In celebration of World Breastfeeding Week, I thought that I would take the time to share our breastfeeding journey so far!
I must preface my story in saying that no matter how you choose to feed your baby, you are doing an amazing job! I personally chose and wanted to exclusively breastfeed, so this post is from my own personal perspective.
When Esther was born, I was very blessed to have my milk come in when it should and have no supply issues (this is something that I specifically prayed about prior to giving birth). As the week went on, I was in extreme pain and had started to develop nasty cuts on my nipples from feeding. The pain was so terrible that I had anxiety each time I would need to feed, and actually would dred Esther waking up from her nap as I knew I would need to feed and this broke my heart. I had community nurses telling me her latch was great and to push through but I knew something was not right.
Thank goodness for my amazing friends and family (you know who you are) that did mercy dashes to my house with nipple shields, pumps, medi-patches and supplies to help me with my journey. One of my closest friends suggested that I see a IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) before making the switch to formula. We were blessed to get an appointment the following week with a consultant that had a great reputation who of course was hard to get an appointment with. Brendan and I made a decision to push through with breastfeeding, until we saw the Consultant.
Upon seeing the Consultant, she was so lovely, understanding and simply wanted the best for both Esther and I. After examining Esther, she was diagnosed with both a lip and tongue tie (yes I cried when I found it). We made the decision to have the ties released (this was far worse for mummy) as these would also effect her in the long run. Since that procedure we have never looked back.
I have now been exclusively feeding for four and a half months and I feel so proud of what we have accomplished. I am SO glad that we stuck it out and I feel truly blessed that I have this bond with my baby girl.
So if you have the goal of exclusively breastfeeding, I encourage you to hang in there and get the support that you need along the way. Please seek medical help early if you feel that something is just not right.
Breastfeeding is not easy but one of the most rewarding things that I have ever done.
There are some great resources and support groups out there, I found the below useful:
- Australian Breastfeeding Association – They also have a toll free number with counsellors on stand-by which I did call several times 1800 686 268. Also check out their Facebook pages for your local area.
- Facebook Group – Breastfeeders in Australia
- Facebook Group – Tongue and Lip Tie Support
- The IBCLC that I saw was Dale Hanson (she is based in the St George area of Sydney)
Keep on boobin’ ladies (themilkmeg.com) xx
Photography by Joyess Images