When I was pregnant with Sweet Thing, I read all the books about pregnancy and birth and even a little bit of parenting! One thing I didn't give a second look was breastfeeding. I knew I was going to breastfeed, I wasn't worried about getting my newborn to latch. I thought it would be a piece of cake.
How wrong was I?
Breastfeeding was a challenge for us from the beginning.
After giving birth, we tried to latch about an hour later, with not much luck, we didn't worry about it. She wasn't hungry anyway. Later on in the day we tried again, and it was painful, and the nurses were trying to help, telling me she's got it, she's doing well. But it was still painful, after unlatching and relatching, I was still in pain, finally I gave up and kept my mouth shut because the nurses weren't helping. Sweet Husband helped me hand express the colostrom to spoon feed our newborn.
We went home the next day.
That night was awful our beautiful newborn screamed for what seemed like an eternity, we tried everything, rocking, bouncing, singing. Anything but nursing. I didn't want to, I was hurt.
Finally we had a nurse come to our house, she then gave me a pump and told me to pump every two hours and 'finger feed' Sweet Thing so I could heal.
I healed and we tried nursing again. It was still painful, like someone pinching my nipple as hard as they could. We tried different positions. Nothing helped. We were told she had a tongue tie and may need to clip it.
A new nurse came a few days later and fitted me for a nipple shield.
Finally after 10 days of pumps and tiny cups and syringes full of mommy milk Sweet Thing was able to nurse, and I was pain free!!
I was ecstatic, I felt like a real mommy!
We nursed successfully from then on with the shield, and only recently have we both been completely weaned from it now at 8 months.
Although the beginning was tough and I had more than my fair share of doubts and not wanting to do it anymore. I stuck it out and I am so glad I did. I now love breastfeeding, it is a nice quiet time for me and Sweet Thing, I love that I am the only one who can do this for her. I love that she was a tiny 6lb 9oz baby girl and and now she is a healthy 18lb 8 month old, all thanks to mamas milk. I am sad that our breastfeeding is slowing down now that Sweet Thing is on more and more solid foods lately. I will not wean her, this is her decision.
I urge every mother to breastfeed, and though you may think you just can't do it anymore, you can! You really can!
Sarah, 21. Mom to 1 girl, Sophia 8.5 months