Milk Journey: The Beginning

Something everyone should know before they become a mom: Breastfeeding is hard! Before Benji was born, I had full faith in myself that I could breastfeed and was excited to do so. I later realized that a lot of determination and willpower is needed to be successful. This is my journey so far.

tumblr_pftnezjQuI1w4d5yxo2_1280.jpg

In the beginning, I found it difficult to get the perfect latch. It only takes a few bad sessions for open sores to form and after that happens, ouch! I started to associated pain and unhappiness every time I fed him. He started to lose weight in the hospital but I was told it was normal for breastfed babies.

Over the next couple of days, I continued to try but his weight kept dropping. So, our pediatrician encouraged us to supplement with pumped milk. We learned that he’s great at bottle feeding and his weight increased with no trouble at all. Then the worst thing happened. Mastitis. The flu-like symptoms and swollen breast (aka fire boob) kept me from breastfeeding altogether and I was pumping for every feeding. My husband and I created a good system and we both felt relieved from the struggles to breastfeed.

tumblr_pftnezjQuI1w4d5yxo1_1280.jpg

That brings us to today (a little over 7 weeks). I’ve actually started to miss breastfeeding and I have the willpower to try again. Benji is 7 weeks old and I stopped breastfeeding at 3 weeks. After a few days of struggling, he finally started eating from the boob again. Yay Benji! Now, I have a new set of challenges.

  1. Frustration. Sometimes, Benji is so frustrated that he has to work for his milk. He literally screamed when I started trying again.

  2. Oversupply. That means I have to breastfeed and pump out extra if necessary.

  3. Spit up. He spits up more after breastfeeding. It’s possible that he’s overeating so I have to read his full tummy cues better.

  4. Sores. I still struggle with his latch. I’m using a nipple shield for now.

Some of my favorite products and resources:

  1. Motherlove nipple cream

  2. Nipple shield (sometimes I use a syringe to put pumped milk inside it before feeding)

  3. Nursing pillow

  4. Pumpspotting community

My nipples may be sore but my heart is full when my babe looks at me and smiles after breastfeeding. So, I’m going to keep trying. To all the mamas nursing and pumping and caring for their babies, you are amazing.