Little Sunday story time by Samatha

I always knew that I would breastfeed my baby, but I did not realise just how much of a challenge it would be.  

We found out that our baby was breech, by chance, a week before he was born. It was a complete shock as he had been in the same position for a very long time.  Not only did this mean that our home birth was no longer an option, but it also resulted in Hugo having hip dysplasia in his left hip, which was picked up by the baby doctor the morning after he was born.  Within a couple of hours, a physiotherapist came to see us and put Hugo into a Pavlik Harness which had to be kept on permanently for up to 12 weeks.

The harness held Hugo’s legs out in the frog position, which I soon learned really limited feeding positions for us. I couldn’t even use a nursing pillow as it would put pressure on his legs.  The only position that worked for us was holding him across me horizontally, ensuring that his legs didn’t rest on anything.  Luckily, Hugo is a small baby, but I still wake up in the night now, with extremely painful wrists from holding him like this for so long.  

The other position that was available to us was the laid-back approach, as his frog legs could rest either side on my thigh.  However, I found this too painful, which brings us onto the next issue that I encountered.

Hugo was feeding non stop, hours and hours at a time and always seemed to be hungry. I had been told that my latch was good and that his behaviour was normal for a small newborn baby. This went on for weeks and I was completely exhausted and reaching breaking point, when one of my friends suggested that he may have tongue tie.  I googled this straight away, looked in his mouth, and was absolutely certain that this was the case.  A health visitor confirmed this and he was referred, almost straight away, to have the tongue tie snipped.  

This was an absolute game changer and Hugo changed almost overnight. He went from feeding for hours at a time, to doing much shorter feeds and could now go at least two hours between feeds and was extremely settled in between. It was like having a different baby.

Hugo’s harness has now been removed (it was removed at ten weeks) and that really is the icing on the cake for our rollercoaster breastfeeding journey.  The only time he wants to be on the boob a lot, for comfort more than anything, is at night, and without the harness, I am now able to feed lying down so that I can get some rest.

I am so happy that I persevered with breastfeeding, despite these hurdles, as now it seems like such a breeze, and I can literally do it in my sleep!