Breastfeeding is a wonderful gift that we are given as mothers, however something so natural can be so difficult. When I speak to other mothers, their experiences of breastfeeding and duration vary, but the difficulties experienced in the first couple of weeks are synonymous – they can literally make or break you.
I breastfed my son Isaac till he was 15 months old, but it was not always smooth sailing. I want to share with you some things I found useful to help me get through those difficult first weeks. I hope that you might find something here that helps you too.
1. Cracked and Sore Nipples:
This has to be the number one problem I had at the start. My nipples were so sore I would grimace each time Isaac would latch on, which was every couple of hours! I found Lansinoh saved my life here, I would lather it on religiously before and after feeds and in between too. I kept the tube in my pocket so I wouldn’t forget and carry it with me. It is totally safe for both you and bub, and definitely helps to prevent cracking which can be very painful.
2. Nipple Shields
If your nipples are sore, breast shields are worth a try. They help to reduce direct contact with the nipple and can be used for flat and inverted nipples. If you have an over active let down, nipple shields also help you to breastfeed your baby.
3. Hydrogel Pads:
These pads can be placed directly onto the breast in between feeds to help in healing cracked nipples and relieve soreness. They do this by providing moisture to the area and the coolness of the pads helps to relieve any pain.
4. Nursing Pads:
Nursing pads are fantastic at keeping your nipples and maternity bra dry in between feeds. My personal favourite are the Johnson’s Ultraform Nursing Pads, as they were highly absorbent and when wet remained in shape and dry so I didn’t need to change them more than once a day.
These products and tips will hopefully help you soldier on in the first couple of weeks of breastfeeding. I’ll end on this brilliant quote “Breastfeeding is 90% determination and 10% milk production”.