Breastfeeding… something I learn as a new Mom which is really tough but we are sticking to our guns. There’s plenty of literature out there telling one the pros and cons of breastfeeding (BF), I’m not going to dwell on that. Before S’s arrival, the Man and I discussed on feeding options. We are not averse to using formula milk if ever needed to supplement S’s needs. We knew breastfeeding was going to be tough but we didn’t expect it to be soooo… hard.
As usual, we didn’t know what to expect. Pre-natal classes? We were pretty enthusiastic at first but then the Man did a survey with friends and they shared that didn’t think it was necessary. We will just figure it out as new parents. Reading up on breastfeeding? Well, borrowed some books from a friend and I will just refer to that when I need it. Obviously, didn’t. Stocking up on bottles/ teats? Direct contact better right? Why the need for bottles and teats? Plus there were plenty of hand-me-down bottles that I borrowed from my cousin (some were in new condition).
Then came the onslaught of breastfeeding woes that we have to learn and manage. First up, S latched on pretty okay when we were staying in the hospital. My joy came when I saw colostrum flowing from the boobies and I thought there’s hope! My sis who’s a super BF advocate also shared that I must massage the boobies before feeding and she taught my some massage techniques which is supposed to help ensure the flow of the milk. The lactation consultant did her rounds and S scored top points for latching on correctly at the hospital.
But when we reached home, that was a different story. The latching was incorrect and my nipples were sore from the incorrect latching. What made it worse that I was determined to make this breastfeeding journey work so I pushed myself hard, when they showed signs of bleeding, I brushed them aside and thought it was normal based on the literature I read. I slathered the nipple cream from Earth Angel Mama Baby liberally and prayed that it will get better. What made it worse was that the caregivers insisted that S is hungry from all the crying and wanted me to supplement her needs with formula. We knew it was going to be hard but we persevered. We also decided to seek professional help and booked a session with the Lactation Consultant (LC) at Parentcraft over at Gleneagles.
Turned out S was latching wrongly which resulted in a lot of pain on my part. The LC then taught us the proper technique for latching on the baby to the breast to ensure that the milk gets into the baby’s system. Viola, no sore nipples and S was a satiated baby as she suckled hungrily at my boobies. We went home pleased with the money well-spent at the consultation. Again at home, it was another story, some days she latches on well and on other days, it’s a challenge to get the screaming chomper to latch on properly. That’s when my confidence crashes and I feel like reaching out to the pump where there is minimal pain inflicted on the boobies. On the good days when she’s a happy chomper, nothing beats holding her little body, pressing it on my chest and just taking in her beauty as she chomps down hungrily.
I may not know it all but I know breastfeeding is like a roller-coaster ride, there will be ups and downs. If you are hitting a down, just hang in there for at the next turn, you may just be riding high up. It’s been an upheaval task that takes quite a lot of determination and hard work but as S’s Mum, I will preserve on this journey and let’s see where it will take us.