This week's mommy talk Tuesday was on breastfeeding. The questions were:
Did/do you breastfeed? If you do/did what was your biggest challenge during breastfeeding? What was/is your favorite part of breastfeeding? Do you think it's ok to nurse in public, covered or not? Do/did you ever nurse in public? Do you have any tips for moms struggling with breastfeeding or expectant moms who plan to breastfeed?
Before RC was born, Travis and I had discussed breastfeeding and decided that I would give it a go since I would be staying home with RC. Since I knew nothing about it other than it was healthy for baby and cheaper, I attended a class offered by one of the local hospitals. The day came that RC was born. I had an emergency c-section and wasn't able to hold him for over 2 hours. We tried nursing at that point and that's when we began to struggle.
I got help from the lactation consultants in the hospital, but to be honest, they weren't any help at all. They would come in and shove RC's face into my breast until he would finally get latched on. They were like "see there you go, that's how you do it." Hello...it took 4+ hands and someone slamming his face into me. How is that supposed to work?
We were released and still struggling. The first morning home, I broke down because I was still not able to feed my son who hadn't really eaten anything in almost 5 days. I called a lactation consultant and she suggested pumping and feeding by bottle if he was still having problems until I could get him latched on. She wanted to see us, but we just couldn't afford $160 per hour! So we continued to try nursing, then following up with a bottle of expressed milk. I will never forget my son's face when he had that first bottle of expressed milk. He just opened his eyes huge and had a look of "this is what I was supposed to be getting?"
Our first pediatrician appointment is when things really changed. I stated that we were still struggling and the doctor brought in one of the female doctors that is great at teaching lactation. Within seconds she had RC latching and me getting to latch by myself, no shoving his face on. The problem we were having? The lactation consults in the hospital showed me how to hold my breast wrong which was causing RC to not be able to latch properly.
After that is was pretty smooth sailing. We nursed in public with a cover when needed. I'm not one to show much skin normally let alone my breast in public! And then RC started teething. *sigh* RC struggled to nurse while teething as we followed up with a bottle of formula to tide him over. I only had a manual pump and didn't think to pump when he had a bad feeding. So after going strong for 4.5 to 5 months, we realized there was a problem. The other problem with the massive biting and pulling he was doing.
RC was the same weight at 5.5 months as 4 months, but had gained 3 inches. He was gross to touch. I felt like I would break him when I picked him up. We called the doctor and after discussing things we determined I had lost the bulk of my milk supply and RC wasn't getting enough. In the interim we supplemented while deciding what to do. Finally we made the decision to just switch to formula. This decision was made due to the cost of a lactation consultant...we just didn't have the funds to go to one and then find out my milk supply wasn't salvageable or the RC didn't stop biting and pulling. He literally would make me scream when he did that!
To be honest, I found nursing to be more of a hassle on occasion. Mostly on days that he would nurse all day just to nurse. While I love my son, I'm not one to want to spend days such as that. For me, I could have bonded with RC just as well by starting off with a bottle. I think if we wouldn't have struggled so much in the beginning. Travis' relationship really changed too when we made the switch. He would complain that RC didn't like him, but when he only would see him for a few hours and not be feeding him etc. Once he got to help out, RC really developed that bond that was missing. When it comes to having more kids, it is hard to say if I will breastfeed or just choose to formula feed from the start.