September 21, 2020 8 min read
Breastfeeding is not just a way to provide nourishment to your baby. It’s a way to share your love with your little one. Those special moments that you share with your baby are truly magical.
At Lovemère, we create beautiful maternity and nursing garments to make these magical moments even more special!
Last month as we celebrated the World Breastfeeding Week, we asked you mummies to share your breastfeeding stories with us. Thank you for letting us into your world and telling us about your breastfeeding experience.
Every breastfeeding journey is as unique as you are. And we loved all the stories our mummies shared with us. We have selected some of the best reads from our Instagram. We hope these stories can encourage and inspire other mummies on their breastfeeding journeys.
"Breastfeeding isn’t an easy role/task especially as a first-time mum and also all mummy. I still remember that day in the delivery suite right after the baby was out and the nurse put her in my arms and immediately started latching. Holding her in my arms, I could feel the closeness and a sense of touch with her. I was really overjoyed with tears in my eyes!
Next day, the lactation consultant came over to guide us (me and hubby) on how to syringe pump the colostrum and feed baby. A tiring experience after delivery due to the feeding time every 3 hours. Lack of rest and sleep from the day she was born. Latching was a struggle due to improper latching technique and it caused my breasts to be swollen and also bleeding. But still, I endured the pain and continued to latch and get the correct nursing position without a nursing pillow. It’s been more than 3 months now and I am still persevering to breastfeed although it is time-consuming. I hope my supply will slowly increase and I’ll be able to feed 100% breastmilk soon."
"Sharing my breastfeeding journey. I started out with the mentality that if there’s milk, I will breastfeed. If there isn’t, formula is as good. I saw no point in stressing over or having mom guilt for not breastfeeding. When the baby came, I realised I actually had too much milk overflowing. While other moms stress over the fact that they have no milk, I have milk coming out of me like a cow. Even though it is a happy problem, it was pretty depressing to be honest. And it was something I didn’t expect. I couldn’t go out for long hours because there might be milk dripping out from me. So, after a few months, I had had enough of it. When I consulted my doctor, he gave me a pill that stopped breastmilk. I switched to formula in the end. All’s good.
I’m in two minds on breastfeeding for my second one. The doctor said it may or may not happen again, so let’s see. I’m trying to stay positive. Where there’s a will, there’s a way. In any case, happy breastfeeding week!"
"If anyone asks me, I would say breastfeeding is more tiring and painful than all the pregnancy pains added together, and giving birth. But it has been 20 full weeks and here I am, still going at it. Mine is a journey of spilled milk and more spilled tears, but it isn’t over yet.
I am a first-time mum, who didn’t set out to exclusively breastfeed by direct latching. But things don’t go according to plan and my baby rejected all her bottles of formula and expressed and frozen breastmilk and would rather starve for many hours unless I latched her directly. We went through an excruciating 2 month long phase where she would wake up every 20 minutes to one hour to feed. And she would feed for at least an hour each time. And once she triggered my let-down, she would unlatch and the milk would spill out all over us and on the bed. By the time I could get her to latch back after trying numerous positions, most of the milks would have been spilled and my baby would be screaming, crying, and clawing at me, hungry and unsatisfied. And I was an oversupply mom, yet thoroughly helpless.
I felt like an acrobat in a crazy circus, where the joke was on me. With severe sleep deprivation, soreness, three very bad episodes of clogged ducts with shooting pain and engorgement, gastric acid burns in my throat and month-long nosebleed. Many a time, I wanted to give up and thought I would lose my mind.
Breastfeeding has gotten slightly better lately, and my baby doesn’t unlatch as much. Riding through the tough period has shown me that therein lies more willpower and strength that I thought I possessed. I have put my career as a lawyer in hold and I spend my days feeling like a slavish milking cow, but I also feel blessed to be able to nourish and bond with my baby. Few things can ever come close to the satisfaction I derive from knowing that she draws comfort from me.
To all mummies with beautiful and not-so-beautiful breastfeeding journeys – every child is different and every breastfeeding journey is different. Don’t compare. Tune out the negative voices. Do what you can. Cry, if you must. And keep going if you can and if health permits. You’ve got this and you are not alone.
Happy world breastfeeding week!"
"When baby E came into the world, my partner and I looked at each other in shock and couldn’t really process what had just happened. It wasn’t love at first sight at all (or first day or week or even month). She was so fragile and had problems latching because of my inverted nipples. The nurses at the hospital gave me a nipple shield and taught me how to massage my breasts and just let me be. The first few days I massaged so hard that my breasts were bruised and a tiny bit of colostrum that I did end up producing would get caught up in the nipple shield. And in those moments, I thought, ‘This is it. This is the end of my breastfeeding journey’.
I had clogged ducts every week. I was reliant on nipple shields for 3 whole months. My breasts ached so much, it hurt to hold my baby. It felt like my supply would never regulate. I had spent quite a lot of money on lactation consultant home visits. And of course, the baby would do great when they were THERE. But, the baby seemed to forget it all when they left. After a night of extremely painful nursing, in an attempt to wean off the nipple shield, I gave up. The baby had developed severe nipple confusion. She no longer nursed well with shields, the bottle, or the breast. I pulled my pump out of its new packaging and did my first pump and I felt like a total failure. It’s funny because I would never judge other mamas out there for how they decide to feed their baby. But I was so harsh on myself despite not even really having a goal for breastfeeding to begin with!
Two weeks later, on a good day, I thought, ‘Hey, why not?’. And just put E to my breast to see what would happen. She. Latched. On. Perfectly! I guess she just needed to do some more growing so her mouth would be bigger and her sucking would be stronger? Nowadays, I pump during the day and nurse through the night. This is what works for me and E. I’m so glad we have found our rhythm. To think back now when I thought it had to be one or the other or it would all be ruined, is crazy. But then again, when you are thrown into postpartum and motherhood and living on a few hours of interrupted sleep, who can blame you?
What helped me the most was reaching out to other mamas. I didn’t have many friends who had children so I turned to my colleagues and social media. The support has been nothing short of AMAZING and now I finally understand why people say it takes a village to raise a child. Mamas, you are going to be so loved by your little ones whatever you do and however you do it. Be kind to yourselves and know that whatever you are trying is more than good enough."
"When did you first introduce the big “No” to your bundle of love? Funny thing, saying “no” to a baby. How much do they comprehend? What goes through their active minds when thy see our attempts at a stern face and the firm tone in our voices? And the biggest question being do they feel hurt when we are disciplining them? Gosh, it feels so brutal to be disciplining a baby!
Well, I’ve taken the plunge. You see, Eleanor, my 5 month old darling of a daughter has been spending the past month being crazy curious about everything: colors, sounds, faces, voices, textures, smells, you name it. This is great! We love watching her light up to all the life around her. The struggle comes for me (and her) when she decides to live it up with nursing. Girl gets the itch to ditch my boob when feeding all the time these days. She suckles only for 30 seconds, only to swing her head back and latch onto the nearest distraction instead.
So about a week ago, I started placing a gentle but firm hand behind Eleanor’s head and carefully guided her back towards me saying, “No, Eleanor, it’s not the time to play. It’s time to eat now. Try and stay focused and before you know it meal time would be over and you’ll get to play again, ok?” Most of the times, she’d look up at me with a grin and get back to milk munching. But there have been other times when I’ve felt her frustration and she’d resist me or become fussy. Maybe she has gas, maybe she is tired, maybe she is not hungry anymore, or maybe she just wants to play. It’s always a bit of a guessing game till they can communicate and express what they need. And even then, parents are expected to be sensitive enough to really “hear” what their children are actually saying.
At the end of the day, all us moms and dads can do is try our best to make the right choices when it comes to loving our little ones. And we can hope that our efforts will be the perfect balance of care and guidance (peppered with a couple of mistakes here and there to keep life interesting) needed to equip our children with a firm foundation for life ahead. There’s no way of knowing whether or not our No!s will do more harm than good. But when we do it in live, there’s a greater chance that the pain from the No! will fade away and the gratitude from above will last an eternity."