When breastfeeding hurts ...
I have heard that breastfeeding is not so simple that it can hurt at first. But I never imagined it could hurt SO.
For the first child, breastfeeding was painful for me from the very beginning, despite the huge dose of painkillers I received intravenously after a cesarean section. Contrary to my expectations, the pain did not decrease with each subsequent approach, it was just the opposite. At the first child, the neonatologist, seeing my pain and problems with attaching the toddler, recommended feeding pads. Indeed, they did reduce the pain, but most likely they are behind the two breast inflammations and each 39'C fever and antibiotics. Unfortunately, it is very easy to inadvertently clog a duct with each feeding, leading to a stagnation, from which inflammation is only a step away. It is also very difficult to give up the covers, not so much for us as for the Baby, who - fed like this since forever - may not cope with the breast without the covers for many weeks or months, even with the help of an experienced lactating midwife.
But let's get back to pain. With my second child, before giving birth, I wrote myself a list of certified lactating midwives from my area. I guessed I would need support.
This time I intentionally did not take the feeding caps to the hospital. I wanted to focus on nature and professional help. I thought that without them, midwives would immediately focus on targeted help, not emergency. Feeding in the hospital was, as I expected, difficult again, and there were also problems with lactation due to caesarean section and the emerging lack of food. Unfortunately, in our hospitals, there is still an incentive to feed in a place where every mother, if she so wishes, should receive professional lactation support. We still encounter feeding a newborn baby in the first day with artificial milk, "because the Lady has no food", instead of with the help of the Young Mother, who is driven into complexes and remorse.
I received no other advice than pain for the hospital. It would pass over time.
Initially, I used a breast pump to stimulate lactation. You can read my advice on this subject in the material "There is a child, no milk". However, when the milk appeared, I still used the breast pump ... feeding was so painful that in order to relieve myself, at least once a day I was expressing milk and giving the baby a bottle to give myself a rest. I explained to myself that it is not so bad, because the toddler will at least be able to eat from the bottle. Unfortunately, the intervals between feeding in this way I began to shorten, just in pain. I couldn't function anymore. A few days after delivery, feeding hurt me much more than the surgery, and at the sound of the crying baby I began to feel the fear of another feeding and more pain.
A week passed and the situation only got worse. I had bows of milk, but because of the pain I was hardly able to continue to feed the child.
Instincts told me that it couldn't be like that, that there had to be some way, that my mother couldn't suffer like this. First, I reached for remedies, such as gel cooling caps. The relief was felt, but it was short-lived, and most importantly, it didn't solve the problem, it had no effect on the cause, only the healing effect. I knew, especially considering the price of these overlays, that no one had come up with them as a target solution to my problem. I also used pure lanolin, of course from the very beginning, after each feeding ...
I reached for a list of lactating midwives, but it turned out that the first two have just taken a vacation, and the third will not get there, because it is too far ... the fourth one is just opening a lactation clinic and there is actually no free date, so we have to wait. It was Friday, and I had to wait until Tuesday - forever! And the pain I faced, such that I was afraid that I would not live to see, that I would not endure, would break down and stop feeding. Worse still, pumping with the breast pump also hurt more and more. I thought then that in all my breastfeeding layette (which you will meet in the post How to prepare for breastfeeding), I forgot about the most important thing - a stick that I could stick between my teeth and bite!
This time was a sinusoid - joy in a new role, wonderful first days, but from feeding to feeding when tears, fear and helplessness appeared.
It was then that I found a community midwife who said she was also "lactating". We made an appointment for Monday. I promised myself that I would hold out for two more days. On Saturday at 2 am I had a crisis in which, crying, I remembered that I had bought a book about breastfeeding while pregnant, which ... I didn't even look at. I ran for her ... "Just Breastfeeding" Gill Rapley and Tracey Murkett.
"If it hurts, then something is wrong"
I searched for a chapter about painful breastfeeding and learned that:
"Painful breastfeeding - even in the first few weeks - shows that something is wrong"
"The most common cause of pain during feeding is ineffective attachment of the baby, which means that the baby does not get as much milk as it should"
"You need to fix it quickly, so if you can't do it yourself, ask for help"
I knew! I knew something was wrong! That it doesn't have to be, it can't hurt!
I read hopefully about the correct latching on of the baby, about the fact that a correctly placed child cannot bite us to the blood, because the breast is so deep in its mouth that it cannot hurt us. Only HOW DO THIS Kurdebalans DO?
I read into the feeding position that promotes proper attachment.
“One of the positions in which the baby learns to suck the breast most easily is when the baby is lying on the tummy and mom is placed in a reclining position with a pillow under her back. (...) The baby is on the breast, so gravity helps him latch on and stay close to the breast. (…) You can trust your child that it will arrange itself properly, instead of making sure that everything goes "as it should". (…) Feeding in this way gives the baby (…) a better chance to learn how to suck the breast effectively ”.
I lay down, as instructed, on the back, put the baby step by step as described, for the first time, for the second time, for the eighth time and… EUREKA !!! Managed to! Nothing hurt! At that point, 100% of the pain was gone! And I was feeding without him! I knew, I knew I could, we can !!!
It turned out that I was very lucky that I was able to do it the first time, because not every subsequent attempt was successful, but I already knew that I could, that it would be okay!
Now all that was left was to wait until Monday for the visit of the midwife and learn to put on correctly, not just lying on his back.
I spent two days feeding in this way, which was quite tiring with caring for a XNUMX-year-old… but Monday came and a visit from the community midwife came. With joy and tears in my eyes I told her my story to hear: "Please don't read any books, the Lady has me from showing you how to feed." I did not enter into the discussion, but the Lady was so self-confident that I decided to focus on her professional skills, not interpersonal skills, or rather the lack of them. The lady criticized everything I was doing, did not want to see me feeding, but only left the position that she would show me how to do it and I would do what I wanted. The stone pillow went for the first shot: “Pillows, please, but not such! A child cannot be put on the feeding shelf. The position the midwife showed me was the same position I had been feeding in so far, the one where the pain was unbearable ... so she recommended me - beware - the covers, and left a soother when she left ...
Before I could close the door well behind her, I learned that I was not allowed to eat broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, chocolate, or accidentally drink coffee other than Inka with milk.
A moment later I called the lactating midwife who couldn't see me because she was opening her clinic. We made an appointment in her office for Wednesday (in two days).
In the meantime, like sinking razors, I gripped the covers. While with the first child they gave me a lot of relief, this time they did not help at all, I stayed the same while feeding on my back.
The long-awaited Wednesday came, we went to the clinic full of hope, we knew that somewhere there must be a solution.
The midwife began by examining me, then undressed, weighed and examined the whole baby, with special care his smiley, sucking reflex, frenulum, in the meantime praising my diet (with cauliflower, broccoli and coffee), refuted several myths about breastfeeding, calculated weight gain child. Then she sat me comfortably in the armchair (although I also had a couch) and gave me a feeding pillow. Well, I felt at home. She allowed me to show me how I latched on and fed and made adjustments. It was then that my first feeding was completely painless. And so the breasts healed within 24 hours, and after 48 hours - the pain stopped.
What was the attachment adjustment?
In our case, of course, as I suspected, the little one was gripping the breast too shallow, which needed to be corrected. How? Each time when the Toddler wanted to suckle and caught the breast too shallow, he had to pull the chin down with the thumb down, several times until the breast was really deep. With each pull of the chin, the pain lessened until it was completely gone. I also learned that the breasts full of milk also prevent the baby from grasping the breast deeply, and the milk does not need to be expressed before feeding - just place your hand in a basket and press around the nipple several times until the milk drains and the breast is soft in this place. These two small adjustments sounded unbelievable. When I left, I couldn't believe it was all that was enough. That this is the end of advice that it works. It works, and I feed it to this day, never crying because of it - I wish it to every mother.
Honey, remember, if breastfeeding hurts you, seek professional help. Here you will find a list of certified lactation midwives that you should contact first to avoid disappointment and receive effective, problem-oriented help.
CDL - Certified Lactating Midwives You will find here, not each has a telephone number, but knowing the name and surname, you will easily find this particular midwife on the Internet - just like mine Ania Bulczakwhich I owe to my happy breastfeeding. I admit, if it would hurt so much, I think I couldn't feed until today. Thank you, Anna.
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