Before I had my little girl I had decided that I would give breastfeeding a good go. Stating to anyone that asked that I would try it but if it didn’t work out then I wouldn’t put pressure on myself.
Now, almost 12 weeks in, I can definitely say that I under estimated the challenges that breast feeding would bring. The first few weeks were really tough, right from the first feed we suffered with a poor latch. This led to bleeding nipples, excruciating pain, crying baby and a crying mummy. One of my clearest memories from that first week is crying, face down, into my pillow, husband trying to comfort me and baby at the same time- all because it hurt so much and baby wasn’t latching properly (and all of those hormones which no one warns you about).
The next morning, I contacted a lactation consultant as I was so so close to giving up. It was the best thing that I could have done – she totally changed things for me. She instantly put me at ease and she was so knowledgeable. I’m not saying that things were suddenly perfect, they weren’t. But I felt like I could do it and that things would get better. She helped me with positioning when feeding, working on a good latch and she also diagnosed a posterior tongue tie. I would recommend a lactation consultant to anyone! Also, there is a Facebook group which I found really helpful and a great source of support, from other women going through the same experiences as you.
Almost 12 weeks in and we are still breast feeding, something which seemed almost impossible to me all those weeks ago when I had my face buried in my pillow. It still isn’t perfect but it isn’t painful anymore and I am enjoying the closeness and bond with my gorgeous little girl.
I have learnt that there are a lot of obstacles to overcome with breastfeeding, some women experience more than others. Some of the ones that I have experienced are painful feeding, vasospasms (more pain), public feeding, a poor latch and a tongue tie. In spite of these, I am happy and proud to be breastfeeding my little girl at this stage and I hope to continue to do so.
If I were to do anything differently, I would have had the lactation consultant round sooner as it seemed to be a bit of a turning point for us. I know some people contact a lactation consultant during pregnancy, in preparation for the first few days of breastfeeding!
Breastfeeding has certainly been a learning curve for me. At times I was so close to giving up, but, I am so glad that I didn’t and now the positives certainly outweigh the negatives.