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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Eeeeep, the best thing for me is to see all you mamas out there pushing through the pain and problems to BF, even for extended periods of time. I know I'm being a total wimp (and I don't like that) but I thought if I ranted/posted about my fears and got reprimanded by the pros I might buck up a bit.<br><br>
I'm not even pregnant yet, but I want to be ready for whatever comes, and after learning the *many* benefits of BFing I decided (and told hubby) I would try for at least 6 months.<br>
No one in my family breastfed. I've never even seen anyone do it before <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/redface.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Embarrassment"> but I've been watching videos on latching and pumps and I must admit its all a bit scary to me.<br><br>
My nipples are very sensitive... painful when irritated, and the idea of anything sucking on them for extended periods of time gives me shudders. <span style="color:#FF0000;">I read in another thread to not listen to tips on how to 'roughen' or toughen up your nipples beforehand but is there *anything* I can do to prepare myself for the assault?</span> Hehe maybe a bad choice of words but in those videos it looks like the babies are really going for it.<br><br>
Also does the shape or size of your nipples affect BFing? My breasts are small, but my areolae are quite large... does the baby need to fit all of the areola into their mouth?<br>
And I'm just curious but it seems it's normal after BFing for your nipples to become larger/longer, but is this permanent? And how big are we talking exactly? The idea of one of the most sensitive spots on my body getting even more surface area makes me want to invest in a steel bra.<br><br>
While I was raised (sadly) with the notion that breasts are for sex, and knowing that my mom didn't want to BF as she was working and didn't want to become 'a milk bar' I realize these are unnatural hang-ups and want to breastfeed. It's just so intimidating reading about cracked nipples, mastidis etc that my resolve is wavering a bit.<br>
Assuming you've seen all these questions before, please forgive my selfishness and help me bolster myself into being the best mom I can be?<br><br>
And is it weird that while not pregnant I'm wondering about all this? We're TTC but I feel like I want to know as much as possible ahead of time so the pregnancy (if there is one?) will be a bit less stressed.
 

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Hi Alexe! Good for you for thinking ahead and wanting to try to BF even though no one in your family has. That takes a lot of courage. That is also how a lot of us started out.<br><br>
As for sensitivity... your nipples will get used to it. If you get the baby latched on correctly, sore nipples are not inevitable. I've breastfed 8 babies, and I've only had mastitis once and sore nipples temporarily 3 or 4 times. If you do get cracked nipples, the breastmilk itself is very healing. You can express a few drops and rub it right in. I've also used wet teabags for sore nipples. The tannins in the tea help the skin to tighten and heal.<br><br>
I had never been exposed to a lot of breastfeeding while I was growing up, but I never questioned that I would breastfeed my babies. Give yourself some time to learn. Sometimes the learning curve is short, and other times it takes a little while. Both you and the baby need to learn to work together.<br><br>
As to BF changing the size of nipples, well, after 17 years of BF, I can say that mine are a little more prominent than they were before, but they don't stay that way all the time.<br><br>
I would give you the advice that when you begin BF, use nursing pads to soak up the excess milk in case you leak. New moms almost always leak at least occasionally. I would recommend using the thick cotton washable ones. I also made myself some out of soft wool. I crocheted them and treated them with lanolin like moms do with wool soakers to put over cloth diapers. They were comfortable to wear, absorbent and the lanolin soothed the skin. I think it helped prevent sore nipples on occasion.<br><br>
Anyway, good luck conceiving, and I hope you have a wonderful pregnancy, birth and nursing time with your baby.
 

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Please remember that you see people post here when there is a problem. Rarely does a mom post just to say everything is going well. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> It's good to be prepared in case you do encounter a problem just remember that the posts you see here are skewed <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
-luv
 

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I'll post to say it's going well! I had sore nipples for the first week of breastfeeding, never unbearably so, & from then on it's been trouble free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to you all for your posts, esp Tuwamare for answers to my specific fears... those are the kinds of things I really wanted to know, and don't have anyone to ask (yet).<br>
I'm trying to find an LLL group or at least an LC in my area using some of the links from this site, I'm really trying to find someone who can help me in person .. and in English. But I guess I'll wait and see how TTC goes <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> Imsobad.<br><br>
Thanks luv for reminding me of that, hehe anyone point me toward a 'breastfeeding fun' thread? To get me excited? lol I'm such a wuss about my nipples.<br><br>
And calpurnia congrats! *is hopeful*<br><br>
Is there really nothing I can do to prepare my nipples beforehand? Work on desensitizing them? I'm all ears! I'm sure hubby would be thrilled to help out too ...
 

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Opps ment to post in a new thread<br><br>
There we go - started a new thread with you in mind <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><a href="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?p=11585088#post11585088" target="_blank">http://www.mothering.com/discussions...8#post11585088</a>
 

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Alexe if you dont mind me asking what is your local? You specify English so I assume you're not in the states or UK. There are a lot of international LLL english groups. (there's one here in Paris)
 

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Congrats on your TTC-ness! I agree, you only really hear problems here. I am a local LLL leader and I can assure you many people have never had any problems, although other have. I read the Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and took the Bradley Method which I felt really helped DH and I understand breastfeeding and really offered so much reassurance. For us, breastfeeding for the first year was the only option. There was no try only do. I also did lots of positive thinking about how it will go well for us and if it doesn't, to get help and make it work. I think that helped me a bit too.<br><br>
Basically, with all mommy things, try to avoid stressing until it actually happens and even then, try to minimize that stress to the best of your ability. Find a breastfeeding or mother's group near you. Many times you can join when you are TTC or pregnant. I encourage pregnant moms to join before they are due for the support.<br><br>
Best wishes to you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you ladies!<br>
luv you're a dear <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1"> I look forward to reading it!<br>
I am living in northern germany right now, with my largest nearest cities being Schleswig and Flensburg. I still have lots of time to find these things out, but I'm grateful for all helpful hints <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br><br>
apelilae, thank you, it's very reassuring. I've dedicated myself to six months minimum, and with plans to BF 9 months plus, and hubby is being a dear by supporting me to continue or stop as needed, but I really want to see this through.<br>
I think right now I'm just trying to get my head around it, as I was raised with other things in mind.<br><br>
I'm an only child and never spent any time around moms rearing babies. I feel like I should be getting out there and getting used to the noise, mess and joy a baby brings, let alone preparing my body for serious changes. If you look into all this stuff too deeply they make having a baby sound impossible! So I'm trying not to stress out, tg I'm easygoing by nature <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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There is little to do to prepare to breastfeed. I encourage all parents to attend a breastfeeding class and read at least one good up-to-date breastfeeding book, like Breastfeeding Made Simple. It is also a good idea to make contact ahead of time with a local nursing mother's organization or a chapter of La Leche League International.<br><br>
--Notice the changes in your breasts during your pregnancy. You may notice change in size, leakage of milk, darkening of the areola -- all signs that your breasts are changing and becoming ready to produce milk.<br><br>
--If your nipples are flat (do not become erect) or inverted, contact a lactation consultant for tips and advice on drawing them out.<br><br>
--If you are fair skinned, expose your nipples to air occasionally.<br><br>
--"Toughening" of nipples by rubbing or pulling is not advised. (This will make them sore before you even begin!)<br><br>
--Do not use soap on your nipples in the shower -- this will make your nipples dry and strip them of natural oils.<br><br>
I agree with the above poster who said to remember that people post here when they're having problems. No one really posts to say, "hey I never experienced any pain and am doing fine!"<br><br>
Let me relay you a story about me. Maybe it'll help. I, like you, never grew up around breastfeeding. My mother tried to breastfeed me for three months and said it was the most painful thing she's ever experienced -- from talking to her, I definitely had a bad latch, and no one ever checked up on her. When I was born the nurses put me on, and left it at that. She got no help or support. But things are different now. You can find an IBCLC on your own, attend LLL meetings, and get additional support -- just hearing people say "you CAN do this" is helpful.<br><br>
For years I thought breastfeeding in public was disgusting, and breastfeeding in general was comparable to incest. How could anyone want their son or daughter feeding on their nipples, a sexual object? Like you, my nipples are extremely sensitive -- breast play can get me to orgasm (yes, it's possible), so the very thought of something like that happening completely grossed me out. I had a roommate at the time who couldn't understand my viewpoint at all -- she reprimanded me for not wanting the best for my future children. I spouted off the only defense I knew -- "my mom didn't, and I'm fine." But A-ha! She DID, for three months. Not a lot, but more than none.<br><br>
Fast forward to this year. I decided to become a doula and knew I would have to face my breastfeeding phobia -- it had turned into a full blown fear. After reading a couple of books about breastfeeding and APing in general, I knew it was something I wanted to do. My fear of sensitive nipples felt silly, as it's a very different type of suction all together, and shouldn't hurt. Reading about how to fix breastfeeding problems made me confident.<br><br>
Most of all, reaching deep inside myself and realizing that being sexually assaulted had affected my views was a life changing event. My attacker had also been a bf, and he was always <i>obsessed</i> with my breasts. It finally made sense why I couldn't shake the "breasts are sexual" thing for so long. Because that's all mine had ever been -- and the thought of someone, let alone my own child, doing what he had done (even the little things), had creeped me out completely.<br><br>
But being the SA survivor who tries to make good out of what happened, I don't want him still controlling me, even with my children no less, even when I don't have any yet. It's <i>my body</i>, not his. I can <i>sustain life</i> with it, and no one can take that away from me. What is more powerful than being able to do that?<br><br>
I know it's different than your situation, but I thought telling you that I had plenty of fears would help. Attend LLL meetings, meet some women in your tribe, surround yourself with BFing mothers. After doing so myself, BFing is the one thing in this whole world that I can't wait to do, and it's beautiful to me. Watching mothers talk, eat, and be normal while BFing makes me realize it's not so hard once you get past those first couple of weeks.<br><br>
I'm glad you're here. You CAN do this. Surround yourself with people who support you and realize the importance of what you're doing. Don't allow naysayers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for sharing all that with me asunlitrose, certainly makes some of my fears seem silly!<br>
And I think your advice is great about surrounding myself with positive encouragement, and that's just what I'm here to do <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> Thanks for your help!<br>
I don't really have any lady friends here .. so I hope some classes or group meetings might help me meet some like minded moms or moms-to-be. The Germany tribe section here was a little quiet, but as we plan to move to Canada in a few years maybe I'll keep my eyes out over there too for anyone up for a chat <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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Definitely find some mama-friends who nurse their babies. Peer pressure is a wonderful thing -- it can help you do the right thing as well as the wrong thing.<br><br>
Nealy<br>
mama to T, 5; nursling L, 2; and EDD 12/20/08
 

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ITA that peer pressure can work in a good way! I have 2 best freinds, one never BFed, 1 EBFed both her babies. When I felt like giving up, my EBF friend kept me on track.<br><br>
You know, BFing can be hard, but it is 100% worth it. It takes some getting used to in the beginning, even if there are no problems. BFing is a skill that you will learn along with your little one.<br>
Just like birth... all the discomfort, lack of sleep, etc is forgotten very quickly. But the memories of your tiny (and then not-so-tiny) babe gazing at you, or falling asleep at the breast - those stay. And those moments are priceless.
 

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The best way to prepare for BFing is to get educated. I would suggest publications from La Leche League and Dr. Jack Newman to teach you about BFing in general, and latch in particular. And even if they don't speak English, a LLL meeting may help you just by being around nursing moms and seeing how a good latch works!
 

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Hi!<br><br>
I'm from a similar family - I never saw a baby breastfeed until my own. We had some latch issues in the beginning, but saw an LC and got things squared away. So I had pain in the first 2wks (before the LC) and then very mild soreness after that. It really isn't that bad (and way easier than labor). Now I'm at 7wks and breastfeeding is actually really nice. When the babe looks up from your breast and smiles it's really great!!<br><br>
I have large areolae too, and they don't even come close to going completely in baby's mouth. Just as much breast tissue as possible. The more boob you can get in the mouth, the less it hurts.
 

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<div>Originally Posted by <strong>Alexe</strong> <a href="/community/forum/post/11585440"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></div>
<div style="font-style:italic;">Thank you for sharing all that with me asunlitrose, certainly makes some of my fears seem silly!<br>
And I think your advice is great about surrounding myself with positive encouragement, and that's just what I'm here to do <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> Thanks for your help!<br>
I don't really have any lady friends here .. so I hope some classes or group meetings might help me meet some like minded moms or moms-to-be. The Germany tribe section here was a little quiet, but as we plan to move to Canada in a few years maybe I'll keep my eyes out over there too for anyone up for a chat <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"></div>
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Aw, I didn't want it to make your fears seem silly! Fears are fears. No one's story is worse than anyone else's. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> You're certainly welcome!<br><br>
I forgot to mention something else -- start with that positive language before you even get pregnant. Don't say "I'm going to <i>try</i> to breastfeed for six months." Starting today, start saying "I'm <b>going to</b> breastfeed for at least six months." Read a good book about breastfeeding and become confident in your knowledge. Hang around here. You'll be prepared in no time.<br><br>
The key to BF is confidence and being positive. Go into it knowing that you can, and you probably will.
 

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You're going to do great. It's wonderful that you're reaching out for information beforehand. You can never be too prepared for motherhood.<br><br>
Honestly, I had a couple of weeks of pretty severe nipple pain in the beginning, but that period of time seems so insignificant now, after almost a year of EBFing. I am so proud that I stuck with it, and proud to say that my LO has never had the first drop of formula. It's so empowering to know that, for all these months, I have given my baby all the sustenance he needs to grow and thrive. And he's a FAT baby, too! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> I feel like if I could do this, I could do anything.
 

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I just wanted to say, your future baby is very lucky to have you as a mama. You are already a fantastic mom just for asking about breastfeeding so far in advance. Knowledge is power my friend!!<br><br>
Toughening up nipples is NOT a good idea. It sounds logical, but it actually tears up your nipples and weakens them for when the baby comes. I had very sensitive nipples too (more so after I had them pierced)<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/eyesroll.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="roll"> ah, youth! For about two weeks, BFing hurt, but only on one side and only for two weeks.<br><br>
I had some bleeding and pain yes, but it was SMALL POTATOES compared to the hormone induced rush of love and peace I got every time I nursed my LO. At a time when I "missed" being pregnant, missed having him so close to me he was a part of me, BFing was something I could do that kept him that close to me. It was extended pregnancy, because he was still living off of me. That feeling got me through the rough PP period. There is nothing like the feeling of sustaining that tiny being. I can not imagine weaning at this point. I look forward to every nursing session as it gives my active 5 month old some down time where it is just him and me.<br><br>
Way to go for educating yourself in advance! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up"> You can do it! Remember, babies are born from "sexual body parts" but you don't see us all getting C-sections! There is seriously, NOTHING sexual about BFing!
 

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You're not alone, Alexe- I am expecting my first and am planning to BF, but am also nervous. Just like you, I have NO positive role models in this area- no one in my family BF any babies. I've never really seen it done, either.<br><br>
To make it even worse, the women in my family (mom, sister, aunt, grandma) are outwardly discouraging as well. When my cousin tried BF her baby in January and her milk took a few days to come in, everyone was talking about how selfish she was to "Let her baby go hungry like that" and "If she'd only fed him some food, he wouldn't have cried so much." And we're only talking a "delay" of maybe 2-3 days. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> So I know the pressure will be intense during a very vulnerable time if things don't go PERFECTLY.<br><br>
Anyway- I'm soldiering ahead- DH & I are taking a BF class at the end of the month. I know 3 of the midwives where I go are LC and I know how to get an appointment with them ASAP after birth if needed. My midwives know I'm going to need extra support. I've confirmed that the hospital where I'm delivering has a LC on staff as well. I'll pick up a book after I take the class.<br><br>
Long post- just wanted you to know that you're not alone.
 

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I just wanted to add, I was scared to death of BFing too. Rather failure to be able to. I had nightmares that I would have supply issues etc, but I did some research and found that all the baby needs for the 2-5 days it takes for your milk to come in (yea, it doesn't start flowing immediately) is the colostrum your breasts will make. They have a TEENY tummy the size of a pea at that age.<br><br>
Do what I did and prepare for the worst and hope for the best! Buy some Mother's Milk tea, fenugreek, lanolin, soothies, whatever you feel necessary so if you have trouble, you have them waiting in the wings. You may never use them, but it will help just knowing they are there.<br><br>
Oh and throw away ALL formula!
 
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