Breastfeeding Journey

Before having a baby I didn’t realize how difficult it was to breastfeed. When Elliott was one week old he had his first doctor’s appointment. He was weighed and checked out by his new doctor. He was already past his birth weight which I was very happy about.

We discussed my struggles to get my milk to increase and he wrote me a prescription for Motilium. He also set up an appointment for me to see a Lactation Specialist.

My first appointment with the Lactation Specialist was the following day and I really didn’t want to go. At this point I really just wanted to give up with breastfeeding. The only reason I really wanted to do it in the first place was because it was cheaper. But giving Elliott bottles was so much easier and I didn’t have to be the one to always feed him.

Going to the appointment was my first outing alone with baby which I was nervous about. At the appointment we talked about what our routine was so far and she was not happy to hear that I was sleeping at night. She told me that I had to take over all the feedings and make sure I’m pumping at least once throughout the night, making sure not to go more than 5 hours without pumping.

I did already know this so I wasn’t surprised to hear it. And I was planning to move Elliott back upstairs to my bedroom (he was currently spending his nights in the living room with his dad).

At the appointment we also tried a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS). It’s basically a syringe hooked up to a tube that you tape to your boob. You put the formula in the syringe. You latch the baby onto the boob and feed the formula through the tube while the baby is sucking from the breast.

The nurse sent me home with the SNS to see if it would help but I found it very difficult to use. I already was having troubles multitasking with a baby in my arms. I used it once at home but he just started sucking on the tube like a straw instead of my breast. I gave up on trying again with that set up.

The day after my appointment I did break down and cry about wanting to quit breastfeeding though. My boyfriend told me it was my choice and that he would support me with whatever decision I made. Although I did already know this, it was nice to hear and helped calm me down a little bit. I decided I would keep trying at least for another week when I had a follow up appointment with the Lactation Specialist.

Up until this point I was only producing milk from my left side. When I pumped I would only end up with about 3-5 ml combined for the whole day. At about 8 days postpartum I finally started leaking from the right side as well.

During my first few nights with Elliott in my room things went pretty smoothly. He sleeps in 1-2 hour spurts which gives me a little bit of rest. I wasn’t as tired in the mornings as I thought I would be.

By the time of my follow up appointment one week later I was able to pump milk from both sides and I had gone from 3-5ml of milk per day to about 20ml a day. However it had started getting very difficult to latch baby again. He would scream like he was starving until I gave in and fed him a bottle. He would push me away with his hands which kind of hurt my feelings haha.

The following day or two was better though. I was able to get him to latch on for about 10 minutes per side whereas before it was only about 3-5 minutes. I feel like if I was producing more milk he would stay on better. Right now he is drinking about 75ml of formula during each feed. He also falls asleep pretty quickly when I’m breastfeeding which is very frustrating.

Just after two weeks postpartum my boobs had finally started to feel full and lumpy which I guess is a good sign. Now I’m starting to get worried though because if I miss a feeding (which I sometimes do at night because I’m so tired) I’m scared I will get Mastitis. There is always something to worry about.

On a side note, my postpartum bleeding was stopping around a week and a half after having baby. We will see if it starts up again. I had a little bit of spotting about 5 days after it stopped but it only lasted a couple of days.

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