Breastfeeding is one of the hardest things I have ever done. I feel like I was not prepared for how hard it actually is. People would tell me while I was pregnant don't give up you can do it and I thought to myself of course I'm not going to give up! Well, let me tell you I have been tempted many times to wave the white flag. The one thing I didn't do research on while pregnant was breastfeeding. I just figured women have been doing this since the beginning of time it will come naturally and I will just flow milk abundantly. Wow, was I wrong! You have to train your body to make it! It's a supply and demand type of situation so you can imagine my shock when 5 days after I had my daughter I am only getting a couple drops of milk. Formula supplementing was something I didn't think I had to resort too. But, that is what got my baby fed for the first month, about 50/50 formula and breast milk. Honestly, I feel like the first three weeks are the make it or break it point. It was a living hell.
I was doing everything I could, drinking tons of water and mother's milk tea, eating extra calories taking tons of vitamins and pumping around the clock. I remember pumping and looking down and the milk was pink.. and I thought what is going on and I realized my nipples were bleeding. Yes bleeding! Blood in my milk. DAMN IT!!! There is nothing like trying so hard to produce just to have to dump it down the drain. I was in shock just standing in my kitchen bawling my eyes out feeling completely defeated. It is not only painful physically but, also emotionally exhausting. If the baby isn't nursing than you are pumping it's non- stop work. Did you know that it takes 25 percent of your bodies energy to produce milk. The brain only uses 20 percent. Let that just sink in for minute.
Not only did I have trouble producing but, then we got thrush which is a bacterial infection. Me on the nipples and Scout in her mouth so both of us had to take antibiotics. Then after that healed I woke up to having a very painful lump in my breast because my milk had turned into a tooth paste like consistency and couldn't escape. So googling I did because, queen of self diagnosis I am and I realized my duct was clogged. I ended up putting lavender oil and slices of organic potatoes on my boob. Yes, cold raw potato slices in my bra. Followed by hot showers, massages, and even more pumping and nursing. Now this entire time just one problem after another all I can think is... this should be easier! I mean come on. Since the beginning of time! Formula wasn't invented until the 1865!
But, rest assured Ladies. It does get easier. Much easier. So stick with it! I am so grateful I pushed through all the pain, blood and exhaustion it is absolutely worth it. The bond Scout and I have while nursing is something I cherish. That is our time to share and relax. Mother's milk calms baby and I feel her energy shift while nursing. She is relaxed and happy every time. My favorite is when she is nursing looks up at me and smiles from ear to ear and the milk pours out of her mouth all over me. Now, that is the only kind of spilled milk I don't mind.