In honor of National Breastfeeding Awareness month I thought I'd share my breastfeeding journey so far. It’s 3am as I sit here typing this post and I’m hooked up to my pump chugging water. So, yes I would say breastfeeding/ pumping is hard work. I’m actually finding it way more challenging than labor and delivery and that’s saying a lot seeing as I had a third degree tear.
I always knew I wanted to breastfeed my babe. I did my research and there are just so many benefits to breastfeeding and I obviously want what’s best for my little guy. But gosh, you hear it’s hard and you think how hard can it be?! It’s natural. People have been doing it for ages. Well, it’s REALLY hard and painful. I don’t care what they tell you, it does hurt for a while (use coconut oil and get some good nipple cream- it will save you).
We didn’t get off to the best start breastfeeding due to Beau having to be in the NICU. While at the hospital, I had to wake up every 3 hours and go feed him. Once I was done feeding him, I would go back to my room and pump for 20 minutes. It was a whole lot of work and left me getting no sleep. During my stay, I used a nipple shield that was given to me by a nurse and despite using the shield my nipples cracked and bled. However, the lactation consultant on staff said our latch was great, so I just continued doing what we were doing.
Once I got home, my milk came in and boy did it come in. I was EXTREMELY engorged from all the pumping. My boobs were solid rocks. My advice- pump less, hot showers, and warm compresses. Feeding was still excruciating not to mention baby wasn’t putting on the pounds. Knowing that all my hard work was not chunky up my little man was so discouraging.
Well, two lactation visits later come to find out Beau had a tongue and lip tie that was preventing him from sucking properly and causing pain and poor weight gain. We did a quick procedure to have both corrected, since they can also cause speech and dental problems. I was hopeful that everything would be smooth sailing from there. Immediately after the procedure, Beau latched great and I felt no pain! I thought we were in the clear!
|This is what my fridge looks like!|
Unfortunately, a couple days later I realized he was still not gaining weight. As in, he was feeding for an hour and only taking half an ounce. Over came the lactation consultant again. She thought he did not like the milk flow that it was too strong for him and he was unsure about everything that had happened to him. She suggested I pump and bottle-feed him until he is ready to breastfeed again. So, that’s what I’m doing- just following his lead. He gets most of his feeds from a bottle and I try latching him sometimes when he is calm and in the mood. He’s not the greatest bottle feeder either, but we are working out it. It’s not ideal, but at the end of the day I want a happy baby that is gaining weight. I’m just going to do what works for him and hopefully we will figure this out together!