Breastfeeding a journey that seems so straight forward and is not! I was planning on breastfeeding as I read all the facts, smarter baby, better gut health etc. Also, everywhere you look online or speak to other moms you see and hear breast is best. I must say we know breast is best but when you cant breastfeed and this phrase keeps showing up you feel like your letting your baby down.
I felt there was something wrong with me. I felt inadequate. I had so many emotions racing through my body.
My story began by giving birth to a healthy 6.5 lb baby girl. She had the blackest hair and the tiniest body. My midwives helped me with breastfeeding for an hour showing me different holds. I felt high off life just given birth and feeding my baby. After, giving birth I went home that evening with amazing family support. I woke up every 2 hours to feed her, so I was exhausted. After, a few days my breast were endorsed, my nipples were red and scabbed. Every time I breastfed my body tensed up do to the pain. I called my midwife on the fourth day because my babies behavior had change she was crying non stop, it pulled at my heart strings to hear cries. I was in pain and miserable. At our one week appointment I found out that she was losing weight and my midwife said I can see she is very hungry. She helped me hand express milk and assisted me with different holding positions. I expressed my worry about my breast not providing enough, so she scheduled an appointment with a lactation consultant. I must say, best thing a first mom or a mom with breastfeeding concerns can ever do. So, at this appointment I found out that my daughter had a slight tongue tie which prevents her from getting a good latch to extract the milk and also caused me pain. She suggested the nipple shield and taught me how to use it. I left feeling reassured and judged myself less.
I must say during this emotional time I was doing everything I could to increase my milk production. Lactation shakes and cookies, oatmeal, fenugreek, moringa, mothers milk. I even read where drinking Guinness helped increase your supply. Even all these attempts I still wasn't making enough to satisfy my daughter and I must say that it tore at my heart. I cried alot and it took me some time and support from my circle of people to come to terms with I wasn't going to be able to solely breastfeed.
I wanted to share my story because I had great support but still it was an emotional roller coaster.
Phrases that helped:
Realize your doing the best you can for your child.
Know that by giving her a bottle your able to fill her stomach and still hold her and look into her eyes.
There is nothing wrong with feeding a baby a bottle you still are spending time bonding with her.
Your a great mom who is taking every step to ensure your child is healthy and happy.
As first time moms we need to realize our body just under went this amazing journey. We grew a baby and gave life to this little human. We need to let go of comparing ourselves to other moms and know that the love for our child runs deep. We are doing the best we can to help in the growth and development of our child's life. So, slowdown and take in the time you are holding your baby because your doing an amazing job!