I love breastfeeding. I love it for so many reasons.
I love that I don’t have to prepare feeds and sterilise bottles. I love that it’s free. I love that I can’t run out. I love that I’ve always got it with me. I love that it’s never the wrong temperature. I love that it’s cuddly time. I love that it’s a special thing just for us. I love that it calms her when she’s sad and soothes her when she’s in pain. I love that it contains antibodies to fight infections. I love that it’s nutritionally perfect for her, tailored to her needs. I love that it reduces my chances of developing breast cancer. I love how contented she looks as she cuddles into my chest, suckling away, then nodding off with a milk drunk smile.
For those that can and wish to, breast feeding is magical for a multitude of reasons and I cannot recommend it enough.
Apart from one thing.
Baby B has grown two front teeth and she is using them. She is gripping down so hard on my nipple that I’m screaming in pain. She’s clamping down so hard I have to physically pry her jaws apart. She’s biting down then throwing her head back, sometimes whilst waving her head side to side.
It hurts. I’m crying.
Because I keep taking her off she’s getting frustrated and angry. Because she keeps biting me I’m getting frustrated and upset. It ends with both of us in tears. I’m falling apart. I’m scared to latch her on and ending up in agony.
Today I was in Mothercare and miserably looking at bottles and formula milk when a lovely shop assistant recommended nipple shields to me. With so much gratitude I bought them and joyfully found she latched on and fed. She bit down still but I couldn’t feel it as much, though it still hurts.
I thought maybe it was solved, or at least a compromise I could cope with and not end up a sobbing wreck. But now she’s refusing to feed if the shields are on, and getting herself into a hysterical state. I gave up and took off the shields. Because she’d worn herself out getting so upset, she fed for a moment before falling asleep, comforted by the warmth and familiarity.
She’s asleep now in my arms as I write this and if it could always be this simple I’d stop worrying. But it isn’t. And it won’t be.
I’m not ready to stop. I don’t want to stop. This is my last baby and breast feeding is such an intrinsic part of our relationship and my mothering experience. After this I’ll never feed a baby again. One day I’ll have to do my last ever breastfeed and it’s breaking my heart to imagine that day coming, I’m absolutely not ready for it yet.
But what do I do? How do I make this work? Please… please help me make this work.
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Thanks as always for reading, and I’ll speak to you soon I hope!