It got better.  Better and better and better.
August 06, 2009

When Charlotte was five days old, breastfeeding suddenly clicked.


And CLICK!!

There was a day when my nipples hurt and bled and screamed in agony.  And then there was a day when they did not.

We went to the pediatrician that morning and we met with another lactation consultant.  My baby slept through the entire appointment.  Not to worry, the lactation consultant said.  You just keep at it as long as you can, but remember: formula won’t kill your little girl and breast-milk won’t make her fly.


The morning after giving birth: learning how to break the worst latch in the history of bad latches.

What matters most, she continued, is that you trust your body.  If your body is telling you that you cannot do this, then that’s what formula is for.  But don’t give up just because it’s a little tough.  It’s always a little tough at first, and if you give up too quickly then you might regret it.  There’s nothing wrong with your positions or her latch or your production, she said.  Just trust your body and give it time.

Nature takes time to CLICK.


Just because you can’t SEE the pain?  Does not mean that it is not there.

I guess she was right.  In my case, it took five long days for nature to click.  It took another five days for me to stop dreading the feedings.  And it took ANOTHER five days for me to look at Charlotte, sleeping nestled between my breasts, a drop of my milk still on her lips from the feeding, and think I AM SO GLAD I STUCK THIS OUT.

When Charlotte was fifteen days old, breastfeeding suddenly felt like the most natural biological function in the world.


This is how I roll these days: in pajama pants and no shirt.  It’s a miracle there’s even a bra on in this picture.  Breastfeeding has, for me, been an exercise in nudity.

That lactation consultant gave me the confidence to continue breastfeeding despite the pain and discomfort.  So when Charlotte was fifteen days old, I wrote that lactation consultant a thank-you letter.  Even if my breast-milk didn’t make my daughter fly.


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  1. By Gracia Fraile on August 06, 2009

    The number of visitors you’re going to get by tagging boobs… please, share

  2. By on August 06, 2009

    Beauiful pictures that bring back sweet memories of nursing my children.  So glad it worked out for you.  I used to walk around in sweat pants and an unbuttoned shirt. Once I forgot and answered the door like that. Poor UPS man.

  3. By Jes the Bes on August 06, 2009

    Girl you have no boundaries, and I appreciate that. I may never get to experience childbirth and breastfeeding so I relish in learning about those experiences from you. It’s amazing how I feel like I know you and your family but we have never met. I’m just really happy for you and your growing family.

  4. By C @ Kid Things on August 06, 2009

    2 weeks seems the magical turning point for a lot of women where breastfeeding is concerned. Glad you stuck it out, glad things are getting better.

  5. By Monica on August 06, 2009

    What an AWESOME LC!!!  I hope she doesn’t mind if I memorize, verbatim, her encouraging words for when I’m an LC/midwife.  I love that there was no guilt, but just gentle encouragement.  I’m so glad BFing finally clicked for you two.  It really is such a pleasurable experience when it is pain-free. 

    I, too, have opened the door to the mailman with a boob hanging out.  Oops.

  6. By Dutch Donut Girl on August 06, 2009

    Bravo :) Beautiful pictures. Nudity never hurt anybody. Awww… look at her tiny ears.

  7. By red pen mama on August 06, 2009

    Good for you! And for Charlotte. And it’s nice that your lactation consultant gave you the truth and not judgements about the “right thing to do”.

    ciao,
    rpm

  8. By on August 06, 2009

    Thank you for posting this. I also had a “sucker” as a first child. Thank goodness I had a cousin who had had a really good LC. My cousin talked me through 6 feedings. It seems so silly know, but at the time I felt horrible about unlatching my daughter several times until we got it right.

  9. By Lauren on August 06, 2009

    I LOVE BREASTFEEDING! I didn’t have a problem with pain. Well, it did hurt at first but not as badly as it could have - no bleeding or clogging here. We did struggle but one day it just happened. Like magic. I love that feeling - knowing that I’m feeding my kiddo and snuggling with her and getting her all doped up on milk. I’m not anti-formula - your LC has a good attitude about it. Why do people act like formula is Satan’s juice? Whatevs.

  10. By Vicky on August 06, 2009

    Now that is an awesome lactation consultant!!

  11. By Sabrina on August 06, 2009

    I love this post!! I have been reading your blog for sometime! I think this might be the first comment! But I had too because I am sure this hits home for many of moms trying to breast-feed!
    It is such a job and Challenge to breast feed! I must say that after that last post I was sure you were going to give up (hell I might have) but you stuck with it!! Now you get the joy of it, I remember those feelings!! Congrats and thank you for sharing your beautiful pictures and stories!!
    I love love love you honesty!!!!

  12. By Beth in SF on August 06, 2009

    “formula won’t kill your little girl and breast-milk won’t make her fly.“  That says it so perfectly.

  13. By on August 06, 2009

    Holy confidence! Lady, you got it going on! Thank you for sharing this story. I want to give your LC a hug. And baby Charloette.

  14. By lceel on August 06, 2009

    I remember a time when my wife, in breastfeeding our first son, was trying to get everything all arranged and in position and she wasn’t quick enough.  Milk started squirting in #1 Son’s face.  I will NEVER forget the look on his face and his little hands trying to fight off whatever that was that was landing on his face, trying to drown him.  But he got there - not before there was some heavy duty clean up left to do - the chair, the wall - and him.

  15. By tracy on August 06, 2009

    Man, I remember those days. Repeating over & over ~ I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU I LOVE YOU ~ while breastfeeding because that was the only way I could get through it. And then get through the dread that I’d be doing it again in just one. short. hour.

    One day I even blow dried my hair while breastfeeding. She quickly became too heavy for that.

    I’m glad your body clicked :)

  16. By Elizabeth Mackey on August 06, 2009

    Yay!!!! You know it really is the magic number of about two weeks of smoothing out the rough edges,and then pow, it all clicks if there aren’t any other underlying problems. I think lactation consultants are wonderful. My friend is a true angle to moms out there! Bravo to you for seeking help and not giving up, but then again I knew you wouldn’t give up so easily :)

  17. By Adventures In Babywearing on August 06, 2009

    Sounds just like I remember the beginning for us, too!!

    Steph

    PS I wanted to let you know that I did love the Sakura Bloom slings VERY much. They are pricey, but my fave by far is the essential linen- and that’s one of the cheaper ones!

  18. By Heidi on August 06, 2009

    I love reading your blog, but I could’ve done without seeing you NUDE. Thanks anyway.

    I am not one of those people who enjoyed breastfeeding. Can you tell?

  19. By kiki on August 06, 2009

    I so know what you’re talking about not wearing a shirt during thsoe first days of BFing! My best friend lived with us after our daughter was born and I can’t tell you how many times she came home to me sitting on the couch with just a nursing bra and some PJ pants… and it was in northern minnesota… in the winter. Daughter is almost five now and we’re still friends (although she did move out before #2 came around!)

    Good luck on your adventure - I just recently found your blog and think it’s great - can’t wait til you get the pump out - those tourche devices provide perfect blog fodder.

  20. By Elizabeth on August 06, 2009

    I’m so friggin’ glad that you met that LC.  There are so many women that don’t get to hear that support.  Yay for you, and your boobs.

  21. By erin on August 06, 2009

    Yay!!  You are brave for posting those photos.  Me: not so brave.

    We also generally roll in jammie bottoms and shirtless.  Still, at almost 3 mos.  One of the best parts of being a (for now) SAHM, imho.  Besides, her little naked body is just so cute.  Although one day her sleeper was so cute that she stayed in it all day.

    The best is when she starts grinning up at you and cooing with your nipple in her mouth.  I have to remind Hannah: less flirting, more eating.

  22. By Sarah A. Schlothan Christensen on August 06, 2009

    Heidi - I covered the vitals up, right?  I have to; my dad reads this blog sometimes!

  23. By Elly on August 06, 2009

    You are awesome for sticking it out, and yay for rocking the breastfeeding photos! Right on :)

  24. By on August 06, 2009

    This is a great post - I’m encouraged for when I start breastfeeding, and I’m not even pregnant yet.  Thanks for being so honest about your experience - I’m so glad things are going better with the feedings.  Charlotte is so beautiful.  Congrats!

  25. By Veronica on August 06, 2009

    Amy was easy to feed. A complete dream. No pain, nothing.

    Isaac however? It took 6 weeks of bleeding nipples and pain for things to get better. Even now, his latch can still be painful.

    I’m so glad he’s my second baby and I know what I’m doing.

  26. By Veronica on August 06, 2009

    Oh and this post makes me want to kick Nathan until he takes more photos of me breastfeeding.

  27. By Heidi on August 06, 2009

    Vitals showing in picture #2. But it’s not like I don’t have vitals of my own. ; )

  28. By Sarah A. Schlothan Christensen on August 06, 2009

    Heidi - Sorry, good point!!  I thought you were talking about the first picture.  Sorry about that.

    I included the second image, with the areola showing, because when I got home from the hospital I had to google breastfeeding pictures to see what a good latch and a bad latch looked like.  Even having the hospital lactation consultant and three attending nurses hovering over me, I couldn’t understand what they meant when they said Charlotte was latching improperly the morning after her birth.  I figure if even one person out there pre-child can now see what a bad latch physically looks like (those book illustrations are useless), then it’s worth having my vitals online =)

    I just need to remember to take the image down well before Charlotte hits middle school.  I’m sure no 12 year old wants to see her mom’s areola on the big bad Internet.

  29. By on August 06, 2009

    congratulations on your patience and keeping up with it.
    thank you for being so honest !

  30. By Buckeroomama on August 07, 2009

    Happy to hear that it’s come together for you. 

    It’s so great that the lactation specialist is not one of those who kinda make you feel that it ought to be breast milk at all costs.

  31. By aimee @ smilingmama on August 07, 2009

    You are lucky to have had such a wonderful lactation consultant. Great advice but advice that many women don’t receive. What a wonderful gift for you and Charlotte!

  32. By Jennifer on August 07, 2009

    I’m so happy for you, your baby and your boobs.  That sounds like a great lactation consultant.  Breastfeeding never, ever got better for me and I spent 7 weeks hooked to the pump like a dairy cow crying and sinking into a depression over the fact I kind of-sort of- really wanted to switch to formula but that would mean I didn’t love her right? RIGHT?  Agh.  Next time around I won’t have to deal with that stupidity and I hope I’ll be just fine.  I am SO excited for your healing nipples!

  33. By Megan R. on August 10, 2009

    Thanks so much for the sincere and honest post.  I do LOVE what your LC had to say.  I shared that quote with my husband, as I don’t want to be judged too harshly if I decide to not follow-through with the BF in the end.  The pain of the C-section added to the pain of bloody and raw nipples…uggh!  It has certainly gotten easier, though, but with my little girl being a preemie…it is still not the easiest.  I hope that changes, but if not…pumping and formula supplementation will be the rule at this house.  One day at a time, and hoping it all CLICKS! 

    Your pics are great.  No shame in sharing reality as far as I am concerned.  I have surgical C-section pics included in my slideshow of baby pics.  Life is life.  Why hide it?

  34. By Leah on August 11, 2009

    And before you know it you’ll be whipping that sucker out without a thought and Charlotte will latch on all by herself, without your help. (Seriously, she’ll pull your shirt down and unsnap your bra for you and everything.)

  35. By Jaimey on June 23, 2010

    Great pics! Love it!! (I’m a little behind and somehow missed this one! :)

  36. By on September 03, 2010

    as i went through your blog i was filled with such happiness reading every little detail you wrote.. then i came across this..

    i have a 5 week old beautiful little girl and breast feeding was so important to me. we tried and tried and i wanted so badly for it to work…we had such a hard time with the latch and i will never forget the day i went to feed her, felt a pain and pulled her away to see my nipple bloody as well as he lips, it scared me so bad and although now i know it wouldnt have hurt her, it put a fear in me that i wasnt doing the right thing and would i ever get it?.. i tried and tried, and we just couldnt seem to get on the same page.. my milk wasnt coming in as strong as i would have hoped either which i think is due to not having a lot expressed during feedings.. i remember the night i tried to feed and couldnt get anything to come out, called my husband in tears and said i couldnt feed our daughter. i have since put her on organic formula and it was the most heart breaking choice(at the time) that ive had to make. i felt like a failure, i felt like i let her and my husband down.. everyone says its okay a nd we have to do what we have to do and shes feed thats what important but my brain just wouldnt let it go. reading what the lc said to you really brought a few tears to my eyes and made me finally take a breath and accept it a little further. thankyou so much.

  37. By Bala on November 22, 2015

    , she didn’t breastfeed until she was a few weeks old. Being so prmrtauee, she didn’t have the suck-swallow-breathe thing down! She was fed a mixture of formula and breast milk via NG tube and then to help her learn to suck, swallow, breathe she was fed a mix of formula and breast milk from a bottle. The fact that she was able to breastfeed after all of that was enough to make me want to keep nursing for as long as I could.I have friends who tandem breastfeed their infants and toddlers or who still nurse their 3 and 4 year olds when they nurse their infants. It’s not my place to judge. What works for one family doesn’t work for another.  This goes for bottle and formula feeding and breastfeeding as well. We all have different reasons for doing the things we do. I know how hurt I was when a friend, who is a breastfeeding advocate told me,  Well, my child never had a bottle and will never have a bottle. I am proud to say that both my kids were 100% breastfed . That’s nice. Good for you. I had full intentions on 100% breastfeeding. I had no idea I was going to deliver my baby 3 months early or that she would need to be fed via NG tube or bottle initially. I am proud that I was at least able to give her breast milk for her NG tube and bottle (even if it had to be mixed with a special formula created especially for her). The fact is that I was able to do just that and she eventually did nurse until 18 months.I think moms need to be more supportive and less judgmental. Being a mom is hard. Why bring each other down? Right?Thanks for posting this   I’m sure moms out there would love to add their thoughts! Big squeezes for you and your little one! Hope to see you again soon! xoxox


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