After being diagnosed with Premature Ovarian Failure, it was confirmed IMPOSSIBLE for me to conceive a child and even if I did with a donor egg I would not be able to breastfeed. God performed a marvellous miracle and I conceived both my children naturally.
I breastfed my first son (now 3 and a half) for quite a long time. I used nipple shields to start with as I struggled with the pain, I decided to push through for a couple of days and before I knew it I was feeding him without the use of the shields.
My second son, now 5 months, is breastfed. My milk came in on day 2 which knocked me for a six as I was expecting it a little later. Midwives said he had a text book latch which I was very happy about! Before long I started dreading feed times, the pain was literally toe curling – don’t anyone dare speak to me during feeding time! I felt awful for my son feeding from me when one of my nipples was bleeding. I had a visit at home from a midwife who wanted to see me breastfeed. I said to her it was painful but I guess if I just pushed through it – it would get better. Her answer was ‘You shouldn’t have to push through, if it hurts you’re not doing it right’…say what now?! It hurts. It will hurt until they get used to having a little hungry human sucking on them! A few weeks past and I became painfully engorged (pretty impressive for someone who wouldn’t be able to breastfeed, hey?!) I was in tears begging my husband to go to the chemist to buy me a breast pump to relieve some of the pressure. I sat in tears feeling sorry for myself – sore hoohaa, sore boobs, sleep deprived, headache – I was a mess! Well, this then turned into mastitis as I wasn’t draining enough milk. I had the works – vomiting, agonising pain, headaches, achey body. I got to the doctor quick smart and started a round of antibiotics. This and regularly massaging with oil helped until it was gone. At this point I was seriously considering getting medication from the doctors to dry up my milk and formula feed instead. I re-thought my decision when I remembered how I ‘pushed through’ with my first son. Plus it was a special bond between him and I, and it was convenient. I thought if I used nipple shields I would be failing, until someone reminded me it’s nothing to feel bad about, I was still naturally nourishing my baby. I started using them to allow myself to recover and before I knew it I had stopped using them and have had no trouble ever since. So my advice is to ‘push through’ those toe curling first few weeks or months! Nothing about naturally nourishing your baby should make you feel ashamed, from nipple shields to feeding in public (which thanks to this project I no longer feel embarrassed about!).