So I originally titled this blurp "Breastfeeding: the unsuspecting nipples guide to getting through it" and I'm still thinking it might be an equally appropriate heading. I definitely did research breastfeeding tips from online sources and truth be told it was not even concern of mine pre-baby.
Breastfeeding has this "naturally comes to you" kind of aura, and I am sure for some women/baby combo's it does. Luckily that little babe comes out of there having a general idea of what to do. But surprise! It takes patience, practice, and some serious grit to master this ancient nipple art. My milk came in about 5 days after Nash was born, and up until then I was uncomfortable but dealing with it. I woke up to a soaked tee shirt with both of my boobs feeling and looking like they were full of cement. The best part? My nipples were still adjusting to a human mouth abusing them for 13 hours a day. For two days I came ridiculously close to saying f*@$k it and getting formula. Does everyone feel like this?? Why would nobody tell you??
Truth be told, I am certain most moms literally forget a lot about the first few weeks with a newborn (a nice mix of sleep deprivation and basic survival). I have been blessed with AMAZING friends, some of which have been there and done that with babies. Their trailblazing experience with babies has helped me cope with these beautiful, bodily surprises. I had stocked up on a few items (coconut oil and boob pads) I thought I would need for breastfeeding. Remember my "I don't need any pain management" mantra; can't be much else I would need for feeding my baby. Well, thank sweet baby Jesus my lifelong super-mom friend brought me a slew of Lansinoh products after hearing my cries.
-Nursing pads: I can't even leave the bathroom without these bad boys but I have talked with some moms who never needed 'em (lucky bitches).
-Lansinoh TheraPearl 3 in 1 hot or cold breast therapy: These came in handy for when you suffer from, the worst word in the English vocabulary, ENGORGEMENT. On standby in the freezer and by the microwave at all times.
-Lansinoh Soothies gel pads: THESE babies were a literal game-changer. A little pricey for the two pads reusable up to 72 hours, but I would have drained my bank account to keep these in our fridge. Recommended to me by a nurse/lactation consultant, I stuck these in the fridge and wore them in-between feedings. I am not sure what that magic gel does but my nips were GRATEFUL.
-Medela Nipple Shield: We had to use these when first figuring out how to get a good latch. If you can tell from pictures, Nash has a chin that is super recessed (has since grown into it) so latching for him was difficult. The shield not only gave my nipples a break but allowed for Nash to latch immediately. Obviously, don't go using these from my recommendation, see a lactation consultant like I did!
-Expressing some of that baby juice personally helped me not want to pass out when Nash would latch on. This was kind of a gamble since you definitely can't predict when that wild animal will be hungry. If I could get in a hot shower and express some before he ate I absolutely felt better while he nursed.