I had my first baby at 19. I knew very little about breastfeeding and honestly had no interest in it. I didn’t have a support system, and I think that’s super important. Breastfeeding isn’t always natural in every sense. It isn’t always easy.
When I had my second daughter, I wanted to stick with it. I spoke with a LC at the hospital, I joined multiple breastfeeding groups, and spoke with our pediatrician. I was nervous about everything, but I read that cluster feeding was normal in the early stages so I assumed that my bleeding nipples were because of this.
Breastfeeding isn’t supposed to hurt. It took my pumping 2 ounces of bloody tinged milk to realize there was a problem. I was ready to give up. I dreaded feeding my baby because I knew it was going to hurt.
In my case, her latch was an easy fix and I just had to open her mouth a little more. Fixing your baby’s latch is so important. An improper latch not only hurts, but can lead to clogged ducts (which also hurt 🤢). My number one advice is to make sure that your baby’s mouth covers the majority of your areola and that the latch is not too shallow. If the latch is still painful, check for lip/tongue ties.
The first three months of your breastfeeding journey, your production is still a bit wishy washy and changing. Fixing latch issues from the beginning will create a much easier time. Don’t give up. It does get easier once you work out the kinks.
Dont get discouraged if you don’t realize that you have a latch issue right away. I’ve been told “you will know if it isn’t right”, but if you are new to breastfeeding, you don’t always know.
One thing that really helped me was holding my baby in a football position. Different positions may work better for you but this worked best for me in the beginning.
If you have any questions, email me or drop a comment below. I’m happy to help!
I have been through struggling to make enough milk with my second daughter (first that I breastfed for an extended period of time) and struggling to STOP making so much with my third baby. I have been that mom that WISHED for an oversupply, thinking that it would be so much better than making too much. Let me tell you, you do not want an oversupply.
When I got pregnant with my second baby, I wasn’t supposed to be able to have any more children. I was in school full time, working full time, and stressed beyond belief when I found out that I was pregnant. I scheduled an induction date during a time where I was out of school, and returned to school 6 days after giving birth. I wanted any chance I could to bond with her, so among that and other reasons I decided that I HAD to stick with breastfeeding. There were times I chose to pump instead of eat because I only had time to do one. So, I get it. It’s stressful spending all your free time milking yourself like a cow.
Flash forward to my third baby, I expected the same issues. I thought nothing of pumping to relieve engorgement when my milk came in because no matter how many people told me differently, I thought oversupply would be like this magical milk fountain and could never cause any issues. WRONG.
- It’s Expensive. I go through a crazy amount of storage bags a week. I don’t do the exact math for fear of losing my sanity but I definitely store at least 50 bags of milk a week. We recently bought a deep freezer that is almost full because even after donating to four other local moms, I still could fill my swimming pool with milk. But what can I do with over 1000 ounces of breast milk? I have to buy bags to clean/sterilize my pump parts. I have spent money going to the doctor to try and decrease the amount of times I’ve had mastitis. I’ve ruined my favorite shirts by leaking through them. The list goes on and on, but you get it. I spend money on storing milk that my baby will likeley never drink.
- It’s Stressful. I was super happy to donate milk to other moms, and I still am. But the same stress that goes along with making enough milk for your own baby somehow turned into making enough for 5 babies. I still felt like I wasn’t enough if I made less during a pumping session even though I was making way more than enough. I work night shift and stay up with my kids during the day. I don’t get very much sleep as it is, but on my nights off, I have to wake up to pump or I will get mastitis. So now we’re at I’m stressed, exhausted, and sick all while my baby is sleeping through the night.
- My life revolves around nursing and pumping. This one kind of speaks for itself but I can’t just give my baby a bottle even though I have plenty of milk to spare because I will get mastitis. I can’t skip a pumping session without becoming extremely engorged. I’ve literally had to pull over on the side of the road and squeeze my boob until enough milk squirted out of my human water gun that I could function again. And you can’t complain about it because people make comments like “that’s like complaining about having too much money”. No, it’s nothing like that. I get that breast is best but too much breast milk won’t put my kids through college or pay for the Bahamas.
- Mastitis. I would rather deliver 15 babies in a row than ever have mastitis again. And that’s all I have to say about that.
- People don’t understand. They don’t understand why you’re constantly milking yourself, or why you need to take a break when you have plenty of milk already. They don’t understand that pumping is NOT a break. And they most certainly don’t understand that for the next year, you have to plan your life in 2 hour intervals. Oversupply comes with all the same problems as pumping in general plus worrying about engorgement and mastitis ALL the TIME. Why can’t you just give her a bottle? You have plenty of milk. Yeah, you’ve never had mastitis before. It feels like death.
As much as I love my baby, I’m ready for the milk factory to shut down. I feel less than human sometimes. Moooooooooooo.