That first latch felt like an alligator bite. Although my baby was born toothless, her gums were pretty strong and grabbed onto my nipple super tight. Then the roof of her mouth rubbed even harder.
The second latch was less than two hours later and it scared me. I didn't even have time to heal. I feared every latch thereafter was going to be more painful than the last.
At around a week of nursing, my nipples were irritated, cracked and bleeding. As soon as the wound scabbed, my daughter was ready to nurse again - swallowing the scab and drinking the blood-tainted breast milk as if it tasted normal.
I saw multiple lactation consultants in the hospital and everyone agreed I was being a wuss because the baby was positioned correctly and it shouldn’t hurt.
I was so close to giving up with the self-affirmation that “at least I tried.” Thankfully I called another mom who recommended a lanolin cream. It eliminated the pain almost immediately.
I've nursed three children well beyond them learning to walk and talk. Overtime breastfeeding was no longer painful - in fact, there were times I didn't even feel it. Other times I jokingly compare it to getting your toes sucked, because it can feel a little intrusive and uncomfortable having a 3-year old rip off your shirt in public.
I’m happy that I didn’t give up nursing after the excruciating pain in the beginning. To all my fellow mommas out there who may be experiencing pain, it gets better!
Until next time...
Love The Journey,