Monday, September 30, 2013

Breastfeeding Take II

I have been nursing Charlotte for two months now.  With Owen nursing started out rocky.  We had latch issues and I had to pump first to get him to latch correctly.  I fed him with a syringe because I was so worried about nipple confusion.  And then the lactation consultant recommended a nipple shield.  It worked.  I was finally able to get him to latch, even if I had to use the shield.  After about a week at home I hated using the shield and would just pump for a few seconds to be able to get Owen to latch.  I cried in the hospital because I felt my body was failing me.  I was so upset I was unable to nurse and nourish my child.  There were many nights after that I cried and cried because I had to use the nipple shield or pump first.  I also would cringe a little when he finally did latch.  After a few weeks we were finally able to nurse with no help.  I tossed out the nipple shields and just nursed.  I nursed until almost 5 months but stopped because my diet just was not working and it was stressing both of us out.  He would cry for hours on end and it really made it difficult. After cutting out pretty much everything except meat and grain I couldn't do it anymore.  I went to the pediatrician and asked about switching to formula.  Two days after switching to formula he was such a happy baby.

I was concerned at the beginning of my pregnancy about how nursing would go.  However, my body is different than it was and towards the end I knew we would be fine.  Day one Charlotte latched on and by time we left the hospital it was as if we had been nursing for weeks.  Unfortunately, 11 days into breastfeeding I got some chills, fever, and really bad headaches.  I had mastitis.  Everything was going so smoothly until then.  My breast hurt more than I could ever imagine.  I saw the midwife and got some antibiotics.  Two days later I finally started feeling better.  Everything has been fine since.  After I was done taking the antibiotics I started pumping a few times a day.  I wanted to relieve engorgement, prevent blocked ducts, and build a freezer supply.  In the beginning I was pumping every single time I nursed.  I would pump one side while she nursed the other side and then I would pump on the side she nursed on.  I had built up a huge stash and have donated a little over 300 ounces so far, and I still have around 200 ounces in my freezer.  I honestly have no clue when I would use the milk in the freezer, but want it just in case.  I now only pump three times a day, when I first wake up, around 1:30, and again before bed.  If I don't pump before bed I get so engorged that Charlotte cannot latch in the middle of the night.  I have to pump when I wake up because I am engorged.  I know continuing to pump will not stop my body from making milk, but only want to produce more, and I am fine with that.  It allows me to have a freezer stash and to be able to donate to other babies in need.  

We have also come across an issue with pacifying.  Charlotte wants to suckle. I know babies have a desire for sucking on something, which is why pacifiers were created.  Charlotte feels the need to use me as her pacifier.  One down side to this is I cannot hold her and use me as a pacifier all the time,  In addition it causes a let down but she doesn't want to eat, so she spits it out and we both end up wet.  Labor day weekend my step mom was able to get Charlotte to suck on a pacifier.  It was great to not have her attached to me the  whole time.  However, after a couple days I noticed we were having latch issues.  I took the pacifier away and have not had issues since.  So once again I am her pacifier, which I am okay with.  We may try the pacifier again in a few weeks, but maybe she is just going to be one of those babies that just doesn't use one.

So far nursing has been great, we had some bumps but nothing we cant handle.  Things are going well and my diet does not seem to be an issue for Charlotte.  I just hope it stays that way.  I love the feeling of being able to nourish my child.  For anyone struggling with breastfeeding, keep with it.  The first few weeks are tough, but it does get better.

No comments:

Post a Comment