Brandi’s story of overcoming problems with breastfeeding
(San Antonio, TX, USA)
While I was pregnant, everyone asked me if I was going to nurse. Nonchalantly and thoughtlessly, I would respond with a definite “Yes.”
Then, when I had my daughter, she came out ready to eat, and luckily, nursed like a pro. I had no issues with her latch or supply. The first day was a breeze. I started wondering why any woman wouldn’t want to breastfeed.
Then it hit me. Not only was I tired and sore, but my nipples were beginning to crack. They even bled. I winced every time I went to feed her, and doused myself in lanolin every time she was done. She also ate every two hours or so and sometimes for forty five minutes to an hour at a time! It was exhausting and painful. But I kept at it because I kept reading that it got easier and it was worth it.
Then, at my daughter’s one month check up, the doctor told me that she was jaundice and that I would have to supplement her with formula for a week or two until it went away. I was devastated. I wanted what was best for her, but I was confused because I thought that breast milk was best. I cried my eyes out. I also didn’t want her to get nipple confusion.
So I started researching jaundice and breast milk, and even called the La Leche League, and ultimately decided to keep breastfeeding, while supplementing some (against my own will), and get a second opinion. The next doctor I went to was shocked that the previous doctor told me to stop nursing for a while. She told me to just nurse more frequently and smaller amounts so that my daughter could process it. I was so relieved.
So I went home and happily threw away the formula that I had purchased the day before. Then I got sick. Mastitis hit me hard. I was even throwing up at one point. But I kept nursing. My husband just took care of my daughter and gave her pumped bottles while I was in bed with a heating pad on my breast. I was so tempted to give up at that point. When it rains, it pours. But I kept at it. I got better, my nipples healed and “got used” to the nursing, and it actually did get MUCH easier.
My daughter is now 11 months old, and is still nursing strong. No more problems with breastfeeding. She loves her “nins,” and I love giving it to her. I have a bond with her that I never knew could exist. I am so happy that I stuck it out. It is hard in the beginning, but so worth the fight. And again, I stress, it gets SO much easier after the first month or two.
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