My names Emily, having successfully breastfed my first daughter Adele for 14 months without issues, i thought second time round would be a breeze! For the most part it was in the very early days but around 8 weeks Sophie began to struggle with weight gain and seemed to loose suction when feeding. She would slip off and click a lot, losing milk as she fed. The maternal health nurse suggested sophie might have a tongue tie which i thought was crazy seeing i had no pain feeding. We were referred to a specialist who took one look in sophies mouth while she was crying and dismissed us within one minute. At the time i felt relieved but the weeks went by and we continued to struggle with weight gain. Through the breastfeeders of australia facebook forum i learnt more about ties and became confident sophie had a posterior tongue tie and lip tie.
Luckily for us a international board certified lactation consultant was chairing our next local ABA meeting, who did a full oral assesment and confirmed the ties at 12 weeks. We were given a referal to a dental sergeant just in time having found out that day Sophie had lost weight. I went to my gp and was prescribed domperidone to increase my supply. The ties revised by laser and we did the god awful exercises that would make her scream and me cringe with guilt.
Although we saw some improvement after the revision, i was still having to cup my breast with one hand whilst holding her by the neck so she wouldn’t slip off. The lactation consultant confirmed i was doing the best i could in the situation. I was sore and tired from the constant feeding to compensate for short feeds, but mostly i was just scared our journey would soon be coming to an end. Was i just holding onto my selfish need to feed Sophie the same way i did Adele? I felt guilt knowing she had dropped from the 50th percentile at birth to the 3rd at four months.
Just when i thought maybe breastfeeding wasn’t going to work out something clicked, i found sophie could feed much more sufficent lying down with no gravity to help her fall off, we could both relax and with cranial sacral chiro work we began to get into a grove and saw good weight gains. When Sophie started solids at 5.5months I slowly started to wean off domperidone.
With lying down, came cosleeping naturally falling to sleep together in the night. I started to let go of all the old ideals i had and just trusted my gut and followed my baby. I really struggled with the comparison of how i mothered Adele sleep training her at 5 months but cosleeping with Sophie. I made an attempt to put Sophie in her own room at 7 months, I felt pressure to have a self settling baby in fear of what life with a highly dependent cosleeping older baby or toddler might be like. Two days later my Nanna passed away, my milk supply dropped dramatically and i questioned what the hell i was doing. I felt like I was losing my way, and the one place that always brought me back to centre was ABA meetings. Using the councellors to bounce my concerns and thoughts off.
I put Sophie straight back in my bed and all those lovely hormones brought my milk supply back up. We are now at 11 months of breastfeeding, still cosleeping and feeding on demand lying down majority of the time. Some of the things ive learnt along this very unexpected journey are to never assume one feeding journey will be the same as a previous one, trust your instints and go with what feels right for you as a mother. For me breastfeeding was my number one goal as a mother to a young baby, letting go of all the other stuff and trusting in us as team meant we found success. I have no doubt without the ABA our journey would have been much shorter. I look forward to celebrating our 1 year goal in a months time and cant see our journey ending any time soon.
Keep on boobin ladies!
Thanks for reading xx