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thread: Breast feeding success stories

  1. #1
    Life Subscriber

    Jul 2006
    Brisbane
    6,683

    Breast feeding success stories

    I am constantly amazed at all the wonderful, inspirational women on bb who have bf their babies, often overcoming all sorts of hurdles in the process. Everyone here is a success story IMO, no matter how long you have fed for. And I love hearing all your stories.

    Please share your bfing experience here. I am hoping that by sharing our own unique bfing journeys, we can inspire others who might be just starting out and having difficulties. Plus the stories are so heartwarming to read!! Even if your journey was a short one, you should be proud, and I hope you share with us.


  2. #2
    BellyBelly Member

    Jan 2007
    7,197

    Oh MR - great idea! I have tears just reading your post and looking back to where Isabelle and came from, until today. So here goes me!

    Isabelle fed beautifully (or seemed to) from day dot, even though my milk was slow in coming in we topped her up once at home before it came in. For a few weeks things seemed to be ok, feeding was a bit painful, but after a bit of time went on I realised it really shouldn't be so painful. One side in particular was agony and every feed was preceeded by tears from me, and literally toe-curling pain throughout. She fed from one side only each feed so every second feed was dreaded! I was seen by the MCHN who gave me a few suggestions for lifting up my booby with a towel, holding it and shaping the nipple into her mouth. A few weeks later, still in pain, so we saw a LC at the hospital who thought it might be thrush, so we treated that. A few weeks later another LC at the CH centre- still in pain, in the meantime we tried nipple shields and expressing which both didn't really help. My DH was gorgeous the whole time, saying, look if you want to stop that's ok, but you REALLY want this, so we perservered!

    After 4 mths of playing around with attachment, positions etc we finally had pain-free feeds It was fabulous! I still don't know what the difference was, it may just have been that she was bigger and older and able to take in more nipple!

    So from 4mths onwards we had lovely feeds, no pain, in lots of public places, including a packed tram, restaurants, parks, markets and shopping centres ( change rooms are smelly! it is much nicer to find a private cafe and enjoy a nice drink and chat at the same time!). I loved feeling that little head snuggled in to me and seeing her satisifed face after a feed. I now hold her in the same position when giving her a bottle and spend her whole feed kissing her forehead and stroking her hair.

    Since becoming pregnant and working, we have now ended our breastfeeding journey but I have no regrets about any of it, I LOVED every minute of feeding my girl, even when I was crying through the feed and I can't wait to do it all over again in a few months time with our new precious baby!

  3. #3
    Life Subscriber

    Jul 2006
    Brisbane
    6,683

    DS1 -
    Jack self-weaned at 14 months when I was pg with DS2. While I was devastated that our bfing experience ended so quickly, I am glad that he chose the time.

    We had a rough start to bfing - he was born with a tongue-tie and was unable to attach at all. After long days of trying to feed a screaming, hungry baby, getting conflicting advice, expressing and giving him a bottle, washing bottle and expressing again, walking milk to the fridge, coming back and trying to feed screaming, hungry baby etc etc, they allowed me to stay in hossy for an extra night to try and get bfing working, and thankfully on that last night, night 5, he attached using nipple shields. That night I also felt like I'd been hit by a bus, and when Jack woke for a feed in the night I was shivering. My right bb was red but the midwife said it didn't look like mastisis. I was discharged and later that night ended up with a fever over 39. This was the first of two bouts of mastitis in the first 3 weeks.

    When he was 2 weeks old, we finally discovered that the tongue-tie was the problem. A week later it was snipped and Jack immediately latched on. It took another 3 weeks to totally wean him from the nipple shields.

    Following that, I went through weeks of pain, cracked nipples, crying during feeds often. Then that settled and we had the odd period of breast refusal and intermittently sore nipples again. The next hurdle was returning to work when Jack was 7 months - full time at first but after a month I reduced down to 4 days a week. With a lot of advice from the ABA (and their great booklets), I was able to continue bfing with Jack drinking only EBM and water until 12 months. At 11 months I fell pg and Jack started reducing his feeds one by one until self-weaning at 14 months.

    DS2 -
    This time it was a much easier start to bfing. Despite being nearly 4 weeks early, Tom was able to attach straight away. I didn't have the same problems with pain this time around either. Our major hurdles were an entire weekend of breast refusal, my return to work at 8 months and an occassional spell where DH thought that bfing was causing some of Tom's problems and that I should give up. But we got past all that and have now been bfing for 18 months. We are down to one feed a day now (except this week when he was sick and wanted an extra feed - and boy was DH glad that I'd continued bfing ), and I think he will self-wean soon. I am hoping to make it to 2yrs, but I will cope if he finishes earlier.

  4. #4
    morgan78 Guest

    This is a little long - sorry

    DS - Was born 6 weeks early and spent 18 days in SCN. He spent just over a week in and out of lights for jaundice and most of that time i was not allowed to BF. As i was very naive about BF at that time we allowed them to give him formula when i was unable to express enough for the feed. Noone at the hospital showed me how to use a pump and i thought i was doing it right so didn't ask for any. When we got to take him home i hired an electric pump and tried to fully BF, of course my milk had not come in properly and as the hospital had him on 4hr feeds when discharged i was trying to stick with it. I ended up with lacerated nipples on both sides from incorrect pumping, he didn't attach properly which caused more damage and even with a LC visit things weren't improving. He had lost around .5kg by 6 weeks and we thought we made the right choice and switched to FF. I still feel guilty about it now but he is a very happy healthy 2yr old which is all anyone can really ask for.

    DD - This time around i knew a little (and only a little) bit more about BF and I swore to BF for at least 12months. She was born 38 weeks at 2.8kgs (a little small but so am i) She attached beautifully within a couple of minutes of being born and i was left in peace by the hospital for nearly an hour, the entire time she was suckling and cuddling - was the most beautiful experience of my life and i will treasure it forever. I decided to discharge the same day and went home that arvo. Had midwifes visit every day for a week and everything was good. then at about 3 weeks old things deterioated (sp?) rapidly, she wasn't sleeping - i didn't know about sleep cycles, wasn't feeding properly as she was too tired, we were sharing the house with my mum & SF at the time and they would have the TV blaring until 11pm every night and did very little to help me out with Alex - i was actually asked to keep him quiet at times so they could watch TV and my darling girl was struggling to gain weight - GP told me she was failing to thrive and we gave it a couple more weeks and at 2 months she had only gained 900g. I felt terrible and felt pressured by DP, GP's & other family to FF. We did and she instantly picked up but i couldn't cope with the guilt & feelings of failure - 2 weeks into FF i inquired here on "FANTASTIC BB" whether i could relactate and yes it's possible so at 11 weeks we started - we still aren't fully BF as with absolutely no support i cant give her the few days we need to completely boost my supply, but we BF morning & night & BF off to naps and she is starting to sneak the odd one or two feeds in during the day. I am hoping that we will one day bin the bottles but if we dont i am at peace with things and am so thankful to all the lovely ladies here on BB for their support

  5. #5
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber
    Add sushee on Facebook

    Sep 2004
    Melb - where my coolness isn't seen as wierdness
    4,361

    Very long!

    DD: I had my first child at the day after I turned 20. I had no family here and no friends, and I didn't know much about children to be honest. While I was pregnant, I read everything I could get my hands on, and realised early on I wanted to breastfeed. When DD was born, I put her to my breast, and felt an incredible surge of love for her as she latched on. She was very adept, my little girl, and despite the pain of the wear and tear on my nipples, I persisted because it felt right. I bought cabbage leaves on the advice of the midwife who came to visit me at home, and when baby was asleep, I left her with her dad and went to sit in our car in the driveway with my boobs out, allowing them some fresh hair and soothing sunlight. Breastfeeding hurt a lot to start with, I didn't expect that, but not having anyone around to tell me what I should and shouldn't be doing made me think it was just something I had to bear, like childbirth, and I was sure it would get better. And it did. I BFed my daughter successfully for 9 months, and when she self-weaned onto a sippy cup, I cried for days.

    DS1: DS1 was born 19 months after DD and I assumed BFing him come naturally too. He was born with a kidney defect so avoiding formula seemed vitally important to me. Again my breasts took a beating, but I kept persisting. He gained weight (apparently) very slowly though, and I was breastfeeding often, sometimes every hour, but my MCH was never happy with his weight. At 5 months, I introduced DS1 to solids (as was done in those days) and this was when my MCN suggested I move him onto formula. I agreed because I thought he was underweight (she made out like he was) and that since he was taking solids anyway, he might as well move to formula. She told me I'd done well to persist for as long as I did, but my milk was obviously not sustaining him. So I put him on formula and DS1 proceeded to gain weight and become chubby, just as she said he would. In hindsight, though, knowing what I know now, he was getting enough from me, he was just a BFed baby, and a BFed babies are not going to put on the kind of weight FFed babies do. I look at his baby charts now and he was consistently in the 25th percentile for his age - perfectly normal for a BFed baby!

    DS2: After having experienced both FF and BF I was this time determined not to FF - it was such a hassle and so expensive too! The bottles and the formula and the fiddling around in the middle of the night to make up a bottle when I used to just whack bub on the boob - I swore with DS2 I was going to do whatever it took to BF.

    Back when co-sleeping was not 'the done thing' I moved DS2 into our bed, and had him sleep between me and his dad. I BFed him on demand all through the night, and all through the day, and we quickly established a great BFing relationship. He BFed until he was 18 months old, when my mum and aunts came to visit, and basically were shocked I was still BFing. I was harassed into weaning, and unarmed against the onslaught, I caved and weaned my son cold-turkey, with my mum and aunt watching me like a hawk so I wouldn't relent. They believed my co-sleeping and BFing was 'lazy' and that I was spoiling my son by choosing those methods. I mourned the end of my breastfeeding relationship but believed I was being a bad parent at the time.

    When DH and I started TTC in 2004, I'd found BB and realised that the things I used to do with my older kids were gentle, instinctive parenting methods, only I didn't know it. I found support for the way I had chosen to raise my children, a place where BFing was not looked at with disdain, and where my inclinations as a mother were encouraged, not derided. I'd found validation for my parenting style, and I knew that armed with information and support, I could BFed if I was lucky enough to fall pregnant again.

    DS3-Charlie: when Charlie arrived, I felt confident in my ability to breastfeed. So I was very shocked when he didn't attach well and within short order, my nipples were cracked and bleeding. The pain was excruciating, and I started to realise how easy I'd had things with my three older kids. This time I was plagued by cracks and blisters on my nipples, and mastitis felt like my constant companion. I cried in agony every time Charlie attached, and had I not known how fulfilling a breastfeeding relationship could be, I might have given up. But each time I wondered if I could go on, I'd remember how it was between me and my older kids, and I just couldn't give it up. My DH begged me to move to a bottle, he would watch me crying in pain whenever our baby attached and could not understand why I would do that to myself. But I kept at it, my idea of how it could be kept me focussed, and despite 4 bouts of mastitis over the course of that first year, I exclusively BFed my beautiful, much awaited son, Charlie, for 6 months, and continued to BF him until he was 11.5 months. I weaned him at the advice of my fertility specialist when we were thinking of going back to IVF, but I regret that decision and have done pretty much since we made it.

    But in the end, I BFed all my children, and in my eyes, that makes me a BFing success story. I actually consider Charlie's BFing journey my biggest success, because it was so much more difficult than the others, and I overcame so much to establish it. But it was very much worth it.

    DS2's BFing journey was the easiest, and that was because I trusted my instincts, allowed it to all happen organically, and that was the best thing for us in the end. After BFing 4 children, for a total of 42 months, I only now feel I've learnt some leassons about trusting my body, my instincts and having faith that I could do it even if it's hard, even if it's painful, even if everyone is telling me I just couldn't do it. I also realise how difficult society makes it for a mother to find the support she needs to keep BFing, and how easy they make it for her to stop. I know if I'd been a new mother when I had Charlie, I would likely have given up - help and support to keep going should be readily available, but it's not, and as a new mum you feel so alone. So I hope with my story it helps someone out there having trouble know you're not alone, that you can be that BFing success story, and there are those of us here who will always be willing to help if you need it.
    Last edited by sushee; May 10th, 2009 at 07:36 PM.

  6. #6
    BellyBelly Member

    Aug 2006
    Perth, WA
    1,240

    We've been breastfeeding for 8 months now.

    I so wanted to breastfeed, especially after finding out I was having a c/s. It was really important to me to try and get the breastfeeding happening.

    The first few days were pretty tough. My milk didn't come in until day 6 or so...I had to do FF syringe feeding with a little tube attached to my nipple for a few days (can't quite remember the official name for it). It was pretty tough as none of the midwives felt confident to help us with it, so after an initial demonstration from the LC, we were on our own. DH would do the syringe whilst I would try to get Felix to attach to my nipple + tube. It was tricky but it was actually a really bonding experience for us all...

    Thankfully, that only lasted a couple of days and it helped my milk to come in...and pretty much from then...it's been fantastic!

    When Felix was about 4.5 months old, I went back to work part-time (I have my own business) and have managed to keep breastfeeding through expressing...

    Breastfeeding has been such a joy...I knew it would be hard...but the rewards are just so wonderful!

  7. #7
    BellyBelly Member
    Add Beatrix on Facebook

    May 2007
    within a puff of pink
    3,315

    My story is only a small success atm but am aiming for bigger and better things.

    With my first DD i stopped breast feeding at 10 days due to cracked nipples and to me basically lack of information. I didnt know it was the norm for a bay to feed every 2hrs and just thought i was starving my child.

    With me second DD again made it to 9-10 and threw in in cause i just coulndt cope (suffered from PND with her)

    When i fell pg a third time i new that this was my last chance to have that bf relationship!! So i researched and read up on everything and with the suport of BB i knew i could do it.

    Well DD is only 3 weeks and 3 days but we are still bf!! which to me is massive. We havent had a single cracke nipple or graze and i demand feed. while its hard with the older two climbing all over me i know i can do it. I know things will get even easier and quicker as she gets older

  8. #8
    BellyBelly Member

    Sep 2004
    Melbourne
    419

    such lovely stories ladies. Here's mine:

    Josh latched on within about 5 minutes from birth. i didn't feel like a first time mum as i have a VERY large family all of whom breastfeed until about 2-3 years old, so i had grown up around babies and breastfeeding. Whenever he opeded his mouth i would put a breast in it... when Josh was 5 weeks & 5 days i felt really unwell, he had an appointment with the MCHN and so took him, he had not gained much weight and had certainly not returned to his birth weight. she advised me to weigh him, feed him and then weigh him again (pre/post feed weigh) which i did and he 'only' gained 50grams (considering the stress and fear of failure was a fantastic gain), she told me i was starving my son and handed me a box of formula to give him. i ended up in hospital on IV antibiotics with severe mastitis. Josh was diagnosed with a kidney dilatation and infection. i rang nursing mothers (aba) as it was called back then and organised a supply line (a tube to place on your nipple whilst feeding your baby), i expressed and fed 2 hourly to try and increase my supply. i was feeling very depressed and like a failure but refused to give my baby formula. i had lots of wonderful support from the aba and continued. Josh didn't reach his birth weight until about 7 weeks and only gained small amounts every month. i had to wean josh off the supply line and eventually did at 7 months. he was gaining an ok amount of weight and i lied to the MCHN and said he was having formula so she would get off my case. she ended up saying that he was just a lean, long baby well der! he is now 170cm and weighs 45kg. i continued to breastfeed him until he was 2 when he decided he just didn't want to feed anymore. i did struggle with nipple thrush throughout the whole time he was breastfeeding.
    Zak latched on straight away also, i felt more confident about his slow weight gain as i had been through it with Josh - neither ever lost weight but woud sometimes only put on 50 grams. i feed him to need which was about 2 hourly. he was a very high needs baby and lucky the breast comforted him. i got mastitis again when Zak was 5 weeks & 5 days (exactly the same time as Josh) but knew what it was and how to treat it so it didn't get bad at all. he weaned when he was 3 years and 10 months. again i had nipple thrush on and off throughout our breastfeeding relationship - ouch
    Oscar latched on after a very difficult birth. the only thing different with his first attachment was he licked the nipple for about 5 minutes before i actually couldn't stand it any more and attached him (probably not the gentlest of ways but it was started to freak me out), he did not reach his birth weight until about 6-7 weeks like his older brothers and was slow at gaining weight but it just didn't bother me because i knew that my babies just did that. i had lots of trouble post birth needing a blood transfusion etc but really i just breastfed to need and we got on with it. i did have mastitis once when oscar was about 5 months and had 1 lot of nipple thrush which finally they made a cure for and took the diflucon 1 for 3 days under the instructions of the breastfeeding friendly pharmacist (my hero) and i never got it again - argh relief. oscar is still breastfeeding and doesn't look like he is anywhere near weaning yet. i have really enjoyed my 3 different breastfeeding relationships with my babies and am amazed how differently they all were regarding feeding and weaning etc.
    thanks for starting this thread MR it is a great one.
    beckles

  9. #9
    BellyBelly Member

    Jun 2005
    Sydney
    2,121

    I remember when i was pregnant with my first, i thought there was a choice b/w breastfeeding or bottle feeding - i didnt realise some women just couldnt breastfeed for whatever reason. In my preparation for DD#1 i never bought a bottle, sterlizer, bottle warmer etc. I was so determined to breastfeed nothing was going to change my mind.
    I had a pretty rough labour with DD#1. She came out face up (tummy up), and i tore heavily. I had retained placenta, and lost massive lots of blood. I never got to feed DD, they whisked me away to theatre for removal of placenta - DH was literally left standing holding the baby.
    I was gone for quite a few hours. I found out later my DH was with my DD and my mum. DD was hungry/distressed/needing her mummy, and i wasnt there. The midwives were pushing DH to give DD a bottle. He refused, he knew how much i wanted to breastfeed. Another hour passed and they asked DH if he wanted to give DD some formula from a spoon, that way she's not getting used to the bottle, just gives her something to settle her down. Again he refused. I finally returned from theatre. I was drowsy, but so excited to see my little girl and my DH. I remember DH literally threw her at me, and said 'here, she needs some breastmilk' - keeping in mind 4 hours had passed, i hadnt even held her yet, let alone breastfed before. But she latched on perfectly - neither of us (DD or me) moved till 8am the next morning (later found out not something hossi was allowed to do - let mums sleep with newborns). Whilst i had a difficult path ahead of me (2 x blood transfusions, very weak etc), DD breastfed so perfectly. She really was the one that kept me going in those first 6 weeks. I was, and still am so, so grateful for the experience of being able to breastfeed. I know (gulp) there will come a day, when that part of my life is no longer. Thus the reason i really do treasure every moment feed time comes along. Its bloody fantastic !!!!

  10. #10

    Dec 2005
    not with crazy people
    8,023

    Fantatic thread babe!

    And girls - WTG on all your successful journeys....you have all been an inspiration for me in my times of need

    God - were do I start

    I wont even bother about my first 3 babies as they were unsuccessful.

    BUT

    mateauz.....he entered the world nice and blue with some complications and to my assitance i BF him as soon as I could. I fought the nursing staff, who even put a feeding tube down his nose to 'feed him formula' in ICU. My luck was that the doctor had seen me BF him and he told the nursing staff to take the tube out. I have BF my little man from the start and wasnt looking back.
    At almost 3 weeks of age we were rushed to firstly the Mercy then the Royal Childrens as mateauz had suffered strokes from clots and a lovely STAF and menigincocils infection. The whole time were were in Melbourne, I BF him, expressed an hour later, then BF him again. One night time nurse gave him formula and didnt do it again after I ripped her head of..her excuse was I looked tired and thought that I needed the sleep.
    My little man is BF now but as he is little and needs all the strength he can, he has one bottle of formula at night, once he is around the 5 month mark this will be hopefully taken away. Doctors are very pleased with him and said that he must need the extra bottle. he has a BF at 6pm, then screams for FF at 7, then back for a BF at 8pm.
    Im still extremely happy to say that my little man is loving his girls and I know for a fact that by BFing him...well it probably helped save his life as his immunie system probably wouldnt have coped for as long as it did with out my goodness helping him. I can also say that every day now is truely a blessing because the doctors told us if he gets to 3 months then we could start breathing easier...well he made it and is still going strong.
    Im also super glad that I stuck to my guns and decided that It was BFing or bust for us.

  11. #11
    BellyBelly Member

    Jul 2005
    Sydney
    7,896

    Oh what a great thread MR, you girls have some inspirational stories!

    Our story pales into insignificance by comparison, as we started with so few problems. I had to have a c/s due to placenta praevia so was very focused on bfing instead of delivery. I went to the hospital's bfing class conducted by the LC (which was in total agreement with everything said by the ABA and very critical of some books I know now are full of tripe). DP was on board with bfing and I expected to hold Lucy in the theatre and maybe even sneak a bf in then.

    Unfortunately we were very delayed in going in so the theatre was freezing. I didn't even hold her, but gave her face a stroke and kiss before she was taken away. I was in recovery for half an hour before going back to the room. DP bought Lucy in to me straight away and I pulled the gown down to bf her even before the midwife came by. She was perfect! Latched on first go with the absolute widest mouth I've ever seen in a tiny baby (and she was tiny - 2.5kgs). A note was taped to her bassinet 'Frequent breastfeeding' as she was so small. The midwife came by, took one look at her attachment and said 'great' and left us to it. I got a slight nipple graze on day 3 from not being able to sit up properly (spinal fluid leak from the epi = exploding head) but that healed quickly and I was shown how to bf lying down.

    At 6 weeks and with a massive oversupply I had my first brush with mastitis in the middle of the night. I expressed for the time that was unbearable. I visited the LC at the hospital at lunch time but by then had gotten through it by bfing constantly on that side.

    I had another half a dozen bouts with mastitis over the next six months (honestly, I lost count) and learnt better management techniques every time. I had one more bout after she was 12 mths old but managed to avoid a/bs this time using all of my knowledge! Nothing since (touch wood) so perhaps after 2 years I've finally gotten the hang of this! The ABA provided some great advice and I joined when Lucy was a few months old.

    The only other drama I've had is a persistent fiddler in my DD (look out belly button, nose, chin, fat pinches - ouch!). I have been lucky enough to have a bfing-supportive husband, family, friends and medical system. I have nothing to complain about and they've all contributed to giving my little girl the best possible start in life. I think I'm an example of how it SHOULD be for all first-time mothers.

  12. #12
    BellyBelly Member

    Jan 2007
    Far Nth Queensland
    26

    What a great idea!!!
    My story starts with DS. From the start we had troubles with cracked nipples(read bleeding pussy horrible OUCHY!!!), top ups of formula in hospital due to dehydration and really really engorged breasts when my milk did come in. By week 3 I had a blocked duct and a couple of days later this turned into mastitis. The antibiotics that I was prescribed took away the flu symptoms but not the lump. 3 course of AB's and 4 weeks later I found myself undergoing surgery for a breast abscess. The abscess was 7.5 x 8cm and I had to have a drain inserted. 3 weeks later the drain was removed and slowly the hole in my breast was closed. This involved having gauze and solugel inserted in the hole at each dressing change OUCH!!!Every time my milk letdown it would run out of the hole. I had several dressing changes with half a dozen students watching while being told 'now this is what happens when BF goes bad" and nurses scaring me by telling me how I would now probably get breast cancer in that exact spot!
    At 4mths the hole was closed completely. I was lucky that when this started no one suggested weaning but I was unlucky that no one told me to contact ABA. Once i had the surgery I was referred to ABA where the lovely ladies gave me advice on how to reduce my engorgement which at 8weeks I still had and a lovely midwife told me about nipple shields to help with the severely cracked nipples. From there it was pretty smooth sailing. DS was weaned at 23mths.

    DS2 is a completely different and very successful story. My partner was in a car accident when I was 4.5mths pregnant. He was out of a wheelchair 2 days before I had DS2. Stress and bad eating meant I developed gestational diabetes. I expressed from 34weeks to build up a store so that DS2 didn't have to have any formula. In the end I didn't need it as he fed like a champ for 1.5hrs after birth. Constant contact with ABA counsellors and a feeding plan meant I had very little trouble feeding him. I used nipple shields for 1 week before he rejected them and apart from 2 doses of mastitis everything has been great. He turns 3 in July and is still feeding once every day or so. I intend to wean him at 3 but I think he's go other ideas so we'll just see what happens.
    Considering when I was pregnant with DS I said I would not be feeding past 1yr I think I'm doing well!

  13. #13
    BellyBelly Member

    Feb 2008
    ? have to consult the road map on my stomach...
    173

    I had a dream pregnancy and really positive birthing experience. I'd decided early on in my pregnancy that I would try to breastfeed, but it wasn't something I was passionate about at that time. Initially the decision was made because my boobs are there and I can't be stuffed dealing with formula and bottles etc plus of course breastmilk is free. I still figure these are great reasons to keep bfing.

    I gave birth in a certified 'baby friendly' hospital - bf is strongly supported, dummies, bottles etc are strongly discouraged there, there are bf how to posters everywhere... one would assume that meant I'd get all the help I needed... nice theory...

    DS was very alert from the minute he was born. He attached immediately there in the delivery room but it wasn't long before I had a blister on lefty. So the midwives helped me move him over to the right... that became his favourite side for the next few days. I wasn't prepared for the constancy of newborn feeds. It felt like he was constantly suckling and on night 2 he was very awake and unsettled - something I now know is pretty normal, especially when the mum had no drugs during delivery...

    That was the start of my bf nightmare... The night shift midwife told me he was hungry and that I wasn't feeding him enough, so for that night and the next 2 days I was feeding all the time, every hour and a half for an hour at a time! My nipples quickly became cracked, bleeding and very sore, and I felt guilty as hell that I wasn't feeding my baby enough - my milk hadn't yet come in and I felt like it was my fault. I had two midwives who were my saving angels and without them I probably would have given up by then end of that first week! One took the emotion out of the feeds for me and put in the logic, reminding me that Lewis had such a tiny tummy there was no way he needed to feed for so long each time. She was the midwife who delivered him and knew that he had sucked his fist as soon as he was born - he is a sucky baby. She also helped me feel less guilty for giving him a dummy and gave me other ways to settle him, reminding me that crying didn't always mean hunger.

    So feeling a bit better I discharged myself on day 4, although they had recommended I stay longer to get the feeding sorted - I dreaded the nights and the night shift staff, feeling anxious at shift change etc, so couldn't wait to get home. By the time the midwives visited when Lewis was about a week old I had my first bout of mastitis. Feeling even more miserable than before, the CYH nurse who visited for Lewis's first check up gave me nipple shields and talked me through my emotions. I decided to keep trying.

    4 weeks later came a second bout of mastitis That time I was hospitalised because over 2 thirds of the breast was inflamed and my temp was so high... I couldn't keep down any food or fluids and just about collapsed in the drs waiting room...

    Determination and stubbornness run in both sides of my family. I started to see bf as a battle of wills. My mum reassured me that I would be able to do it if I wanted to, but that if I decided to switch to ff noone would think worse of me for not giving it my best shot. My stubborn side was not going to let bf beat me without a fight. I decided I had to exhaust all avenues of support before giving up. That was when I found BB and Barb recommended a private LC. The 90min drive to see her was so worthwhile! My GP was great too, and I ended up attending a day feeding clinic nearby. Amazingly I had the whole clinic to myself for the full day which meant the midwife was there for me all day too. It was wonderful to have someone who could take the time to sit with me and really help with each feed. It's such a pity that didn't happen at the hospital as I'd expected when Lewis was born.

    So now 5 months on we're still going. I've had 2 blocked duct episodes since, but I'm now so paranoid about getting mastitis again that I jump straight into the shower, grab the pump, feed constantly from that side and phone the ABA helpline if nothing else seems to be working, just to check I've done everything recommended again. We've had a short stint of breast refusal but given his chubby cheeks and thighs, I know DS is fine and will feed again when he's ready. His latest trick is taking mini-breaks during a feed to sit up and check out what the dog is doing or what is on the tv... we're back to long feeds again for now, but he does amuse me I no longer dread feeds, instead looking forward to putting my feet up and watching an episode of my favourite series on dvd - just the right length for most feeds.

    My minigoal was to make it to 6 months. The formula sticks I bought in the early weeks in case are still unopened in my pantry and only go in the nappy bag when I haven't been able to express enough if I'm going out and MIL is looking after bubs and gets desperate, but thankfully she's been calm enough to hold out until I get back to feed him. Once we hit that 6 month mark I intend to just keep going, taking each day as it comes.

  14. #14
    BellyBelly Member
    Add aussienic on Facebook

    Feb 2005
    Boyne Island
    6,327

    My story..

    Ds2. Fairly easy pregnancy apart from being huge.. isaac was born at 3:20pm and I finally got to hold him at 6pm. We tried Bf but was no good. He was so fidgetty, wouldn't stay attached. Finally at 3am I allowed a comp feed as he was quite upset.. anyways long story.. seizures breathing difficulties and 16 days in SCN followed.. I expressed and attempted to feed for the 16 days.. Went home with breastfeeding going ok. We struggled , I got mastitis within 2 days of leaving hospital as my breasts were used to expressing and bening fed from so I had an oversupply by this stage..

    We tried everything. Nipple shields were ok but Isaac was just so sleepy due to the meds he was on.. So at 7 weeks I went to expressing full time. I hired a hospital grade pump. and we never looked back. I expressed every 3-5 hours. Stopping at 9 -10 at night and starting again in the morning. I expressed while camping, shopping and travelling..

    I fell pregnant 10 months later and my milk started to dry up and stopped al together when Isaac was 10 months old. I am very proud of how long I kept up expressing for as it is not easy but you adapt and it becomes like second nature. No different to doing anything else I guess..

    ds3 . Ah what a dream child.. born at 9:17am attached to the breast by 10:30 . one or 2 comp feeds in hospital and nothing else till over 21 months. Solids of course at 7 months. but he refused all milk unless it came from mummy We finally stopped feeding when I was 10 weeks pg and Jacob self weaned.. I am so proud for making it to 21 months.

    DD1. Born at 10:20am. expressed before she was born.. Finally brought to me for a feed late that afternoon and never looked back.. She is brilliant and still is. I won't say it hasn't been 100% easy and painless but time and perserverance helped

    I should say I also Bf Ds1 and looking back it was easy. I stupidly gave up at 3 months for selfish reasons. I wish I had known what i know today..

  15. #15
    BellyBelly Member

    May 2006
    Holland
    163

    After an easy pregnancy and 2 nights of 12 hour long false labour, ds was born after only 6 1/2 hours of actual labour. He didn't wanna latch on at first, so I started expressing and fed him ebm with a spoon. Thank God I express easily so I could make sure I had 1 feed ready in the fridge.
    At feeding time we tried latching him on first and if that didn't work, we'd heat up the ebm. I made sure not to upset ds, didn't want him to hate the breast. We had a lc come over to lend a hand and rule out any problems as his tongue didn't seem to be able to curl around my nipple. But everything was fine. Just my left nipple "looking down" instead of being in the middle. So right was his favorite side.
    By the end of the first week, he took the right breast no problems and after 11 days, he even took the left! Just like that, no tricks needed!
    Ever since, breastfeeding has been wonderfull. When I returned to work, he went back to refusing the left boob for a day or to, but that passed.
    I feel very lucky things are going this well, and that I can express so easily so i don't need to put him on formula when I have to work.
    I strongly recommend not to fight a newborn to make him/her take the breast, but make it a positive experience and feed ebm with a spoon (he even took the bottle at that stage nps) and give him/her time to take to the boob. It worked a treat for me!

  16. #16
    BellyBelly Member

    Dec 2006
    308

    I thought I should post here in the hope of inspiring someone else to keep BF! My story isn't anything amazing, but here goes..!

    Jordan was born 26 Feb 08, 40W+6d. After a really traumatic 30 hour labour, he was taken away from me for 30 minutes while I was in recovery. At the time I was upset as I really wanted a chance to try and feed asap but I was shaking uncontrollably and extremely exhausted and it did give me a chance to gather myself and prepare.

    When I was reunited with him, the midwife assisted me with trying to feed, in a number of different holds, but he couldn't latch on and was getting frustrated. My normally B cup boobies were DD and chocka block full. He was jaundiced, so got tired easily too which wasn't helping. We ended up expressing a few drops of colostrum and used a syringe to drip into his mouth, the next feed, we expressed a little more and had to stomach tube, then the next feed we got 20ml so he had that from a bottle.

    After about 3 days of frustrating BF attempts where he was only getting small amounts every so often, we tried a nipple shield with success! He could finally latch on and have a good suck. I was experiencing a lot of pain even with the shield which was turning me off the whole idea. When home, I gradually tried without the shield, with or with out it though, the pain was toe curling, excruciating every feed for the first 10 minutes or so, and this lil man was feeding every 2 hours around the clock on the dot!

    I persevered, and resorted to the odd panadol to get through a feed, and kept reminding myself why I was doing it. Around the 4 week mark, (still at 2 hourly feeds), he was able to latch on without the shield, so I threw it away so I wouldn't be tempted to use it anymore. The pain was still happening, but after about another 3 weeks, it vanished. I have now been exclusively bf for just under 4 mnths, and I love it!

    I thoroughly enjoy and look forward to feeds now, I used to dread it! I am so glad I stuck it out, many nights when I was in pain from the birth, in bed trying to feed a screaming little man, I wanted to give up so much, but it was well worth it as now it is truly a enjoyable experience and its our special time together.
    Last edited by Roquen; June 14th, 2008 at 02:32 PM.

  17. #17
    BellyBelly Member

    Oct 2006
    Gold Coast, Queensland
    945

    I didn't just want to BF my baby, to me it was a given that I would BF my baby. I never once considered anything else. It must have to do with my upbringing, with every woman in my family having natural births and BF their babies. I just couldn't imagine doing anything else. Boy was it a shock when I started hearing criticism about my choices...
    I had what I would call "shy nipples". They're not inverted, but they also don't poke out as much as some others... they're just pretty much flat. And I have always hated nipple stimulation. Nevertheless, I knew I was gonna BF and I knew I was gonna be able to learn to handle nipple stimulation.
    I did manage to have a beautiful natural birth and instantly fell in love with my DD. Establishng BFing wasn't so easy. DD had lots of trouble attaching. I was very very lucky that I had chosen a birth centre birth and had lots of loving support from my midwife and also from my mother who was staying with us in the first 4 weeks. On day 3 my midwife decided that she wasn't qualified enough to help me with my problem so she booked me in with a lactation consultant the next day. Together we went and were shown how to express colostrum. What a tedious process. But it worked well, lots came out. I will always remember a strange woman sitting in front of me trying to catch every drop of this liquid which we all regarded as pure gold. I went home confident. Unfortunately it didn't work so well at home. The next day when my midwife came, I was discouraged. I had bruised my nipples from trying so hard and still only managed to get half the amount I got when with the lactation consultant. But I stuck it out. That afternoon I decided to try my manual breastpump. But that didn't really work either. But, that night my milk came in. Boy was I relieved. I could finally use a breastpump to express and decent amounts came out. The next day my midwife came with her hospital breast pump which she loaned to me for 4 weeks. I felt like a cow using it, but hey, it was a lot less tedious than hand expressing colostrum. The pump helped draw my nipples out enough for DD to get a semi alright attachment happening. I was still supplementing with EBM, but also putting her on the boob at almost every feed. I hated the experience of having to pump and feed EBM. It seemed like such a hassle and took sooo long. But hey, if that's what it took, that's what had to be done. I have to honestly say, the thought NEVER occured to me to give her a bottle of formula. A week later, she was BFing exclusively. I have never looked back. Although in the first weeks, it seemed like hard work getting the attachment right, before too long I could BF in the dark, while walking through the house, while sleeping (the best thing ever). And nothing beats the feeling you get when your baby smiles at you while suckling off your breast.
    DD is now 12 1/2 months old and I do not feel any need to let this sweet relationship come to an end. Of course we don't feed nearly as often anymore and it doesn't take as much time, but I'd be more than happy to BF for some time to come. Something I never thought I would do before I had DD. See, I always thought I would BF. And I had hoped to be able to do it for 1 year. But I thought BFing a toddler is weird. I have definitely changed my mind.
    I know, it doesn't always come easy. And I know that most women don't get enough support. But I feel sorry for women who for one reason or the other cannot establish a breastfeeding relationship. It is such a special bond to share...
    Oh, I'm in tears and all emotional now. I think I need to find DD and cuddle her...
    Sasa
    Last edited by sunshine_sieben; June 21st, 2008 at 09:43 PM.

  18. #18
    BellyBelly Member

    Jan 2007
    Home Sweet Home!!!
    379

    Wow, I came across this thread, while looking for something else, but I am so glad that I did find it!
    I have read through many of your posts, and feel inspired to write mine down for you all.
    I remember being pregnant, and with the questions that came with being pregnant, 'are you having a boy or a girl?', 'when are you due?', etc, and one that I always though was a bit weird, 'Are you going to breast feed or bottle feed?'. I was a bit dumb struck the first time I had ever heard it! Why on earth would I give my child formula, when I have two boobs that are getting huger (after already being on the big side) as time progresses. My reply was simply breastfeed of course.
    I come from a Nutrition background, so knowing how much better Breast milk is to formula, and I was determined to make everything work and breastfeed.
    DD was born at 8.29pm. While in labour I spoke to my midwife, and said, I wanted to breastfeed her straight after birth. I explained that I was determined to breastfeed. The midwife was great, she helped DD attach, which she did quite easily, and we had our first breastfeed, which lasted for about an hour. My DH's family came into the delivery suite, to see us. I was just covered with a blanket, and DD was still feeding. I said to my DH that they had better get used to seeing me like this and these BB's. hehe

    While in hospital, my milk came in on day three or four. There was no problems with my supply, in fact, I had such an abundance that DD could attach properly until I had expressed some out.

    So months later, DD is now 11 months, and we are still going strong.
    I am pleased to say that in this time, I have not had one problem. No grazes, cracked nipples, blocked ducts, or mastitis.
    There have been the occasional bouts of me second guessing my milk- usually after people have made comments to me about my milk like 'playing netball will stop your supply', 'when her teeth come through you will stop breastfeeding in a hurry', and even one from the community child nurse 'she is not putting enough weight on'. With this last statement, A trip to the Paediatrician calmed my fears down and he said, she is a very happy and content child. Even now that she is on solids, she still does not put weight on easily. I have found that these always came from people that never breastfed their children.

    I am so glad that I have been able to breastfeed this long. Every day is a blessing to me. My DH let me stay on leave without pay, just so that I could breastfeed till 12 months.

    Even to this day, I don?t know when our breastfeeding will come to an end. I have not really set a time to finish it. I do know that I would rather me end it, as I don?t think I could mentally handle DD refusing her much loved breastfeeds. I return to work next month, so I think we will just take it one day at a time.

    Months on, I am ever so grateful for my DH, he has never said anything negative about my breastfeeding. I have expressed the occasional bottle, for him to feed, and I think in 11 months, he has given a total of four bottles. He has bonded with DD in other ways, like she loves her bath time and playtime with daddy.
    Also I think I was very determined to BF, with the thanks to my mother. She was very active in the then 'Nursing mothers Association'. She is no longer here with us today, but I know how much breastfeeding her children meant to her, and as her only daughter, I have managed to do this as well. I know that if she were here today, she would be so proud of me! I know I am proud of me!

    Thanks for reading my story if you are still reading. For someone that had no problems what so ever, I sure have rambled on!

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