I had a horrible experience with breastfeeding in the beginning. From the second B latched, my nipples were so sore and in such terrible pain that I cried every single time I fed him. A lactation nurse showed me how he should be latching on; however, I wish I had her come back later to make sure I was doing it right. Benjamin was tongue tied and couldn’t open his mouth as wide as it needed to properly latch (we later had to have this snipped, which was the most painful thing to watch as a mom). So, back to the boobs...I had slits in my nipples, which turned into scabs that re-opened every time I fed him. I used a few products that helped, including this nipple butter that I loved which I loved. This is a zero toxin calendula nipple cream that is vegan and safe for mama and baby. I also mixed in this nipple balm that I highly recommend as well as this one. I found the more I mixed in, the better protection I had -- and there is no need to wash off these products before breastfeeding. I had my products on every night stand, in every robe pocket, every purse...pretty much everywhere. Not gonna lie, sometimes I used them as chapstick.
I also experienced a clogged milk duct, which in my opinion is equally as painful as giving birth. This can happen from not pumping often enough or going too long without feeding. I used hot compresses to relieve the pain and swelling. Eventually, the pain was so severe that I could not feed B from that breast and had to have the milk in the clogged duct released from a breast surgeon (this was by far one of the most physically painful things that I’ve ever experienced). After this issue was healed and I had to throw out about 20 bags of stored milk because of the infection (whoever came up with the slogan "don't cry over spilled milk" was clearly not referring to breastmilk). However, the breastfeeding experience became very beautiful after my nipples healed. I started really enjoying feeding B (even in the middle of the night) and truly cherished those bonding moments. I was afraid I would be the mom breastfeeding my 10 year old because I loved it so much. To read more about how breastfeeding abruptly came to an end for me, read my transitioning post by clicking here.