Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Our Breastfeeding Journey part 1

Before Emerson was born I knew that I was going to breastfeed. There were a few different reasons for this decision: it's best for baby, it's healthy for mama, and it's free. I know that not all mamas are able to breastfeed or even have the option, formula is a great alternative; I'm just thankful we were able to. I wanted to be as prepared as possible and know what I was getting myself into before Emerson was born, so I signed up for a breastfeeding class at our hospital. But, we never made it to the class as it was a week after Emerson was born, we weren't expecting him to come three and a half weeks early. His early arrival just meant that we would learn together at the hospital.
Breastfeeding was never simple or easy for us. From the time Emerson was born up until now it seems like it has been one challenge after another. At the hospital he had trouble latching on correctly and I really didn't know what I was supposed to do or how to get him to latch on correctly. The lactation consultant came in a few times to visit and check up on us. Sadly she wasn't very helpful as she only talked about me learning how to pump and did not help me figure out how to get a proper latch. After having quite the discussion with her during one of her visits and trying to explain, yet again, that I was only going to nurse she stopped pushing me to pump. But she also didn't come and help me again. humm. Thankfully I had some pretty incredible nurses who were able to help, one in particular was simply wonderful. She stayed in the room with me one night helping me get Emerson to latch on, giving suggestions and encouragement. It was only after her patience and help that we were better at it and I felt more confident that I could nurse him fine at home.

We left the hospital with creams, ointments, and a pretty good handle on how to latch on. For the first month or so he would nurse and the latching on got a little better and easier. Though it was not perfect because I had very bruised and cracked nipples which made it painful for me. I used a lanolin cream and it helped me feel better, but it still hurt when Emerson would nurse. I knew breast milk was best and wanted to keep trying for both of us.

At his one month appointment we found out he had breast milk jaundice so we battled that for two or so weeks. During that time I had to pump in order to maintain my supply as we had to supplement with formula. It was a huge relief once he got over that. It was such a struggle to feed him a bottle and then pump. It felt like that was the only thing I did all day. It truly was exhausting. Yet, I still wanted to keep on nursing.


The next month I thought things were fine. He would eat and most of the time fall asleep while he was eating. I'd change his diaper to wake him up and he would finish. I still used the lanolin cream for soreness, but thankfully we didn't have to supplement with formula any more. But as soon as I thought we were both getting the hang of the whole nursing thing is when it suddenly seemed to get worse.

1 comment:

Sarah Benson said...

Oh noo, I'm so sorry to hear about all of your troubles! Does your insurance cover a lactation consult? I had to use one when we had trouble at first.