Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Latching On

There should be guidelines one gives you before you have your baby in the hospital. Guidelines that, will help you not freak out and, feel as though you won't ever be a good mother. Someone somewhere, should say, "Okay your baby is going to loose some weight the first few days. And, the nurses or lactation specialist is going to pressure you into using a pump because your body is not producing enough colostrum. But, know this will pass and it's going to be okay." ... But they don't. Not until your in the throw of despair. LOL.

I had trouble getting Lotus to latch on at first, and, she was loosing weight. Latching on in layman terms, means, for the baby to latch on to the nipple for breast feeding. Whew! Glad we got that out of the way.

Anyway, the Lactation Specialist put a lot of pressure on me to produce more milk. They brought in this huge breast pump that made me feel like I was on an milking assembly line. They grabbed my breast in ways that made me feel vulnerable and pissed off. They would shake their heads in dissatisfaction of the amount of colostrum that was coming out.

Now, if you just had a baby, (mine was taken literally out of gut so to speak) and, jacked up on drugs for the pain, and, your hormones are now raging because your body is trying to figure out if it's still pregnant, the last thing you need is some b-i-t-c-h making you feel like s-h-i-t for not producing enough milk...It's coming it's fricken coming! Not to mention they just want you to buy or rent one of their pumps to take home. They fail to mention the pump is a great way to store your milk if you happen to be going to back to work any time soon, or, if your breast become engorged. And, they fail to disclose to you, that, you don't need to buy or rent from them. ... I digress.

Sure enough by the time we got home from the hospital my breast became engorged with milk that would keep my daughter alive and chubby for the next 9 months. My breast hurt so bad I wanted them off. I had to bend over a pot of hot water with my breast hard as rocks laying in the hot water while I tried to massage the pain away... I cried foul and wished there was another way. I felt I was back in medieval times. "Bring me a bucket you kind hearted lad. For my breast are full of life that I can hold no longer." They at one point became infected. That is called mastitis.

With mastitis comes fever, chills and aches all over (not including your engorged breast). It was not the most pleasant introduction in to motherhood. However, it makes you grateful to all the mother's who came before you.

*I know there is some some sick person who's going to think this is something to get their rocks off on but, I warn you ... It's far from sexy or cute! It's real. Real painful.

This process went on for weeks and, I had milk stored up for days almost months. Lotus was breast feeding every two hours. I was sore, blistered, and, strangely (at times calm), as if I had just surrendered to it all.

Inside I didn't want to disappoint Lotus and my family. I wanted to breast feed and I was determined to do it. And, I did, for nine full months.

So, here are some tips:

  • Lanolin ointment it's awesome at keeping your nipples supple

  • Heating pad to place on breast during engorgement

  • Bag of frozen peas, yes that helped me but, I preferred the warmth of the heating pad

  • breast pump

  • breast pads

  • Boppy (a horseshoe shaped pillow good for breast feeding

*Note: Not all women need to, or, will breast feed. If that is your choice, or, the choice was made for you, you are still a great mother. Don't allow the pressure of nurses, friends, family to decide what is best or comfortable to you. If you can't breast feed for some reason relax, your baby will survive on formula.


  1. I have been using Medela freestyle breast pump from quite a long time, it was a bit difficult in the start to get used to it, but everything got easier in two days, now things are really going smooth, half of my burden is taken by this breast pump, it's really what a working women requires!


  2. Oh I'm sorry to hear about the mastitis. I understand your feeling about the lactation specialist. I wish that we talked more about breastfeeding in general so that new moms wouldn't have to feel that they were failures when they couldn't get it right on the first try, especially since they had just HAD A BABY. You'd think that was enough. Breastfeeding is an option, not the holy grail. It's just one more choice to make as you're raising your child. There will be THOUSANDS more. Do your best and relax. ;)