Just survive throught the first 2-3 weeks. I thought the first 2 weeks were absolute hell--but if you can get through that, you can get through anything!!!
After nursing express a couple drops of the milk and rub it gently on the nipple and let it air dry, it is a natural remedy for sore nipples.
Place cabbage leaves on breasts a day or two after birth when they become swollen. For some odd reason, the swelling will reduce. (I have not tried this one yet, but plan to on this pregnancy. My friend just told me about it last week. When she was in the hospital and complained about being swollen the Dr. prescribed a tray of cabbage leaves and she said that it really worked. )
Be prepared for changes -- your baby will go through growth spurts and nurse all the time; being prepared and accepting that it will happen makes it easier to deal with. Your baby may go on a nursing strike, which makes nursing a pain and tough to deal with it. Knowing it might happen helps you cope with it. I think nursing is like a roller coaster with its ups and downs -- I wasn't prepared for the downs because I thought once we got it down, it would be smooth sailing but it hasn't. I also really like the idea of breaking it down into small goals -- BF for 6 weeks, then 3 months, then 6 mos, etc. b/c saying 1 year seems so daunting.
KEEP AT IT!!!!!!!!!!! I pumped for 5 weeks and fed Caroline BM in a bottle. I kept trying, but got really discouraged. I had pretty much accepted that I would be a long time pumper. All of a sudden at 5 weeks she LATCHED, and we have been going pretty strong ever since. For the first few days I had to "lure" her on with a syringe of BM ("shooting" it in her mouth as she tried to latch would get her interested), but now she looks for the breast!!!! I was really sore too, got AF, supply plummetted, and got a plugged duct. Keep going...stay positive...and seek support--an LC, this board, doctor, etc...
KEEP TRYING...it is never too late to get him/her latched on!!!!!
Mama to Caroline (02/06) and Grace (04/10)
If you are pumping and see that the milk has stopped coming after a few minutes, take the pump away from your breast for a minute and then try pumping again and you'll get milk coming out in full force. Knowing this has made a huge difference to me. I got so frustrated that I could only pump 1oz at a time, until a friend told me this, now I pump 4oz in one session...
~~ Yaeli ~~
DH since 6/24/04
DS1 - 4/9/06
DS2 - 8/22/08
DD - 5/6/13
HANG IN THERE!
The first week or two is soooooooo hard..you are sore, you are worried he/she isn't getting enough, it takes a long time, etc. But I swear..It gets MUCH easier!
ITA with the sandwich method. once sandwiched, i also then press the nipple against the roof of her mouth. that way she feels it in there and grabs right on.
If you've had a surgical birth or anything else that requires the use of antibiotics for you or your baby, take an acidopholus supplement (or eat live culture yogurt) to help prevent thrush.
"No more hurting people. Peace."
-- Martin Richard, age 8, Boston, MA
Rest in peace, Martin.