It’s hard to imagine that I am still nursing after 5 years. That first latch felt like an alligator bite. Although my baby was born toothless (some are not), her gums were pretty powerful.
The second latch was less than two hours later and it was daunting. I feared every latch thereafter knowing it 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.” Thank goddess, after a desperate call to a friend she recommended a lanolin cream - which eliminated the pain almost immediately.
Fast forward to now, our 5 year-old stopped nursing when she was 3, but I am still nursing our now 2 year-old. Breastfeeding is no longer painful - in fact, sometimes I don’t feel it at all.
Other times I jokingly compare it to getting your toes sucked, because it can feel a little intrusive and uncomfortable having a child rip off my shirt while we are in public.
I’m happy that I didn’t give up nursing after the excruciating pain in the beginning. I won’t bore you with the physiological and psychological benefits of breastfeeding, but I think it’s pretty cool that my body automatically creates a nutritious liquid meal designed specifically for my baby’s needs.
So to all my fellow mommas out there who may be experiencing pain right now, it gets better!
Want to know more about my nursing experience?
10 Breastfeeding Myths Clarified
8 Ways To Address Breastfeeding Backlash
10 Things I Noticed About My Milk Supply
Until next time...
Peace & Love,