When my daughter was born six years ago, I was young. I was uneducated about breastfeeding and honestly didn’t know a single person who had breastfed! I tried anyway. The Lactation Consultants at the hospital tried to help but ended up suggesting I supplement with formula and a SNS in order to make sure my daughter received enough nutrition. I listened because I knew no better. At this time my mother was also very ill, she was dying of lung cancer. I was living with my mother and by the grace of god was able to spend time with her and my newborn daughter before she passed away, six weeks after my daughter was born. My daughter was only nursed for three or so days and then I gave her formula until she was one.
Fast forward six years, and I am married and pregnant with a son! I immediately immersed myself in all things breastfeeding and attachment parenting! I knew I had practiced some of the attachment parenting styles with my daughter without even knowing I was doing it. I found blogs, Facebook pages (such as this gem!) and joined many groups for breastfeeding support. My sister in law was nursing her son, and my other sister in law was pregnant and planned to nurse her child as well. I was armed for success!!!
My son as born October 27, 2012 and my husband and I were overjoyed! It was a repeat C-section, even though we had tried for a VBAC. My Dr. had said my son was just too big for a VBAC and after planned a c-section date. My water broke spontaneously the day before my scheduled date, and in I went! I was worried that with having a C-section I wouldn’t be able to do skin to skin right away or have my son latch immediately. I was pleasantly surprised as I was able to do both within 20 minutes of his birth. The next few days in the hospital were great. The nurses were supportive and helpful. There was only one problem, he wouldn’t latch correctly. He would latch on, then slip off and cry just as quickly. One of the IBCLCs had me try a nipple shield. It worked! My son latched on and was finally getting colulstrum.
When we discharged from the hospital he had a touch of Jaundice. I was told to keep nursing and he would be fine. At his 5 day appointment, his dr was concerned at how yellow he was. He was immediately sent to have his billiruben levels checked. They were high, close to 20. His physician suggested I supplement with formula for the weekend and pump in order to get him hydrated and get his billi levels lowered. I went and bought a pump (hadn’t even gotten that far yet) and took the formula samples she gave me. When my husband gave our son his first bottle of formula, I cried my eyes out! I knew that this wasn’t what I wanted and knew this wasn’t what my son needed. I started researching like crazy. I was able to find enough research and information to support that containing to nurse through Jaundice is best. Althoughy my son had to have his little heels pricked daily, his billi levels went down. At his 10 day appointment his levels were back to normal. I let his dr know that I only nursed him and didn’t follow her advice to supplement and she did something I wasn’t expecting. She congratulated me, said good job for sticking to it, good job for doing what is best for you and your son! I was speechless. 😉
Once my little mans Jaundice was cleared I thought we were in the clear…..not so. I noticed that my son was nursing for more than an hour at a time, he was fussy at the breast and was seemingly Unsatisfied after eating. I sought the guidance of a IBCLC from a local hospital. She evaluated his latch, still using the nipple shield and said I needed to try to ditch the shield and keep nursing.
We persevered and two weeks later, he was still nursing with the shield, still eating for hours at a time, still fussy at the breast and not gaining a lot of weight.
Again, I went to the IBCLC for guidence. This time she evaluated his mouth and noticed that he had both lip and tongue tie. Ahhh, it all makes sense now! She provided us with a referral to a local ENT.
The ENT diagnosed lip and tongue tie right away and said it would be a quick and easy in house procedure. It was horrible seeing my baby crying when the procedure was done, but I was able to nurse in the exam room seconds after it was over and he stopped crying just as quickly. Within a week I could feel the difference in his latch. It was tight, milk wasn’t soaking my arm and shirt every time he ate and he was eating for a shorter period of time (still forever in newborn land, lol) but things were getting better!!!
My son is now 9 months old. He still uses the nipple shield, even though I have tried on numerous occasions to remove it. He gets so upset if i try to nurse without it and now will look around for it! Ha ha! At this point, it doesn’t bother me. He was EBF until 6.5 months when we started BLW. I pump three times a day at work plus once more in the morning before work. At one point, he was eating 24 oz during his 9 hours at daycare and it was all I could do to keep up, but I did!
My little man loves to nurse! All weekend and anytime I am with him, I feed on demand. He and I have an immeasurable bond because of our nursing journey together. My daughter is one of my biggest advocates! She always says, “mommy, Liam wants to nurse!” And last weekend while we were out, I said “oh my boobs are full!” And she said, “mama you need to breastfed now!! Lol”
It’s been an amazing journey and I plan to continue it until my son self weans. It is one of my favorite parts of being a mother and I thankful I was able to give my son the many benefits nursing entails.
This topic is of so much interest to me that although I am currently in Human Resources, I am going back to school to become and RN and then an IBCLC. I want to provide other mothers with the education, support and assistance they need to reach their breastfeeding goals and I can’t wait to do it!