I remember before I was pregnant, I’d look upon moms breastfeeding and thinking how natural they looked. Then when I became pregnant, I knew all I wanted to do was breastfeed my child. My breasts ached the entire time I was pregnant and started to leak around 7 months. I’d wake up in the morning and my pregnancy pillow that I slept with, would have small circles of breast milk/colostrum on it. I was so excited.
The start to my breastfeeding journey was anything but natural or even ideal. It was a fight, and for the first 2 hours of Logan’s life, he was fed from a syringe of colostrum that the midwife expressed from me in the middle of being stitched up from his birth. I’d only gotten to hold him for 5 minutes before being rushed off to be stitched up under epidural, there was no way I was going to be going under general since I knew that would hinder my ability to feed him. The midwife who expressed that first amount actually helped Logan latch perfectly when I was finally with him again. It was an amazing feeling to be able to feed this amazing child, and after that first feeding everything went to hell in a hand basket!
Every midwife in the hospital kept telling me I was feeding him wrong and would take him off and relatch him, in the end every time he latched, I’d cry because it was so painful. I eventually just lied to the midwives about his latch and fed him through the pain. It was when I went to the birthing center the next day that one of the midwives saw that he had a lip and tongue tie. And with my nipples bruised and almost bleeding, we turned to expressing and feeding via syringe and finger tube. This was how I fed Logan for the first 12 days of his life.
I got in touch with a wonderful lactation consultant (she is also the leader of the La Leche League Waihi) and she started to help me while waiting to get Logan’s ties lasered. With manuka honey breast pads, coconut oil and regular massages in hot showers (I was taking 6 – 7 showers a day), my nipples healed and I avoided mastitis. I pumped every 2 hours during the day and every 3 – 4 hours at night, but around Day 6 I couldn’t keep up with Logan’s needs and a friend came to the rescue, donating some of her milk from when her own son was around the same age. This made pumping a little easier, but it was still rough. I was panicking that I’d never breastfeed Logan and that started me on the journey of self doubt. All I wanted to do was the most natural thing to do with a child, and here I was unable. My husband was my own personal cheerleader, and we finally got Logan’s ties lasered at Changing Faces in Hamilton.
That night we took Logan to Thames Hospital because he wasn’t interested in being fed via finger tube or any other way and I was unsure of how to feed him by breast, and a wonderful nurse got him to feed from my breasts without a problem. I sat there in the hospital in tears as I finally got to feed my son after 12 days of tube feeding and expressing!
We are now 18 weeks and 1 day into our breastfeeding journey! He feeds brilliantly and I love the time I spend watching him. When he catches me watching, the smile he makes is so pure as he tries to not lose the boob that’s in his mouth!
My advice to new moms is don’t stop trying. Lactation Consultants and La Leche League in local areas will make the breastfeeding journey easier and a lot more natural.