Positive breastfeeding stories, I'll start by sharing mine...(35 Posts)
I had an EmCS, which was my worst nightmare and what I had spent my pregnancy dreading. I kept imaging her after she was was born for the first time, but it was nothing like that. It didn't feel like I had just had a baby, just felt like someone had passed me a doll. After I recovered from the spinal block I feed her, I had no idea what I was doing and had very little support for the first few days. I had to rely on the midwives especially during the night. And they were largely useless. I always knew I wanted to BF and would have felt really guilty had I stopped.
Those first few weeks were so hard, I just felt sore and I didn't think I was doing it right. DD had jaundice and had lost 11% of BW. But I plough on. She regained her BW after 3 weeks.
Things are so different now. Still EBF and she is doing really well. I really enjoy it. I love seeing her relax on me, I don't feel like I'm just feeding her, I feel like I am truly nurturing her. I am so glad I stuck to my guns and carried on in the early days
At 13mo, DS1 caught swine flu. He was lethargic, roasting hot, miserable, desperate D&V, etc.
For four days he had nothing but bm. At no point was he dehydrated. My immune system worked with his so he had a mild dose rather than the lifethreatening cases reported in the news.
I had a text book birth and skin to skin after. DD did the little scootch up to get to boob and latched on immediately. It was lovely and I was convinced feeding was going to be the easiest thing ever.
She hardly let go for what felt like forever, but was nearer 5 months! In that time she made my nipples bleed regularly. The most horrible thing was when she threw up and it looked like she was vomiting blood. It was actually my blood that she had swallowed. By week 3 I cried when she wanted food. By week 4 I wanted to give her formula but my lovely friend and a wonderful breast feeding link worker supported me through it.
I EBF'd her until she was 22 weeks and decided she wanted some of my sweet potato. She still fed up to 12 times in 24 hours until she was about 10 months, we had decided to co-sleep by this point as I was exhausted and falling asleep whilst feeding her anyway.
She finally cut down to 4 feeds a day by 19 months and was on morning and night by 2. She gave up a couple of days before her 3rd birthday, I cried the first night she didn't ask for 'boo boo milk' I had originally said I'd go up to 1 year at most as feeding a toddler was weird, how wrong was I!!!
Establishing and maintaining feeding was the hardest thing, it felt like I was doing the bulk of the work and DH was getting away with being a parent but looking back I wouldn't change it. The happy, contented look DD would give me after a feed, the cuddles. I was a wonderful time and I miss it.
I posted a few weeks ago at a pretty low ebb debating whether to give up breastfeeding or not after only three weeks, many kind posters reassured me that it gets easier, so I made a deal with myself that we would make it to his six week check and then if I really really wanted to stop then I could.
On Thursday he will be 8 weeks and we're still going, it really did get easier It might not seem like the biggest achievement, but to me it's huge!
I had preeclampsia and was induced at 38 weeks. After a normal, non-scary birth, I told the MW that I wanted to bf. She watched me latch dd on, and was happy with it.
The next day before discharge they checked my latch again and were still happy with it, and I took DD home.
It got sore between days 3 and 10, my nipples were a bit cracked and I had a sharp pain on let down. And then that went away.
For the first three months or so, DD and I mostly stayed on the sofa, with her feeding and napping and having lots of cuddles. She cluster fed in the evening, and I was most likely to be heard saying 'she can't be hungry AGAIN?!'. This was fine though because it was what I expected; my DM had warned me, having bf herself.
Then DD's feeds started to spread themselves out and get faster. At 6.5 months she started sleeping through the night. And we're still bf at 8.5 months.
It's not always scary and rubbish. Sometimes it's easy. But it does help to have some idea of what to expect. And the telephone numbers of people who can help, in case it doesn't go as expected.
Feeding DS1 was just easy from start to finish, he never really cluster fed, slept through the night from about 14 weeks(ish), gained weight well, a bit sore to start with but absolutely no serious problems. I think it's rare but sometimes it really is that easy!
DS2 also gained weight well, but fed constantly day and night, which was hard work with a toddler to look after as well. Still no serious problems and I'm going to be really sad when this stage is over for good.
Dd was born at 27 weeks. So small that when the paed ran out of theatre to hook her up to a ventilator I couldnt see her in her cupped hands. With an Apgar of one it was silent but for the squeak of theatre crocs on the floor. Dazedly I started hand expressing about 12 hours later once my spinal had worn off and I'd got to see dd in the nicu. It took me half an hour to express 0.1ml and the pipette was whisked away by a cheery mw who god bless her didnt scoff. Day after day I got 5ml then 10, 30 50mls a session. After my supply tailed off with electric pump I pumped by hand. I did it every two hours by day and twice at night for the 81 days she was in hospital. The first day she latched on at 3lbs or so she fed for 40 mins. I cried be as it felt like shed come home and the docs cheered hr
Sorry sausage fingers.. Her on. She came home at 37 weeks on top ups ditched them by 39 weeks and is still feeding at 23 months... Despite tongue tie, lip tie and severe reflux and cmpi which means we've both been dairy and soya free since Nov 2011. She is my proudest achievement.
Ds1, classic cascade-of-intervention birth, every one going bar forceps and cs. Sleepy, jaundiced, not feeding frequently enough. Bullied into test weighing before and after feeds (!!!) and topping up with formula. Came home at 8 days after phototherapy, refusing the breast well over half the time. Spent the next three weeks patiently trying to get him to take breast, endlessly expressing and giving that milk and formula top-ups, and receiving brilliant advice and encouragement from MN (under another name back then). He eventually stopped refusing and had his last ever formula at 4 weeks. We never looked back. Bf him exclusively to 6.5 months and continued bf until he was 4 and a half.
Ds2, arrived when ds1 was 2.4. Fed ds1 throughout my pregnancy. Fast and frightening birth, meconium in waters, cord round neck, heart rate dropping, ventouse. Bounced back once out, fed almost straight away and fed like a dream from then on in. Never had formula, never needed to express. Tandem fed for over two years and then continued feeding just ds2 until he was three. So lovely and so easy. Nights feeds did trail on into the second year for both dc, which I admit got wearing, but overall bf made my life and my mothering so very much easier and more pleasant in a whole host of ways, and was a lovely experience apart from those first few nightmare weeks.
Thinking of how things turned around with ds1 - there were days I was in despair, close to giving up - I would say we were a) lucky, b) bloody-minded, c) supported. I was lucky enough not to be in pain from feeding - that might have pushed me over the edge tbh. And the access we had to knowledge and support made all the difference. I don't like to think of it as an 'achievement', although it possibly was one, as only a few factos separate me from someone for whom bf didn't work out although they desperately wanted it to. And what I would like to see is everyone having the support they need to continue for as long as they want to.
Similar to poppers story.
Ds was born at 32 weeks. The midwives wheeled the breast pump into my room at about midnight and asked me to try and express, I had no idea what I was doing!
I managed to get a few ml which was taken down to icu. I continued to express daily whilst ds was in hospital, refused to let them give him formula. I expressed between hospital visits, every spare minute that I wasn't with ds or sleeping if eating I was expressing.
I began to try to feed ds in the hospital but he didn't really get it. We persevered and each visit I tried again.
I battled through the start of mastitis, luckily with a lot of compressed and help from the midwives and my partner I got over it quickly. I was quite inconsolable when my dp made me go to bed to rest, do much pain and so tired!
I also had thrush which I passed onto ds. Both of us then had to be treated.
Ds then contracted mrsa and I had to stop feeding him for a while and tube feeding restarted.
When ds was 4 weeks I stayed in the family room at the hospital and for 3 full days did feeding on demand. It was pretty much suck or starve as his feeding tube had been taken out!
I didn't sleep for 3 days as I wanted to make sure I fed ds when ever he needed it. He was so stubborn and refused to feed! Just wanted to sleep! On the Monday morning ds was weighed and had put on 1oz I weight. As he'd gained weight we were allowed to go home!
I'm had I persevered. So many people told me to bottle feed him to get him home sooner. Ds is now 5 months and feeding is still going well. 2 friends who gave birth the week after me gave up breast feeding at 8 weeks. I'm glad I'm still going!
Such an amazing feeling being able to do it.
DD went to SCBU after an EMCS, and I didn't get to see her for 19 hours. When I did, I said I wanted to BF -she'd already had formula. But I arranged myself, with lots of help, and she knew what to do.
It was hard at first, finding a way to feed her that didn't hurt my wound, then getting sore nipples because the latch was poor (I didn't know - never done it before!). But copious lansinoh and a lovely lactation consultant sorted us out.
She regained her birth weight in six days, and occasionally put on more than a pound a week, going up two centiles - I felt so proud that I was nourishing her well, a real achievement after my 'failure' at giving birth.
We EBFed until six months, and she's still a great lover of boob. And at ten months, I get to look at her, big and strong, and think 'I did that'
After what looked like a good start with DD having a good latch, we went home and (long story short) it turned out she wasn't feeding at all. Very scary zombie baby, orange with jaundice, dehydrated and with low blood sugar. Went home from hospital too early I think. Ended up, via the the paeds ward, back on the maternity unit, bless them forever for taking me back. DD's jaundice didn't need treatment, they just took us back to help me.
The stay ended up being a week as I did get mastitis so IV antibiotics. Fortunately caught in time, as I was in hospital, so I didn't feel too rough with it, and it bought me extra time being waited on (well, fed, sort of) in hospital, with a lovely breastfeeding specialist midwife helping too. I don't think we'd have succeeded without that. I do wish we could opt to stay in hospital if we wanted to, until the baby is gaining weight again, so we were sure they were feeding right. I really wasn't ready to go home the first time - with no family support, DH and I were terrified!!
It took a while to get BF established even then, and I'm very grateful to two peer-to-peer BF counsellor friends who dropped everything to rush round to help me, sleep-deprived and slightly crazed, that first day home (before hospital return and after). It turned out that a tongue tie was making it very hard for DD to feed, and I had blisters, so after a lot of thought, we had that divided in the hospital when she was 9 weeks, and what a difference it made straight away. She loved poking her tongue out after that! A local BF support group, with HV, helped too.
In the end, exclusively BF until 6 months, then partial to 9 months when I had to go back to work. Pros: less bottle washing, no prep time on night feeds,probably the best food source, helped me drop the baby weight; Cons: no sharing the night duty, cluster feeding, not being able to go anywhere alone for the first 4 months or so (doesn't seem so bad in hindsight but it felt then like it'd never end!.
After a good birth with DD, she was put on my chest for skin-to-skin and pretty much helped herself to my boob. A MW showed me how to feed lying down and this was such a lifesaver as I was so tired. Was told to feed 'every 3-4 hours' though which wasn't enough. My milk did not come in until day 5 and DD was passing urates and losing weight. She had a tiny emergency formula top-up and then my milk came in. She latched really well from Day 1 but something was wrong - my nipples were very damaged and she was so colicky. With the help of online fora I self-diagnosed PTT and paid for a private lactation consultant to diagnose it. We travelled for 3 hrs to get it snipped when she was 14 weeks.
I'm still not sure whether the snip had a huge effect but in any case breastfeeding simply became much easier after about 3 months. However, I blamed breastfeeding and my own lack of experience for the fact that DD's sleep was so bad. The other babies I knew of were formula fed and slept beautifully. I felt angry that I had been sold such a crock of shit wrt breastfeeding.
I was touch-and-go whether to give up at 6 months, but in the end kept going. Then something happened: it became not just easy but great and super handy. I saw that ff was not a magical answer to being a happy mother: many of the previously sleeping babies had stopped sleeping and I saw how tiring it was to have to wash, sterilise and prep bottles at the end of a long day. I breastfed DD until she was 13months. So far (she's now 18 months) she has a bionic immune system. I like to think the breastfeeding has helped a little with this, but tbh it's probably just as a result of my slatternly ways wrt to housework!
PS I was also one of the lucky ones. BF zapped my giant uterus right back into tiny after just a week or so.
However it was also the cause of my extreme sleep deprivation which led to extreme weight loss
I always assumed I would breastfeed as it is, fortunately, the norm among my family and close friends. My sister and I were both breastfed and are rarely ill, have done well academically, etc, and I wanted to give my own children the same start if I possibly could.
My son was born at 36 weeks, generally well but sleepy and jaundiced with low blood sugars at first, and would latch but not suck, so was given formula top-ups until my milk came in. The midwives were (mostly) great though, and showed me how to hand express colostrum, kept helping me with latch, and so on. I got great advice by telephone from our local infant feeding coordinator too. By day 4, we were home and DS had started to get the concept, and we stopped top-ups. After that, off we went, and were ebf ever since.
He is now 5 months, over 75th centile weight and height (zoomed up from 30th at birth), never been ill, noisy, happy, and full of beans I am planning to continue to 12 months, or as close as I can get to it.
I am proud of myself for doing it, glad we were able to, and also proud of my DH for being such a brilliant support - bringing me drinks, food, DVDs, generally encouraging me and looking after me. It made me sad when I read those Radio 4 comments about breastfeeding harming the parents' relationship - it's been quite the opposite for us - I've seen how dedicated he is to me and to his child's health.
I have had wobbles, particularly when most of my antenatal group switched to formula early on and started talking negatively about breastfeeding. It helped me to
chuck them ahem, read this when I was questioning whether breastfeeding really was important or not. I'm a doctor with a research background and I need to see the hard evidence before believing anything.
Oh, and as a superficial bonus, breastfeeding helped me get back into my size 8 pre-pregnancy clothes by 3 months.
Not the skinny jeans though, they are in the Oxfam pile I call it Baby Lipo.
I had an EMCS and the first two weeks were painful. one health visitor gave me totally the wrong tips about breastfeeding insisting to keep my daughter feeding for 20 minutes and that I sit up very straight and stiff. After 2 weeks I went to my local breastfeeding cafe and it was the best think I did... the advisors were lovely, got so many hints and tips that a week later I was feeding in a bus stop with no issue.
Lansinoh was a life saver and at 18 months I am still bf my daughter, and through stomach bugs and noroviruses and so on, she has never been dehydrated as my milk kept her going when she lost her appetite.,..
Hundreds of lovely positive pics in this youtube collection
I'm really lucky and have had a very easy time of it compared to some of you ladies. But wanted to post and say that sometimes it can just turn out to be really easy.
DD latched on like a pro after she was born, though was really sleepy and the hardest part was getting her awake enough to feed. Took a good week or two before she'd reliably wake up for a feed. I found it sore in the beginning when she latched, but it stopped after the first 10 seconds, once she started feeding properly, and only lasted a couple of weeks. The only other issue I had was a blocked duct a few weeks later, but some paracetomal and lots of strategic feeding fixed it. I fed her for 14 months.
DS is still very young, and he didn't want to feed for the first day or so. But, now he's started, I can't stop him! I did get a minor cracked nipple as his latch was bad to begin, but was still on painkillers from the birth so it wasn't too painful. Lots of lansinoh and a few days fixed it.
Cluster feeding is tedious, both DS and DD have done it. But IMO the convenience of breastfeeding, and its super calming properties are well worth the few days of discomfort at the beginning!
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