I naively assumed breastfeeding would be easy.
Turns out it’s a bit more tricky than that.
Sharing a few of our bumps in the road in the hope it helps someone else.
– Nipple size matters – mine are small & Faith struggled to latch.
– Not all nurses know what they are doing. After several hours without help, a student midwife squeezed the shit out of my boob with no effect. Do not let them do this!
– Finally another nurse helped me collect every little drop of colostrum & syringe feed it to Faith. This continued for several days.
– We stayed two nights in hospital on account of the latching issue.
– A breastfeeding specialist got me on an electric pump to bring my milk in & bring my nipples out further to help latching.
– She also suggested nipple shields.
– We were eventually discharged on account of having a plan – express milk & nipple shields.
I can totally see why some who wanted to breastfeed would have turned to formula at this point.
– Finally we get home & my milk starts to come in. WOW it’s painful! I felt like my boobs were going to explode for about 4 days. I wanted to cut them off!
– The nipple shields arrived, game changer! I’d never even heard of them but it’s these that have allowed us to continue to breastfeed (only stopped using them at 13 weeks).
– At last my milk is in & Faith can latch on account of the shield.
Plain sailing now right…?
– Nothing could have prepared me for the almost constant demand for milk! I was feeding her every 90 minutes, that’s start to start so really only about 45 mins gap in between…
– So much food & water needed to keep my supply going which is a challenge with so little free time.
– My let down is fast which often led to Faith taking too much too quickly & coughing it back up.
– Oh and the leaking through at night. I’d often wake in a puddle.
– Boobs are odd… turns out one of my boobs offers a full blown meal & the other just a snack. This is very common apparently.
– 12 weeks down the line we faced a new problem… I’m pumping to provide Faith with milk whilst I’m working two afternoons a week. I also pump at the times I would usually feed her to keep supply up.
– My boobs weren’t refilling so when Faith returned there was very little milk flow for her. She was angry!! Especially as she’s used to such a fast flow… I ended up giving her what I’ve pumped so had nothing in reserve.
– Then suddenly boom in the middle of the night I’d be full again, leaking everywhere.
Last week we dropped into a breastfeeding cafe group to get some advice.
So we’ve switched from an electric pump to the Haakaa. So far so good!
I’d really like to continue with breastfeeding for a little longer.
Whilst also mentally preparing myself for the fact we may have to incorporate some formula.
Sure it’s been a bumpy road at times but it’s also the most amazing bonding and experience to know that I am Faiths life source
Wish us luck!