I always knew I wanted to breast feed my babies, and was so lucky that my first was an “easy” feeder. He latched on seconds after birth and we never looked back, he was a very big baby and never went hungry as I had ample supply. I loved feeding him and he fed till 14 months when because of those around me insisting I should I weaned him.
My second baby had trouble latching right from the start, and I was told she simply had a lazy latch and to persist. I left the hospital with cracked and bleeding nipples, engorged and in a great deal of pain, being told to just keep trying. My daughter lost weight and I saw a lactation consultant at my local Child health centre who again told me to just keep trying as my daughter had a lazy latch. We muddled through and eventually she started putting on weight, but my supply was never steady, and I never enjoyed feeding her, it always felt uncomfortable. At 6 months when we started to introduce solids, we realised that there was a problem with her feeding that extended past a lazy latch, as she was unable to swallow solids. We saw many health professionals and she was subjected to lots of tests and we just didn’t seem to get any answers. At 12 months she was still relying almost exclusively on breast milk, and we finally saw someone who diagnosed her with a extreme upper lip tie and enlarged adenoids, we saw a ENT and a week later she had her adenoids removed and her upper lip tie cut under GA. We were told by the surgeon that her ULT was one of the worst he had ever seen. I fed her in the recovery room and cried, because after 15 months feeding her didn’t feel uncomfortable! I went on to feed her until a month before her 2nd birthday!
Along came my 3rd little treasure and he was born with a few health issues and was admitted to the SNU hours after he was born. He was on a glucose drip, and as a result didn’t feel the need to feed. I had been expressing for a few weeks before birth so he was syringe fed that, but was also given high calorie formula, and some of the nursery staff suggested that I didn’t need to come in during the night and feed him as they could just feed him a bottle for me. I insisted I was going to let him suck and then after a decent try on the breast they could then feed him a bottle. Feeding him was again painful and not enjoyable at all. I checked and noticed he too had an upper lip tie. The paediatrician refused to do anything about it as he believed that cutting ties was just a “fad”. I left the hospital again with sore nipples and knowing we weren’t feeding effectively. My little fighter lost a lot of weight and we were having to weigh him every few days, with still no gain. 2 weeks after he was born a lactation consultant confirmed he had an upper lip tie and a lounge tie. I made an appointment with a paediatric dentist and a week later his ties were lasered. The following week I thought about giving up the breast feeding several times as he seemed hungry all the time and I was letting him suck and but then expressing an entire feed right after he fed. A few weeks later he still wasn’t putting on a great deal of weight and then he got a bad dose of gastro. The child health nurse suggested I should think about starting to formula feed and give up with the breast feeding. Still I pushed through and I kept telling myself we would work it out, I knew my supply was fine, and I felt like he was figuring it out slowly… My little trooper is now almost 6 months old, exclusively breast fed, happy, healthy and thriving!
I have loved feeding all of my babies and I’m so glad that I have persisted through all the struggles, I have given all my babies the best start I could have and I know that we can do anything together!!