Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chapter 2 - Sore Boobies & Breastfeeding

This post may have some graphic content that some may not like. The words Boobies, Nipples and other such words that have to do with a women's chest may be used just remember you have been warned.
Every women is different and will experience things differently. The opinions expressed here are what I found worked best for me, while feel free to try it they may not be what will work best for you.

Image courtesy of google Images

If your a women then you already know about sore breast. You've experienced them during your period or what not and if you have been pregnant then you know for sure, because most (not all) women experience breast pain during pregnancy. But if you have had a child then you most defiantly know about breast pain because it happens quickly. If you are breastfeeding then it happens a bit sooner then those who choose to formula feed. But whether you choose formula or breast you experience the pain when your milk comes in.

If your breastfeeding the pain may occur sooner, because it takes a bit of getting use to feeding a child with your boob. The latch has to be perfect! Lanolin cream will help keep your nipples moist and prevent then from getting dried or cracked but that doesn't mean that it will stop the pain. By day 3 or 4 your milk will come in and you will feel like well..... This...

Image courtesy of google images

(I'm hurting just looking at those!) But this is how you will most likely feel once your milk comes in. You will feel as though your boobs just gained 50lbs and are hard as rocks and hurt like hell! No Underwire bras until your milk dries up (to prevent mastitis) and you'll probably be wearing a bra 24/7 until you are completely dry as well. Make sure when cleansing your breast that you do not use soap on your nipples as it will cause them to dry out and possibly crack and bleed. If you are not breast feeding hot water can cause your breast to leak milk so try not to let the hot water have direct contact with your breast during your shower, let the water run down from your shoulders.

It can still take some time for your milk to dry up I can't give you an exact amount of time because everyone is different I think it took me 2 weeks or so for mine to dry up (after 2 weeks of breastfeeding). Ice (ice packs and such) can help with the swelling that you will endure while trying to dry up, with as cold as the ice is on your boobies the relief you feel from the swelling going down is greater! I've heard doctors say that if the pain is just way to intense express some milk to bring down the swelling. This does work but just remember the more you express the longer it will take for you to dry up.

If you are breastfeeding some of the above still applies. No soap on the nipples to prevent drying and cracking. But you do not need to avoid warm/hot water on your breast because you are breast feeding. Again Lanolin cream is great for keeping your nipples and areolas moist, look for creams that you don't need to wash off before feeding baby will probably work best so you don't have to remember to clean them off. In my experience I found (while I didn't do it every time) putting heat on my breast just before feeding helped with let down and then ice after helped with swelling. Eventually you will know when baby needs to be fed your body will tell you around the time that baby needs to eat your boobs will begin to fill and hurt obviously the only way to relieve this is to feed baby (or ice if you are not breastfeeding).

Nipple pain can very depending on whats going on (whether you are dry, cracked, or having latching issues) to relieve nipple pain I have heard many women swear by cold cabbage leaves, but I personally have never tried it. Make sure baby is latching correctly (you can ask a nurse before you leave the hospital how you are doing). Latching is difficult for some and easy for others because nipple and areola size differs in everyone. But always make sure baby has nipple and some areola, if baby only latches to nipple this will cause extreme pain! While some nurses advise against it sometimes you have no choice but to use a nipple shield. Nipple shields help when baby has trouble latching or if mommy has issues with her nipple, (such as inverted nipples).

Image courtesy of Google Images

Just remember that Breast Milk is produced on a supply and demand basis so the less you feed the less you produce. How you feed again will depend on what works best for you and for baby but what worked best for me was let baby feed as long as she wanted on one side, and once she started to slow down, stop or let go I would burp her (to wake her up a bit) and switch sides, until she slowed down, stopped or let go. When you pick up feeding next time begin on the side that you ended on.

I found it very helpful to keep track of feeding by writing down the time I started and how often on each side, and if she formula fed then how much and what time. You can do this with a pad of paper or Glow Baby has some great baby journals to help out. Having a journal also helps out with the doctors appointments because for a while the doctors will be asking how often baby will be eating and how often baby pee's and poo's. So having a journal can help you keep track of all these things. I also keep a journal for at least a month until we get into the swing of things.

You will be a Pro in no time...

Have a Great Day!


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