On the onset, I would like to share every mom and in fact, every country has their own facts and beliefs around breastfeeding and I am no lactation expert. However, I can share what I went through and maybe some mom will benefit from my experience and my breastfeeding journey.
My first night as mom. I had a normal delivery and my baby was put in a nursery. Just two hours after my surgery, I was made to walk the corridor to go feed my baby. I had a 12- hour long labour, hardly a wink of sleep and unhealed stitches. Yes, in a normal delivery they cut your vaginal cavity and then stitch it up. He couldn’t latch on and the struggle was just too much.
The Colostrum is way too important for the kid
Do you know that I couldn’t recognise my kid from the bunch of kids sleeping in the nursery? I had to literally look at all the name tags to figure out which one was mine. It’s the tiredness and the fact that you haven’t spent time with your baby at all that this might happen and I get it now but back then I already was feeling inadequate.
From the time I started to the time he was 6 months, he would like to feed more on one side and the result was excess of milk in one breast. I would look lop sided and there was just too much pain on the lesser-fed breast. I used to wear loose clothes and dupattas to hide my body as it looked disproportionate.
When he started developing teeth, it was painful as he would bite in. I have seen blood.
I started weaning him off from one breast at 7 months and within 2 days my supply had stopped. Honestly, I wasn’t prepared for it but I was relieved.
Breastfeeding was not bonding for me the first time around, it was more like a torture and I can say it now because I know it wasn’t my fault. It’s ok if you are struggling with breastfeeding. Most of us did.
Here is what I eventually did and most of my learning happened by the time I became a mom, the second time round. I breastfed my second baby for 9 months.
My learnings From My Round Two Of My Breastfeeding Journey
- Latching will take time, it’s natural to not be easy the first few times. You and your baby are both learning.
- Making sure the baby drinks milk from both breasts is important, not only excess milk in painful but can cause gorging which can form lumps and might have to be removed by surgery. I know a friend who had this done surgically. For my second baby, I used an electric breast pump right from the start. I could even get away from the baby for a bit every day with expressed milk which anyone could feed him.
I waited for 40 days to get over and then I started pumping. WHO recommends 6 weeks before you pump. I didn’t know it back then. Read here
- If your baby bites, it’s natural again. So use nipple shields and any good Lanolin cream to apply on those cracked nipples. There are ones that you can apply and feed the baby as well.
Doctors Recommend using your own breastmilk on your nipples, as well, but my cuts were more severe
I am sure we all have more and varied experiences to share. Let’s discuss, who knows maybe a new mom reading this thread might benefit from your experience.