Breastfeeding Stories - My Breastfeeding Story: To Help Others
I'm 22 years of age, and from the moment I found out I was pregnant (at 16 wks) I knew I wanted to breastfeed for the following reasons: easier once established, cheaper, lose pregnancy weight quicker, benefits for baby and benefits for myself and also my mother breastfed me and my 2 siblings.
I went 6 days over my due date so on the 6th day I received a membrane sweep; luckily that started my labour. The next day (Christmas Eve) my son was born - Jay David. He was passed straight to me but was a sleepy baby and wasn’t interested in feeding.
Once I was cleaned up and sent to the postnatal ward, I tried again to get Jay to feed but he still wasn’t interested. I had a nurse come over to help me out and tried to latch him on; he wasn’t interested. Then she gave him his first bath to try and wake him up - still no joy. We were then told to strip him off to his vest and let him cool down in the hope he would wake as he would get cold and want to feed, but again no joy. The nurse then offered to hand express from me to which I accepted. She got some milk and gave it to Jay via a syringe so as not to get him used to a teat. He took it lovely so she suggested to leave him for a little while and try again. But still no joy; Jay was very sleepy and the midwives said it was probably because of the pethidine during labour.
In order for me to go home the same day they wanted him to have a decent feed so they suggested formula and I gave in. I felt guilty but really didn’t want to spend Christmas in the hospital. I wanted to go home with my family and spend my first Christmas with our first child in our first home together, just the 3 of us. He had the bottle lovely. He was sick after but they were satisfied that he had a decent feed, 3 ozs. We went home where we tried again and yes you guessed it, still no joy. We had a few ready-made cartons just in case we didn’t hit it off breastfeeding. Family also went out to get some more with it being Christmas eve. The midwife came out the next day to check on us and tried to get him latched on but he was still sleepy. I wasn’t going to let it upset me as I knew it would make matters worse. My partner and family was very supportive and just went with the flow.
To make sure my milk supply was there and ok I started to express. I knew it wasn’t a good idea but I didn’t want my milk supply to drop as I didn’t stop leaking. So I expressed a few times a day after about the 4th day, and gave that to Jay from a bottle which he took lovely and wasn’t very sick at all, so I knew he was ok with my milk. We carried on like that until day 10 when the midwife came out and said that I must be very tired expressing for every feed, so we gave it one more go and he actually did it! We were lying down but he was feeding. I was so happy we didn’t move for about 30-40 mins. So every feed after that for a while had to be whilst I was lying down; it worked really well. I left it a few days before sitting up to nurse Jay and by the time he was 3 wks old we was actually feeding as we should.
At around 5/6wks, we experienced a little problem; I thought my milk had dried up in the one breast. It really got to me and I got quite upset, but my sister told me to go take a bath to calm down and try again. I also contacted La Leche League, and they were fantastic. They found my problem was that I wasn’t drinking enough fluids through the night, so that night I went to bed armed with a 2 litre bottle of squash! It worked and we carried on until 5 months where I weaned him when he was ready.
I later returned to work when Jay was 6 months old and I carried on for as long as I could, expressing in work time. He eventually dropped his morning bottle by 7 months old then dropped his late afternoon bottle, so there was no need to express during work. It became easier for me then as I didn’t have to carry my breast pump back and forth. By the time Jay was 8 months old he had a bottle of formula in the afternoon, then would nurse from me throughout the night, which was very tiring especially being back at work. I carried on nursing him in the night up until Jay was 10 and a half months old, when we finally stopped.
I really enjoyed my breastfeeding experience and would definitely do it again with baby number 2. Good Luck to all mums of all ages who read this.
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