I never thought breastfeeding would be so tough
JULIANNA, NEW YORK
I really wanted to breastfeed, but Tully’s mouth was so tiny he just couldn’t latch. I was devastated. I wanted that amazing, loving moment, but it just didn’t happen.
We met the lactation specialist at the hospital. And then another one came to our home. She gave us loads of advice, encouraged skin to skin, told me to keep it a happy place - but it WASN’T a happy place! It was really stressful.
I didn’t want to give up though. My partner Jedd got me a hospital grade pump, and I pumped round the clock for the first month. It was tough, worrying if I was doing it right, whether I’d get enough milk. But it got easier, and I was soon so comfortable with the process I was getting 50oz - 60oz a day, I was officially in over-supply!
This was great for Jedd, as it meant he could be involved in feeding, but I still really wanted to nurse. I tried every day and then suddenly - he was about 8 weeks old - he just did it. It was totally unexpected, I was shocked but still pretty cautious. I didn’t believe everything would magically be ok. So we called the lactation consultant. Again. I needed to know what to do, how to manage my supply and start nursing. But I was also back at work a month later - so I didn’t want him going off the bottle!
She advised to gradually replace pumping times with nursing opportunities until I could nurse for most feeds, with a couple of bottles per day, so that’s what we did. It was amazing, especially as it took us so long to get there. I remember one day being on the subway. I was standing up, holding onto the bars, with Tully in a sling. He was hungry, so I just started nursing him. Managed it the whole journey then up the stairs at the other end, with him feeding away inside the sling. I felt like a real Pro-Mom. I never thought we’d manage that! I never imagined we’d be in this place, and smiled to myself thinking about just how far we’d come. Together.