The Bean was born weighing a whopping big 9lb 2.5oz and because she wasn't able to breastfeed for two hours after she joined us on the outside; the rest of our first day together was spent with her trying to catch up on those lost two hours when I was in recovery. The result was two very blistered nipples and very painful latches while in the hospital.
I have a theory about breast feeding in the hospital. The nurses are there to make sure that your baby is being fed and to get her latched on; not necessarily to sit with you for however long it takes for you to get the hang of holding the baby, bringing the baby to the breast, waiting until the baby's mouth is open wide enough and all the other little things that make up a good latch. These ladies have so many things to do that when they do come in to help it's to get it done fast and get back to whoever else is ringing them for help. Learning in that environment is near impossible. Since on top of the kamikaze breast feeding lessons you also have visitors coming in and out, nurses coming in to test vitals, and you're also trying to get acquainted with the little life you've been lugging around for the past nine months.
It wasn't until I was at home and the health nurse called to follow up and I asked for a home visit that I was able to get the whole latching thing down. Learning how to get that latch once I was at home was so much easier for many reasons not least of which is that it's a one on one experience and she's there to make sure that you get the latching thing down even if it means doing it over and over and over until you get it right and it feels like second nature.
When it's your first time around it's frustrating and difficult and disheartening. At least with the Bean I knew what to expect (I knew it would be frustrating and difficult and disheartening) because I'd been through the same thing with the Peanut. So when I started to get the the little nipple blisters I asked for help, again and again and again in the hospital; knowing that I very well might not get the hang of it there. When I got home I made sure to ask for a lactation consultant to come to me so that I would get back into fine breast feeding form.
Now if I can just get over how much time I'm spending feeding the Bean we'll be doing awesome.
* the photograph above of me and the Bean was taken by my Niece