Wednesday, January 15, 2003

Breast Buddies

Breast Buddies
Stacey Greenberg

I often wondered how I was ever going to deal with a very small someone sucking on one or both of my nipples on a regular basis. Throughout my pregnancy I didn’t want anyone or anything NEAR my breasts. I was seriously worried. Luckily my best friend, Marlinee, was breastfeeding her daughter and assured me that I would be able to do it. She even said it would feel good, “like peeing.” (Or rather, like peeing after having held it for a long time.)

I had a bit of difficulty getting started. Satchel was quite content to nurse on the left side, but not on the right. This caused my right breast to get painfully engorged when my milk came in. I thought my breast would explode with a big, milky bang and then I would die. I cried and Warren didn’t know how to help so he hollered at me for giving away all the free formula we got in the mail. Amy, one of my midwives, was coming over soon and I was trying to hold it together. In the middle of this Marlinee called to see how I was doing. I tried to tell her I was in nursing hell, failing miserably as a mom, and slowly going blind from the pain emanating from my nipples, but I couldn’t form any words through my sobs. She said, “I’ll be right over with my pump,” and hung up.

Before I knew it, Amy was massaging one breast and Marlinee was pumping the other. The hard knots were gone, the pressure was relieved, and best of all, the pump got my nipple to perk up enough for Satchel to latch on. It may not sound like much, but Amy and Marlinee saved me. I was at the point where I didn’t think breastfeeding was working out for me. Without them, I might have given up.

Each time I nursed it got a little easier. I kept Lansinoh in reach and learned to relax. I filled my bra with cabbage leaves, took lots of hot showers, and pumped to relieve some of the pressure. Now I can honestly say that breastfeeding doesn’t feel good, it feels wonderful.

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