My Breastfeeding Journey

by Margaret Money
(Lincolnshire, England)

Breastfeeding my daughter for the first time

Breastfeeding my daughter for the first time

Breastfeeding my daughter for the first time
My son and daughter meeting for the first time
My happy little girl!

When I became pregnant with my first child in 2007, it came as a shock, when I found out I was already 11 weeks and had no symptoms, so it took some getting used to. I was unsure how myself and my partner were going to cope both financially and mentally as I was quite young and although we had been together for five years we didn't live together, and so we had a lot of things to sort out. One thing I was sure of however was that I would breastfeed, I knew the benefits, and it was something I felt strongly about.

When my son arrived in August after a 52-hour labor and an emergency c section under general anesthetic I was in no fit state to breastfeed as I had complications and lost 4 liters of blood and ended up spending a day on ICU having blood transfusions. In the meantime, the midwife fed my son formula and when I met him, a few hours after the birth I tried feeding him but I was only allowed limited time with him in ICU, so he was taken away after only a few minutes of trying to feed him.

We were reunited that evening, but I had further complications and was taken for another transfusion and expressing was never mentioned, I wish I had asked, but I was too sleepy to even think about it. In the following days when we were together again, I tried to breastfeed my baby but he did nothing but scream, he had been quite happy with the formula and wanted nothing to do with my breast, I was devastated but carried on trying him anyway.

Once we got home, I had to mix formula along with attempting to breastfeed as he wasnt very interested and when the midwife came she told me that I was confusing him and would make him constipated by mixing feeds. As I was suffering from PND mainly due to the traumatic birth, I decided to give in and stopped offering the breast, a decision which I have regretted since.

Once my son turned two, we decided we were ready to try for another baby and became pregnant straight away. I focused my attention on doing everything to assure this would be a natural birth (VBAC) and did every bit of research I could. I felt that my PND came about because of my birth experience and I wanted to make sure it didn't happen again.

When my daughter arrived in May, the labor was very similar. The doctor came in to tell me that I had to have another c section as my waters had been broken for too long. There was a risk of uterine rupture, and it would need to be performed under general anesthetic; this meant that my husband nor I would witness our child being born for the second time. I was devastated and wondered how I would come to terms with it again after having such a terrible time with the PND last time.

The only thing I managed to get accross to my husband before I was whisked away was not to worry, and I loved him, but also please dont let them feed the baby until I came back unless it was essential but that I would express if possible.

When I woke up in the theatre, the doctor informed me that there had been similar complications and that I would meet my baby in a couple of hours. The first thing I asked was if I could breastfeed and although the doctor said it wouldnt typically be allowed, he let me go to my baby daughter to breastfeed.

My husband was with her, and the first thing he said was, ''I told them not to feed her and that we had to wait''. My daughter had waited almost 3 hours, and so when she was passed to me she latched on immediately, and it was the best feeling I have ever experienced. In the few moments, which it took for her very first feed, I felt my mental wounds of the birth experienced immediately heal. I no longer felt sadness about either of the births, and it then came to me that my grief had been caused by the fact that I couldn't breastfeed my son, and not by the traumatic birth at all. The delivery was something I couldn't control, and I knew that I had done everything I could to prevent a c section this time so I immediately felt at peace.

Eight weeks in and my daughter is still exclusively breastfed, and I plan to breastfeed her on demand for as long as possible, she is gaining weight and is a very happy little girl! And I am a very happy mummy!!!

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Sep 06, 2015
Inspirational
by: Jessica Summers

What an inspirational, heart filled story.Congratulations...I'm so happy for you. God Bless you and your family.

Aug 17, 2011
You Go Girl!
by: Elsabe

That is awesome! May you have many more joy filled moments with both your kids.

Jul 22, 2010
Wow, thanks so much for sharing
by: Anonymous

What an inspirational, heart filled story.

Congratulations, I'm so happy for you.

I'm hoping to have another baby too, and want to breastfeed so bad. With my first child, I only breastfed for two months and then gave up because of lack of info; I thought I didn't have enough milk. Now I know better...I've done a lot of research about breastfeeding and am confident I will do better the next time around.

I'm also hoping to have a natural birth instead of c-section...I think the medication also has a lot to do with a persons milk supply.

I almost started crying when you mentioned how you feel peace and healing now that you can finally have that special bond.

Thank you for sharing
God bless you and your family.


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Even when it doesn't work... don't give up!

by Helen Sweeney
(Brooklyn, NY)


My husband and I have been waiting for our child for a long time. I got pregnant right away but miscarried our first, and we couldn't seem to get pregnant since then.

When I finally found out I was pregnant - I was thrilled. I got all these nifty little things - like a baby sling and a nursing cover. I asked my best friend to buy me nursing bras when she asked what I wanted. I was preparing myself for a lifetime of breastfeeding bliss.

Sadly, it has not worked out like that.

I had my daughter in November 2011. She had a severe tongue-tie and would not latch on. I did not have enough colostrum to express either so while in the hospital we gave in and had to formula feed her.

We went to a specialist to fix her tongue tie - and she still did not latch on. I bought nipple shields, sippie cups, supplemental feeder and every other breast gadget known to me to help my daughter latch on - and she still did not latch on.

I paid for private consultations with lactation consultants and went to breastfeeding support groups and got tons of healthy advice - and she still did not latch on. She is seven weeks at the time I am typing this, and she still refuses to breastfeed.

Knowing the benefits of breastfeeding - I decided to pump and offer breast milk to her in a bottle. And that's what we have been doing. Yes, it takes a lot more of my time. Yes, I have to be super creative on how to pump when we're out in the city running errands or when I have classes at the university.

Yes, giving her formula and just letting my milk dry up would've been a lot more convenient for us at this point. But you can't go against the fact that breast milk is better for her than formula - and I do want the very best for my daughter.

So for those of you who feel like you've tried everything and it didn't work - don't give up! Do the best for your children that you can, and you will live with no regrets.

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Relactating

by rebecca witcher
(bakersfield, ca, usa)

To understand my story you must know i have 2 children a girl a 4 and a boy c 1. when my daughter was born i was very uneducated in breast feeding and even though my mom had breastfed all of her children she was no help at all! i tried so hard for about a week but my daughter would not latch on! we decided that i still wanted her to have breastmilk even if it wasnt straight from the tap. i pumped for her for about 3 months but was battling post pardum depression and i decided to just give formula! if i had heard of all the recalls and deaths that were going on by giving formula i would of done everything to relactate with her also! she has developed great and had no problems, but still to this day i wish i would of kept trying!
with my son i was unsure if i would breastfeed since i was still very uneducated and kind of discouraged by the experience with my daughter but i was going to give it my best shot! in the hospital everything went great he latched on like a pro and i couldnt be any happier! we left the hospital on day 3 due to a c-section and went home where i tried to feed him again. maybe it was the change from the hospitl to the house but he wouldnt latch on at all! i tried multiple times during the day but he had already lost %12 of his body weight in the hospital and i was scared! i felt like i had no experience and no faith in myself and neither did anyone else. that night i gave in and gave him a bottle but instantly felt guilty so in the morning i went straight to my local wic lactation consultant and she was no help either. we couldnt get him to latch! she suggested spoon feeding. sorry that was a pain in the arse! i kept spilling it and he only would get a little drip and he and i were so frusterated. so i just gave up i remembered pumping with my daughter and she did fine on formula so why wouldnt he? right? totally wrong!!!
my son quickly showed signs that he was allergic! we switched to the gentle ease and he seemed a little better so we gave it a week but thats when he started throwing up the formula. the doctor thought it might be a stomache bug or his stomache was adjusting to the formula she said you have to wait 2 weeks to see the change. one week later were were back so she told us to switch to the ar...he was so constipated screaming as he would strain to poop it made me feel so bad was it really worth it? we decided to go back to the gentle ease. two weeks later we were back in the office he was still throwing up after each feed and now his poo has blood in it, he even had horrible open ulcers on his bottom from the acidic diarrhea, he wasnt sleeping well and screamed all day. the doctor told me to switch to the nutramigen or allimentum we tried one with little help then switched to the other which worked great! we had our happy baby back...finally! he was a little older than 2 moths old at this time and now my question was how were we going to pay for this formula? we had wic but had already used the vouchers for that month on the gentle ease and we were required by wic to have a doctor refer the formula and we muct have our insurance deni the formula first so that was some fun running around! and about the time we finally got everything worked out my son started to throw up again!!! i knew for a while that the only thing that was going to help him was breast milk, i looked into donor breastmilk but the nearest place was in LA which is about 4 hours away i figured with all the gas expensise and such that it would be just about the same as formula feeding which was too expesive in the first place.
relactating is something i had always heard of...i googled it and looked at just about every site that had anything written about the subject!
list of items that helped me to relactate!
pump- cheap hand held at first then i got a double electric pump from wic
lots of water
oatmeal
mothers milk tea(or any hot tea-chamamile or green)-gnc, walgreens, riteaid $8?
fenugreek-gnc, walgreens, riteaid you will need to take 3 pills 3 times a day until your pee and sweat smell like maple syrup! $6
sns feeder bought from amazon.com cheapiest place i could find spent $12
domeperidone- has been given to pregnant women for nausea so its up to you to decide to use it or not but for me i read a lot about it and i decided it was safer than anything else. i bought mine from inhousepharmacy.biz you will need to take 30mg(they come in 10mg pills) 3 times a day and will need atleast 1 months supply(i needed about 1 &1/2 months)
alarm clock
pen and notebook
days1-2
i pumped everytwo hours for 15minutes each breast and didnt get one drop until the 2cd day
day 3
i bought the mothers milk tea and drank it 10 minutes before i pumped and started getting 5-10 drops still pumping every 2 hours
day 4
getting about 10-15 drops still pumping every 2 hours i got a blister on my nipple and got the larger pumping cup to avoid anymore blisters.
day 5
i bought the fenugreek and didnt notice any change in amount of pumping
day 6
i noticed at my 4 oclock pump that i filled an entire bottlom of the bottle up! yay because i was wondering if this was worth it!
day 7
each time i pump iam getting about 30 drops they are starting to get to be bigger drops than before
i read that oatmeal increases pump output- i will try that tomorrow
day 8
omg i got half an oz at my 5am pump!
each pump afterwards the 5am pump has been filling up the bottom of the bottle
i bought more mothers milk tea today
day 9
today i pumped nearly an oz at my 4am pupm time! with the help of eating the oatmeal using the mothers milk tea and using the fenugreek
i recieved my domperidone today in the mail and took my first 30mg dose at 9pm
im getting a little less than 1/4 an oz each time i pump
day 10
i have gone up to 1 oz at my 4am pump with the domperidone and 1/4oz with the other pumpings through out the day.
day11
i was so exhausted from pumping every two hous that i slept in til 7am and pumped about an oz and 1/4 and through out the day it has gone up to 1/2oz!
today i filled up a whole bottle- this domperidone is awesome!
day 12-14
i have filled up around 1.5 bottles each day
day 15-19
i have upped the dosage to 4 pills 3 times a day =120mg/day on day 15 because i ran out of the fenugreek the max is 160mg a day so i still feel im at a safe dosage! and my pumping out put is around 2-2.5 bottles a day.
day 20
today i recieved my sns feeder in the mail and cant wait to try it out my pump output is about 2.5 (4oz) bottles a day. its been about 3weeks since i started this journey and it has been exhausting. im still not pumping enough to exclusively breastfeed but iam happy with what i have accomplished.
today i tried the sns feeder out! he screamed and arched his back when i tried to feed him. im so discouraged!
day 21
i have been trying to use the sns feeder but it is messy and c just fusses when i put him up to me.
i read online to try rebirthing? basically it just says go skin to skin and keep cameron on my chest! hopefully this works.
tonight i have been skin to skin. we took a warm bath together and i had him on my chest and he came right up and nursed on his own! he only nursed for about 1 minute then was done. i think he is used to the bottles but this gives me hope.
after our bath i used the sns feeder. he wouldnt take it right away so i fed him a bit from the bottle and used the fast drip for the sns. he nursed on one breast then became fussy and when i switched him to the other breast he wouldnt take it. and i fed him the rest of the bottle. iam using formula in the sns tonight.
day 22
i have been using the sns with no problems. and topping of with 2oz of expressed breastmilk or formula which ever i have at the moment.
day 23
today when i was feeding with the sns i pinched the tube and let him nurse with out it for a while so with the feeds after wards i have been only using the sns for a few minutes then let him nurse only from me the rest of the feeding! iam still topping off until i feel iam making enough milk for him.
day 24
today i tried nursing with out the sns and it went great! i had to squit a little breastmilk into his mouth first but then he latched right on like he was a pro! i took away the afternoon top off today.
day 26
i have been exclusively breastfeeding without any top offs. he nurses every 1.5- 2hours...i have been watching diaper counts and every thing seems to be going great! yay im so excited! i have successfully relactated!
* i kept using the domperidone until i started forgetting here and there at about 1.5 months of using it. i coppied this all down from a journal i was keeping please let me know if you have any questions. as you can see as long as there is a demand for the breast milk your body will supply it so even if you didnt use the items i used your body will still make the milk maybe not as fast as i did but it will happen.
iam a stay at home mom and was able to read alot and that gave me the education i needed to keep going. i highly suggest the book the breastfeeding book of answers although it is way out dated it was the only book i read and it helped me alot! i have also heard about the book the womanly art of breastfeeding although i have not read it it is highly recomended by alot of people!
i had so many people against me...doctors family members and friends...they said i wouldnt be able to do it and that id never be able to get him on the breast and that i wouldnt make enough milk. but i did it and iam so happy that i did because my son is 13 months old now and healthy and thriving in the 56 percentile!






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Feb 06, 2012
Congratulations
by: Anonymous

You have put in a lot of effort to give your children the best. I hardly made any milk for some reason, and I tried everything you have to increase it, and while it didn't work, I know all the effort it involves. The SNS can be very fiddly. I stopped SNS feeding at three months and went entirely to bottle feeding. (He was losing weight when I just breastfed). I sometimes wonder if I made the right decision and wonder if now that I am not so stressed about it all, I could relactate and make more? But we want to have another child, so I am trying for that now instead. You should be very proud of yourself for all the effort.

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Don't give up!!

by Julie
(Christchurch, NZ)

I always knew that I wanted to breastfeed, and hoped while I was pregnant that I will not have too much drama with it.

I gave birth to my daughter Scarlette in France and we were going to move to New-Zealand when she was 5 weeks old. Therefore breastfeeding her was for my opinion the best way to go, as it was going to be more practical during our traveling.

Just after i gave birth, my daughter would not latch on at all. All the midwifes tried to help us but Scarlette would just not be interested. We waited 36 hours after birth and still no success.

The midwifes were concern that i will not have a proper kickstart for my milk production, so i pump and give the colostrum to my baby with a spoon. When my milk finally arrive, i got so engorged it was really painfull and Scarlette would still not latch on! Oh boy, this was not going the way i thought it was going to be! Why wasn't she breastfeeding?

So i pump and gave her milk in a bottle and i was still trying and trying to breastfeed her as it was so important to me, but each time no success.

After 4 days we try to but a nipple shield and Scarlette latch on! So here it was it look like we were going to be successful afterall but with a nipple shield. Oh well not as practical but at least it was better then nothing!

The problem that we had, was that because of the shield my breast didn't got the stimulation that they needed for a good and sturdy milk supply and after 10 days, Scarlette was losing weight and slowly starving.

My midwife notice that something was not going right and told me to give formula. She also told me that unfortunately, once you start giving the bottle to a new born it is quite hard to breastfeed exclusively after that. Babies or just human and sucking on a bottle is so much easier then sucking on a nipple!

So as the days went pass and we feed her more formula ( while i was still pumping every 2 hours to improve my milk supply) my hopes of breastfeeding we going slowly out the window.

I kept on trying thought and kept believing that we would manage, i so wanted to breastfeed!

After 3 weeks, and a lot a lot of trying and crying, Scarlette miraculously latch on directly at the breast for the first time!!!!

Now she is 10 months old, breastfeed ever since and our trip to new-zealand when really smoothly with my baby latch on to the breast anywhere anytime, just pure joy for her and I!

So for all of us that get told that we won't be able to breastfeed for any old reason ( unless medical reasons) or any king of bump along the road, and for all of us that really really want to breastfeed, i guess don't give up and keep trying and believing!

Those first 3 weeks were really hard but I'm so glad that we didn't gave up. And babies CAN learn how to breastfeed even if it is not their cup of tea at the beginning!

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The breast really is best!

by Lauren
(Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

Joah, my precious son

Joah, my precious son

When I found out that I was pregnant, I made the decision there and then that I would exclusively breastfeed because I knew that it was so beneficial for baby and such a fantastic bonding experience.

My son latched on immediately after birth, and all went well for the first few days. Then on about the fourth day, due to incorrect positioning on the breast, my nipples cracked. Every feed was excruciating, and I was in tears many times...I refused to give up and was determined to get through the pain, and I am so glad that I did. My nipples healed up within a couple of weeks, and it was so worth it!

Feeding is such an enjoyable experience now, and my son is getting all that he needs and picking up weight beautifully.

With the help and encouragement from my husband and doula, I managed to push through, and I will always remain very positive about exclusive breastfeeding.

Also, no sterilizing or having to prepare bottles...what a dream!

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Aug 17, 2011
Well Done
by: Elsabe

Well done Mama, that is great!

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Nursing through yeast infection of nipples (ouch!)

by Josie
(British Columbia)


My name is Josie; I am 30 years old. My husband and I got the best wedding present ever when we found out we were pregnant the week before our wedding day.

I am writing this story to help provide some resources for other women fighting a yeast infection of the nipples. The only symptoms of a yeast infection of the nipples are red, sore nipples, unfortunately, this is the case for many nursing mothers.

Thrush, or yeast infection of the nipples, can be hard to recognize if it occurs with your first baby, as it did with me.

Our son was born two weeks early, and I began nursing him immediately. Within two days I was feeling a tremendous amount of nipple and breast pain. Within two days, the pain was constant and very distracting.

After several weeks, a public health nurse diagnosed me with yeast infection of the nipples.

After trying many, many different remedies, I found that Jack Newmann's triple action nipple cream in combination with Gentian Violet was the best solution.

The All Purpose Nipple Ointment (APNO) has the following ingredients:
Mupirocin ointment 2%: 15 grams
Betamethasone ointment 0.1%: 15 grams
To which is added miconazole powder to a concentration of 2% miconazole
Total: about 30 grams combined

To discourage yeast growth I took acidophilus pills 3 times a day (also contained in yogurt), cut out all simple and complex sugars (bread, pasta, sugar, fruit) for one month and followed a fairly strict routine with applying Gentian Violet to my nipples (Twice a day, and small amounts to sore locations on nipples whenever pain is present). It took ten weeks to fight off the yeast infection.

I found this website to be an excellent resource:
http://www.breastfeedingonline.com/yeast.shtml

The amount of pain I was in during these ten weeks is indescribable. (Note that I had a natural birth, so I have a good reference for unbearable). It could be described as slowly cutting off my nipples with a bread knife. As a result, I had to take a medication, domperidone, to help increase my milk production as my body was resisting my efforts to nurse my baby due to the stress and pain I was in.

The story ends happily! After ten weeks, the pain subsided, my milk was still flowing (with the help of domperidone - to increase my milk supply) and my son and I had finally established a good breastfeeding relationship. Now that I am back at work, and still breastfeeding, I am so happy that I have this special time to reconnect with him every day.


Good Luck!

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Jul 06, 2012
you've shone light at the end of my dark tunnel
by: at witt's end mom

I have been battling with a nipple yeast infection for over two months now! have been on medication, applying creams etc. and the pain is not only excruciating but also very depressing as I love to breastfeed but its been sooooooooooo painful! I hope I can also post a "happy ending" story soon! Thank you so much for posting your experience!

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Breastfeeding helped me love my baby

by Zelda Behr
(Sasolburg South Africa)


Cailin Behr

When we found out were pregnant my first thoughts were, normal birth and breastfeeding, because that's how God made us and for me and baby it's the most healthy and natural way.

I fought to get my way in a medical world, where a elective c-section is "forced" on us. And so we get everything ready for the arrival of our bundle of joy, 40 weeks came and went and at 42 weeks I had no choice but to go for a c-section.

I told myself you tried and it didn't happen for u it will all be fine but, it wasn't the whole experience was horrible they took him out and I felt nothing, there was no special moment for me he did not feel like my own I felt like a failure.

In pain and unable to hold him properly they kept him at the nurses station only seeing him for feeds and it felt good knowing that I was the only one that could see to that need.

I struggled for a few days with depression and only felt better when he was drinking, every day it became more special for me and being able to breastfeed made me feel like a mommy and without the help of my sister in law creator of this web site I don't think I would have had the knowledge to push trough with breastfeeding, thank you for helping so many woman successfully breastfeed.

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I did it! it is so worth it!

by Elmarie Blignaut
(South Africa)

Ulrich

Ulrich

When I first found out I was pregnant, it was an easy decision to make…I would breastfeed!
This because of all the reasons the doctors gave, naturally…it’s good for my baby.

My son was born 5 weeks early, his mouth was still too small to suck properly. The first night in the hospital, the nurse came to help me and tried to hand express the milk, it was so painful I cried. Two days later I had purple marks on my breasts. It was terrible!

I still remember when my husband came into the room that first day, he looked at me in puzzlement and asked if my breasts where going to stay that big! Haha…

I cried because my child was hungry and I couldn’t give him food, my child cried because he was hungry, my poor husband didn’t know what to do. My breasts felt as though they wanted to explode from all the milk. My husband then went and bought me a manual breast pump. The pump only made my breasts more painful, my breasts where now so full and the glands became blocked. I decided to go to Roosmaryn where a sister told me to use one of the Medela breast pumps on hire.

I went home and started pumping, if I remember correctly I pumped about 150ml out of the one breasts. So everything worked out okay, mommy was happy because baby was happy and daddy was happy because mommy and baby was happy and they stopped crying!

We finally bought an electric breast pump, my days where mostly occupied by pumping and feeding my son. I had to pump around the clock to keep my milk production up. Some night I would fall asleep with the pump, even while pumping.

I did try breastfeeding in-between the pumping sessions, but my son didn’t want to. I felt so hopeless, but my husband supported and encouraged me. The sister said I should use nipple shields. What a mess, the milk flows out everywhere, I was sticky and baby was sticky, it didn’t work either. Every time we tried it ended up miserable. I was heart sore from scratch again, but I didn’t give up hope.

We where sitting at my mom and thems place, and I thought let me try just one more time. Ulrich was about two and a half month old at the time. It finally happened, he grabbed my breast with his little hands and started drinking. I cried with joy.

From that day on, baby and mommy’s boobs where inseparable. From that day on they where not mommy’s breasts anymore, I lost them somewhere along the way. When I bathed he would open his mouth wide and when I dressed and he saw my breasts he would cry. We use to fall asleep together like this. Ulie is such a healthy baby. Him and I now had a better bonding experience. It was a wonderful feeling.

For me the breastfeeding was the best thing about being a mommy. All the struggling and tears where worth it, I would do it again any day. I wanted to breastfeed until Ulrich was 2 but could not unfortunately.

I wanted to breastfeed because it was the best for my baby but today I feel differently about it, I breastfed because I enjoyed it, it was good for me and my child emotionally and health wise. It is a feeling I will never forget. Maybe it was so magnificent because I worked so hard to make it happen, I don’t know.

Ulrich is now two and a half and I enjoy being a mother, I would recommend that every mother breastfeeds if it is possible for her. It is indescribably fantastic. It also has many advantages. Breastfeed not just for baby but also for yourself. If you struggle don’t just give up, get help, do some research, it is so worth it!

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