Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Our Breastfed Baby Girl

Our little angel baby was four months old on Saturday!

It's hard to believe that this wiggly, 13lb chunker with the chubby cheeks and double chin is the same little newborn who struggled to reach her birth weight by the third week (the goal is by two weeks).

Look how big her diaper was on her!
I am so proud of her; so proud of us, for fighting through our eating challenges.  Those first few weeks were rough - the problems latching, the nipple pain, the hour to an hour and 45 minute feedings.  Those two days when I couldn't wake her up to eat for more than three minutes before she fell back to sleep, and sometimes couldn't wake her up at all. The waiting for weeks to get an appointment with the ear, nose, and throat doctor and pinning so much hope on that getting her tongue tie clipped would solve all of our problems (which it didn't).  I would whisper to her all those hours at night - "We're two smart girls.  We can figure this out."  

I remember when the lactation consultants advised me to pump after feedings to keep my supply up, and I only had a hand pump at the time, so 15 minutes on each side added up to a half an hour.  After trying to feed her who-knows -how-long.  Before they told me I didn't have to do it at night (OH THANK GOD), I sat, pathetic in a bean bag chair, pumping away and longing for sleep.

When she didn't gain her birth weight back until her third week, another lactation consultant looked grave, and got us on a plan to pump and bottle feed.  I know I already posted about this, but I was so relieved to have a plan, rather than just, "Eh, give her a syringe of milk if it seems like she didn't eat enough." LIKE I HAD ANY IDEA! But, at the same time, I was so scared that if we bottle fed, she wouldn't breast feed.  However, there were two moms at the support group who had been in the same boat we were, and they had chubby, healthy four-month olds.  So I had faith.

And now, here we are, with our very own chubby, healthy four-month old.  We've weaned her off of bottles (save for special occasions and a night time one with Daddy), weaned her off a nipple shield, and gone down from an hour, to 45 minutes, to around 20 or sometimes even less.  So, I'm here to say to moms struggling with breastfeeding their babies:  Hang in there.  You and your baby can do it.  Get help, and there may be more than one way to reach your breastfeeding goals.  When I told Lactation Consultant A that Lactation Consultant B had told us to pace bottle feed, Consultant A looked stern and said that she would've had us use a Supplemental Nursing System (SNS), where Mom hangs a bottle of milk around her neck and tapes a tube to the nipple for the baby to get extra (these are the same people who had us using a syringe and never mentioned an SNS).  Consultant A said she'd never seen a pace-bottle fed baby transition successfully to nursing.


I see that a lot of women find the SNS or syringe feeding to be what they need to help them and their baby get through their feeding challenges, so I don't mean to trash those methods. I just want to say that different approaches will help different people, and to find what seems to work the best for you and your baby.  I couldn't be happier with how things worked out for me and my little girl.

I'll write a follow up post with information on some local breastfeeding support groups.

1 comment:

  1. Good for you for sticking with it and triumphing! I too had terrible trouble with breastfeeding the first few months (recurrent mastitis, thrush, pain so bad I cried almost every time I nursed my baby). It got better, and now my little girl turns 1 tomorrow and we both still love our nursing time together. :) Happy 4th month to Abby!


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