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My Struggles with Breastfeeding-Part 4

August 25, 2017

Parenting is by far the most difficult but most rewarding job in the world.

To be completely honest, I am so very happy to not have to worry about breastfeeding anymore and struggling.

You may think that I sound heartless and non-motherly, but trying to breastfeed each of my 4 kids has given me haunting memories.

With each of my 4 kids I had very different struggles with trying to breastfeed. If you haven’t yet read my experiences with my first 3 check them out here:

My Struggles with Breastfeeding-Part 1

My Struggles with Breastfeeding-Part 2

My Struggles with Breastfeeding-Part 3

Waiting 9 months for your little one to arrive can seem like forever. If you’re anything like me it causes some anxiety even after you’ve already had 3 children.

As much as I tried to calm myself, I was worried about the whole breastfeeding thing. I googled and read about things I could possibly do to prep myself.

Could I rough up my nipples to prevent it from hurting less?

Could take any type of supplements to possibly produce milk?

Could I do anything to help my inverted nipples to not be so inverted?

As I type those questions I can’t help but chuckle. It sounds so silly now.

Let’s just say that there isn’t anything that you could possibly physically do to prepare your breasts for breastfeeding.

I know this because I tried. While I researched inverted nipples and I stumbled upon a product called flat inverted nipple puller. There are many different styles and version.

Supposedly it is meant to pull out the nipple right before trying to breastfeed. However I read somewhere that it could be used to prep the nipple prior to giving birth.

Being the person that would try anything, I tried it within the 9 months of being pregnant. 

Did it help? Nope!

But I had to try right?

Everyone mama is so different and not all things work for everyone. But it doesn’t hurt to try. Here is the one that I tried:

Flat Inverted Nipple Puller

On June 1, 2016 at 4:50pm (2 days past my due date), I went in for a prenatal check up. Apparently I was at 5 cm and 70% effaced. Even being that far along in labor  I couldn’t feel any of the contractions that were apparently happening.

At 5:20 I walked myself over to get admitted to give birth. I was totally tripping out. How could I be so far along and not feel anything? Could I possibly have a very easy birth?

I decided to turn down the epidural since at the time there was no pain. WRONG MOVE!

Once they broke my bag at 7:30 it felt like all hell broke loose. Not only was I in pain but I was also way too late to get the drugs I so desperately needed.

It felt like an eternity till Mila arrived. This was the first labor that I tried the bath, the medicine ball and the walking around.

Finally at 10:58pm on July 1, 2016, Mila arrived.

The nurses put her immediately on my chest just wrapped in a blanket. They cleaned her while she layed on me.

Even after pooping on me twice she still weighed in at a whopping 8lbs. 15.8oz. The nurses couldn’t believe how big she was.

At around 11:35 we tried our first attempt at getting her to latch. That first moment was just like those miracle videos you see of how a newborn can sense their mama and can latch on their own. Mila did that!

I wanted to cry tears of joy. I was so excited. Could this be? Was I finally going to be one of those natural breastfeeding moms with no problems?

Wish I could tell you yes.

It wasn’t all that bad while staying in the hospital.

I nursed every 2-3 hours and tried both sides. Of course one side was much easier than the other.

But I had hope. We were off to a better start than any of the other 3 children.

We left the hospital with high hopes of it working out this time.

First Day Home

I continued on the next few days. Nursing every 2-3 hours on both sides. My milk hadn’t come in until the 3rd day.

It was the 4th day since she was born & we headed to her newborn checkup.

To my disappointment she was still way under birthweight. In fact she was lighter than she was when she was discharged from the hospital.

Not only was she underweight, the doctor was also concerned about jaundice.

We ran some tests and scheduled another appointment within the next 3 days.

The doctor said that I could continue breastfeeding since my milk finally came in.

Heading over to her next appointment I was so super nervous. I was stressed that my newborn baby wasn’t gaining the weight she needed.

After being weighed she had only gained a pound. It wasn’t near enough to be back at birth weight.

We discussed breastfeeding and how it was going. The doctor asked if she seemed fussy after breastfeeding or if she seemed content.

After every feeding, Mila seemed content. But now that I think about it, maybe she was just tired.

Again we left the doctors office with a follow-up visit scheduled for 3 days from then. Doctor also sent me home with a sample can of formula to supplement so that Mila could gain some weight.

I remember driving home and just being crushed. The tears were flowing like a waterfall.

How could this be happening again? Am I not producing enough milk? If I give her a bottle will I still be able to breastfeed?

I got my act together and got straight to feeding her a bottle of formula. I needed to do what was right for my baby.

I pumped for the first time on that same day. I was shocked to see how slow the flow of my milk was and how little I pumped. One breast only produced half an ounce! That would explain Mila’s lack of weight gain.

I continued to pump and feed her both breastmilk and supplement with formula.

After much thought, I made that dreaded decision to stop breastfeeding. I decided that I would attempt to exclusively pump.

It wasn’t my first choice but I wanted to do what was best for Mila.

My next task was to produce enough milk so that she could receive the best nutrition.

(This post contains amazon affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using the link. I only recommend products that I love.)

I immediately ordered a bottle of Nursing Blend Breastfeeding Supplement. It helped with my 3rd child so this was my first go to.

But I wanted to produce enough milk so that I wouldn’t have to supplement with formula.

June 29, 2016

I spent hours googling. My plan was to make lactation cookies and put myself on a strict pumping schedule.

Here is the schedule I followed:

First 2 weeks: Every hour for 15 minutes

Week 3-4: Every 2 hours for 15 minutes

Week 4-12: Every 2-3 hours for 15 minutes

After week 12 I was able to drop one pumping session and skip some of the night sessions.

I learned to train my body to produce milk to keep up with the stimulation.

I did make a few batches of lactation cookies but it seemed like the success came from being on a strict pumping schedule.

I was able to fill my freezer with breastmilk. Approximately 300 breast milk bags!

It did seem like my freedom was taken away and I had become a pumping machine. But it was totally worth it!

I did the next best thing I could in order to provide Mila with nutritional breastmilk.

Some people would frown upon and look down on someone who doesn’t exclusively breastfeed.

They can kiss my @$$!

Not unless a parent is purposely starving their child, no one has the right to look down upon someone for not exclusively breastfeeding.

As parents we have a difficult task of trying our best to do what’s right for our child but also for ourselves. We cannot give our children the best possible care unless we take care of ourselves as well.

To this day I feel a little regret that I initially was successful with Mila latching on but then decided to pump. However, I am super proud that I dealt with exclusively pumping for my little one.

You should feel awesome too with any amount of success that you experience. Enjoy your baby! Don’t be stressed like I was!

Mila Girl

I would love to hear your thoughts and comments! Submit a comment♥

(This post contains amazon affiliate links, which means I receive compensation if you make a purchase using the link. I only recommend products that I love.)

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Dani
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Mila was gorgeous!!! I’m so sorry you struggled with this…. it’s incredible all the pressure we put onto ourselves… and really in the end what’s really important is that we do what’s best for our baby, no matter what that is…. ❤️

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