“Mommy, I just want you to know you are doing a good job.” Words my 5 year old son whispered to me this past Friday. Words he said a moment before I was about to breakdown sobbing. It was like he just knew I needed my spirits lifted. Like he could tell I was reaching my breaking point.
Seriously, why can’t breasfeeding a newborn ever come easy? I know it does for some Mothers, but it never has for me. For once I just had hoped that this time around my breastfeeding journey would be like a walk in the park. I had only stopped nursing my 3rd child 5 months before the birth of my 4th, so I guess I was just quick to assume that I wouldn’t have to relearn the skilled art of the perfect latch, how to wake a sleepy newborn when they need to eat, and so on and so forth.
Our breastfeeding journey this time around started off wonderfully. When I gave birth to my son, he did that newborn crawl up my stomach seeking for the breast. He was so eager to nurse, and when he finally began nursing an hour after birth he did so with ease. His latch has always been perfect. Heck, this time around my milk came in after 48 hours, as opposed the the 72 to 96 hours after birth with my previous children.
The week following his birth, I would start by using my manual pump to express some of the fore milk and to soften my engorged breast before helping Oakley latch. This just worked for us.
2 days after Oakley’s birth he lost 9% of his birth weight, but he quickly regained days later as we found when we checked his weight on March 7th.
That was when the problems set in.
His weight sat at 6lbs 5 oz. It didn’t budge.
Oakley showed no reason for there to be no weight gain. My supply is plentiful. His latch is beautiful. His diapers also showed no reason for the lack of weight gain.
It came down to the point that if he didn’t gain, we would have been referred to a pediatrician to rule out possible underlying health issues, like heart conditions, malignancy, inability to absorb nutrients and cystic fibrosis. Quickly felt a ton of weight on my shoulders. I was stressed. I was worried. More than I let on. I bottled it up. Probably not the wisest decision on my part, but I did.
From there my midwives and I came up with a game plan that had me breastfeeding almost hourly, power pumping after each nursing session and topping up with expressed breast milk after each feed. I even went as far as spending a weekend in bed with Oakley, enjoying skin on skin time and breastfeeding on demand. It may sound absolutely relaxing, but trust me it wasn’t. It was quite the opposite.
I’ll tell you I have been so thankful to have my Philips Avent Comfort Double Electric Breast Pump in my life these past 16 days. Without it I think I would have thrown in the towel on breastfeeding a week ago. Trying to take care of 4 children and power pump hasn’t been easy, but the double pump has made it a lot more manageable. Not to mention it is the first breast pump I have ever had that hasn’t suctioned my milk into the main unit while pumping. I have never been more comfortable breastfeeding than I have been with this pump. It has a massage cushion that stimulates milk flow while pumping, and also is designed so that you can sit comfortably while nursing without needing to hunch over. I can’t say enough good things about this pump.
Following my nursing vacation and power pumping weekend, we followed up with the midwives on March 23rd and Oakley showed a 5 oz weight gain in the period of 2 days. I couldn’t believe it. Not only that my already abundant supply has grown incrementally, which is a huge deal to me — the girl who could barely express any milk using a pump previously — But Oakley finally put on weight after 15 days of stagnating at 6lbs 5 oz. He is now at 6lbs 11.5oz, just merely surpassing his birth weight and avoiding a referral to the pediatrician. Phew!
So where do we go from here? I wish I knew the answer. When I had to start topping up Oakley after every feed my midwife had reassured me that he wouldn’t gain a preference over breast or bottle. This was a huge concern of mine being that he refuses to tube feed.
Unfortunately, it looks like has gained a preference. A preference that isn’t in my favour. He has taken to the bottle, and now just likes to use me a soother. Maybe it is because the milk doesn’t just flow the moment he latches to my breast like it would the bottle… I really don’t know. All I know is that I feel Mom guilt and it sucks. I really want this breastfeeding journey to work out. Oakley is my last baby. I wanted to breastfeed one last time. The only thing I know for sure right now is that we will keep working at it and I will seek out support.
It is amazing the lengths that we as Mom’s go to ensure that we take care of our little ones. It is true what they say about a Mother’s love… It is unlike any other.
In the past 7 years, I have experienced every possible journey to feeding my children during infancy. I have formula fed, exclusively pumped and exclusively breastfed. Right now, Oakley gets to experience both worlds of being exclusively pumped for, as well as breastfed. In the end all the really matters is that he is thriving, happy and healthy. I just need to keep reminding myself of that. Oh and relax! Easier said than done, right?!
Are you an expectant or new Mom? If not, do you know of one? If so, you won’t want to miss entering this giveaway for a chance to win 1 of 20 Philips Avent Double Breast Pumps! This pump would make an amazing baby shower present!
Philips Avent Double Breast Pump
Disclosure: I am a Philips Avent #LoveIsInTheDetails Ambassador through PTPA Media Inc. Compensation was received in exchange for this post. All opinions are those of my own.
Image Source: Shutterstock | Breastfeeding Newborn