I Broke All of the Breastfeeding "Rules"

6 years ago
This article was written by a member of the SheKnows Community. It has not been edited, vetted or reviewed by our editorial staff, and any opinions expressed herein are the writer’s own.

Here is my entire post of how I successfully breastfed my baby until her transition to cow milk {it’s not completely done yet, but hey we are pretty damn close}.

I read a lot of information on the internet before E was born on what can lead to successful breastfeeding, good latching techniques, when to introduce a bottle, how pacifiers are the devil, etc.

I also “broke” every last one of the recommended “rules.”

Experts say to breastfeed as soon as the baby is out of your uterus. If the baby is out, put a boob in her mouth. Well I can’t remember exactly but I think it was two or three hours after E came out before she learned what a boob was. I had a c-section, I was in recovery, and there was nothing I could do about it. The nurses assured me that she wouldn’t be hungry since she was eating 24/7 until she came out.

It is also recommended to not give a pacifier because then you can cause your baby to have nipple confusion. I gave E a pacifier on night two of her life. I was exhausted, it was late at night, and all she wanted to do was suck on something. I didn’t want to be a human pacifier so I happily gave her one that the hospital provided. She loved it. She slept until she was actually hungry and I got some sleep too. {As much sleep as someone who just had major surgery and has to sleep pretty much sitting up can get...}

Every internet expert also says not to introduce a bottle until around 3-4 weeks in baby age. It was either day 6 or 12 {I can’t remember} in the middle of the night that I gave in, pumped a boob, handed The Mister the bottle and told him to feed the baby. I was in so much pain from E’s little vampire baby mouth that the thought of giving her a boob was enough to bring me to tears. I needed a break. The pump didn’t hurt, but she did. Again you are supposed to wait to avoid nipple confusion. {Has anyone actually known a baby with nipple confusion?}

Lactation consultants warn you that nipple shields are equivalent to sawing off a unicorn’s horn and you shouldn’t use them. I didn’t even know what they were until my friend Alicia told me about it when I was whining to her about how much pain feeding E was. I couldn’t get over just how much it hurt to breastfeed. I bought two nipple shields off of the internet and when they came in {pre-sterilized} I put it on, cringed as E latched on, and felt no pain at all. I was FINALLY able to enjoy breastfeeding a little bit.

I read in so many places how natural and easy breastfeeding is. Well that’s a big fat lie. Breastfeeding is work and it requires patience and determination to complete. It becomes easy and natural, but in the very beginning during the hormonal hurricane when you have no idea what you’re doing and you don’t know if your baby is getting enough milk, breastfeeding is anything but natural and easy. It’s freaking hard and it is work.

I think the entire point of this post is to just trust your new mommy gut. If you want to succeed at breastfeeding you will. If you need help, get help. If something sounds crazy to you then don’t do it. I’m so glad looking back now that I kept with it and kept working at it. Now that E is {already} starting to show signs of naturally weaning, I’m going to miss breastfeeding. If you would have asked me in the beginning if I thought I would ever or could ever enjoy breastfeeding I would have laughed in your face.

Did you breastfeed? If so did you break any of the "rules"?


"This blog is my journey of becoming a wife and mother.  Can I navigate this new road smoothly or will it be a bumpy ride?"

Photo Credit: mariela.

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