Caleb is the fourth baby I’ve breastfed and I have to say that, in most ways, it gets easier every single time and I wouldn’t change it for anything. He latched on like a champ just minutes after he was born and he continues to be a vigorous nurser.
That being said, I’ve never breastfed a baby while pregnant and it really does change everything. Before I even knew I was pregnant, I felt different. Nursing made me irritable all of a sudden when, normally, I really enjoy that special bonding time. I also noticed that my supply tanked for a bit but, fortunately, Motherlove’s More Milk Two saved me in that area. The one thing that I couldn’t figure out as how to stop making it feel like my nipples were being destroyed every time I fed Caleb.
Too Many Teeth!
Another thing that sets Caleb apart is that he got his first teeth very early compared to my other kids. While theirs first sprouted around 8 months, Caleb had two teeth by four months old and four teeth by seven months old. While he has bitten me a few times he hasn’t done it very often. It hurt super bad, though, when it did happen and it would always be right when I felt like I was healing. The problem is that it felt like his teeth would graze me on all sides since he has teeth on both the top and bottom of his mouth. I think this would be a mild irritation if I wasn’t pregnant but all parts of your breast tend to be extremely sensitive while expecting. I would be in tears every time it was time to nurse him and I was almost ready to give up which would have broken my heart.
Newman’s to the Rescue!
At my last midwife appointment, I mentioned it and she immediately said, “oh, let’s get you some Newman’s.” I had never heard of it before and was immediately intrigued. I’d looked everywhere online but never saw it sold anywhere. She explained that I’d have to find a compound pharmacy (I had just spotted one near my house!) where they would actually make a batch just for me. You can’t find any already prepared which, of course, is unfortunate for those who do not have compound pharmacies nearby.
She called in the order and I greedily waited for them to prepare it. I wanted to be optimistic that this could help me but I was also worried that the pain was so far gone that there was no hope. Within two applications, the pain had diminished by, at least, 50% which was amazing. I’d say that, overall, I’m about 85-90% recovered, which I can live with. In fact, it feels like a miracle. You just put a little bit on after each feeding, don’t wipe it off and let it do its magic. That’s it!
Man Behind the Magic
I wanted to know more about the man behind the magic and found a great article about the ointment on Pregnancy.org. It turns out that Jack Newman is a pediatrician who graduated from the University of Toronto in 1970. He opened his first breastfeeding clinic in Canada (my home and native land!) in 1984 at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children. Incredibly, he’s gone on to serve as a consultant for UNICEF’s Baby Friendly Hospital initiative in Africa and has practiced in Canada, New Zealand and South Africa. Pretty cool!
Hanging in There
For now, Caleb and I are still trying to find a way to keep breastfeeding. I’ve had to be a little more selective about when I’ve allowed him to nurse for comfort which, initially, felt terrible but we are finding other ways to fill those moments. He’s loving his books and so we read and snuggle and, sometimes, I supplement his meals with non-GMO formula. It’s not the same and, sometimes, I feel guilty about the fact that he won’t have the same one-year experience as his older siblings but I try to keep things in perspective. He’s going to have two new friends to play with who will be close to his age so that’s got to have some perks, right?