My son likes plastic nipples !

July 14, 2010

What could I do ? My baby was eleven days old, I was still really exhausted from the birth experience, one extremely stressful week in hospital with barely any sleep and our complex feeding regime which looked something like this:

First step: 5 – 10 minutes breast wrestling (my baby trying to latch on, me trying to help him  – all to no avail while I was getting increasingly desperate and he increasingly frustrated and hungry.

Second step: Give him a bottle. Duration: approx. 15 – 20 minutes.

Third step: Express milk for 30 minutes.

Fourth step: Collapse with exhaustion. At least one of us wasn’t hungry anymore (and that wasn’t me !)

So I knew if I didn’t get myself somehow to my nearest Breastfeeding Support Group at Rowland Hill Childrens’ Centre ASAP I would just stop all attempts to breastfeed there and then and give him a bottle. THE END.

As I said I was exhausted, my stitches were still really uncomfortable and as far as I was concerned Rowland Hill Children’s centre might as well have been on the moon – the distance from Noel Park to that end of White Heart Lane seemed so far.

I wasn’t well enough to walk or try my luck on public transport so I took all my strengths together and with the help of my mum put my son in a car seat called a cab and managed to get to the Support Group ! Wow – what a huge effort. And boy – it was worth it.

The wonderful infant feeding coordinator had a good look at our breast wrestling routine and after a talking through a couple of details she recommended I should try nipple shields (these are plastic nipples, which can be used to shield cracked nipples).

At the group I also met a bunch of very friendly mums who had a lot of helpful tips, for example which support pillow is best and other really good ideas. But what was most encouraging was when they told me about the hard times they had breastfeeding and what difficulties they had to overcome. It made me feel that I had nothing to complain about and that  – if they managed to persevere – so could I.

But luckily I did not have to persevere for much longer. The minute I managed to get hold of the nipple shields I put my son to the breast and miraculously – he latched on and drank…and drank…and drank. For the next 12 hours or so he would barely stop for more than an hour.

So that had me really worried again. The infant feeding coordinator had originally suggested I should come to another breastfeeding support group the next day so she could help me with the nipple shields but there was no question of me managing to getting out of the house the next day. I was still very tired from my trip the previous day and – of course – from constant breastfeeding.

But I was extremely fortunate to receive one of the very rare home visits the next day. She re-assured me that it was normal for  breastfed babies to drink so long in the beginning, that he might be going through a growth spurt (which turned out to be right) and helped me a bit more with my positioning.

The help I received has been invaluable and I am glad breastfeeding worked out in the end.  But don’t let anyone tell you it’s a walk in the park. It isn’t. It is pretty exhausting, especially in the beginning. I go to the support group at Rowland Hill Childrens’ Centre every week. I need to talk to a professional and other mums on a weekly basis so they can tell me again: “It’s normal that he feeds so much, it will get better just hang in there.” This support really helps me to get through the rough patches. I even took my mum there a few times to hear about breastfeeding from the expert. Since then she has stopped saying “Oh – just give him a bottle!” Thank God for that.

And luckily, these days I am well enough to take the bus there. But it’s still a bit of a treck….

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One Response to “My son likes plastic nipples !”

  1. Nipples Says:

    haahha, we could say that about colors and nipples there is nothing written about likes


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