When I found out that I was pregnant, I was so excited to be able to nurse! I knew it would be best for baby AND for me! It’s something only mom can give to baby. SO when it didn’t work, I was really bummed.
There were many factors as to why nursing didn’t go well.
1. I had a c-section. Women who have c-sections need a little more time to develop essential hormones that are needed for breastfeeding.
2. I had severe trauma to my body. Because my body went through so much, it took 7 days for my milk to REALLY come in enough to nurse Drake.
3. Nipple Shield. Drake WOULD NOT LATCH. We tried EVERYTHING in the hospital. The nurses helped me so much, but we all decided, TOGETHER, that I needed the shield. I would nurse him using the shield (granted nothing was coming out) and then pump to stimulate production. Eventually, my colostrum came in (on the third day) and he could get that through the shield. Just having the shield does not help production. It inhibits it. I tried every day to get him off the shield! He wasn’t having it.
4. Drake was not a great nurser. It was taking him over an hour EVEN at 7 weeks. I would get done nursing him, have 20 minutes boob-free, then get to nurse him again. It made doing ANYTHING impossible.
I tried everything- extra pumping (which made me insane), supplements, manual stimulation, EVERYTHING. Nothing seemed to help us. We were all really frustrated, lots of tears in our house.
I’m really lucky though. Drake was a great bottle-taker from day 1 and my husband could help feed him so I could pump. I was a REALLY successful pumper. (up to 6 oz at the end of my nursing career). I am also lucky that My husband was so supportive. From day 1, we had to supplement a bit. I was totally fine with that. Some babies don’t get it right away! When I finally realized that I JUST. COULDN’T. DO. IT. ANYMORE, he was amazing. He supported me through it all. I had great family support and friend support.
I stopped breastfeeding Drake at 7 weeks. I continued to pump for about 1-2 weeks. Now I’m close to dry. It was a really hard decision and I feel guilty still, but I had to do it for everyone’s sanity. It was frustrating for all parties involved and it was not helping our case.
Let me detour here. I need to quickly rant about what I see on Facebook. So many people I know, and don’t know, are CONSTANTLY posting things about how AMAZING breastfeeding is, and it’s so magical, and everyone SHOULD do it, and it’s so easy, and “I did it until my kid was 5” (bizarre), and It’s the best thing in the world and I need to promote this wonderful thing to everyone.
YES, breastfeeding was magical, and wonderful, and just what Drake needed. BUT, These ‘yotches don’t understand that IT DOES NOT COME EASY AND PERFECT FOR EVERYONE! Some women have the problem of their milk NEVER coming in. Some women can only nurse from one side. What about mastitis, what about plugged ducts. Low supply, hormonal problems.?!?!?!?!
So ladies, as much as I appreciate all of the positive, amazing breastfeeding comments I see, please PLEASE remember that some women can’t do it or can’t do it well. SO LAY OFF! EVERY DAY I see more of these e-cards, statements, comments and I feel awful. I feel like I failed. I ignore it as much as I can. I WOULD GIVE MY LEFT LEG to breastfeed perfectly. Formula is expensive. And stinky, and gross. BUT we have to do it- not to mention that I have one HELL of a spitter on my hands.
There’s my rant. There’s my story. Please be a little more sensitive to struggling nursing mamas.