A letter to mother's who are struggling with breastfeeding.
I would like to share my breastfeeding story with you. I gave birth to a healthy baby boy in 2010 by C-section. I was told to try and feed him, I have completely flat nipples, and he was unable to latch. I tried every position, nothing worked, I hand expressed and gave him colostrum with a spoon, but it wasn’t enough. The nurses said to give him supplement feed with formula, in a syringe. We did that, trying to get him to latch was a nightmare. By the time I was discharged I still could not get him to latch properly, my nipples where raw from trying, and I as desperate, and in tears! “Luckily” he had jaundice, and we decided to rent the lights for home use, with that came a nurse that came to set up the lights, she was, lucky for us, also a breastfeeding consultant. She also tried to get him to latch. We even tied nipple shields, nothing worked.
Then she suggested, trying for only 10 minutes to get him to latch, if that does not work, pump milk for him and give it to him in a syringe, which I did. I was determined to breastfeed my son. By the next morning I still could not get him to latch. She said that I now have a choice to make, either to continue to try and effectively feed my baby boy with a syringe, or to just pump milk and give it to him in a bottle. I decided that I will give him my milk in a bottle and try to train him to drink from the breast, the same way that other mothers need to train baby to drink from a bottle. I eventually got him to latch when he was about 3 months old, with the help of a nipple shield, but by then I was back at work, and could only feed him at night so I continued to pump for him.
I stopped feeding him at night when he sprouted teeth, because he bites! At my first doctor visit, she asked me how the breastfeeding was going, I told my story and her response was “a woman is not a cow, it can never work”, luckily I am a bit hard-headed when it comes to things I believe in. My baby boy is now 15 months old, and I still pump for him, I have a great milk supply and donate for prem-babies. I would like to encourage other women, not to give up on breastfeeding! Exclusively pumping is hard work, in the beginning but breast milk is still far superior to formula milk, even if you have to use a bottle to give it to your baby. I hope this will help others like me.
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