Little Sunday story time by Natalija

From the beginning of my pregnancy i knew i want to breastfeed, foolishly i was convinced that it is the easiest thing, you just give the boob to the baby and thats it.  I did’t read about it, i wasn’t prepared but can you even be prepared? 

I had a c-section, and it was a disaster, the epidural didn’t work and they quickly put me to sleep, i was devastated, i really wanted to see my baby be born and to hear her firs cry, but that was taken from me and i will need time to heal in many ways from that experience. Two days i only seen my baby for a few minutes, i wasn’t allowed to breastfeed because of medication i was getting, the third day i was asked if i want to breastfeed, and i said yes, but how do you do it? In my country where i gave birth, you don’t have a lot of support in the hospital, there are no lactation consultants, no specialists, no one except  mean nurses who shout at you for not knowing how to breastfeed. With 5 other new moms  in the same room and 6 crying babies, it was complete chaos. Every mom had a different problem, some were leaking milk, some had  bruised breasts from aggressive massaging (we were told to do it so the milk comes in ) some had nipples bleeding, and me, i didn’t have milk, barely any colostrum. I didn’t massage my breasts or hand express,  i just thought the milk is going to come in by itself without me doing anything, but it didn’t. Baby was struggling to latch on from the beginning and i didn’t know how to position her, the nurses were forcing us to nurse by laying on our side in the bed and i just couldn’t do it properly since i also have larger breasts and it was nerve wracking. I couldn’t wait to  get out of the hospital, but when i did i was even more lost and hopeless and continued giving formula to my baby while also pumping, but i was barely producing milk. I felt stupid and i questioned  every move i did or did not, maybe i should have massaged my breast, maybe i should have drank more water...  maybe... I was going crazy and the mom guilt was hitting hard. At home i didn’t have any support from my family or mother in law, everyone fed their babies with formula and no one had experience with breastfeeding, so when they heard the baby cry while i was trying my best to latch her on, they would run in and tell me to stop harassing the baby and just give her the formula. I think you can imagine the feeling i had, i was crying every single day and night, i wanted to breastfeed my baby so bad. After 2 months of pumping and supplementing with formula i had enough! I told my self that i am going to breastfeed her no mater what, so the next step was to tell everyone to go to hell and leave me alone! Literally. They told me not to hold the baby too long, so i held her ALL the time! They told me to put her in the crib when she falls asleep, so i let her sleep on my chest, i let her sleep on the boobs, i didn’t give her to anyone, i did everything opposite of what i was told, i listened to my instinct!  It was me and her in bed all day and all night, and do you know what happened? She slowly started to latch on by herself!!! And day by day she was drinking less and less formula. I was crying from happiness.My only and biggest support was my husband, he was helping me on every single step, there were days where he would feed me while i was pumping or breastfeeding, he was preparing every meal, bringing me water or anything that i needed, because he knew how much i wanted this and how much time and effort it takes to succeed in breastfeeding.  My boobs like everyone else’s hurt so bad, i had soreness, redness, blocked ducts, rock hard boobs and everything that comes with breastfeeding. But that was just a reminder  that milk is coming! I saw that as a positive sign and boy was i happy! We were able to ditch the formula when my daughter was 3 months, that’s how long it took us to adjust and make it work. Now she is one year old, and I still let her sleep while nursing, i sleep with her by my side and both of us are happy, healthy and have amazing naps together! So if you are someone who is struggling to breastfeed, know that you can make it happen! Our bodies are amazing as our babies as well! Do not listen to negative people, trust your instinct and trust your baby!