Don't read on if you aren't keen on hearing all about the ups and downs of breastfeeding.
Barney is 22 days old and together we've made a better breastfeeding team than Beth and I managed over 2 years ago. I think avoiding major nipple damage in the early weeks has been the main factor. With Beth, I ended up with mastitis after 10 days of breastfeeding due to nipple damage on the right breast. That got worse, ended with being in hospital, abscesses... it was awful.
This time round, Barney has been a more efficient and alert feeder compared to Beth and I think I've been better at getting him attached well each feed which minimised the grazing and soreness of my nipples. Hooray!
Having said that, it's still been really hard work and certainly not pain-free getting breastfeeding established this time round. We seem to have progressed past the toe-curling pain on the right breast when Barney first starts a feed. Thank goodness. But I can't exactly say it's pleasurable yet. I just hope I haven't jinxed it all by writing that it's going well this time round.
I'm glad that some women find breastfeeding straightforward and easy to do. For the rest of us that struggle with it, especially in the early days, don't let anyone tell you it's natural or that you're doing something wrong if it doesn't work for you. It takes a lot of commitment, teeth-gritting and luck for most of us.