Anna shared with me her story of Six Months of Exclusive Expressing her son Ben. I still enjoy reading other womens stories of birth and breastfeeding. So I thought I would invite you to share your stories of breastfeeding. There is so much to me learned from reading the stories of others. I look forward to reading your posts.
I love that story about Anna, Her determination and hard work really gave me hope with expressing too. It's so hard breastfeeding and I think some mothers give up too easily. I wish we all had a little bit of Anna's will. I was lucky enough to breastfeed for 18 months and I am so happy that I persisted in the very very hard times. Unfortunately no family members breastfeed so I didn't have much support but I found a lot of support in forums just like this. I believe it is a very hard thing to do but the best for both you and your baby.
After an emergency Caesarean and 6 days in the NICU we had some challenges with breastfeeding.
Many people midwives, nursing staff, lactation consultants and family gave me many different opinions on how to feed my son. I listened and was doing what I thought was right and to my horror he lost more than 10% of his body weight and was still very weak. I was readmitted to hospital with Nicolas and we were put in a very strict feeding regime. I had to use a nipple shield to begin with as he was to weak to suck effectively. Every feed which was every 2 to 3 hours was both breasts plus hand expressed breast milk, having inverted nipples and larger breasts the pumps were ineffective, plus 30 mls of goats milk. We did this for 8 1/2 weeks until Nicolas decided he was strong enough. He pulled away from the bottles and no longer wanted the shield. He us now almost 7 months old and us exclusively breastfed. He is my shining light. It is amazing that they know when the time is right. I trusted the process and knew in my heart that when it was time he would let me know.
Thank you for sharing such an inspirational story
I thought I would share my breastfeeding story. I hope it will be useful for some new breastfeeding mums out there.
I always wanted to breastfeed my baby. I knew the health benefits and I particularly liked the idea of the special bond breastfeeding gives a mum and her baby. I thought that it would come naturally and I hadn't really considered any potential problems. However, when my baby boy was born he was very sleepy and not interested in feeding initially. Looking back, I didn't have much support in the hospital in terms of breastfeeding from the staff. After 24 hours of no success on the breast the midwives recommended I try nipple shields to see if he found this easier to latch onto. I didn't realise at the time that they don't let as much milk through as breastfeeding without using them and I wish I had been given more information on them. After 36 hours my baby started latching onto the breast and feeding for short periods at a time. I was relieved that he had begun feeding! Unfortunately it seemed that everyone in the hospital I spoke to gave different information about what feeding position to use and what I should expect. I ended up at home having only breastfed my baby twice successfully on my own in hospital with little clue of how to continue.
When my little one latched on and started feeding I would shout to my husband to begin timing...in those early days I remember sometimes he would only feed for a couple of minutes at a time. I struggled on for 3 weeks. It was a difficult time. I was in a fair bit of pain and my baby would feed for hours at a time. On one occasion (it happened to be New Year's Eve) he fed for 4 hours almost without stopping. I was exhausted. Eventually I attended a breastfeeding clinic and they found my little one had not put on the expected weight gain. Now I was really upset. I had been trying to do the best for my baby but this didn't seem to be good enough. At the breastfeeding clinic they watched us feeding and couldn't see anything wrong with the technique or latch. The midwife decided to check my babies mouth and she found a tongue tie. This is where the piece of tissue that connects the babies tongue with the bottom of their mouth is too tight so their tongue cannot move freely. For my baby, it meant he had difficulty latching on and it was also a major reason why I was finding feeding so painful.
We decided to have the tongue tie cut which was a very simple procedure and was performed (to my surprise!) with a pair of scissors in a matter of seconds. The first time I breastfed my baby after the procedure I could tell there was a significant difference. I could hear him actually gulping the milk for the first time! He quickly became full. It was also much more comfortable for me.
12 months later and my little lad is still a happy breastfeeder. What's more, I am a happy breastfeeding mum! My advice to anyone who is struggling at first is to keep asking for help. I wish I had asked for more help sooner. Others have been there and they understand what it is like to want to breastfeed you baby but be struggling to do so.
I love reading these stories. Personally, I am about to reach a huge milestone for me- 1 year of exclusive breastfeeding. I breastfed my previous children, but we had a lot of problems and never rounded out the year. However, my daughter is only a few weeks away from her first birthday right now and we are still going strong.
The first month was so hard, but now it is so much easier than bottle feeding. I've had more sleep, more energy, and a better experience throughout her babyhood than with any of my previous children. I highly recommend breastfeeding to moms and encourage them to really push through the first few months. Once you get past that, it is sooo worth it. Not only are there major health benefits, but there are also some pretty substantial psychological ones.
My original goal was six months, then one year. Now that we are here, I think I want to let her decide when we stop. I honestly couldn't imagine stopping. It has been such a great journey =)
Mom2many : congratulations on 1 year of breastfeeding: what an achievement!