When I was still pregnant with Daphne, I never really thought about breastfeeding that much, though it was talked about, and my mother in law kept on retelling how she breastfed my husband until he was about 3 or 4 years old. Talk about pressuring me！I thought it was going to be a walk in the park for me, boy, was I wrong!
I wasn’t prepared for breastfeeding. That could be an understatement! I know that breastmilk is best for babies aged 2 years and beyond. But that’s about it. When I think about it now, I should have started reading blogs when I was still pregnant. I would have been writing a different story now!
After I gave birth, through C-Section by the way, I didn’t know about the Essential Newborn Care, that they should have allowed my baby access to my breast and my milk. I was not even asked if they could give my baby formula. They just did. I didn’t know I had a choice. Another mistake I made was to allow my OB to just choose any pedia for my baby. And this pedia was not breastfeeding – inclined at all. For the first week of my baby’s life, she was given formula. I remembered I kept on asking the pedia if I could breastfeed my baby, she keeps on forbidding me, saying I was still on antibiotics and that could harm the baby. But when I ask my OB if it’s safe, she tells me that the drugs I was taking that time were safe. That time, my baby was also under observation and she stayed in the nursery for a week, I wasn’t even able to hold my baby until the day we brought her home. Because the hospital has a policy that if she was brought out of the nursery, she could not get in anymore. Since she needed to be treated and observed, we were left with no choice. Oh well, I learned my lesson. The hard way!
PS. My baby now has a super breastfeeding inclined pedia. I remembered her telling me when I told her I couldn’t breastfeed, “You can do it, look at my other baby patients outside, they are all big, strong and healthy!”
So the day we brought Daphne home, she was already taking formula. I tried breastfeeding her that same day, but since it was my first time and I am not well educated about anything about breastfeeding at all, it resulted to sore, wounded, and very painful nipples. And my MIL wasn’t any help at all. She told me that my nipples weren’t big enough, that’s why the baby was having a hard time latching on. I know she meant well. But I was disappointed a little, because here I was trying my best and words like that were like nails being hammered to me. But, I didn’t get discouraged, I told myself that I would just let the wounds heal and continue breastfeeding my baby.
Days passed, I was mixed feeding my baby. More on formula, because my milk supply wasn’t coming in. A lot of factors may be the culprit, or so I thought. I wasn’t direct feeding at all. I was taking antibiotics. I underwent C-Section. Etc. Everytime I tried, it just hurt. I even tried using nipple shields, to no avail. Again, not to be discouraged, I pumped and expressed my breasts for milk in lieu of direct feeding. Then, I was only getting 1/2 ounce. It increased to an ounce, to 2 ounces and a maximum of 3 ounces per pumping session. I know that wasn’t enough. So I tried drinking different soups, taking Natalac, which was prescribed to me by my OB, I drank a lot of water (which isn’t right at all); all these but my milk supply remained the same. There were some days I was so depressed because of my low milk supply that I was just crying it out. At that time, I thought my baby wasn’t getting enough milk because everytime she nurses, she gets so fussy and she just keeps on sucking vigorously that it hurt so much. I learned now that she just wanted to suck and turn my nipples into her pacifier. Anyway, back to my low self esteem days, I am thankful that I had my husband who was very supportive, he comforted me and told me that it was okay, and we’ll just keep on trying and I shouldn’t be pressured.
Pressure really is a big deal, because the more you pressure yourself, the more it (milk) wouldn’t come. And the support you have or don’t have would play an important factor.
When I was having a hard time and getting depressed already, I texted one of my breastfeeding friend. She’s been breastfeeding her baby since birth. The baby is now 7 months old. I asked her a lot of questions, she was very patient with me, she answered my questions, she encouraged me. This is why I said that support plays a very important role in breastfeeding. Because for times that you doubt yourself and you just want to give up, having someone say supportive words, and to know that this someone has been through what you are actually going through, it wakes you up in your nightmare and pushes you to try harder.
After waking up in my nightmare, I was determined. I expressed and pumped milk every 3 hours to sustain the day’s feeding times, and nursed my baby at dawn till morning. The formula my baby was taking decreased to a bottle of 3 ounces per day, because I thought she couldn’t sleep soundly if I just nursed her at night. So we gave her formula during her last feeding for the day. I was wrong again. (Tell you why later on!) This setup has been working well for me, but my milk supply isn’t increasing at all. It steadied to just what my baby needed for the day. I said to myself, this can’t be. If I missed one pumping session, my baby wouldn’t have any milk to drink at all. And I also learned recently that the hierarchy of breastmilk is direct, room temp, refrigerated and frozen.
My baby turned 2 months old a few days ago, for now she’s contented in having 3 ounces of milk every 2 hours. But what will happen when she demands for more, could I cope? What happens if I was at work already, I don’t have any reserved milk at home, my baby would resort in taking in formula again. That I don’t want to happen.
I read and researched. That was what the internet for after all. I came through a lot of websites. Some websites answered questions bugging my mind for so long. One of them was chronicles of a nursing mom. I really learned a lot from this website. I browsed and read through all of her posts. It was very informative and encouraging. Just what I needed. After reading, I promised to myself that I am now going to be a dedicated breastfeeding mommy, just like her, and all dedicated breastfeeding mommies out there.
My breastfeeding story unfolds here, hopefully I will be successful in my endeavor to breastfeed my baby exclusively – meaning no more formula! Just a few more days to go before I get back to work (the regret of not starting early annoys me!), I am now nursing my baby all day and all night long. She has not been fed formula milk for 3 days now. She sleeps even soundly now compared to when she’s fed formula at night. What was I thinking?!? I pumped once or twice a day, to have some reserve for times I will go out and leave my baby at home. I will pump more often once I get the hang of nursing my baby every hour. Yes! She nurses every hour! She’s a growing baby after all!
My milk hasn’t increased yet. But I know that with my dedication, commitment and the knowledge that I now have regarding breastfeeding, I will be like other mommies who have more supply than what their babies need and in time, I will have the excess supply to donate milk to those who need it.
I have been searching for an advocacy and I think I now found it.
For the love of my baby Daphne, here’s to my success in breastfeeding! :heart:
I am a SassyBiatcheMom. I can do it! :heart: