Friday, December 12, 2008

The challenges of breastfeeding

 It's been 3 weeks now since I've been breastfeeding Tristan.  However, since I didn't initially have enough milk, he has only been exclusively breastfed for just over a week now.  We went to the doctors yesterday and he has gained 7 ounces since last week so he's definitely getting enough milk!  Phew.  I was worried that we would have to supplement with formula again.

Breastfeeding is tough.  Getting comfortable with pillows, with all my aches and pains, and then latching him on takes a bit of time.  Sometimes, he just doesn't open his mouth very wide... then I have to wait until he cries and then shove the boob in.  This of course has to happen very quickly else the opportunity is lost.  Tristan still does not know that he has arms and legs so he has no control over them.  His arms are constantly in the way so that presents a challenge too.  And boy, is he strong!  He wails his arms and I have to use a lot of force to move them out of the way.  His suck is so strong too.  Babies already suck in the womb so when they are out sucking is natural to them.  My breasts used to scream of horror every time feeding time came around but now, because of my inflammation and itchiness, it's actually a nice relief when he sucks.  I have learned to accept blistering nipples and it hurts less and less now but I am starting to develop a sort of infection and inflammation on my breasts.  My doctor says it may be because I don't feed on both breasts each time.  She was the one that recommended I feed on one and alternate until he is satisfied.  Now, I'm sort of forcing him on both breasts for the same amount of time.  It's been 2 days since I've done this and my breasts are still very itchy.  I'm going to wait another day and see if things improve.  If it doesn't, I will have to get the antibiotics my doctors prescribed for me :(

Tristan may be addicted to the breast.  It doesn't really surprise me that he would develop an addiction to it since he's on it for like 5 hours a day over 10-12 feedings.  It's warm, it fills his tummy, he feels safe next to me and so on.  If I let him, he could spend 24 hours just on the breast feeding and sleeping.  So now, when he's off the breast and not sleeping, he's searching for it.  Sucking on it soothes him and sometimes he's not hungry and just wants to suck.  I don't want to let him do this but at times I'm fooled too.  We debated back and forth, did some research, and have finally decided to buy him a pacifier.  We will only resort to the pacifier when all else fails.  We used it for the first time last night with little success.  When I breastfed him afterwards at 2 or 3 AM, I noticed he started to suck a little funny.  It was just the one time so I'm not sure if it had to do with the pacifier.  I'll have to monitor it long term and see what I can make of it.


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