I don’t mean to make it sound like breastfeeding is horrible because it’s not, I love breastfeeding. I just want to share some of my feeding fiascoes in hopes that you might find ways to conquer them in your own right. I know it’s a little late, so I’ll keep it short!
When I started breastfeeding I would sit up all night with Pinky in my arms and I’d fall asleep hunched over her little body. I still remember daddy waking me up to put her down and get some rest. Yes, I had the Boppy Pillow, and soon after Daddy bought me My Breast Friend, but I still hung over Pinky to feed her. I could not get into a comfortable position and it was killing me, literally! As a result my neck hurt, my back hurt, my arms hurt, everything hurt. Even now things hurt and I can’t explain why.
On my way to a breastfeeding support group at SHARP, I had a chance to discuss some of my issues with a lactation consultant. I felt bad that I didn’t have an appointment and I was getting ‘free’ advice but hey, she was open to giving it to me! The lactation consultant observed me as I fed Pinky, asked me some basic questions and was able to point out some areas of improvement and tips on how to ease the pain:
- Sit in a comfortable chair. This may seem like common sense, but when you have a hungry baby going for your nipple you feed just about anywhere. I wish I had a rocking chair, but the couch would suffice.
- Use a step stool to prop your feet up. This was a total breakthrough for me. It helped so much because I didn’t have to lift my legs up in order to rest Pinky on lap.
- Continue using the Boppy and/or Breast Friend. Or whatever have you. I personally like both and alternate between the two. For added support place a pillow behind your back, or under your arms, or on your lap. You might not need all three, just try a position each time you feed to see which one works best for you.
My big problem was that I was bringing myself to Pinky (hunching over) instead of bringing Pinky to me. To this day I still need to remind myself, but breastfeeding continues to get easier as the days and months go by. At least I’m used to it now!
Stay tuned for more breastfeeding stories this week at http://thepinkyproject.com.