The 4 Stages of Breastfeeding a Newborn
Let me start off by saying that breastfeeding is a different experience for all mommas. This was my experience and I hope it can relate to you to.
Here are my four stages to breastfeeding a newborn.
- Excitement and Anxiety
You have read all of the information. You know what is coming. You can’t wait to hold your baby and let them nurse for the first time. Part of you is confident that everything will go perfectly and you and your baby will be breastfeeding champs. The other part of you is panicking that it won’t work out for you and it will hurt. A lot.
Baby is born and if you are lucky and everything has gone well they give you baby right away and they latch. Then immediately you start thinking….
“What is colostrum again? It looks like WHAT?!”
“Will I be leaking soon?” Speaking of leaking, there needs to be a tutorial on how exactly to place the leaking pads.
“When will my milk come in?”
“Is my milk in?”
“Do I even have milk?”
The nurses try to help by sharing their stories and confirming that the lactation consultant is coming. You have millions of questions lined up for them and can hardly wait.
After that beautiful first nursing session something changes and it might start to hurt.
Your thoughts now go to.. “
“Is this supposed to hurt?”
“There’s legit blood in her mouth.”
“Are my nipples falling off?”
“ I need more nipple cream!”
“Do I even have milk?”
I hate when people say “Breastfeeding is natural, it doesn’t hurt when you’re doing it right.” Oh, REALLY? From day one my fragile, virgin nipples are supposed to feel like nothing is happening when they’re sucked on for 12 hours of the day? Maybe when you practice 50 Shades of Grey type events in the bedroom. But if you are your average woman your nipples are not quite ready.
Then, just when your nipple gets kind of used to becoming a constant suckling device here comes the OUCH! The Awful letdown. It feels like needles, NEEDLES, being poked in your nipple. And you can’t do anything about it because this beautiful, painful letdown has finally stopped your squirming newborn from crying.
Last but not least, when your milk has finally come in here comes the engorgement. Your boobs become hard as rocks and it hurts. It’s said the swelling from your pregnancy ankles went straight to your breasts. Sometimes they are so big your baby can’t even latch on! Then you have to force milk out with your hands. Yes, your hands. I had to put a towel under my breasts and massage them like no tomorrow.
You’re shocked for a few reasons…
- It still hurts. Letdown is still awful, your nipples are still cracked. For both of my girls it hurt for at least three weeks every time during the letdown.
- YOU ARE KEEPING A HUMAN ALIVE. You, just you, are keeping your baby alive and they are GROWING the healthiest way possible.
- The baby wants to nurse constantly. This was the most shocking part for me. Newborns take forever to eat and then they want to eat every hour and a half. You are really nursing all day, every day. Basically, you feel like a cow.
You finally realize the superwoman that you are. It no longer hurts as much when your baby latches (I guess you’re finally doing it right 😜). Now, hopefully, breastfeeding is your friend. No one can calm your baby like you. You can decipher your baby’s hungry cry and know exactly what position to hold them. You are a rockstar. Now go binge on Netflix while nursing that beautiful baby of yours. Once again, You are GROWING A HUMAN WITH YOUR MILK.