After discovering how difficult, amazing, exhausting, wonderful, and rewarding motherhood is, I thought I would share my journey. Today, has been a relief after a challenging 6 weeks of learning how to breastfeed. Being such a natural way to nourish our children, I figured it just comes naturally. Between trying to balance a household and a newborn, dealing with how painful breastfeeding actually is, and weaning off formula, I have been exhausted. Although, I’m nowhere near figuring it all out, I’ve discovered helpful tips along the way.
Liam was born jaundice and his pediatrician told me to supplement with formula to keep him hydrated better in order to get rid of the jaundice faster. This wasn’t a problem for me, until I realized my milk supply was stunted because we had been skipping feedings and replacing them with bottles of formula. I wasn’t sure what to do, so I kept supplementing long after his jaundice went away (which was about a week). Also, it was nice to take a break since I was in so much pain!
Because I wasn’t producing enough, Liam was never happy with a nursing session. And because of the pain, neither was I! I was a day away from giving up altogether. But it was something I really wanted to do for my son, so I consulted my doctor. She checked us both and we didn’t have any infections (which cause severe pain), but she could tell I was unusually sore. She called a lactation consultant and set me up an appointment, and before I left another doctor stopped us and recommended a new cream she just discovered. She wrote me the prescription and told me it was a “miracle” cream.
The lactation consultant showed me different techniques to help his latch and invited me to her breastfeeding support group. Later that day, I went to an apothecary shop to pick up the cream.
I applied it after nursing like instructed, and after one use I was considerably healed! By the second use, breastfeeding was no longer painful! This cream, called C-BETAMETH VAL/MICON/MUPIROCIN, is the reason I am still able to breastfeed!
Although I wasn’t in pain anymore, I was still supplementing due to my low milk supply. I tried pumping, but I didn’t see much of a difference. And I was getting pretty exhausted trying to nurse, bottlefeed, and pump, and still not getting the outcome I needed.
I was, and am still, determined to exclusively breastfeed Liam. I know that the more I nurse, the more milk I will produce. So last Friday, I nursed, and of course not even an hour later he was still hungry. But I nursed again instead of getting a bottle ready. Formula has fillers which make babies feel fuller longer, which is a pretty good thing for Moms in my opinion! But I knew I wouldn’t be happy with myself unless I kept trying everything I could. So every 45 minutes to an hour that day and all night too, I strictly nursed, giving him no formula. We went our first 24 hours since birth without formula, and I have been determined to keep it that way. So although it is exhausting, and we are STILL feeding every hour day and night, it has been FIVE days without him having formula! 🙂
I went to the breastfeeding support group yesterday and it was so amazing talking and relating to other Moms! Most had pretty similar challenges too! I will definitely be going to that every two weeks!
Nursing every hour has been making me go crazy! So while researching online, I came across a Mom who recommended using an infant carrier to be hands-free. Liam LOVES his carrier, he loves being snuggled close to me, so I was excited to try this with him. And I would like to report, that he is currently in his infant carrier nursing while I am able to type this! I was also able to brush my teeth, fold the laundry, and eat something, things that are SO difficult to accomplish during the day. I can finally be mobile and this is going to make my breastfeeding goal so much easier.
Being a mom may have some difficult moments, but it is worth every challenge. Liam is the biggest blessing I have ever received.