Warning: Lots of info about ladies parts, again. Stop here if you don’t want to read about that.
I have always wanted to breastfeed my babies, I know it’s what best for them, and frankly it seems a little easier. Getting up in the middle of the night, waiting to warm a bottle with a crying little one, no thanks.
However, I knew that it might not be possible. My mom struggled with breastfeeding my sisters and I was just given formula. My sister breastfed for a little while but didn’t produce enough milk and moved to formula.
The first few days, while in the hospital, Baby B was able to latch well at first and seemed to be getting enough milk. Then we started struggling, he wasn’t latching or staying latched.
Unfortunately since B didn’t latch well there was some cracking and bleeding of my nipples. It was painful and made it hard for B, but we worked through it.
First night at home and B couldn’t eat, sleep or go to the bathroom. I knew right away their was something wrong with my baby. I called the pediatrician and we were seen immediately. B had jaundice and needed to be re-admitted to the hospital’s pediatric unit. I, of course, was still all hormonal and started sobbing in the pediatricians office.
After a day and night in the photo-therapy lights, B was cleared to go home. During our time in the hospital I met with a lactation consultant, and she took one look at the feeding area, and was shocked.
Because of our rough night, and constant trying to feed, my nipples were cracked and bleeding and in immense pain. She recommended a pump and supplementing with formula, if I wasn’t pumping enough (1-1.5 oz) every 3 hours. I was pumping 10-15 mL and supplementing, and B made a great turn around, we were discharged the next day.
At home we continued the pump and formula supplement cycle. Unfortunately I was never able to pump more than an ounce at a time, and he is currently eating 4 ounces at a time.
We’ve been home for over 7 weeks and my supply is actually decreasing, and B’s appetite is increasing. I am feeding him 1-2 ounces of breast milk a day and everything else is formula.
Some days I feel like a failure, I couldn’t supply my baby with enough food to live off of. I know there is nothing else I could do, but sometimes that doesn’t help.
I knew breastfeeding physically wouldn’t be easy, but I didn’t know how hard it would be mentally.
That being said I have found some great products to aide with pumping and bottle feeding, I will review them in another post.
Today’s Question: Did you struggle with breastfeeding? How did you handle those struggles?