From the beginning I knew that I wanted to do all I could to breastfeed. I knew it would be hard but I wanted to try. No one around me had breastfed for a year or more and that was my goal. I was clueless.
After delivering Grady, breastfeeding started off smooth. He latched right away, after being checked out by the NICU team and nursed for a good amount of time. After that, I cried each feeding. Grady cried each feeding. I couldnt get him to latch on, he wouldn’t suck, he “wasn’t getting any milk”. I was a hot mess.
I was constantly buzzing the nurse, who I now realize knew very little about breastfeeding, begging her to help me latch Grady on. Each feeding in the hospital was extremely difficult. Then the following afternoon, Grady began spitting up and choking on fluids he has swallowed in the womb that they ended up having to remove from his stomach. This was the beginning of our reflux adventure, but that is a different story! Poor little guy had arough start!
When we got home on day three, I was more comfortable nursing during the day but then that night hit. No one warned me about growth spurts. He nursed all. night. long. I slept in the rocking chair, crying as my post epidural legs swelled up from my hips to my toes. There were so many tears shed that night. I felt like a failure.
Breastfeeding a newborn is tiem consuming, exhausting and so difficult. But once you get through the beginning struggles, it is the most rewarding and amazing experience ever! I feel like it became my new normal around 6 weeks postpartum. We still have our ups and downs related to breastfeeding but it has become a part of our lives and I cant imagine doing motherhood any other way.
After having nurse after nurse telling me to ram my baby onto my breast when they open their mouths, and it NOT working. After they stacked me with a huge pile of pillows, coupled with post-delivery sweats and hot flashes, telling me to sit straight up, after going through 24 hours of labor, I hated the way they taught me to breastfeed. I looked back after 6 weeks and realized they taught me all wrong. I found the help I needed in a local breastfeeding support group that I attended weekly until Grady was almost 6 months old. This inspired me to begin my career in lactation counseling and start my own group.
If you are breastfeeding and having a hard time, don’t hesitate to ask for help! Ask friends, find a support group, find a lactation counselor near you. Whatever you need to help you reach your breastfeeding goal, do it!
If you need support in breastfeeding or you are interested in joining our local breastfeeding support group email me at firstname.lastname@example.org