Before becoming a mom, all I worried about was cracked lips and cracked heels. DIY scrubs and balms used to help me carry myself boldly! Gone were the past cares and worries once my baby girl made her way out into the world. New beginnings gave birth to new fears and anxieties. I realised postpartum blues were non-fictitious. No matter how much I braced myself for this new journey, I was just not prepared. Little did I know that I would fail at the very basic step of motherhood i.e. nursing my newborn.
Why didn’t anybody tell me that cracked and bleeding nipples are common? I had had no clue. I was devastated. The pain was real. I cannot forget those days when I screamed in pain and freaked my baby out while she tried latching onto me. Multiple appointments with the lactation counsellor didn’t help. Each day started and ended in tears.
I chose to breastfeed my baby and here I was – failing at the very first step. I felt like a total failure! That’s when my lactation counsellor suggested me to try a breast pump. Before I bought one, she suggested me to use the breast pump available in the hospital to check my comfortability. For the first time in what felt like ages, I felt light on my chest. It worked wonders! It didn’t help heal my cracked nipples, but it fulfilled the desire to provide my baby with breast milk. It didn’t stop my nipples from bleeding, but it helped me save myself from the constant friction of suckling, which eventually sped up the healing process. As an added advantage, I could pump milk into a feeding bottle and go out boldly with my baby, without the stress of not finding a mother’s room.
The breast pump was one of my lifelines, which helped me get through the early stages of my new journey – Motherhood! If you are expecting your baby, apply lots of nipple moisturizer and hydrate yourself even before you welcome your baby. I wish people had advised me on this earlier. If you are like me, wanting to breastfeed but cracked and/or bleeding nipples are keeping you from nursing your baby, get a breast pump. Pump and store whenever you can. Apply hindmilk on your nipples and keep them moisturised. You’ll feel better and heal very quickly. It helped me during my worst. And I’m sure, it will help you too. Stay strong! It will soon come to an end. If you are unable to breastfeed, don’t blame yourself. Your baby needs a strong you, more than anything.
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