My kids are grown but someone asked me the other day if I breastfed my babies. So, I thought this story may help you if you’re struggling with breastfeeding.
My son was my first born (an hour old in the pic) and just couldn’t latch on. I didn’t know that was possible as thought they just started feeding right away. He had such a poor sucking reflex that a nursing specialist visited our home several times/day trying to get him to latch on. He was getting a little bit but not much. The poor little guy was starving so I started pumping but was still determined to get him to breastfeed.
The nursing specialist was in tears one day as said she’d never seen nipples bleeding like that and a baby with such a poor sucking reflex. She said I could try a shield but that was even harder on the nipples.
Well, he latched on with the shield alright but I cried every single time I fed him for a week or 2 … the pain was unbelievable! I used that annoying shield for 6 weeks before finally tossing it aside and he latched right onto the breast.
I breastfeed for 10 months but he was so squirmy that he eventually weaned himself and loved the bottle as he could have it in his crib with all his toys around instead of just smashed up against boring old Mom.
I hated breastfeeding anyway so was thrilled when he weaned himself. I’m a fidgeting slightly hyperactive person so always felt trapped when breastfeeding. To make it easier for me to tolerate I learned to do it anywhere and everywhere: grocery shopping, walking, etc.
My daughter was born 5 years later and had the same poor sucking reflex but I just slapped her right on the shield before the bleeding nipples started so it wasn’t as painful. She was on the breast without the shield within a couple of weeks and I finally weaned her at 14 months. She’d have stayed on the boob for years if I’d let her but … no thanks!
I never had any interest in breastfeeding from an emotional perspective as was already super maternal and able to bond other ways. But, I felt it was important to get them on the boob for convenience and nutritional reasons. Plus, I could eat more :).
Breast is best? I don’t know about that. But if it’s important to you to breastfeed and you’re struggling, I hope this blog has helped.
If you don’t want to breastfeed, then don’t bother. It’s not the be all and end all.
If you’d like some advice or help with parenting, contact me for a free consultation.
Lisa Bunnage, Parenting Coach