Before I started breastfeeding, I had absolutely no idea what I am getting myself into. I did not give much thoughts about it, I thought I’ll just go with the flow (pun intended). I mean how hard can it be right? Just give baby the boobs and ta-dah, a well fed baby! How wrong was I?
For the first two weeks, Elisa did not managed to latch on. I still remember our first night in the hospital, the nurse would bring Elisa over when it’s time to feed her. She would wail and cry murder every.single.time coz she can’t latch on properly. It’s very heartbreaking to hear her wails. After a few failed attempts, we opted for the nurse to feed her formula. I know some breastfeeding advocates might raise an eyebrow, but I don’t care.
It took Elisa two weeks to finally get it right. In the beginning, I struggled. It was PAINFUL. The nipples became very sensitive, even a slight brush is enough to make me curl. I had to deal with engorgement and leaking breasts. I smelled like sour milk all the time. It was miserable! But I hung on. I really have to thank my friend, L, whom I called her my personal lactation consultant. She guided me through this whole breastfeeding saga. She is my go to person for anything related to breastfeeding. I think I would have given up long time ago if it’s not because of her continuous support and reassurance. In her words “it will get better”. After a while, we got the hang of it and we were nursing like pros.
Finally, I felt confident about breastfeeding. Besides the many health benefits, it is convenient and we can save our monies on buying formula. No need to wash and sterilise bottles. No need to pack bottles, formula and what not before going out. When it’s time to nurse, look for a nursing room, give her the boobs and all’s done.
When everything was going on smoothly, a curveball was thrown at me (this is life!). She used to latch on for a good 20-30 mins and all of a sudden, it became 5 mins. And I became worried. I was worried that she is not getting enough. I was worried that she is not putting on weight (I weighed her every week just to make sure she is not dropping any weight!). I was worried that she is not getting the right milk i.e fore milk versus hind milk (you mean there’s a difference? I don’t even know!). I was worried that she is not wetting enough diapers. I had to deal with these mental anguish everyday. Only when she put on weight weeks after weeks, that I finally ease up a little.
It has been a year of breastfeeding the little one, I really did not expect we will come this far. It is sheer determination that got me here. I do not know when I’ll wean her off yet, maybe in a few months time. We’ll see. But in the meantime, I’ll just enjoy the moment.
To all future mummies who are intending to breastfeed, I have a few tips for you:-
1. Don’t give up
3. IT WILL GET BETTER with time.