I am only about 3 and a half months in so I’ll just speak on those first few months. If you are a pro breastfeeder and the judgy type just go ahead and close your browser and take that mom shame somewhere else. Thanks. Cause I’ve been wingin’ it.
When Mila was first born in the delivery room she latched on fairly easily so I thought everything was gunna go great. That night by the time we got to a recovery room it was around 11pm and I had multiple nurses come in and I was dying to talk to Abram again. Then the first lactation consultant came in, I still hadn’t gotten a chance to talk to him since labor and I just lost it because I was so emotional and she ended up leaving and telling me if I wanted her to come back to call otherwise one would see me the next day (she was sweet about it, I was embarrassed I basically kicked her out between sobs but all is well that ends well). Mila did fine all night the nurse even commented on how good her latch was when she came in during the night. The next day a lactation consultant (LC) came in and showed me how to hand express in case I wasn’t sure if she was getting enough but I had just fed her so she didn’t check her latch. Later that day another LC came to see us and insisted on showing me some different (her word was “better”) positions to feed her in. I am sure she was just trying to help me become more knowledgeable, I had an amazing experience with the entire staff I encountered during our hospital stay, but she was so aggressive! She was so rough with Mila, forcing her head at my boob mid scream because thats when her mouth was the widest. I hadn’t heard her cry like this and it was really hard for me. She didn’t even cry that hard getting a shot or her heel pricked or when she was born and they were measuring and cleaning her. After that I tried to hold her the “right way” to nurse but she really didnt latch that well. She’d latch on then come right back off and I had never done this before and she wasn’t fussy so I just figured she wasn’t that hungry. The next day was my last day in the hospital and she had started eating better again that night. I had pretty much gone back to holding her how I was most comfortable and let her do her thing.
Once I got home and my milk came in I was so full and my skin was pulled so tight that she physically couldn’t latch. Nothing I did was helping how engorged I was and she was getting frustrated with trying to basically latch on to a balloon unsuccessfully. I ended up giving in and pumping after a few days and just giving her a bottle of breast milk. I tried to get her to latch on again but she just didnt seem interested. I pretty much just decided I was gunna pump and give her bottles from then on out.
After a few weeks this got old fast. Having to wait for a bottle to warm up in the middle of the night while your newborn cries and you’re exhausted is a total nightmare and I was just wishing I had taken the time to get her nursing again instead of just giving her a bottle. Her pediatrician said I should be able to switch her back to the breast if I wanted to in the future so I started looking up ways to get her to again and just kept trying as she got more and more frustrated. I hated seeing her struggle because babies dont understand they just know they’re hungry so I’d just give her pumped milk again.
Then one day I was in the store looking for smaller pump parts (which I still havent gotten but I no longer pump enough that I really feel like ordering them) and saw nipple sheilds and decided to try one and it worked! We used it for a week or so and then I started removing it if she’d take a break during a feeding. Eventually I started feeding her without it.
Now coming up to four months shes been eating right from the tap for about 2(+) months now! But our new challenge is getting her to take a bottle again. She wants NOTHING to do with it suddenly. But I’ll let you know the progress with that another time.