Why I Changed My Mind on Breastfeedingby Brandy Knight
Hi, new mom here! When I first found out I was pregnant I instantly said I was not going to breastfeed, but instead I would exclusively pump and use formula if needed. Why would I make that decision so quick and early? My nipples are sensitive and I did not want a baby sucking on them.
Fast forward to about a month before my baby was due to arrive, I started reading and hearing all of the health benefits from breastfeeding. I decided I would give it a try. I went to a breastfeeding class (and convinced my husband to join me!) and we both learned so much in this three-hour class taught at the hospital.
They taught us different ways to latch the baby, how much and how often the baby would be eating, how to make it not painful. By the end of the class, I had decided I would breastfeed for as long as I could and pump to supplement when I go back to work.
Once I started telling people I was going to breastfeed I received a lot of negative feedback from women. They talked about how terrible it was, how they tried it, but it didn’t work. They would say ‘good luck’ and not explain why they said that. At this point, I’m back to thinking I don’t want to breastfeed. I learn that a lot of women have supply issues is why they ultimately give it up.
Once my baby was born I started breastfeeding and she had a little trouble latching the first day. My second day in the hospital I asked to meet with a lactation consultant (which I highly recommend) she helped me with my baby and showed me exactly how to latch her on and how she should be positioned on me. After this, my baby latched on well.
The first few weeks were the worst though, my nipples were so sore and were cracking and were nowhere near as sensitive as I thought they would be for breastfeeding. My baby wanted to eat every two hours (as she should) for the first several weeks which was a lot of work. It felt like all I did was feed my baby, burp her, let her sleep, change her diaper, repeat for my entire day.
Now that I am a few months into breastfeeding I know I made the right decision for my baby. She prefers the nipple over a bottle (of breastmilk) and she knows when she is hungry and feeds anywhere from 10-25 minutes. While breastfeeding is more time consuming than a bottle, the health benefits and the financial benefit are two very large pros in the decision to breastfeed.
So, when you ask yourself if you are going to breastfeed and nipple sensitivity is an issue for you, I at least recommend you give it a try. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it would be and the health benefits for both you and baby are amazing!