When I was pregnant with my first child just a few short months ago, I did a lot of research on many things. Being a planner, I like to be prepared and informed before doing things and so began the endless nights of listening to birth podcasts and reading parenting books. The one thing I did not think I needed to research however was breastfeeding. How hard could it be right? The baby just sucks on your nipple and like magic gets the milk she needs. Right? Oh how wrong I was. If I could do it again breastfeeding would be the number one thing on my research list, because there is just sooo much to know. From the day my daughter was born, she had a lot of trouble latching on and staying latched. She didn’t seem to interested in working long to get the milk out and would get tired quickly. The two lactation consultants at the hospital came into our room frequently at my request and kept assuring me that this was all fine and she was getting what she needed. 24 hours later they had sent us home with a new baby and zero instructions on how to take care of her. Rosalee’s first day at home was one of the hardest days of my life. Her cries could be heard throughout the neighborhood as she screamed for hours due to hunger. I remember thinking a hundred times that I was broken; there must be something wrong with my breasts to cause her not to get enough milk. We took her back to the hospital for three straight days to see the lactation consultant but she was not very helpful and just kept pushing formula on us, which out of sleep deprivation and lack of knowledge I accepted because it stopped the crying. Had I known this would be the beginning to all our breastfeeding problems I never would have listened. From the moment I accepted that formula my supply was forever changed. It never got a chance to establish in the first place, which I didn’t know was a thing. I assumed it would come in and that was that, but had I known that the baby needs to suck to establish the proper supply I wouldn’t have introduced the bottle so soon. From there we paid a lot of money for visits to the North Georgia Breast Feeding center who told us we needed to get a tongue-tie revised. After Rosie’s revision, things became even harder because now we had to do exercises with her multiple times a day that caused her to scream even more. She still wasn’t latching well and my nipples were bleeding. I was in tears every time the thought of her latching came into mind. These were dark times. We then took her to the chiropractor for an adjustment and that day I thought a miracle had been performed. After the appointment, Rosalee latched and it wasn’t painful for the first time. As the weeks continued, her latch got better and better but I started to realize that my supply wasn’t enough to sustain her. She wasn’t gaining enough weight so I was permanently attached to the pump around the clock trying everything I could to up my supply. I couldn’t… I would NOT give up at just 2 short months. If there was a supplement sold on amazon, I took it. If there was a food to eat or a drink to make, I consumed it. Still no boost in my supply. Those baby blues started to seep into my days and the feeling of hopelessness surrounded me a lot. Finally, in one final attempt to research my options I came across a Facebook page of women who like my struggled. It was there I found true support and just like that I had a village. It really does take a village you see, and that village embraced me and started offering me bags of their own frozen breastmilk to keep my baby full while I tried to increase my supply through pumping. I couldn’t believe these women who I’d never met were reaching out to me and offering their own precious supply to support mine. The world is full of amazing people. I hope my story helps you to feel like you’re not alone. I later found out what a common story mine was. So many women struggle with breastfeeding and I hope that if you’re out there struggling as well you will know you’re not alone. Reach out for help and find your tribe! They are waiting to help you too.
Author: Anonymous