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#1 of 28 Old 01-22-2008, 04:57 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm feeling a bit overwhelmed and struggling with the fact that I'm not loving the whole breastfeeding thing. I read these idyllic descriptions of how wonderful it is, but am finding that I can't relate.

I'm tired...it seems like she needs to nurse ALL the time...and I'd really to be able to get two hours of sleep at one time. I can't figure out the side lying thing so I sit up in bed, but then even though she falls asleep and unlatches herself, the moment I set her down on the bed next to me she wakes up. I'm *this close* to sending dh out to the store to buy a pacifier because I don't know how much more I can take.

We do have some latch issues, but if diaper output is an indicator I know she's getting more than enough. It's just that it seems like I'm *always* breastfeeding. Someone please tell me it gets better. This has to work...we can't afford formula (and wouldn't want to switch even if that weren't an issue).
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#2 of 28 Old 01-22-2008, 05:05 PM
 
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How old is your LO? DD did that for a long time and we didn't figure out side-laying until she was 3 months old... It's SO hard, I know...

DD had what seemed like constant growth spurts for a long time, but she's slowed down now and will go 3 hours now between feedings sometimes.

For what it's worth it does get better - especially once side-laying starts working.

Hang in there, momma.
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#3 of 28 Old 01-22-2008, 05:08 PM
 
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How old is your DC? Because I have to tell you, for the first two months of my DS's life, I felt the same way. In fact, I made a post on here just like you and said that I was starting to dislike it. Thankfully that faded when the all-day-nurseathons and nipple pain ended. It will most likely get better when you don't have to worry about latch issues, master side-lying nursing, and they space out their nursing sessions. Be kind to yourself. When your DC isn't nursing try to do something for yourself. big

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#4 of 28 Old 01-22-2008, 05:08 PM - Thread Starter
 
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She's just over two weeks old. And it's not that I want her to "sleep through the night" because I know she needs to eat at night. I just don't want it to take four hours to get her to sleep (because then one feeding just runs into another).
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#5 of 28 Old 01-22-2008, 05:12 PM
 
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Oh mama....those first weeks are hard. Can you try doing something else to get her to sleep? Like rocking or wearing her? Make sure she gets in a good nursing session then switch over to rocking for awhile to give your breasts a break. Hang in there!

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#6 of 28 Old 01-22-2008, 05:17 PM
 
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The first few weeks are SO hard... It does get better.

Maybe your DH or a friend/family member can try to rock/bounce/walk with babe for a couple of hours so you can nap? DH did that in the evening for me and it made a HUGE difference on my ability to function.
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#7 of 28 Old 01-22-2008, 05:18 PM
 
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I can completely feel your pain!! DS didn't have a good latch until he was two weeks. It took a visit from the LC (the 4th person to come help us) before it got better. As hard as it sounds try to avoid the paci for a bit longer (says the mom who introduced the paci at 2 weeks and wished she'd waited). Try the Pantley Pull Off? Also, it helped me to not have DS right up against me when he slept (I put a rolled up towel between us). He could smell the milk and it made him want it!

Side lying- didn't get the hang of it till DS was 3 months old.

Try unlatching her when she's in the early stages of sleep (8-9 breaths without nutritional sucking (as opposed to comfort sucking)). The finger in the corner of the mouth thing. once she's unlatched hold/rock/soothe her for a little bit longer (to let her re-settle) and then put her down. Keep a hand on her for a few minutes after you put her down (shushing, etc)... You can also try pre-warming the bed with a heating pad set on low, remove the pad just before laying her down.

DS is now 4 months old and there are still days when I don't LOVE breastfeeding...but those days are coming less often.

As for nipple pain, I have a few ideas. PM me if you want me to share.

GOOD LUCK!

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#8 of 28 Old 01-22-2008, 05:22 PM
 
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Sounds pretty normal. With my first I did not enjoy breastfeeding at all. There were several things complicating my relationship, but a lot of women aren't loving the breastfeeding thing the first month, especially if they're new to it and trying to get the hang of everything. It's a learning curve, and on top of sleep loss, soreness and not a lot of you time, it's can be far from the idyllic picture a lot of the manuals paint it as.

I know sleep is a mega difficult issue with LOs wanting food all the time, mine (5 weeks) is going through a growth spurt and he's only sleeping for an hour at a time and then demanding food.

Be gentle to yourself as much as possible, enlist help where you can, even if someone can cook or do your laundry for you. Try finding a support group near you. Even someone who is nice and an experienced nurser. Getting the latch correct is a skill, but one you need to master in order to make things go a lot more smoothly.

I could never get that nursing lying down, my breasts are large and soft, any way I try it, it hurts and that's still frustrates me, since I'd really really like to doze, I could use it, so you have my total empathy there.

Don't trust anyone under 5! Mom to 3 boys under 5. Blogging to save my sanity.
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#9 of 28 Old 01-22-2008, 06:10 PM
 
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Oh hon, at two weeks EVERYTHING still sucks.

Really.

The first few weeks are just brutal. That's just life with a newborn.

I bet things will start looking up by 6 weeks. Until then do NOT try to get anything "done" Eat and sleep and change diapers. (and better if you can get someone else to change some diapers ) That's it.

hang in there!

-Angela
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#10 of 28 Old 01-22-2008, 06:24 PM
 
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Just try to get through the first 6 weeks...if you can do that...it will get easier. Remember...it's a learning process for mom and baby. My DS didn't get down side nursing until probably 3 months...when he was stronger and better at nursing...now we nurse it all sorts of positions...including the upside down legs over my shoulders position (the joys of toddler nursing)

Remember...you are doing what's best for your baby and I applaud you for that!!

Take it easy and make your primary job nursing....it WILL get easier!!!
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#11 of 28 Old 01-22-2008, 08:10 PM
 
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FWIW, I have EBF 6 kids, tandem and tri nursed and been breastfeeding someone for the last 15 years. So I (theoretically) know what I am doing when it comes to BFing. And with DS4mo I felt exactly the same way the first couple of months. We couldn't get the hang of sidelying for awhile, and he had major tummy troubles (turned out to be dairy intolerance and fore/hindmilk imbalance) so I was up all night with a crying baby. I am NOT a pleasant person without sleep. I felt like I (the woman my dh lovingly calls the dairy queen) was ready to quit too. Dear one, the best parenting advice I ever got was "this too shall pass" and not only does that apply to the tough times like now, but also all the wonderful parts of each age and stage that they out grow way too fast. I can tell you for a fact that this tiring newborn stage will pass and you will be talking to a 15 year old before you know it! (And not sleeping well for entirely different reasons!) I agree with the pp, for the next couple months you need to lower your expectations and just sleep and nurse. Sleep when the baby sleeps even if its noon, or when dh can take the baby. Don't be afraid to ask others to help, anyone else can do laundry and dishes and change diapers, but only you can give your baby the world's perfect food! And don't forget, she didn't read the breastfeeding books, she is just figuring things out. It will get much better and you, too will be experiencing idyllic nursing sessions. It seems like the first couple of months all they do is nurse. (And they do!!!) Just expect that, I just made my desk chair a comfy nest (comfy chair, phone, ice water, cup of tea, burp diaper, etc) and I am now really good a one handed typing and nursing at the keyboard. Things get much better after 6 weeks, but also be prepared to return to the constant nursing pattern for a couple days when your dd has a growth spurt. You are doing a great job, mama. Just hang in there a little longer, all that wonderful milk is helping your dd grow big and healthy!

Katie, mama to Katherine 19, Christian 17, Johannah 15, Nicholas 10, Genevieve 8, Matthew 5, Andrew 11/16/09 10#6oz home waterbirth and madly in love with  my husband, Scott

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#12 of 28 Old 01-22-2008, 08:21 PM
 
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I so hear you on that. I spent ages stuck in bed breastfeeding. Like you, I have PCOS (hadn't been diagnosed with it yet but I did have it). Due to this, I have a lack of breast tissue which means that I have to work twice as hard to make half as much milk. So for us, all that time spent nursing was desperately needed as it was the only way to establish my supply (pumping wasn't cutting it). I nursed for a little over 2 1/2 years, but it took constant vigilance to maintain a supply.

It was like being stuck in purgatory during those early months but I'll be honest, its something that I look back with pride on now. My son is so dang healthy, he rarely catches bugs that go around and if he does he blows through them in half the time. He's exceptionally happy, emotionally settled and totally devoted to me and our family. I really think that part of it comes from all those hours spent holding him and feeding him. Sometimes the most difficult periods in our lives become what defines us later on.

Once more, this too shall pass.
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#13 of 28 Old 01-22-2008, 09:53 PM
 
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Oh, honey, it is early days yet. I posted almost the exact same thimg with DD1. And everyone told me it would get better. And you know what, it did.

Don't even think about nursing for 6 weeks, I know that seems like an eternity away. Focus on nursing for today only. Take it one day at a time. Once you've got through today, focus on nursing for 1 more day. Before you know it you'll be at 6 weeks. Just keep telling yourself that you can do it for 1 more day. 1 more day doesn't seem that hard to do right?

And things do get better. I promise.
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#14 of 28 Old 01-22-2008, 10:07 PM
 
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It gets so much better, and so much easier. You can work through this. She won't be this little forever.

I will admit that some times, nursing is more trudgery than a beautiful bonding moment. Not every feeding fills me with joy and pride and lovey dovey feelings for the babe. Some feedings, I just want her to be done for a variety of reasons.

But, it'll get so much better for you, and soon. And you're doing the best thing for your babe! Around 6 weeks, it magically seems to get better. Everyone said so, and I didn't believe them, but for us, t was true.

Hang in there!
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#15 of 28 Old 01-22-2008, 10:24 PM
 
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I didn't read all of the replies so I apologize if I am repeating things others have already said, but wanted to let you know that it is NOT fun in the beginning. There really isn't anything fun about it at all! What got me through was knowing that I was doing the very best thing for my babies. THEN...it honestly does get better. And then it becomes amazing. It is a slow process, but soooo worthwhile. I promise, you will eventually look back at those early weeks and think "Hey...it really wasn't that bad". But when you are going through it and sleep deprived, it feels just horrible.

My best advice is to sleep when she sleeps. I'm sure you have heard that a million times, but just do it. Nap when she naps and get in as much as you can. No one said sleeping like a baby was very restful though!

Babies do nurse constantly early on. Eventually they fall into a routine of their own, but it takes time. In my experience, both of my kiddos fell into a more regular routine at around 6 weeks. I remember early on there were times when DS nursed every half hour to 45 minutes for a block of time every day. It would seem as soon as he was done that he would be starting again.

I was never that experienced with side-lying while nursing. DD had reflux a bit, so after I nursed her I had to keep her upright for a while. Instead of lying her flat next to me I would lay her on my chest (on her tummy) and propped myself with pillows all around and behind me. I literally slept in a semi-upright position for the first 3 months of her life. Talk about lack of sleep! I was pretty much a zombie, but I knew I was doing what was best for her, and that is what got me through it. She outgrew her reflux and now she sleeps through the night.

So...I really do promise - it does get better. Please feel free to PM me if you need a pep talk!!! You are doing a great job mama!

Oh....one more thing to just keep in mind. I know you said you wouldn't want to do formula anyway, but think about how horrible it would be to have to wash and sterilize bottles on TOP of the sleep deprivation!! Plus, having to warm a bottle in the middle of the night - no thanks! It is much easier to have baby nurse in the middle of the night. The milk is ready, no washing or sterilizing needed!!!
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#16 of 28 Old 01-22-2008, 10:45 PM
 
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Just another brief post to let you know that it is totally normal to dislike bf in the beginning. It is really, really hard sometimes. You are completely exhausted, there's this new little being and you are just trying to figure one another out. The only advice I have is to keep on nursing. Sidelying can take a while to figure out. Is there any comfy chair in your house that you sit in, latch her on and catch a few zs while she was doing her thing? I used a lazy boy and pillows around me when my premie DD was still tiny and couldn't do sidelying. It was a life saver and I think I must have spent 18 hrs a day in the thing. I also second the wearing her idea. A wrap or sling can be a lifesaver for an hour or two of no nursing, but still having her close.

It'll get better, just stick with it.

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#17 of 28 Old 01-22-2008, 11:05 PM
 
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I found it so discouraging that everyone said six weeks. That's a long time!!! Hang in there. It gets better each and every week. Then all of a sudden at six weeks - you are like WOW! 2 weeks is a big milestone too, so hang in there!! It really does get SO much easier so soon!!
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#18 of 28 Old 01-22-2008, 11:15 PM
 
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It took 6-8 weeks for my first one, and after a few days I got to the point where I gave him a pacifier, and it helped his latch, and made both of us much happier.
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#19 of 28 Old 01-22-2008, 11:16 PM
 
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Congratulations!

I'll second, third, and fourth what everyone else has already said. Two weeks is also prime growth spurt time, so things may be (temporarily!) especially horrid right now.

Hang in there!!
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#20 of 28 Old 01-22-2008, 11:17 PM
 
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Originally Posted by art_teachermommy View Post

J.now we nurse it all sorts of positions...including the upside down legs over my shoulders position (the joys of toddler nursing)
I don't know about you guys but that made me giggle

I'm so glad many of you are saying you couldn't side-lay nurse for a few months, I was thinking there was something wrong with me because I couldn't figure it out

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#21 of 28 Old 01-22-2008, 11:20 PM
 
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The first few weeks are so hard. Hang in there mama! You can get through this. Look up latching videos on the internet and try different positions and pulling out that top and bottom lip. You can do this, really, you can! You are so strong. I admire you for getting support!
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#22 of 28 Old 01-22-2008, 11:24 PM
 
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You know, I have liked breastfeeding just fine for both of my girls, but the truth is that I never felt all starry-eyed and blissed-out about it, either, the way many seem to. I think it's awesome that so many women seem to feel that, and I don't begrudge them in any way, but it wasn't really my experience. For me, it was the way that I knew was best and healthiest to feed my girls, and that was incredibly, crucially, important and rewarding, but it never took on a wider significance for me. And that's OK, and it's OK for you too.

But it sounds like there are other issues here, too, which is that you're just so worn out and tired. And I echo what everyone else said, that the first few weeks are just so tough. They'd be tough no matter how you were feeding your LO, believe me. And if it's two weeks and you're feeling confident about latch and supply, you are doing SOOOO well with BFing, even if it doesn't feel like it.

People on this thread have given you really good advice about how to side-lie and cosleep, and if that's what you want, I hope you and baby get into a good rhythm and start getting more sleep together! But do remember that there are other options, too. I also want to say that at two weeks I think you're quite safe introducing a pacifier. If it keeps you sane and keeps you breastfeeding, then it's a good thing.

GL with everything and hang in there!
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#23 of 28 Old 01-22-2008, 11:45 PM
 
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3 months ago i sat on my couch with my baby in my arms, crying to my mother about how hard this whole thing was, not sleeping, no eating, my body still changing, my husband bagging for sex, he mosh have forgot what happened downthere, he had a front role seat to the "show", then came the thousands of family and friends with there needs, Hello i just gave birth, trying to bf this person i have not even gotten to know. becoming a parent is something we have not been tought. it is hard, and not glamous. but then the 3month mark cames and you understand what it takes to become a parent. all the tears from bfing, not sleeping, SEX. become uncondional bond like no other, you will have no end to the love that child fills you with. no person on this earth can understand unless you have given every part of your body to that baby. she is yours, and no one elses.

please, please join your local La Lecha or breastfeeding club, and learn all the great benifits of breastfeeding. Good Luck. we hear you and love your struggle, because it is not for the week.:
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#24 of 28 Old 01-23-2008, 02:01 AM
 
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Haven't read all of the replies, but try to hang in there. It took me about 6 weeks to get the lying down and nursing thing. Babies are so small at that age that in my case, she was hard to latch onto either breast. Now I am multi talented, I can nurse from both breasts from the same side!

It is hard. They are nursing all the time. I just don't think there is a way around it. But maybe you can encourage your baby to suckle on your finger when you are sure the "real" nursing is done? That helped alot for us. Also, are you swaddling? I think that really helps.

It will ease up a bit. You are still recovering from birth and I think producing milk in the beginning is extremely tiring. I was exhausted and napped all the time (but I was also recovering from a c-section).

But I wouldn't miss it for the world. Nothing cuter than to be holding your nine month old right after a shower and you are without a top. She looks down, she takes a look, gets real interested and then tries to bend down and latch on so she is almost on her head.

In two weeks, things will look even better. Be sure to get pillows to help support the baby. It really helps.
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#25 of 28 Old 01-23-2008, 10:58 AM
 
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Haven't read all of the replies, but try to hang in there. It took me about 6 weeks to get the lying down and nursing thing. Babies are so small at that age that in my case, she was hard to latch onto either breast. Now I am multi talented, I can nurse from both breasts from the same side!

It is hard. They are nursing all the time. I just don't think there is a way around it. But maybe you can encourage your baby to suckle on your finger when you are sure the "real" nursing is done? That helped alot for us. Also, are you swaddling? I think that really helps.

It will ease up a bit. You are still recovering from birth and I think producing milk in the beginning is extremely tiring. I was exhausted and napped all the time (but I was also recovering from a c-section).

But I wouldn't miss it for the world. Nothing cuter than to be holding your nine month old right after a shower and you are without a top. She looks down, she takes a look, gets real interested and then tries to bend down and latch on so she is almost on her head.

In two weeks, things will look even better. Be sure to get pillows to help support the baby. It really helps.
Great Advice
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#26 of 28 Old 01-23-2008, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you so much for all of the replies and encouragement. It really does help a lot to know that I'm not the only one...especially that I'm not the only one who has had issues with side-lying (and this even after I found this neat website w/step by step instructions and pictures). I probably should have mentioned that I also have a 3 yr old ds so that does complicate the sleeping while she's sleeping during the day thing.

Last night seemed to go a little bit better. I found that I could get her to sleep if she was right there next to my breast, even if she wasn't nursing. She's sleep a good two hours no problem then. The one time she didn't (and dh had her) she woke up within an hour. Maybe she just needs to know she has the option?

I also had a visit from an LC today. The good news is that it seems like there isn't anything all that "wrong" about what we're doing. She suggested trying to focus on getting a wider latch and perhaps some more breast compression, but that was about it. She also helped me some with the side-lying and as an extra bonus showed me how to use my sling.

I will be going to the next LLL meeting here. Unfortunately it's not for a couple of weeks yet (I was in labor during the last one so missed it).

Now my only wonder is if one can get dry skin on their nipples...it's winter in the Midwest and dry air to boot. Can that contribute to the soreness?
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#27 of 28 Old 01-23-2008, 03:20 PM
 
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Now my only wonder is if one can get dry skin on their nipples...it's winter in the Midwest and dry air to boot. Can that contribute to the soreness?
Yes, absolutely. You can squirt out a few drops oof milk and rub in right after nursing, or you can use Lanolin or olive oil on your nipple if it is super dry.

Hang in there, it is absolutely worth it!

---feeling like an emu on acid---
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#28 of 28 Old 01-23-2008, 03:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by pampered_mom View Post
Thank you so much for all of the replies and encouragement. It really does help a lot to know that I'm not the only one...especially that I'm not the only one who has had issues with side-lying (and this even after I found this neat website w/step by step instructions and pictures). I probably should have mentioned that I also have a 3 yr old ds so that does complicate the sleeping while she's sleeping during the day thing.

Last night seemed to go a little bit better. I found that I could get her to sleep if she was right there next to my breast, even if she wasn't nursing. She's sleep a good two hours no problem then. The one time she didn't (and dh had her) she woke up within an hour. Maybe she just needs to know she has the option?

I also had a visit from an LC today. The good news is that it seems like there isn't anything all that "wrong" about what we're doing. She suggested trying to focus on getting a wider latch and perhaps some more breast compression, but that was about it. She also helped me some with the side-lying and as an extra bonus showed me how to use my sling.

I will be going to the next LLL meeting here. Unfortunately it's not for a couple of weeks yet (I was in labor during the last one so missed it).

Now my only wonder is if one can get dry skin on their nipples...it's winter in the Midwest and dry air to boot. Can that contribute to the soreness?
So proud of you mama for getting help and support. Hang in there. You are doing great! You are NOT alone.
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