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Everyone’s breastfeeding journey is different. This is the beginning of mine, and while it does not start out great, it ends well. My hope is that by reading this, you will know that you too can do this.

I am not a lactation consultant, nor am I a doctor.

I only have my ongoing experience to base this on. Everyone’s breastfeeding experience is different, and if you would like professional help before starting, I recommend talking to your doctor about classes they might have at their office or hospital. There are even great online classes.

Again, this is just my experience to basically say, it gets better. 

Before my daughter was born, I remember sitting with a group of mothers and one of them asked me if I was planning to breastfeed. I responded yes, and one of them told me that if I was serious that I needed to make it through the first 3 weeks, and it would get better.

Other women chimed in with agreement and their own experiences, but I really did not understand.

My mama had never said anything about it hurting. My sister had never said anything like that either, and she has twins! What were these women talking about?

I called my mama and asked her what the women were talking about, and she didn’t know. It had never hurt for her. Maybe it was genetic, and I would have no issues with breastfeeding?

I really wanted to breastfeed. 

The day came, and I was about to deliver my precious bundle of joy in what is called a baby friendly hospital. They would leave her in the room with me all the time from the moment she was born to encourage breastfeeding from the moment she exited the womb.

In fact, they wanted her to nurse within the first hour after birth. 

Moments after my daughter was born. Photo taken by Tim Young.

20 minutes after starting to push, my 8 lb 14 oz baby girl joined the outside world. They laid her on my chest, and I started to try to calm her down after the traumatic experience she had just been through.

She lay there for about 10 minutes or so (I think? Honestly, some of this is a blur), and then I started feeling really light headed. I had lost a relatively significant amount of blood. Everything was fine, but it was enough to make me feel sick.

They took my daughter and weighed and measured her while I threw up. After they got all they needed and I started feeling halfway decent again, I took my daughter back and tried to nurse her.

It was not nearly as bad as I expected, though not comfortable. I thought Hey, I can do this! Maybe not a great feeling, but not excruciating.  

I had no idea what was coming. 

The pain kept getting worse every time she latched. Exhaustion and worry clouded my mind. So many hormones that had been building in my body had all rushed out, and I became hysterical that night. I started sobbing for seemingly no reason. My body hurt all over.

Then the night nurse came.

I honestly think she was probably trying to be nice, but she was kind of acting like I didn’t know anything about babies and she told me breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt.

The worst thing she told me was that I would wake up if my baby was hungry…or choking. Choking had not even occurred to me. I was unable to sleep. I startled at every noise my daughter made, even though she was never choking.

6 in the morning arrived, and my daughter latched on. 

And she sucked.

And sucked

And sucked.

She nursed for 20 minutes on the right and then 20 on the left. 


For 2.



When my doctor walked in at 8 AM, I started crying. He told the CNA to bring her some formula so that I could rest and that it was okay to do what I needed to do to survive.

I didn’t know what I needed to do, and I wanted to breastfeed. I felt like a failure as a mama. When my day nurse came in, she promised to help me. She looked at my nipples, and they were bruised and blistered. It was absolutely horrible. 

The nurse also told me something very useful.

If the baby is still sucking after 20 minutes on each side, they are not doing it for food, they are doing it for comfort.

She said my baby had been using me as a pacifier.

When we told my mom that, she immediately went and got a pacifier for my daughter.

Each person will have to make their own decision about this. Lots of people don’t recommend giving a pacifier until at least 4 to 6 weeks of age because of nipple confusion. My baby had no issues with nipple confusion, but you have to take that into consideration. 

Dreading every single feeding, I prayed she would sleep, but I was also afraid I wasn’t feeding her enough.

Postpartum is hard.

Gotta keep the milk close.

By the time we got home, her latching was almost unbearable. I would stifle a scream when she would put her gums on my nipple.  If my shirt brushed against them, it felt like someone had touched a hot iron to my breast.

Thankfully, talking to my mama or watching a TV show would help take my mind off of the painful sucking.

I also would use Organic Nipple Butter Breastfeeding Cream by Earth Mama | Lanolin-free, Safe for Nursing & Dry Skin, Non-GMO Project Verified, 2-Fluid Ounce (Packaging May Vary)""” target=”_blank” rel=”noreferrer noopener”>great nipple cream from Earth Mama. It’s made with natural ingredients that I wasn’t worried about my baby ingesting.

Once my milk came in, my left side became engorged, and the baby decided not to drink from that side. It became very painful. I wondered if I could make it. My mom became my comfort. For the first week of my little daughter’s life, she stayed with my husband and I in our little apartment for a week and encouraged me to continue breastfeeding.

The best thing she did for me was to not act like my pain wasn’t real or unimportant but she acknowledged it, sympathized with me, and told me that I was doing a good thing for my baby. 

By the time she left, I was still scared, but I had made it a week and I was determined to do this.

It turned out, my friends were right. By 3 weeks, I had stopped squelching screams during latching and I didn’t feel like crying the entire time she nursed. It wasn’t magical. I wasn’t completely comfortable at 3 weeks, but it was bearable. A short while later, it wasn’t painful at all. My daughter seemed very happy to nurse, and I was finally happy to let her.

I am still currently nursing my daughter. In fact, I nurse her almost every 2 hours during the day (at the moment) until she goes to bed, and I have zero pain (unless she decides to pinch me or pull my long hair), and I honestly appreciate the fact that I know my daughter is getting the best nutrition that is tailored to her little body’s needs.

I survived (and I am still surviving) breastfeeding.

Let me know in the comments what your experience with breastfeeding has been like!

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