When I was pregnant with my little girl I knew I wanted to breastfeed. I attended prenatal breastfeeding classes and bought some nipple cream and thought that was it.
When she arrived I couldn’t feed her straight away as due to some complications with the birth. The Midwife helped me with the first feed and pretty much clamped her to my breast for about 30mins.
For the first 24 hours the baby just wasn’t interested in feeding at all, she’d just go to sleep. Alone in the hospital I was terrified that she was dehydrated and just sat there with her asleep on my chest willing her to wake up and latch on. After the first night it was all on...she was so hungry and I had no idea what I was doing. I’d used up all the antenatally expressed colostrum that I had bought to the hospital and the hospital Midwife offered to express colostrum for me. In my exhausted state I agreed; it was pretty humiliating.
Once we were home I tried so hard to feed her, through toe curling latches, extreme engorgement, severely damaged nipples and a hungry, constantly screaming baby. My husband and I developed this ridiculous routine of him holding my breast while I tried to latch baby on...if only we had filmed it, it could have been used as a “how not to breastfeed” video 😬
On day 8 I had a melt down and decided to ring a lactation consultant. She agreed to see me the same day and gave me nipple shields to help empty my red, sore, engorged breasts. Baby had a severe tongue and upper lip tie. We decided to leave it alone and see how we got on. She also had terrible reflux and wind and was always hungry.
I was told by health visitors to stretch out her feeds to 2-3 hourly but this only made things worse.
At 6 weeks we decided to get the tongue and lip tie treated. Things got better, but I continued to use the nipple shields until she was about 3 months old. I was too scared to stop using them and every time I tried to wean her off them I convinced myself she wasn’t getting any milk. Feeds would take well over an hour and were very frequent, she’d constantly fall asleep while feeding.
At about 10 weeks her weight started to drop. I was told by health visitors to top up feeds with formula and that my milk wasn’t enough for my baby.
So another visit to the lovely lactation consultant gave me confidence to ditch the shields and try to learn to breastfeed without them. After a couple of weeks spent at home continuously nursing, something clicked. I was finally feeding my baby. It wasn’t taking over an hour. She was gaining weight. I couldn’t believe it. After feeling like a failure for 3 months with a scrawny, underweight, hungry, crying little baby, my girl got little rolls and chubby cheeks.
She’s now 7 months old and still nursing. I’m back at work part time too and pumping so that she can continue to have breastmilk when we are apart.
I love nursing now, except the biting with the new teeth...I don’t love that 😂
I wish I had known about your page in those early days. It turns out I just needed some support and advice to be able to continuing nursing my bubba.