Breastfeeding – the first few days!

After almost 15 hours of labor (and more than 18 hours of waiting for labor to start!), my adorable baby boy was born mid-August in 2013 in a hospital in Pennsylvania at around 3pm on a Thursday afternoon. The doctor immediately placed him on my chest for the “golden hour” of bonding between the three of us – my husband, me and the baby. And I was in love.

In my culture, it is the most natural and basic thing to do, and with all the campaigning going on about the benefits of breastfeeding and after reading numerous articles on the same, I automatically decided to breastfeed my babies. I consider myself extremely fortunate for being able to do so, without any problems/issues that could prevent me from breastfeeding.


Slowly, inch by inch, as my hubby and I watched in awe, the baby made his way to my breast and tried to take the nipple into his mouth.

And then he started suckling. We had been to a Childbirth Education class earlier (3 hours a week for 4 weeks!), where I learned the correct positioning of the baby, and how to encourage him to suckle, and reading his signs on hunger.

I will not be going into detail about these things here for now, but here are some good links I found useful in preparation for this wonderful experience.

The First Time:

It pained like hell! I had used the cradle hold to hold him. He was still figuring out how to suck the nipple, but he had a very very very strong latch! He sucked with all the strength he possessed and it seemed like my breast would fall off any minute. Luckily, my colostrum (or first yellow fluid) started coming in a few months prior to the D-Day and it was readily available for the baby to chug down. He nursed for a few minutes and then unlatched his mouth from the nipple, indicating his satisfaction with his meal.

Feeding Positions:

Most of the time, I used the cradle hold. If the nipple pained too much, I would try and change positions by holding him in a football hold (tucking him under my arm and or in a reclining position (while lying down on the bed and having him by my side). I tried several positions, and used a combination of all of them, so as to minimize the pain from the suckling.

Resources for Feeding Positions (with pictures):
La Leche League International’s article on positioning

Medication Relief:

I used the lanolin cream provided by the hospital the first few days and it worked so well that I did not have to switch it to any other cream. See picture below. The cream is very safe when ingested by the baby. The texture of the cream is that of very thick cream, and sticky to touch.

Day 7 – All’s well!

The pain slowly subsided over the past few days, the worst being the 4th day. The pain was occurring due to the chapped skin on the nipple as the baby was suckling long and hard on it. I would see layers of skin peeling off, and the nurses said it is perfectly OK if it peels off as the baby is nursing and he ingests it.
All in all, like all the stories I had heard before, the pain did go away after the first one week, and I am glad I stuck it out and my baby is getting the most nutritious food possible.

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