Breastfeeding, Not for the Weak

At some point while you’re still in the hospital a lactation specialist or a few of them will visit you.  Unless you and your baby have come out as professionals at breastfeeding, they are going to make you feel like shit.  I can’t even imagine the looks on their faces if a new mom tells them she doesn’t want to breastfeed.  If that’s you, that’s your right.  Be sure to stand your ground and advocate for yourself, we have choices for a reason.  I on the other hand wanted to breastfeed, I wanted my baby to have all the antibodies I had, I’m looking at you COVID-19.  

My first, second and third try at breastfeeding went horrible. She wouldn’t latch, I had no milk and she lost a lot of weight after birth, which can be normal but it was concerning. For the time being, I opted for donor milk but I was being accosted every time I called the lactation desk to get more. “What is your plan when you leave? You can’t take donor milk with you”. “You shouldn’t be having a problem with supply just because you were induced, that literally never happens”. “You’re not holding her right”. “Your baby isn’t acting like a full term baby, what’s her gestational age”? The list went on. The nurses were awful to me, after awhile they wouldn’t even ask if they could touch me anymore, they would just walk in pull out my boob and try to latch the baby, it was humiliating. I didn’t feel inadequate because I had a c-section, I felt inadequate because I couldn’t breastfeed and staying in that hospital wasn’t helping.

Once we left the hospital for good, I was given a lactation specialist’s information by my baby’s pediatrician. At this point I had nothing to lose, so I made an appointment for the next day. I went through the appointment, boobs out, and she actually gave me useful information. She explained the breast pump, how often I should be doing it and what settings it should be on. I was told about foods I could eat to increase my supply. She went over supplements I could take that may help. She looked over my baby who does have a bad latch. The best thing though was, she told me it wasn’t my fault and I really needed to hear that. I ended up going to her a few times and my supply went from pumping a half ounce every three hours to getting two ounces every three hours. It’s not a lot but it’s something and I’m proud of it.

My baby is now going on three months and I’m still pumping every few hours and getting no more than one and a half ounces at a time.  I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me sometimes.  We still try to latch sometimes and she will, for a few seconds.  It never fails, she looks up at me, smiles and starts babbling like “look ma I did it”.  It cracks me up every time and then I just give her the bottle, because that’s what works for us.

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