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I love breastfeeding my son!
Breastfeeding in General
Member Name: LucyRuth
Breastfeeding in General
Advantages: It's free, closeness with your baby, health benefits for mum and baby
Disadvantages: Night feeds, soreness
The benefits of breastfeeding for both mother and baby are well documented, so I will concentrate my review on my experience of the act of breastfeeding, rather than enter into the breast versus bottle health debate.
My son was born by emergency c-section in November 2009. Having a c-section meant that we missed out on the immediate skin to skin that had been part of my birth plan. Despite this I was determined to try and breastfeed as soon as possible, so half an hour after my son was born I tried to latch him on. Please do not think that a c-section means breastfeeding is much harder, or not possible. That is not my experience at all, you just have to be a little careful with your wound- I found a pillow over it while feeding was sufficient protection for those first few days.
If you choose to breast feed you will hear and read a million times that positioning is key, and that is so true. Baby needs to be turned in towards you so their tummy is against you, and they need to be far enough along that your nipple is level with baby's nose. I was fortunate that my baby had a good suck reflex, and as soon as I put him in the right position he was away. You should never lean in towards your baby to latch them on, as when you lean back they will be in a poor position. Make sure you are holding them towards you.
Five days after my son was born, I developed sore, raw bleeding nipples. Not very nice when you are feeding every two to three hours. Two things helped me get through this and carry on feeding. Firstly Lansinoh cream- apply it after every feed and it will help you nipples heal. Secondly I went to a breastfeeding class who showed me that his latch was slightly wrong, which was causing the soreness. As soon as we were shown how to rectify this, the pain went within a day and my nipples healed completely within a couple of days. I'm so glad I asked for help at this point and didn't give up. If you intend to breastfeed, or you are breastfeeding then find a support class as they really are invaluable.
There are a few things that I would say are really, really useful for a breastfeeding mum. Firstly nursing bras with drop down cups make things much easier than trying to use a regular bra. Lansinoh cream is a lifesaver to keep your nipples in good condition and breast pads are pretty essential to prevent milk leaking onto your clothes. I also wouldn't be without my glider chair- it wasn't cheap but is perfect for feeding.
I love breast feeding, I really do. The time that I spend feeding my son is so precious and I love that closeness that I get from it. Having said that there have been times when my nipples have been sore and his latching on has made me want to cry. There have also been times, in the middle of the night when I've thought how nice it would be if my husband could do a feed or two so I could get some sleep. It's normal to feel like this, but don't let it put you off. It does pass.
Summary: A review of my experience rather than the breast/bottle debate
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