I have been breastfeeding my 2nd daughter for 4 months, 3 weeks and 1 day. I absolutely love it. Now this was not the case in the beginning. I wanted so badly to quit many times for many different reasons. I am so glad that I endured and stuck with it. The look on my daughters face while she is nursing, just makes my day. The way she smiles while drinking and the cute little sounds she makes are the best.
The tough times only lasted a a few weeks and now that they are over with, they don't seem so bad anymore. The first week I was new to breastfeeding (didn't get to BF my 1st daughter) so the learning curve and demand was a bit hard, not to mention all the postpartum hormones. She did however latch on quite easily, whereas Aleksia did not. It was just really tough, so I thought.
Week two my nipples were VERY sore, one of them was really bad, cracked and bleeding. It was the most excruciating pain when she latched on. I tried many creams, ointments, treatments and even pumped that one side to get it to heal. Nothing seemed to work. But, I kept going.
Week three I developed thrush (common breastfeeding yeast infection in the nipple). Now I thought my nipples hurt before with them being so raw, add thrush to the mix and...OUCH! Thrush makes latching feel like tiny glass shards. It was awful. My Dr. told me to use an over the counter yeast cream and on I continued.
Week four. Due to the bad nipple on my right side my milk was not emptying properly and I developed a clogged milk duct. This sorta feel like a bruise on your breast. It felt rock hard and due to the engorgement it was very painful. I tried to unclog it myself but apparently I was not sucessful. Over night, it seemed, I developed Mastitis (common infection caused by a clogged milk duct). I woke up with a 103 degree fever, chills, fatigue, headache and completely dizzy. Called the Dr. and, over the phone, he called in a prescription for antibiotics. All felt well after a few days on them.
Week five, still recovering from Mastitis (10 day antibiotic course), I developed thrush again. Antibiotics like to do that to you. This time I did not go the cream/prescription route and instead researched some homeopathic remedies. I found a solution called Gentain Violet (can be found at Walgreens) that was known to work wonders on thrush. I decided to finish up the antibiotics and then start the 3 day GV application. It was a bit weird at first painting my nipple bright purple (hence the violet in the name) but in the end it WORKED. My daughter looked a bit funny too with her purple mouth.
But oh so cute!
Not only did the GV get rid of the thrush, like magic, it cleared up the one cracked nipple. I truly mean 'like magic' the day after I went to feed her and NO PAIN whatsoever. I was ecstatic. I finally was able to enjoy feeding my sweet little girl. The purple went away after a few days and all was like new again.
I am writing this to hopefully help those struggling through the same problems and contemplating giving up as I did. It truly DOES get better. I was told this as well but did not believe them at all, it seemed like it just kept getting worse. I am a believer now. I just absolutely LOVE breastfeeding now and am a huge advocate. So please, if you are wanting to give up for one reason or another, just keep telling yourself, "It does get better", because it really does.
Feeding my daughter brings me such joy now. Not to mention it helped me loose all my baby weight plus some. The snuggles and bonding are great too. Plus in the middle of the night feeds I just lay down and nurse her and I can fall back asleep. I <3 breastfeeding!
For the breastfeeding mamas out there, check this out.
Also go HERE to win a Medela Breast Care Gift Set and a $20 Baby Store Plus Gift Card!