Stories of Breastfeeding Victories: I am Determined
Breatsfeeding 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.
Ever since I got pregnant, I was OBSESSED with getting breastfeeding right and read up all I could on breastfeeding. If there was an article on the internet on the subject, then you could be sure that I had read it. I really wanted to succeed at this and experience that special bond with my child. But I struggled with breastfeeding initially. My entire support system - my mother, nurses and doctors at the hospital helped me to get it right but I was still struggling.
It was quite tough in the earlier days and despite my mother, nurse, doctor guiding me every day, I couldn’t feed my baby successfully. After coming home with my baby, I noticed that the was baby crying when I breastfed him. I then sought help on BabyChakra and so many Moms helped me out! They helped me figure out my lactation issues and now, I have finally succeeded! Being able to feed my baby has been wonderful!
I had a smooth, normal delivery but when it was time for breastfeeding, hell broke loose!
It took me 2-3 days to produce milk properly. In the first 2 days, nobody told me or even paid attention to whether I was able to breastfeed or not. The first night was manageable but from the next day onwards, I experienced hell! On top of that, my baby was crying aloud due to hunger. I was told that I was not producing enough milk.
My doctor assured me that I have enough milk and pointed out my latch issue. I couldn’t latch still!. On day 5, he got hospitalized due to jaundice. After coming back, I noticed that I had completely ignored the pain in my stitches which got severe. I couldn't sit. I couldn't hold my baby properly. I would feed him while standing. Every part of my body was aching. I recovered, but then began the sore nipple episode. My son's gums were so hard that I still have those marks of his bites on my nipples. My doctor told me that my nipples are too big for him and his gums are very strong. I bled from both sides, every time I fed.
When he was 20-25 days old, I decided to stop breastfeeding until the wounds healed. Only for 2 days, he took formula and started vomiting. I did everything I could, but it didn't stop. Everyone accused my wounds for his suffering. I took medicines for almost 15 days, but my wounds were very severe, so I was strictly advised not to breastfeed for a few days.When he was 1.5 months old, we learnt to latch properly after watching a couple of videos. My skin too got a little tougher and it slowly eased out for me.
For the first 3 days, after my baby was born, he could hardly latch and I, too, didn’t produce much milk. At the hospital, it was very difficult as he used to cry the whole day. Everyone started saying that we should give formula milk but I strictly refused. As baby wasn’t latching, nurses used a syringe to draw milk and feed him. It hurt me a lot. Tears rolled down my eyes but I kept looking at my baby and told myself that I could do it. I then learnt and started expressing breast milk through a nipple puller. I could then slowly feed my baby with my mom’s help. As days passed, he fed well and he felt full. My heart felt lighter.
I had inverted nipples. Since the beginning, I was advised to massage my nipples upwards. I did that until 7th month and used a nipple puller from 8th month onwards. My nipples were a bit better by delivery (they had started leaking too). On the first day, it was very difficult as my baby couldn't latch and cried with hunger, which in turn, pushed me into PPD. I didn’t even feel like holding her! That hurts me even today! She was on formula for around 10 days but continued crying. When I got a little stable, I tried latching before every feed but she howled as soon as she was brought near my nipples. My husband never lost hope though! He took me to the lactation counselor as engorgement and pain had set in. She made my baby feed after trying multiple positions for feeding.
Tears of joy rolled down when my baby latched and fed directly for the first time!
For the first time, I felt motherly love and connected with my baby. I promised myself that I would breastfeed her at any cost. But she refused to latch when I came home! The lactation counselor asked me to start pumping. I pumped and gave my expressed milk through the bottle but that wasn’t enough. My 2-week-old baby drank 90-120 ml in each feed for 7-8 feeds a day. My husband used to hold her to my breast as my hands would ache. He sang to her while I fed and burped her too! My doctor then suggested power pumping and that really helped! Oh, the joy! I had cried nights begging her to feed directly! In around 1.5 months, she could exclusively breastfeed.
I plan to feed my baby for a minimum of 2 years! Engorgement, soreness, bleeding, I have experienced it all but I have only emerged stronger!
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