Stories of Breastfeeding Victories: I Have The Will
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.
My baby was born premature. So, his suckling abilities weren’t fully developed. He started suckling after 2.5 months and normalized after 3.5 months.
He was fed with a food pipe, a bowl and spoon, and finally progressed to direct breastfeeding with lots of efforts and patience. Babies are able to suck only once they weigh over 2 kgs and his weight was lower than that.
Initially, expressing milk was really difficult as I had neither the knowledge nor guidance, when I delivered during the 7th month of pregnancy. I was in pain when milk started flowing but didn’t know how to express. A nurse in the NICU showed me how to squeeze the areola and express milk, which was painful. I was already in trauma as my baby was in the NICU. We managed to express milk for the initial feeds. Since he needed just 15 ml every two hours, it worked for 4 days. When demand increased, I couldn’t express using that plastic injection pump (don't know what it is called) and got block breast swelling. I was unaware of other means to express milk. Slowly, milk supply reduced due to lack of stimulation. The NICU team was demanding more milk for baby. We then learnt about breast pump and used it successfully.
In his second month of stay at the NICU, he was showing signs of suckling. After being discharged from the hospital, I used to express milk every two hours (as doctor advised). A few days later, I tried different feeding positions. He would take only a few drops, while trying with all his might but failed to suck more. Videos on the internet helped. We didn't even know lactation specialists exist! I supported him for a month with expressed milk after which he latched on!.
Thanks to my baby’s inner strength, my efforts paid off!
I had a complication during C-section. I remember asking the doctor if my baby was fine. After that, everything went hazy, I couldn't see, I couldn't breathe and I couldn't speak. I don't know from where I got the strength to move my hand and get the doctor to attend to me who was at the other end stitching me. I was put on oxygen cylinder and then on ventilator. I came out of OT the after 2.5 hrs and was sent to the ICU. I remember asking my hubby about our baby and to ask the doctor to let me see the baby. My body was all swollen and I was shivering. But I refused to go to my room before seeing my baby (who was in the nursery, peacefully sleeping). Ohh.. that tag on his wrist which read: B/O Shruti Lakhani made me feel proud of myself. I was on my stretcher in the feeding room attached to the nursery where I first breastfed my baby. I wanted him to have colostrum. Ohh.. That was such a soul satisfying feeling! I forgot all the pain I had experienced so far at that very moment!
After that with a few trials on the right position and both of us were ready for breastfeeding!
I went through labour for 24 hours and then delivered through C-section. I heard my baby’s cries and the doctor told me it’s a boy. Post that, I realized that both my baby and I were in the ICU under observation. My first attempt to feed my baby was unsuccessful. Then, my mom pressed my nipples to squeeze milk and fed my baby with a spoon. My baby tried to suckle a bit but in 2 days, my nipples got sore and cracked up so I could hardly feed him.
In the midst of this, my doctor told me that baby had jaundice and asked to remove all his clothes and keep him under blue light with eyes covered. That obviously stressed me out a lot. My doctor asked to keep breastfeeding as much as I could. He also said that the sore nipples would heal soon if I kept feeding him. He also advised that I apply breast milk on my sore nipples for relief. Within 2 days, my baby recovered from jaundice and we were discharged from the hospital. But I continued to suffer from those sore nipples for the next 2 months, after which they healed naturally when my baby learnt to suck and feed properly.
I am pretty convinced that breastmilk is the best for babies and recommend that all mothers do it, at any cost.
I had to undergo emergency C-section after 15 hrs of labour as I lost consciousness and my baby’s heartbeat dipped. I saw my baby after 5 hrs of delivery as I was kept in the ICU.. Nurses in the hospital helped me with lactation and my little one latched well in hospital for two days but from the third day he was not feeding at all. Whenever I tried to feed him, he used to cry like anything and I went into a bit of depression because of that. I felt I was not able to take care of the baby and was the reason for him being hungry all the time. I tried all possible positions of feeding, consulted lactation consultants, tried nipple shields and finally ended up with express breastfeeding. Few days later, he slowly started rejecting expressed milk and wanted to feed directly. From then on, he latched on well. Latching purely depended on his mood. Sometimes, he wanted direct feed and sometimes, he wanted expressed milk through a bottle. I seriously feel breastfeeding is the most difficult job on earth! Even in the 5th month now, I am still not sure when he wants the breast or the bottle. I am honestly, quite tired. He has also begun to bite the nipple nowadays. If I don't give him bottle and try to directly feed him, he will nicely munch on my nipples and make them sore. I am eagerly waiting for him to complete 6 months so that I can start semi solids and completely express feed him!
I always wanted to breastfeed my baby. When the journey began, I hardly knew about the pain that would follow. I had no knowledge of the techniques involved and no one told me about it. After a very painful labour, started the unbearable pain with every feed which lasted for 2 months. I sat alone in the dark and cried. I even thought of switching from breastmilk to formula! Hours of reading on the internet told me that if the latching and position is right, it shouldn’t hurt! Things settled as I got the latch right. The pain subsided too. I then began to enjoy feeding my baby.
After 3 months, we had to relocate to a new place. I had no help and had to do everything by myself. Fatigue and improper nutrition led to reduction of milk supply. Again, I did everything to restore supply.
There were days when baby cried for the whole night and I couldn’t get up in the morning. As long as my husband was away, my baby never let me do any work. No work..no food. Only solid food I ate in those days - was bread or biscuit, chocos, cornflakes. This affected the quality of milk..thin watery type.
Eventually, my hubby decided to work from home. Even when we went out, we kept it short so that we could feed baby as per schedule. Wherever we travelled, I found places to feed her. I wasn’t aware that we could express breast milk, store and feed.
My girl bonded well with me, thanks to breastfeeding! It helped me put her to sleep and calm her.
I was advised to stop breastfeeding at one! My husband and I were determined to feed up to 2 years. I didn’t bother about what people around me had to say. We weaned her off at 3 years 2 months when she started attending school.
I am very happy that I could feed her for so long. It’s a blessing! I recommend everyone to take help of lactation counselors, if required, but don’t give up.
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