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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Breastfeeding Journey



Disclaimer: This blog contains photos of a baby breastfeeding. So please click away if you aren't comfortable viewing that! 



During my pregnancy and even before I knew I wanted to breastfeed. So I spent so many hours reading blogs, articles and watching videos on how to make it easy for you and your baby. I read about the health benefits, the amazing bonding experience, and how it even promotes weight loss after baby! Not to mention its free... so it was a no brainer for me. I also felt like I even knew what I was doing before going into it... and boy was I wrong. Everything I needed had been purchased, a pump, bags, a breastfeeding pillow, and even boobie ice packs.(not really free haha)
After all my research I knew that our golden hour after birth is very important. Skin to skin promotes bonding between mommy and baby. Once it came time to latch her on I got nervous. All the time I spent went out the window, and I felt like I knew nothing. Sailor latched pretty well and transferred a little bit of colostrum and went to sleep on the breast. I was immediately discouraged... Did she get enough? Why did she fall asleep? Do I even have any colostrum? The nurse assured me that the little bit was enough and she was just tired from being born... which is actually very hard work for babies too! After hearing that I felt better and decided to get some rest.
Sailor's First latch.
Since Sailor was born at 37 weeks, they had to monitor her blood sugars to make sure they were normal. Her 3rd check came back too low which forced us to give her some glucose and then they encouraged us to supplement. I was again heart broken, I felt like I had already failed at breastfeeding. We were able to give her donor milk through a syringe to prevent nipple confusion, and I was able to pump after letting her latch for a while. As hard as it was to feel like a failure so early into being a mom, I knew I made the right choice. Plus daddy really enjoyed doing this part... I'll never forget the excitement he had when it was time to feed again. The next day, I had a lactation consultant come to see us and they noticed she had a lip and tongue tie. Which would explain why she was so sleepy at the breast, and why she was unable to properly transfer. They showed me how to use a nipple shield, I was skeptical and worried about nipple confusion but wholeheartedly believe this is what saved my breastfeeding journey.
Daddy feeding Sailor.
Once we made it home, and the stress of my baby being under photo therapy lights for 48 hours was gone... my milk finally came in on day 6!! I was sure that it wouldn't come in but once it did I was so happy, even in all my engorgement pain! Everything was going good until we went to her 1st doctors appointment. She wasn't gaining weight, and you guessed it, I felt like a failure once again. After 3 more appointments, lots of pumping and syringe feeding... Sailor finally started to put weight on again!! She was eating like a champ, as often as she wanted.



 Until about 5 weeks old, when the colic came on. I was sure she had reflux because she was unhappy all the time. After more research and talking to friends, I realized that she was still getting a lot of air from the ties and the nipple shield. We had an appointment with a pedicatic ent who evaluated her and confirmed all ties. She then told me that Sailor would need to be put under anesthesia to have them repaired. That was terrifying. There was lots of time and thought behind our choice but we decided not to go that route. And we were back to square one. Thanks to some amazing Facebook groups we were put in contact with a pediatric dentist who did the procedure in office, and in under 10 minutes. At around 8 weeks old, her ties were finally repaired! The healing process was long and tough, but we made it though! Finally my girl was nursing like a champ, with no shield, and no other issues! 

Our journey was no where near easy, and not at all what I expected it to be. More often than not, I felt like a failure of a mom, and would cry while feeding her. After all is said and done I am so happy I stuck with it despite all the hardship we had. I do believe that,"Fed Is Best"so if you breastfeed, formula feed, or supplement you are doing amazing. 


In honor World Breastfeeding Month Here are some of my favorite breastfeeding photos! 
Not all of them are glamours, but I love documenting this journey.











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9 comments:

  1. Thank you for sharing your journey. Breastfeeding is tough work I had moments of doubt too during my own journey. And I love all the breastfeeding pictures it’s beautiful!

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  2. This is such a wonderful testament to your dedication as a mom and perseverance through struggles! I am 10 months into our journey and while I haven't faced the same obstacles as you, I can totally relate the feeling like a failure! Breastfeeding so SUCH an emotional journey - more than I think we ever realize until we're going through it. Your little one is beautiful and you're an amazing momma!

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  3. Good for you for sticking through it! I was never able to make enough milk and it was a long process to figure out what the issue was. Thanks for sharing your journey!

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  4. My daughter had a tongue tie as well! It made things really difficult at first but we really had to figure out what was best for us!

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  5. My journey was so hard as well, maybe one day I will write about it! Thanks for sharing your story. PS You are way more talented than me nursing on a swing : ))

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  6. Your story is similar to mine - I had a bit of trouble with my son latching on as he was a preemie and had tongue tie. Luckily, we got him used to the breast for a little while. I had to pump afterwards.

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