Stories of Breastfeeding Victories: I am Persistent
Breastfeeding is a beautiful journey that cements the relationship between mother and child. It is as much emotional nutrition for both as much as it is a physical nourishment for the baby. But it is not always an easy journey. Here are stories of BabyChakra mothers who had difficulties with breastfeeding their babies but they persisted nevertheless. We salute their spirit and laud the courage they demonstrated in the face of physical, emotional and mental challenges.
I had a C-Section after a crazy, 13 hour labour because the baby's heart had started decelerating and my cervix hadn't dilated beyond 2 cms. So I could not experience the kangaroo touch. But my daughter latched on the very first time the nurse put the nipple to the baby's mouth. It was such an out of the world experience! But the trouble started after that.I had flat nipples and I had no idea till then what that term even meant. I had bruised nipples which had become so sore and raw that breastfeeding felt like a nightmare.
In addition, I had engorged breasts, so my back used to hurt like crazy due to the added weight. The C-section stitches added to the pain. If that wasn't enough, I had developed tendonitis on both my wrists due to the hormones. So I was not even able to hold my baby in my hands.
And for some reason, I was not comfortable with anyone around while feeding apart from my hubby. Maybe, it was the pressure others would put on me or my own fears, I can't say.. My daughter would start crying the minute I put the nipple to the mouth. And everyone kept asking if the milk is flowing. That's when my husband decided to take things in his own hands literally. For every feeding session, he held our daughter to my breast. We figured a feeding position that was comfortable for my baby and me. The more I fed, the better my nipples became and I was able to feed her exclusively for almost 6 months. Now it will be a year and she has weaned off successfully. I would say, nothing like your partner's support in the first few months when a new mother's confidence is at the lowest.
On 11th day after C-section, we noticed that baby was pale and it was diagnosed as neonatal jaundice. Baby was exclusively on breastmilk. Pediatrician told us to go for phototherapy, so she had to be hospitalised. We all knew it was physiological jaundice so I was happily feeding her and enjoying my motherhood. But on the same night, her pediatrician went out of station so a junior doctor was in charge. This doctor told us to stop breast milk and give expressed breast milk. He wanted to diagnose the cause of jaundice - breastmilk jaundice or breastfeeding jaundice. We obeyed him.
I felt bad that I followed his instruction instead of following my intuitions and my parents. Meanwhile, I developed mastitis in left breast which ended in abscess. So, I could feed her only at my right breast. My breastfeeding journey was tough but it all came back to normal after two months and I could feed her from both sides. I never gave up as I know the importance of breastfeeding!
I had to go for an emergency C-section as my baby pooped in the womb. I had extreme pain in the chest and vomited too. For two days, this pain didn’t allow me to feed. On the third day, I started feeding but got lumps. My nipples had cracked up, so again had unbearable pain. I still remember that betadine and nipcare ointments didn't work. So I applied ghee before feeding. It still felt that the pain reached each of my bones and nerves. This pain lasted for 3 months. I used to literally cry at every feed and my mom would wipe my tears. But I never gave up on feeding, never gave him formula except for the first 2 days.
I shared my plight with my pediatrician and he gave me a positivity mantra. “Every day, say my kid is the best, my kid is satisfied with my milk, my kid is healthy and strong” Trust me, it worked. I still remember that all I was doing through the day and night - feed, pee, poop and repeat! The only breaks I took was for washroom. I had absolutely no sleep for 3 months! After following the mantra, things changed. He could latch properly. I made a mistake though. I wasn’t burping him properly after the feeds so that led to gas. I could see undigested milk and air bubbles in his poop. It’s hardly been easy but I intend to continue breastfeeding for over a year!
I delivered through C-section, so got to see my baby after a few hours. When my son was kept next to me, I could barely turn or move as I still had numbness in my legs. As a new mom, I was clueless about breastfeeding. Nurses and doctors helped me to hold baby properly and feed him but he just refused to cooperate.
To add to this, my in-laws just wanted to keep baby with them with an excuse that I should take rest. So, baby was kept away from me on separate bed and only given to me when he cried for feed and he refused to take my feed.
My in-laws would try to feed him formula milk and he refused to take that too. My mom-in-law demotivated me further by saying my breasts were small and there wasn’t enough milk for the baby in them. By god's grace, almost by the third day, the milk supply was so much that nurses got tired expressing milk and feeding my baby. Slowly, I started keeping my son with me and by the 5th day, I was back home. I tried all day to feed baby and never gave formula milk at all but after a month again my little brat decided to show that he was the boss. He stopped taking feed from one side and would only take feed from the other side. So, I had severe pain and heaviness in the breast that he was not feeding from. Slowly, we both sailed through these odds and I am happy to have breastfed my son till he turned 3 years old.
I delivered my baby through C-Section. It was impossible for me to breastfeed her by myself! I must thank the hospital nurse, my mom and aunts for holding my baby to my breast on baby’s demand day and night. As soon I was able to sit, I tried to feed her myself but was not able to latch properly.
Then my nurse taught me to hold my nipples with two fingers like we hold scissors and put areola inside baby's mouth. FInally I could! Not to mention the cracked nipples and Zytee gel which I applied after every feed to soothe the pain. Recently, I have weaned her off breastfeed as she is 2 years now. I miss that bonding over breastfeeding and "dudhoo time".
Everyone goes through ups and downs during their early breastfeeding days and so did I. But in the end, it was a learning experience and a successful one :). I delivered via C-section and couldn't breastfeed immediately after birth. I couldn’t sit up for a few days and wasn’t able to feed her properly. I still remember those nights when she was crying through the night for milk.
Slowly, the doctors and my mom helped me feed and I too felt determined seeing her hunger. Initially, she was fed formula milk but gradually she learnt to suck properly and the milk flow increased day by day. Since then up to around 17 months, I have breastfed successfully and happily! I learnt a lot in this journey and would love to share with you
- Always start feeding your baby as they learn to suck your nipples. If you start feeding using the bottle, there are higher chances of nipple confusion and will be hard for you to get baby to latch to your breast later
- Keep yourself hydrated with juices, fluids and water because your body loses a lot of fluids during breastfeeding
- During breastfeeding, whatever you eat will be passed to your baby so eat nutritious food
- Exclusive breastfeeding for 6 months is a must and you should try to breastfeed for at least upto 2 years along with solids. It has been scientifically proven that babies who are breastfed longer are more intelligent, stronger and have more immunity than those who discontinue earlier
And yes, it’s hard to stop breastfeeding but like any journey, it comes to an end.
These women have definitely persisted in the face of adversity, haven't they? Remember, you are not alone in this journey!#breastisbest #breastfeedinghurdles #breastfeeding