Breastfeeding a newborn was a tumultuous yet fulfilling experience for me. My daughter was born on 14th May, 2014 at Hinduja hospital in the presence of my ever supportive husband, my super patient midwife Lina and loving parents.
I went through water labor and gave birth to a healthy daughter weighing around 2.9 kgs, but she started losing weight soon after. She wasn’t able to latch on to the breast properly, so she would be at my breast for more than an hour many times a day because she wouldn’t feel full. I would have to pump out my milk day in and day out to feed her, which got very tiring for me, and seeing her lose weight was quite disheartening as well. This is how breastfeeding a newborn in the first days of being mommy were for me.
One lactation expert, whom I had consulted diagnosed her condition as tongue-tie, requiring prompt surgical intervention. My family and I couldn’t accept the sheer thought of putting our baby through all this torture. So I decided to do more research into it and seek advice from people whom we could trust.
The Health Awareness Centre at Worli and my dearest friend Kavita Mukhi, an organic evangelist, gave me some awesome advice and always encouraged me to breastfeed.
Dr. Rahul Verma, the head paediatrician at Bombay Hospital assured me that breastfeeding my newborn was the way to go but after seeing the rapid weight loss in my baby, he had no other option but to suggest formula, which didn’t suit my daughter at all. Apparently, she couldn’t tolerate cow’s milk. She would vomit at least 7 to 8 times even after being fed with only an ounce of formula. He then advised me to put some drops in my expressed milk and feed her that. He also reassured me that no tongue tie surgery was required and that it would correct itself as she grows up.
At that point, I felt totally frustrated and intensely worried because I couldn’t see any results and I felt like giving up, but Dr.R.K. Anand, the senior-most paediatrician at Jaslok Hospital came to my rescue. He gave me some amazing tips which really worked for me.
I eventually stopped worrying about the weight because she was a very active and an alert baby. I heard good music, practised breastfeeding newborn positions stayed calm and cool during the feeds. My baby began to latch properly and gradually put on weight as well. I continued feeding her till she was 18 months old and I never had to give her any formula again.
I am extremely grateful to all who consistently urged me not to give up on breastfeeding my newborn. I feel mothers are misguided and often switch to formula too soon. My request to all breastfeeding mothers is to create a support system (The right pediatrician, the right lactation expert and nutritionist) to help you move on whenever you get stuck.
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