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My first week of breastfeeding was a bit stressful. When I was pregnant, I spent a lot of time watching NCIS when I should have been reading books to educate myself on these kinds of things. I started breastfeeding in the hospital. I'm pretty shy about these kinds of things, so I had my mom help me out for starters. Zoë latched on rather easily, but it was a poor latch so it hurt. We tried a couple times and it seemed to hurt less, so I figured we were on track.

During my hospital stay, a lactation consultant had stopped by to see if I needed help, but I since I thought everything was going well, she went on her merry way. By the time I got home the next day, I was very sore. I was using lanolin which helped a bit, but hardly. I had no idea that breastfeeding could hurt so badly. Except, it's not supposed to if the baby latches on correctly.

As Zoë latched, my mom noticed me wincing in pain. She tried to help me, but being a new mom and new to breastfeeding, I just couldn't quite figure it out. She recommended that I meet with a lactation consultant after all. Luckily, there is a Mother's Resource Center at one of our local hospitals. I gave them a call and the consultant was able to see me the following afternoon. The big downside to that, though, was that it was now going to be a $45 visit where it would have been "free" if I would have just seen the consultant during my hospital stay after delivery.  That said, I recommend seeing the lactation consultant if offered during your hospital stay even if everything is going well.

Seeing the lactation consultant helped me out a lot. She taught me the cross-cradle hold and what a perfect latch looked like. She also gave me some better tips to help with the soreness and suggested a follow up visit once my milk came in a few days later just to make sure I was adapting well. At my return visit, everything was going smoothly, and Zoë was already on her way back to her birth weight. 

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