The nurse handed me Daniel minutes after birth, and as if he felt ravenous for the first time in his life, he was attached to my chest and began to suckle. He knew what to do, and I, fortunately, too. Daniel was my second child and breastfeeding us was quite simple, but I must admit that with Mariana, my oldest daughter, defined those early days for me motherhood as a sacrifice.
I was a very proactive new mother. I read all the books, seen movies, I attended all classes and thought I knew everything. When I was handed Mariana to breastfeed for the first time, I knew she had to open his mouth wide and suck all nipple, which would eat at least five minutes and should repeat the cycle when she asked him. Mariana just wanted to sleep.
Every three hours, as the book said, trying to wake her up to feed her. When she half opened my eyes, I would me half opened his mouth and closer until it was properly attached, according to me.
The coupling is the way the baby’s mouth adheres to the chest. Ideally, small lips should be opened out and around the nipple and areola most should be in the baby’s mouth, so you can massage it with his tongue while sucking.
Another term that you learn as a new mother is calosotro, which is the first form of breast milk, these yellow droplets from your chest the early days of breastfeeding. This is actually the perfect food for your baby because it has more than 60 components that help you strengthen your immune system and contains the right nutrition for the development of your heart, brain, nervous and digestive system. The amount, though short, is exactly what needs your newborn and your stomach, which is roughly the size of a marble.
While Mariana took her colostrum, I cried. It literally felt as if I were biting the nipple. That insatiable suction droplets eventually received only break below the skin and bruises that did not support or rubbing bra felt. Mariana did not sleep much. Now we just wanted to eat.
On the third day I “lowered milk” (you’ll know as soon as you feel, to me it happened to me at night). Upon waking my breasts they had grown three sizes and inside were carrying stones. They ached as if to explode.
Full of milk, and my daughter would have no problem, I thought. I tried different positions: lying on her side, sitting with pillows breastfeeding. She tried to take but it was more effort than the benefit, and the two ended up frustrated. Shortly after I saw the unmistakable sign that breastfeeding was not right: Mariana vomited pink, breast milk part, part my blood. And I reacted in the worst way: I get stressed out.
Mariana increased a few ounces to reach their first appointment with the pediatrician. There was no more reason to worry, the doctor said, but just sent me home with a free sample of formula for newborns, courtesy of the manufacturer. It would have been very easy to open the can and mix it with water, but breast milk is the best food for the baby and my conviction was firm. That was the key to success.
It was ten eternal days before he remembered about breastfeeding clinic at the Hospital of Women of Costa Rica. A five-minute visit with a lactation consultant, a minor change my habits and everything changed.
My big mistake turned out to be the position. My baby was too low relative to the nipple, then when trying to suck pulling him over, and that the source of my pain and little milk that could take her.
When you go to breastfeed, whatever the position, the baby’s mouth should be facing the nipple. If you give breastfeeding sitting, the only support you need is your arm because your baby’s head on the inside of your elbow is at the perfect height. After touring the baby just a little so that it is watching the chest, and his belly is touching the top of your abdomen. So that it engages properly, you must bring the baby to the nipple (not vice versa) when you open your mouth. Your lips should be opened out and should see just a little of the areola (the dark ring around the nipple).
To heal my wounds, the best remedy was also breast milk and some freshness. After breastfeeding, nipple humectaba more milk and let it air dry, in a scene that is only allowed at home with closed doors.
I completely abandoned nursing pillows, although some mothers like to me was I better off without them. I found the most comfortable and effective position for me and my baby, who happened to be sitting, and finally I could enjoy breastfeeding. I could see my baby’s eyes as he gave the ideal food, feel that only connection and be quiet.