This real life breastfeeding story was written and shared by Laid Back Lactation client Emily A.
When I was pregnant and other mothers asked if I was planning to breastfeed, I always responded with an emphatic “of course!” That’s when they would warn me that it can be difficult but if you make it through the first 2 weeks, it gets easy. Well, my first mistake was never bothering to ask what made it so hard. I very naively thought “I guess it takes a few weeks for your nipples to toughen up for it not to hurt?”
After birth, the pain was the least of my problems. My little one had a poor latch and would fall asleep almost instantly upon feeding. He would push me away with his hands. He would turn his head away from me and cry. The night before I was supposed to be discharged from the hospital, the doctors and nurses became concerned with his slow weight gain and I began pumping after every breastfeeding attempt and fed that to my baby as well. I continued this at home and nothing changed (except for the fact that I didn’t have professionals to help me around the clock at the push of my bedside “help button”). I would try to feed, baby would turn away and cry, I would cry, I would finally get him on and he would sleep. This part would last anywhere from an hour to 90 minutes then I would pump and feed him again. I would clean the pump parts and do all I could to mentally prepare myself to do this all over again in an hour. Every 3 hours this sometimes 2 hour process would start again all day and all night. I reminded myself that the other moms said it gets easier after 2 weeks and between that and the tremendous support of my husband, I carried on.
At his 2 week checkup, he still had not returned to his birth weight and I thought “I’m starving my child.” At my wits end, I reached out to Elizabeth Devaney at Laid Back Lactation and she was able to see me the next day. Through tears I explained and showed her my struggles and she calmed me, reassured me, and got real with me. She got me on a schedule and helped me with positioning, latch issues and tricks to deal with sleepy baby. After another 2 weeks on Elizabeth’s regimen and her responding to my crazed text messages, my baby boy was finally gaining weight.
Elizabeth and Allyson suggested I come to their weekly breastfeeding support group. After 1 session, I was hooked. No longer did I feel alone or lost. Other moms have had the same or similar struggles and weren’t trying to sugarcoat it. Women were open, honest and accepting. Ladies with babies a few weeks ahead of me offered advice on how to overcome. I finally felt like I could do this whole being a mom thing. Now my baby is 4 months old and I find myself being the one to reassure new moms that it may really suck right now but it gets better and they don’t have to do it alone.
I don’t know where I’d be today without the women at Laid Back Lactation. I probably would have given up on breastfeeding and felt guilty about it. Everyone’s situation is different but they can help you find a solution that makes sure your baby is healthy, returns your sanity and will slowly start to build your mom confidence. Thank you Elizabeth & Allyson!!
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