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Breastfeeding in the first week

November 9, 2010

I think I’ve finally got the hang of breastfeeding. It still hurts sometimes – but not as much as it did in the first week – and if it wasn’t for the constant stream of lactation consultants at hospital I would have given up after 5 days.

I suffered from bleeding and cracked nipples on Day 4. I dreaded the on demand 3 hour feeds as I didn’t want to go through the pain of Lily sucking so eagerly only to suffer from even more pain. Lily would do her ‘mouth-hungry’ face and I would immediately get scared to feed her. Then of course when I tried to get her on I was so hesitant and the poor girl didn’t even have a chance to latch on properly.

Thank goodness for expressing milk machines. I gave my breasts a rest for 24 hours and the lactation consultants were able to further instruct me in the right technique and after my nipples could heal I felt more confident and gradually got better.

I was lucky to have good milk supply and to be given a manual pump (Avent) at my baby shower. I was considering hiring the same electric pump I used at the hospital but the manual pump works just as well for me. I usually use this once a day for DH to do a feed or for when I go out as I’m not brave enough to breastfeed in public.

Image courtesy of Philips

I’m surprised at how quickly cracked nipples heal. I was instructed to express a bit of milk to lubricate the nipples and then put ‘Lansinoh’ on them and let them dry for a few minutes. Seems to have worked so far!
Image courtesy of myshopping.com.au

Day 5 was when my milk came in, and my breasts felt like bowling balls! Engorgement is so painful and it didn’t help that I was suffering from cracked nipples either! I was using warm towels prior to feeds and cold cabbage leaves in between feeds at hospital, but when I got home I used the ‘Bosom Buddy’, which can be used warm and cold, and I found it to be a bit more comfortable and discreet to wear around the house all day.

Image courtesy of nursingangel.com.au

So the good news is that Lily is gaining weight so she is obviously getting enough milk – so that is incentive enough for me to continue to persevere with breastfeeding.

7 Comments leave one →
  1. November 9, 2010 3:02 pm

    You’re doing well to persevere through it. Has anyone recommended nipple shields? They were a life saver for me.

  2. November 9, 2010 4:49 pm

    I actually bought nipple shields but only had to use them once as my nipples had healed by then. Will definitely use again if I suffer from cracked nipples again.

  3. November 9, 2010 8:34 pm

    I am actually taking notes.

    Bit worried as get kicked out of the Family Birth Centre after 24 hours, when my milk wont even have come in! Wondering if I should hire a personal lactation consultant or something because I can just imagine how painful cracked nipples would be.

    Glad yours have healed so fast and everything on track.. also think its great that you are incorporating some expressed bottle milk into the mix as it must be lovely for Daddy to share with the feeding.

  4. November 9, 2010 9:09 pm

    Hey DesertDarling if you have private health insurance you are allowed 2 lactation consultant visits in your first two weeks so perhaps talk to the Family Birth Centre for contacts or ring the Australian Breastfeeding Association.

  5. November 11, 2010 11:52 am

    Oh hon, I definitely don’t miss those early breastfeeding days. You are doing a great job.

    Be patient, you’ll get the hang of it so well that soon you’ll be doing it one handed while you talk on the phone and eat a bunch of grapes! x

  6. November 11, 2010 6:53 pm

    Thanks for encouragement Maxabella! I’m definitely getting the hang of it and feeling more confident now.

    I can’t say I can talk on the phone, eat a bunch of grapes and breastfeed at the same time….but I’m sure I’ll get there one day! 🙂

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