well there was loads! The midwife was shocked, in a couple of minutes we had filled two syringes. She then said to me you won’t have any trouble with your milk supply. She wasn’t wrong.

Day four after the birth my milk came in and there was a tonne of it! So much that I was engorged and seriously uncomfortable. It was Christmas Eve and I had to rush into Target and purchase a breast pump. Well actually there was no rushing, four days after a natural birth – I have never walked so slowly through Target in my life!

The only way I could deal with all this milk was to express. While my little girl was feeding I hand pumped 80mls off my right breast. There was no way she was able to consume all the milk I had. At that stage she was probably only drinking 20mls each feed.

After numerous visits to lactations consultants I was always reassured that my milk supply would die down. Well it hasn’t. My little girl is now four months old and I still get engorged daily. Quite frankly I have an oversupply of milk and back in the day I would have made a great wet nurse! Midwives and other mothers have frequently told me that oversupply is better than not having enough. But seriously its been tough!

The future King Louis XIV as an infant with hi...

The future King Louis XIV as an infant with his wet nurse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

About a week and a half into breastfeeding I had mashed up, bleeding nipples (because of the engorgement it was always difficult for my little one to get her mouth on my nipple) and mastitis! Mastitis sucks! The fever that accompanies a blocked milk duct is crazy. I quickly got onto it and my GP gave me anti-biotics. It cleared up within a couple of days and was fine. However, the anti-biotics then gave me thrush in my breasts! This was even worse. The pain was excruciating.

After all this pain I decided I would express and bottle feed her for a couple of days to get over all the infections and give my mashed up nipples a rest. What a relief! I expressed each feed and fed her with the bottle. It helped immensely, otherwise I would be dreading each feed.

Some how we got through it all and we now manage to breastfeed pretty comfortably. But it sucked! It took a good 10 weeks to be pain free. And I hate how the ABA says that if breastfeeding hurts then you’re not doing it right! Because I can tell you now breastfeeding was extremely painful for me! Many people suggested that I put her on formula, but I just couldn’t be bothered with sterilizing bottles and always having to take formula with me. Breastfeeding seemed to be the most convenient solution. Also with my huge oversupply of milk it seemed stupid to then have to go and pay for a processed product.

I preserved and now its fine. But I am not one of those mothers who thinks breastfeeding is this wonderful bonding experience  I see it as a practical and natural solution and I will be happy to give it up when the time comes.

What has been your experience of breastfeeding?

11 thoughts on “Breastfeeding Sucks!

  1. A friend of mine suffered with over supply – she was advised to do this by her LC. It’s all to do with the Feedback Inhibitor Protein that is within breastmilk, that gets switched on when feeding is less frequent – I have copied this from The Le Leche League but it says exactly what I was going to say without me having to write it! You may have already tried it but it might be worth a go?

    “One strategy that can be very successful is to feed the baby on only one side per feeding. If your baby wants to nurse again within two hours, see how he responds if you continue to offer that same side. In the next two hours, offer only the other breast. The breasts should gradually slow down their rate of milk production because milk is being removed less often. This helps down-regulate the milk production rate to match baby’s true needs while also reducing the amount of foremilk and lactose baby receives. When you keep baby at the same breast for a longer period of time, it also ensures that your baby is fully draining the breast and getting more of the higher calorie hindmilk.

    If you are uncomfortable on the breast that is not being used before you are ready to nurse on it again, you can hand express or pump for only a few moments (20-30 seconds or less), just enough to relieve some discomfort. Do not pump too much or you will signal your breasts to produce even more milk. There is a certain whey protein in the milk, called “Feedback Inhibitor of Lactation” (FIL), that begins to build up and concentrate when milk is not removed for a while. This protein needs to be allowed to build up high enough to trigger the breast to cut back milk production. By removing just barely enough milk to be comfortable, but still allowing the breast to be full enough to trigger the “cut back milk production” message”

    The full article is here https://www.llli.org/faq/oversupply.html

    Good luck with those milky fountains!

    • Unfortunately I have tried this and no such luck. But thanks for the tip. I just put up with the rock hard, “boob-job” look-a-likes and watch out for signs of mastitis. I must say on the positive side I’ve never had such a nice rack – if only my body was back to pre-pregnancy shape and I could crack out a bikini!

      • In fairness, I had something similar with my first (due to my marathon pumping). My daughter would only feed off one side at a time, 3 hourly, by the second. I would hose off like a fire hydrant if she even went 5 minutes over. I would often flash my distorted bosoms at my husband and ask, “can you tell which one is ready for action?” as one massive, veiny bosom visibly pulsated in anticipation of it’s impending relief (sounds quite pornographic but really, it isn’t!). What I’m getting to is, it did calm down around 6 months and my boobs started to feel soft and normal. Then I missed the massive baps and longed for engorgement again!

      • Haha I know what you mean about sounding pornographic but is really so far from it! Yes a friend has also told me that after 6 months it should just die down completely. Crossed fingers hey! Glad to know that others have experienced the same as me : )

  2. Pingback: Why I Hate Formula Milk and Why Breast is Best | New To Parenting

  3. Pingback: Day 4 (Can’t believe it’s already day 4!): Breast Feeding the Unexpected | Olive Redirected

  4. Breast feeding was seriously one of the most stressful things I’ve ever attempted. Sadly I could not persevere with it due to many contributing factors in my posts but I’m proud of my attempts!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s