Warning: Nipple Talk

If you’re on your first kiddo, you know that breastfeeding for the first month or so is pretty uncomfortable.  Ok, sometimes it’s almost unbearable.  The cracking, bleeding, sore, engorged pain that only a mother will ever feel.  But we do it, we do it because we know that breastfeeding is the best thing for our babies.  And once you get over that first hump, it’s easy going from there…at least as far as the pain goes.  Feeding problems are a whole ‘nother conversation…

When I decided that I wasn’t going to try and wean J when I got preggers, I had no idea that the nipple pain would be back…with a vengeance too.  I worried when J started getting teeth that I would have to deal with biting or a difference in J’s “grip”, but nothing really changed.  He has bitten me once or twice, but not regular or purposeful enough for me to do anything about weaning.  But the last 2 months or so…phew…

I’ve done a little research.  I worried at first that the pain was due to a yeast infection or something of the sort.  But as far as I’ve been able to find, nipple tenderness is part of the lovely side effects of being pregnant.  If it happens to effect you to the point where nursing is uncomfortable…well you’re pretty much SOL.  Some women reported that they were in so much pain when they would nurse that they weaned their little one right then.

I haven’t quite gotten to that point yet…but the best I can compare the pain to is what I imagine it feels like for a guy to get kicked in the nads.  It’s not always that terrible, usually it’s only that bad at night and on one side more than the other. 

BUT unfortunately for me, I nurse J to sleep.  Yes, I know, all the “experts” would tell me that that’s the worst habit I could have gotten him into.  Oh well, what’s done is done, and frankly it keeps his nursing on a pretty tight schedule.  So, the “nursing to sleep” thing aside, this routine that we follow to get J to sleep every night ends up leaving me with a “kicked in the nads” feeling for the first 5 minutes of him nursing.  It does go away eventually, but I never thought that I’d be back at the painful nipple step so late in the game.

I find myself hoping that I won’t have to wean J because of the pain.  In my mind there’s really no reason to wean him yet, but if it’s intolerable for him to latch, then what? 

I’ll talk to my midwife in 2 weeks at my 16 week checkup, but I’m really weary that I’ll be eventually (sooner than later) forced to wean my sweet boy because the pain is too much to handle…sigh.

 

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Tongue Tied

J was born tongue-tied.  Meaning that the little piece of skin under your tongue that attaches the bottom of your tongue to the floor of your mouth was attached all the way to the tip of his little tongue.  The doc told us it was genetic. Although neither the Hubs or I can figure out who it came from.  Either way, the doc said that getting it snipped wasn’t mandatory and many kids do just fine.  However we decided it was better for J to have it taken care of as soon as possible.  Just like circumcision, it would be a pretty quick and painless procedure.  The doc also told us that being tongue-tied could complicate breastfeeding.  And being a new mama, that was proving to be hard to get started as it was.  I wanted to breastfeed, and that was another reason we chose to get it taken care of.

I don’t think there are any cons to getting the procedure done.  At least none that I’ve come across in my research on it.  I don’t remember what the chances of tongue-tie are in babies either, but I’d never heard of it before so I assume they are pretty slim.    The ENT who did the snipping told us that a lot of times kiddos who don’t have the procedure end up ripping the skin themselves when they trip and fall during their younger years.  Ick.  Can’t imagine that would feel great!  ENT also said that tongue-tie could cause problems later in life if J ever wanted to play an instrument or that it may affect his speech, so he (without actually saying it) told us that it was better to get it taken care of.  So we did.

The procedure was pretty quick but it wasn’t fun to watch.  Doc had us hold J down while he stuck a spork looking thing under his tongue and then made a quick snip with the scissors.  For me it was worse than the circumcision though, they don’t numb them up for the tongue-snip procedure since there aren’t any nerves in that little piece of skin.  He sure screamed though…probably more from being held down than anything but it still pulls at your heartstrings, especially as a new parent with a 2 week old.  Doc had me nurse him for a few minutes to get the bleeding to stop and in about 5 minutes he was perfectly fine.

Now that J is old enough to really stick out his tongue in response to one of us doing the same thing, it appears that his tongue still isn’t quite normal.  He can’t stick it out very far, and the tip isn’t rounded when he does.  I’m sure it won’t be a big issue, but still makes you worry that other things could be lingering for the future.  The Hubs jokes that he has a short tongue too.

It’s something I’ll mention to the pediatrician when we see him at J’s 1 year appointment, but I’m not sure I”ll get more than an “it’ll be fine” answer.  Not sure there is any other answer really.   I’m probably just thinking too much into it.  But being a mama means over thinking things some times always.

 

tongue tie

pic courtesy of: http://www.breastfeedingbasics.com/articles/tongue-tie