Menu

How to Get Over the Breastfeeding Hump

4 tips to get you through that rocky beginning.

How to Get Over the Breastfeeding Hump

"Breastfeeding is awesome! It’s easy, it’s convenient, it’s free, it’s super healthy for you and baby – I love it and I can’t imagine feeding my baby any other way!"

Yeah, sure. After a few months, maybe, but when my daughter was four days old, I wanted to quit.

Okay, “quit” is maybe the wrong word. More accurately, I wanted to rip my nips off (seemed like it would be less painful). Or at the very least, I wanted to drive my daughter back to the hospital and give her to someone who knew what they were doing.

Experienced moms who have breastfed their children would tell you that “once you get past the ‘hump,’ it gets easier.” But that hump is actually a good six weeks in, and when you have a brand-new baby and you’re in pain, six weeks seems like a really, really long time.

FEATURED VIDEO

The first night home from the hospital was the worst. I had gotten off to a really good start with the baby in the hospital – she latched on immediately after birth, and although it was uncomfortable, she was able to nurse consistently in the hospital. When we got home that night, however, I found myself dealing with a screaming, red-faced newborn who could not seem to latch on to my cracked and raw nipples. Every time she got close, I would flinch, frightening her and starting the squalling all over again. I felt like a failure. It took two weeks for my nipples to heal, four weeks for me to stop flinching, and right about two months for me to be able to walk through Target and breastfeed while shopping for sheets.

At almost five months old, my daughter is exclusively breast-fed and has gained nearly ten pounds since birth. So how did we survive our rocky start? Here’s a few things that helped me get over the “breastfeeding hump.”

  1. Realize that compromises might have to be made. That first night home, I kept trying to latch her on and she kept screaming. My husband asked me, “Why can’t we just give her a bottle?” I sobbed out, “Nipple confusion!Eventually, I got so tired that I pumped out what I could (barely an ounce) and gave it to her in a bottle. She fell asleep immediately, I got a shred of sanity back, and it didn’t interfere with her ability to latch on later. Sometimes, it’s about whatever works.
  2. Utilize your resources. I was so determined to do everything right. I have one inverted nipple, and despite knowing this I refused to use a nipple shield without express permission from a lactation consultant. Well, I didn’t ask to speak to one in the hospital (mistake!) and that nipple ended up raw and cracked in a matter of days. Once I reached out to the hospital’s lactation team and bought the shield, it became a hundred times easier to latch baby on. And honestly, I don’t think we would have made it this long without it.
  3. Vent. There’s no getting around it. Breastfeeding is hard. And it really helps to have someone to complain to. I joined a group of moms online with babies that were all around the same age as mine. They became a great resource for support and suggestions that helped us push through, and reminded me not to sweat the small stuff.
  4. Get educated. I can’t stress enough how important this is. For something that’s so natural, breastfeeding is something that you and your baby will have to practice and master. Read a book on nursing (sometimes the hospital will give you one for free). Watch YouTube videos of newborns latching and different breastfeeding positions. Link up with the local La Leche League chapter and visit their website. Knowing, for example, that milk is produced on a supply and demand system will stop you from giving up when you inevitably hit that first growth spurt.

The more you read, ask and talk to other moms, the more you’ll realize: the struggle to breastfeed successfully is completely normal. But for me, it was completely worth it. I’m always sorry when I see moms that want to nurse quit early on because “it was too hard.” On this side of the fence, it is finally easy, and convenient, and healthy, and all that great stuff. It just takes a little time.

Image source.

 

In This Article

    14 toys that will keep your kids entertained inside *and* outside

    They transition seamlessly for indoor play.

    With fall in full swing, most parents are fresh out of boxes to check on their "Fun Concierge" hit list. It's also the point of diminishing returns on investing in outside-only toys. So with that in mind, we've rounded up some of our favorite toys that are not only built to last but will easily make the transition from outdoor to indoor play. Even better, they're Montessori-friendly and largely open-ended so your kids can get a ton of use out of them.

    From sunny backyard afternoons to rainy mornings stuck inside, these toys are sure to keep little ones engaged and entertained.

    Wooden doll stroller

    Janod wooden doll stroller

    Take their charges on a stroll around the block with this classic doll stroller. With the same versatility they're used to in their own ride, this heirloom quality carriage allows their doll or stuffy to face them or face the world.

    $120

    Detective set

    Plan Toys detective set

    This set has everything your little detective needs to solve whatever mystery they might encounter: an eye glasses, walkie-talkie, camera, a red lens, a periscope and a bag. Neighborhood watch? Watch out.

    $40

    Sand play set

    Plan Toys sand set

    Whether you're hitting the beach or the backyard sandbox, this adorable wooden sand set is ready for action. Each scoop has an embossed pattern that's perfect for sand stamping. They're also totally suitable for water play in the wild or the bathtub.

    $30

    Water play set

    Plan Toys water play set

    Filled with sand or water, this tabletop sized activity set keeps little ones busy, quiet and happy. (A mama's ideal trifecta 😉). It's big enough to satisfy their play needs but not so big it's going to flood your floors if you bring the fun inside on a rainy day.

    $100

    Mini golf set

    Plan Toys mini golf set

    Fore! This mini golf set is lawn and living room ready. Set up a backyard competition or incorporate into homeschooling brain breaks that shift focus and build concentration.

    $40

    Vintage scooter balance bike

    Janod retro scooter balance bike

    Pedals are so 2010. Balance bikes are the way to go for learning to ride a bike while skipping the training wheels stage altogether. This impossibly cool retro scooter-style is built to cruise the neighborhood or open indoor space as they're learning.

    $121

    Wooden rocking pegasus

    plan toys wooden rocking pegasus

    Your little will be ready to take flight on this fun pegasus. It gently rocks back and forth, but doesn't skimp on safety—its winged saddle, footrests and backrest ensure kids won't fall off whether they're rocking inside or outside.

    $100

    Croquet set

    Plan Toys croquet set

    The cutest croquet set we've ever seen! With adorable animal face wooden balls and a canvas bag for easy clean up, it's also crafted to stick around awhile. Round after round, it's great for teaching kiddos math and problem-solving skills as well.

    $45

    Wooden digital camera

    fathers factory wooden digital camera

    Kids get the chance to assemble the camera on their own then can adventure anywhere to capture the best moments. With two detachable magnetic lenses, four built-in filters and video recorder, your little photographer can tap into their creativity from summertime to the holidays.

    $179

    Wooden bulldozer toy

    plan toys wooden bulldozer toy

    Whether they're digging up sand in the backyad or picking up toys inside, kids can get as creative as they want picking up and moving things around. Even better? Its wooden structure means it's not an eye sore to look at wherever your digger drops it.

    $100

    Pull-along hippo

    janod toys pull along hippo toy

    There's just something so fun about a classic pull-along toy and we love that they seamlessly transition between indoor and outdoor play. Crafted from solid cherry and beechwood, it's tough enough to endure outdoor spaces your toddler takes it on.

    $33

    Baby forest fox ride-on

    janod toys baby fox ride on

    Toddlers will love zooming around on this fox ride-on, and it's a great transition toy into traditional balance bikes. If you take it for a driveway adventure, simply use a damp cloth to wipe down the wheels before bringing back inside.

    $88

    Balance board

    Plan Toys balance board

    Balance boards are a fabulous way to get the wiggles out. This one comes with a rope attachment, making it suitable for even the youngest wigglers. From practicing their balance and building core strength to working on skills that translate to skateboarding and snowboarding, it's a year-round physical activity that's easy to bring inside and use between Zoom classes, too!

    $75

    Meadow ring toss game

    Plan Toys meadow ring toss game

    Besides offering a fantastic opportunity to hone focus, coordination, determination and taking turns, lawn games are just plain fun. Set them up close together for the littles and spread them out when Mom and Dad get in on the action. With their low profile and rope rings, they're great for indoors as well.

    $30

    We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.

    Shop

    Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

    So, what's new this week?

    Happiest Baby: Baby sleep solutions designed by the experts

    Created by renowned pediatrician, baby sleep expert and (as some might say) lifesaver Dr. Harvey Karp, Happiest Baby has been helping new parents understand and nurture their infants for close to two decades. Building on the success of his celebrated books and video The Happiest Baby on the Block and The Happiest Toddler on the Block he's developed groundbreaking, science-based product solutions that conquer a new parent's top stressor—exhaustion.

    WSEL Bags: Dad-designed diaper bags that think of everything

    WSEL stands for work smart, enjoy life—an ethos we couldn't agree with more. Founded by a stay at home dad who struggled to find a diaper bag that he not only wanted to use, but one that would last far beyond the baby years, these premium, adventure-ready backpacks are ideal for everything from errands to week-long getaways.

    Codex Beauty: Exceptionally effective sustainable skin care

    Codex Beauty's line of sustainable plant-based skin care blends the science of plant biology with biotech innovations, to create clinically proven, state-of-the-art products for all skin types. They're all vegan, EWG and Leaping Bunny verified and created in collaboration with Herbal Scientist Tracy Ryan who uses concepts dating back to the 8th century leveraging plants like sea buckthorn and calendula flower. Not only are we totally crushing on the innovative formulas that are in the packaging but we're in love with the sustainable sugarcane-derived tubes as well.

    Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

    Keep reading Show less
    Shop

    The important safety tip parents need to know about sleep + car seats

    Why you might want to plan for more pit stops on your next road trip.

    When we become parents we don't just have to learn how to take care of a baby, we also have to learn how, when and why to use all the different kinds of baby gear.

    Keep reading Show less
    News