Breastfeeding Stories to Share During World Breastfeeding Week

waba.pngThis week, we're celebrating World Breastfeeding Week in its 25th year! This year's theme is "Sustaining Breastfeeding Together," which is all about working together for the common good and to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. #WBW2017 calls on advocates and activists, decision-makers and celebrants to forge new and purposeful partnerships. 

In helping to share about and celebrate breastfeeding, we wanted to share past insight and stories from our guest bloggers. Below are a few snippets from moms who share their ups and downs with breastfeeding in the early postpartum period. 

 

On third babies and simplicity...

Simon is doing great. He is growing like a weed and by his 11th day had already surpassed his birth weight. Nursing has been the area in which I've felt the most comfortable, and I feel that we had a very good rhythm from the get go. Luckily, my milk came in on day 2, and we've been going strong ever since.

 

On challenges and tongue tie...

My daughter now weighs upwards of 8.5 pounds (up from her lowest weight at 5 pounds, 15 oz.) and has all but grown out of her newborn clothes and diapers. She seems so big and heavy compared to her earlier self. She had been doing these epic feeding sessions, which left me sore and her still unsatisfied. So, as she had originally not been gaining weight, I needed to supplement her with formula. The blood pressure medication I was taking, which I had believed had caused my milk supply to drop, despite all literature and medical professionals telling me that this was not the case, did seem to be the culprit. My milk supply doubled within 24 hours of stopping the medication. However, she still seems to need more than I can produce at this point. 

I did find out, after finally seeing the lactation specialist, that she had a posterior tongue tie. We had the "snipping" procedure done a few days ago and she is still somewhat off her schedule, or maybe just changed it, as newborns do. They indicated that the reason why she was nursing the way she was (strong good latch and suck for 5 minutes, then "lazy" or complacent sucking, then just tonguing the nipple) was caused by this tongue tie. It was extremely difficult for me to have the procedure done. I had to get to the farthest corner of this children's dentist office so I couldn't hear her cry. The first night, she was clearly in pain. But by day 2, she seemed to be doing ok.

 

On infections and persistence...

Just when baby Fitz and I had breastfeeding down, we both got a yeast infection: his as thrush and mine was in my breasts. This made breastfeeding soooo painful -- I would cry during feedings. Also, Fitz takes a bottle so well that I could pump milk (still painful, but less so than breastfeeding) and have daddy feed him. Luckily, I had the worst of the infection so the baby didn’t seem too affected by it. It would have been even worse seeing him in pain!

 

On the highs and lows...

The first challenge we had was getting Fitz to latch on properly. He needed a lot of help at first to get his mouth opened properly so I had -- and still have to sometimes -- pull down on his chin to get his lower lip latched on correctly. I also struggled with being so engorged that the little guy couldn’t get on. I learned a lot about hand expressing, breast massage, and other things to get my breasts easy for him to latch on to. Breastfeeding was a little stressful for about two weeks because Fitz would be frustrated and just wanting to eat while I was trying to figure out how to help him get started. Often I need someone -- my husband, a sister, a friend -- to help me. After the first couple of weeks, breastfeeding became more natural to us and my milk supply has balanced out too. Then we had the issue of the yeast infection, but at this point it’s a breeze! I enjoy being able to easily feed the baby wherever we are, and I love having the time to just sit and be with him. 

 

On reading cues...

Breastfeeding has continued to be an up and down battle, but I am happy to report that we are falling into a more positive rhythm as of recent. A few weeks ago, I was frustrated and fed up with how difficult she was to feed. I finally packed her up and went to a breastfeeding clinic. By the time I got there, she was extremely hungry, so much so that she was more interested in crying than she was in latching on. Unfortunately the clinic was a bit busy and no consultant could help me until Adelyn had already finished eating (well, first she screamed for a few minutes, disturbing everyone else's babies, but with some coaxing she finally settled down). When I explained to the consultant that she was fussing and I was having to walk around with her at every feeding, she had no advice for me other than what I had already tried for myself. I went home discouraged. I started reading "Bringing Up Bebe: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting" by Pamela Druckerman and I was inspired when I learned that French babies feed only four times a day by four months of age. I had been trying to get her to eat six or seven times each day. I thought that was what she needed. Her siblings still fed every two to three hours at her age. So, I resolved to back off and watch her cues better.

She has started feeding generally five times a day and it has been going much better. She might fuss some, while she impatiently awaits letdown (especially in the middle of the night), but that fussing is nothing compared to the screaming she did before. We are making progress and I've even been able to sit down during a few feedings. I guess my doctor was right; I just needed to back off and let her tell me when she was hungry. My comparing her to her siblings made me think that surely, she had to be hungry more often than she was. Again, she has shown me that just because she is my third child, it doesn't mean I have everything figured out.

 

 

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