The Fit Tit Meltdown

Reading your comments in The Secrets of Breastfeeding – Book Giveaway made me remember how hard it can be when you breastfeed. It also makes me lose my mind and start thinking that I should open a breastfeeding clinic that serves you Snapple and Cheese Nips while I hold your hand and tell you it’s going to be alright.

This is a digital depiction of my opening day at the Fit Tit Clinic.

P.S. How awesome is it that I used the term “nips” in this rant. I really shouldn’t be allowed out of the house.

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157 Comments

  • Thank you for the great post. I was so lucky my boy latched easily. Not to say there wasn't pain, cause there was (little barracuda) but what a wonderful experience! He is four months old and my "cross to bear" is that he still takes almost an hour to eat (every time!) and still eats every three hours day and night! Wonderful, tiring and far too many boob jokes in my house right now!

  • What could be more enjoyable then getting up at 2 am to nurse your sweet baby? really, i mean that! your baby lovingly gazes into your eye's with his/her mouth at your breast while you nourish their little body. The pain outweighs everything else! My nipples cracked and bled for weeks, so please don't think this idiot has NO clue! I do I promise and with that my little guy is up to nurse!

  • I remember the first night in the hospital after my emergency c-section with my daughter. It was after midnight and she was crying crying crying and I was crying crying crying trying to get her to breast feed. I'll never forget the off-duty nurse who stopped in on her way home to help me out. An hour later, I finally got the hang of things and my daughter finally ate.

  • I also had a horrible labour (38 hours, injured various parts of me permanently, finished up with c-section under a general anesthetic) and after that I thought I will not give up on breastfeeding until I have perfected it! Something I had planned was damn well going to go the way I wanted it to, come hell or high water.

    I was lucky with a good latcher, who would eat a meal in under 10 minutes, and I had an overabundance of milk. The first four months were work… you do have to get used to it. But now I whip out a boob like it's the most natural thing in the world and let that guy get his fill. I don't even bother covering up when I'm out. I like to see the double-takes people do. He's down to about 3 minutes per boob now (12 months old). Speed sucker!

    For those first timers worried about how it will all go down – go watch Jack Newman's videos. Then get the La Leche League phone numbers handy and enjoy. I love breastfeeding now!

  • As a board-certified former breastfeeder, Titty-Twister Champion, and current Droopy Cow Titty calendar girl, I wish I were still nursing a baby. Because then I wouldn't have to exercise. And my boobs would still be wonderfully plump.

  • I wish I could take credit for this, but I can't. My favorite thing thing that I read when breastfeeding is that stopping breastfeeding after less than 6 weeks (which is when I REALLYREALLYREALLY wanted to stop) is like going to the movie theater, standing in line, buying the outrageously priced ticket, buying a huge tub of outrageously priced popcorn, sitting through all of the commercials and previews, and then getting up, dumping your popcorn and leaving just as the movie started. It gave me hope in those first few weeks (which I can only describe as "bleak") that it would eventually get better. And, I went on to breastfeed for the first year, which I would have NEVEREVEREVER thought I was going to be able to do.

    Dear God in heaven, I could have used a Fit Tit Clinic. For sure.

  • Everyone is different and breastfeeding is proof of that. Some women have no trouble at all, others would call it the hardest thing they have ever done, and unfortunately a great many decide it is just too hard. One tip I got that really helped is while you are pregnant, use a washcloth to scrub the heck out of your nipples for a minute or so each every time you shower. Don't hurt yourself, but rub hard enough to be just a little uncomfortable and it will help toughen them up some so that you are less likely to have your nipples chap and crack in those early weeks. I did this with both of mine and did not once I have a need for lanolin with either one. Maybe I wouldn't have anyway, but why chance it? Also, do not try to dry or clean yourself before or after. Letting the breastmilk air dry on your nipples when you are done will soothe them, clean them, and keep them healthy. Third, the letdown, at least for me, was the most painful part. Your body has to learn how to move the milk efficiently so yes, it hurts at first but every single day is a battle won and the next will be easier. Just be prepared with a stress ball or something to squeeze through the pain, or make your husband stand nearby so you can claw his arm when it hurts while still gently cradling your baby with your other arm. 🙂

  • I'm sitting here reading these comments and I should have gotten my 5 month old out of bed (my bed, arg) 10 minutes ago. So wouldn't you know it, all this boob talk is making me leak.

  • After that terrible first month, we are also on month 14 and it is a million times easier. A little formula supplementation helped us over an early hump and the lactation consultants were great and the guitar analogy is right on (I've said it's like getting a new pair of shoes – you're just getting rubbed in places that aren't used to that kind of treatment). It gets so much better. But it should just be clear from the beginning: that it can be really, really freaking hard and that's perfectly normal, and the whole 'it doesn't hurt if you're doing it right' is a big. fat. lie. At first.

    I'll be cheering for you, Shelby. Yes, it's the hardest, but also one of the most rewarding things I have ever done.

  • And it really depends on the baby too. My first didn't have any idea what to do with a nipple and the second was rooting around, trying to latch on as soon as they gave him to me. Giving them a wee bit of something so they're not frantic trying to latch on can help too.

  • Shelby,
    It's not as bad as all that. The thing is that right after you have that baby you're a giant mess of nerves & emotions. You don't know which way is up & you feel like a giant fraud at everything you do. Everything is so surreal. Then you add trying to breast feed. Something that's supposed to be the most natural thing in the world and it may or (probably most likely) not click right away.
    It's something that can only be mastered with practice & what we really need to be told (over & over again) is that you're doing great, you just brought a new life into the world, you'll never love anyone more & be more terrifd, but everyday it gets better. You grow stronger, the baby grows stronger, you become more confident, and you become that amazing mom you always see youself as. Everything wors itself out.
    Just when you're in the middle of all thatemotion & confusion remind yourself that it will get better

  • Breastfeeding is one of those things that can make you want to give up because it seems like it should be easy. That everyone has some magic way… And I know I felt like a failure because it wasnt easy… But taking a deep breath and sending everyone out sono didn't have to perform was the best thing I ever did for me or my kiddos. I read everything I could get my hands on, and then decided of I tried and it didn't go I would call in for back up- but I needed to be calm and not self concious to even know if it would be ok. Also wish I had known about the little trick of un latching them(finger in the mouth to break suction- would've saved me a lot of pain! I kept pulling the kid off while he was attached like a pirhna in the wrong way!) and not to set back the boob juice movement, but giving my son just a few swallows of formula to get him calm enough to work on technique really saved our breast feeding relationship early on. It's frazzling when your brain is static because of crying. We had tons of success once he calmed down… But this is my opinion and experiance… I share hoping it will help someone!

  • I love the idea of actually being realistic about BF– the lac consultant I had kept saying "BF isn't supposed to hurt" with a ridiculous smile on her face, when in fact it felt like a cheese grater 🙁 FINALLY, my fav nurse whispered to me, "It hurts like hell, but not for long" and that was exactly what I needed to hear. Snapple & Cheese Nips would have been nice, too 🙂

  • I NEVER thought breastfeeding would be more painful and difficult than giving birth. I remember the lactation consultant telling me she had seen worse than my case and that it would ease up! I would have loooved cheese nips and a pat on the back! It's a great idea!
    (and for the record, I was in labor for 36 hours before having a c-section and I still think that breastfeeding was the worse…)

  • Shelby, it really isn't awful once you get the hang of it and many women don't have trouble at all so don't be scared off.

    The only analogy I can think of is when you start learning guitar and your fingers really hurt. Like REALLY hurt and you wonder how the hell people do this all the time then it gradually bothers you less and less and you don't even notice it.

    Except it's your tits and you're feeding a person instead of playing Barracuda.

    Although, if you don't play guitar that comparison is useless. Sorry.

    I remember when I first started someone saying, "Oh, I didn't breastfeed very long. Just three months." and all I could think was, "I can't feed this kid for three more hours this way, let alone three months." Then ended up doing it for 14 months no problem. Go figure.

  • Last night my sister-in-law called because she is trying to breastfeed her 2-week old and having a lot of trouble, and I had a PTSD flashback to my first month of breastfeeding because jesusmaryandjoseph it is still, hands down, the hardest thing I have ever done. Cheese nips and snapple sounds damn good to me.

  • Oh dear, hearing about how difficult breastfeeding can be makes me cringe! Much the same way most women describe the inexplicable fear and torture of natural childbirth. Is it REALLY that bad? What should I know before I stick my boob in my baby's mouth for the first time? This book sounds like a Godsend 🙂

  • You are hysterical! I too would buy stock in your clinic…hey, maybe we're on to something. Need a business partner?? (not that I know a thing about business. I'm a history teacher.)

  • Every single time I read something from you I have to have a box of tissues because I always end of crying from laughing so hard. My husband knows that when I am sitting at the computer and just start cracking up out of no where it is because I am reading something from The Pregnant Chicken. God bless you my dear for you humor. 😀

    P.S. I would buy stock in The Fit Tit clinic!

  • As a board certified lactation consultant…I think the idea is brilliant! I often try a bit of glitter and a magic wand to make things better. But, when it doesn't, someone that will hold your hand and say "It sucks, doesn't it" without cracking a smile at the pun is just what we all need.

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