Breastfeeding gets easier / successful breastfeeding story
by Katelin Granados
I have two boys, a 4 year old and 3 month old. With my first son I was pregnant at 20 and was so excited, but honestly never really thought about the round the clock care that goes into taking care of a newborn and baby!
I was in for a shock once I gave birth to my 8lb 6oz little man! I struggled to breastfeed when he would not latch on well.
I had such an overabundance of milk I would pump and hand express to save it.
Breast feeding became so frustrating that I would just feed it to him in the bottle. Finally, at about 6 weeks he started to latch on and I would breastfeed at night lying down in bed and during the day he would get formula and some of my pumped milk from the previous day.
I was very stressed out and saddened that I couldn't get him to latch on in the beginning and also suffered from Postpartum depression. I came through the depression and stopped pumping milk at 6 months.
I talked to other moms who told me they exclusively breastfed for the entire first year only having to supplement with formula here and there and some moms never even touched the formula!
I was amazed, because I didn't think it was possible. My supply had decreased dramatically after returning to work after 6 weeks since I would go very long stretches of time without expressing milk.
I told myself that if I did have another child, I would breastfeed for at least a year because I remember what I did wrong and would learn from it.
I became pregnant at 24 and after a very traumatic birth of his coming unexpectedly at home and spending 4 days in the NICU, I was able to visit him and breast feed him every 3 hours. Once we got our Lil man home, I stuck to the feeding schedule established by the NICU and everything seemed to be going well.
My supply, however seemed to be increasing more and more as the days went by. I was pumping
both breasts after every feeding and freezing 5-7 ounces a breast. Then the nipple pain arrived.
It felt as if my nipples were being cut off or rubbed between two bricks back and forth and then I became ill with mastitis.
I still continued to breast feed through the pain and eventually called a Lactation consultant to come to the house to help after 2 weeks of searing pain.
She tried to get my little one to latch on deeper and gave me a care plan to ease my discomfort but not even cabbage leaves were helping. She finally suggested trying a bottle for a day to let my nipples heal and rest.
I was so scared that my baby would not want to nurse, that I did not listen and continued through the pain.
After a well child check up and an emotional talk with the pediatrician and attending physician, through my tears they urged me to stop breastfeeding for 2 days and to pump so my milk would not stop, but would decrease enough so I wouldn't have to pump as often.
My baby is now a little over three months and refuses the bottle! Lol! Our problem now is my forceful letdown, which gags and chokes him.
He pulls off after a few minutes and I worry he's not getting enough and the foremilk/ hindmilk imbalance. After much research, especially this site I have learned a few tricks to calm down my letdown lol. He finally took a pacifier today and is napping.
I believe that it's a lot of trial and error. Babies do not come with instructions and you have to learn what works best for your baby.
I am still learning each and every day and am 3 months strong on the breast feeding even though it hasn't been rainbows and lollipops!!
I will make it to a year because that is the best thing for him and I only want the best for my baby. If you are having trouble, trust me, you are not the only one, determination is key and it will get easier over time. God bless!