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Being a breastfeeding mom is an achievement that I am extremely proud of. And I am over the moon about sharing such an amazing experience with my son, but unfortunately, I was unable to share that same adventure with my daughter who is also my first child.
Believe me! I had every intention of breastfeeding my daughter. In fact, I even took breastfeeding classes and was determined that she would be exclusively breastfed and nothing would get in my way.
Sadly, I did NOT reach my goal of breastfeeding my daughter for one year or even for one month.
Breastfeeding seemed much easier on those videos in the birthing classes than it is in reality.
Although I am a HUGE breastfeeding advocate and believe that we should try our absolute best to breastfeed, I also realize that a fed baby is better than a starving baby. There are also times when breastfeeding is not an option or just doesn’t work out the way you hoped.
It Happened to Me
And this is why I failed at Breastfeeding my first baby.
Having experience or others around you with breastfeeding helps tremendously!
As a child, I can NOT remember ever seeing a mother breastfeed her baby. NEVER!
Unfortunately, breastfeeding had become very taboo until recently with the millennial generation. My family is no exception. My mother said she tried to breastfeed me but I would not latch. It was because of this she instantly gave up on breastfeeding and did not even attempt it when my little brother was born.
Honestly, I am the ONLY woman in my family who has breastfed and I think if more people were more open and educated on breastfeeding that it would only help in the long run.
For me personally, spending time around other breastfeeding moms has helped me with my second attempt at breastfeeding. Having a support system has been extremely crucial in my success.
2. LACK OF SUPPORT AND GUIDANCE
This reason kind of ties into the last paragraph, but here I am referring to professional help.
As I said earlier, during my first pregnancy, I took a breastfeeding class that was offered by my hospital. They also had a Board Certified Lactation Consultant that worked at the hospital and could come and check on you and your baby after birth.
Related: My Top 9 Breastfeeding Essentials
Though in the week I delivered my daughter, the Lactation Consultant was not available.
While I was looking forward to having her help with breastfeeding, I assumed that the prenatal nurses at the hospital could help me with any breastfeeding issues I might face during my hospital stay.
Obviously, things did NOT go as I had planned.
Anytime I would ask one of the nurses to help me with making sure I was breastfeeding properly, they would reply with,“I don’t know.”
“What? You don’t know. How am I supposed to do this if you as a nurse don’t even know how to do it?”
Thankfully, that particular hospital has made all of their prenatal nurses take several hours of breastfeeding training to help mothers like me who need a little guidance.
3. BAD LATCH
I read somewhere that babies are born knowing how to suck but not how to latch properly. And boy is this true!
Since I had NO idea what I was doing or if my daughter was even latched properly, the fact that my nipples felt like they had been completely abused did not signal that she had a bad latch.
Even though I was experiencing pain every time she would latch on, I didn’t think anything of it. Everyone always says that breastfeeding hurts at first.
Except in my case, I was not only in pain everytime my baby nursed. If anything even remotely touched my nipples it felt remarkably uncomfortable. And even though I was nursing her every thirty minutes she was still not satisfied. It was as if she was not getting any of my milk.
Related: Breastfeeding a Teething Baby
Having a bad latch can cause so many breastfeeding problems.
- Nipple Damage
- Lack of Milk Supply
- Low Weight Gain
Yes, breastfeeding is going to hurt some at first but that was not the only pain I was experiencing.
My daughter was delivered through an unexpected C-section. So not only did my nipples feel like they had been chewed up and spit out, I also had literally been cut open.
Along with having a C-section, this was also my first time ever having stitches, surgery, or even a hospital stay.
So to say I was in pain was an understatement.
5. NO SKIN TO SKIN CONTACT
SKIN TO SKIN CONTACT is when your baby is placed directly on your chest after birth. This also gives you and your baby the best start for breastfeeding.
Most of the time, you do not get the option to have Skin to skin with your baby when you have a C-section.
Since we were not planning on having a C-section with my daughter, we did NOT even know if it was an option. Luckily, I was able to do skin to skin contact with my son directly after birth and I believe it helped us jump start breastfeeding.
6. TONGUE TIE AND LIP TIE
I believe another factor in my daughter’s difficulty with latching came from her lip tie and tongue tie.
A tongue-tie is a short, piece of tissue that is connected from the tip of the tongue to the bottom of the mouth.
An upper lip-tie is where a piece of skin under the upper lip is short or thick and is attached too tightly to the upper gum.
With my daughter having both ties, it made it difficult to latch properly. Which also caused some of my nipple pain.
My son was born with a tongue tie and lip tie as well. Thankfully, we knew what to look for the second time around which made it easier to find a solution.
7. GAVE UP EASILY
Lastly, I gave up.
I admit it. I gave up on breastfeeding too easily.
With my daughter not sleeping and never being satisfied I honestly did not know what to do.
I can remember our first night home being exhausted and in pain. My daughter kept crying and we tried everything we could think of the get her to sleep. From breastfeeding to driving her around. Nothing worked. Finally, my grandmother suggested that I make her a bottle of formula.
From that night on, I quit breastfeeding and let myself heal.
A POSITIVE ENDING
For years, I felt so much guilt for not breastfeeding my daughter and it caused me to be more depressed every day. In my mind, I had failed my daughter. I have replayed that night so many times in my head.
Related: Depression Tips
But I also look back on that night and think of how she must have been so very hungry and how grateful I was to have a way to feed her when I was unsuccessful. I realize that I am also very blessed to now have a happy and healthy child because she was nourished.
[clickToTweet tweet=”Breastfeeding is wonderful, but sometimes life happens and you just go with it. @veryanxiousmom” quote=”Breastfeeding is wonderful, but sometimes life happens and you just go with it.” theme=”style3″]
No judgments here, because a fed baby is a happy baby.
Are you a breastfeeding mom? Did you breastfeed all of your kids? Or did you formula feed?