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Thread: Breastfeeding Success Stories

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Romania
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    20

    Default Breastfeeding Success Stories

    Hi All,

    This is my first post although I have been 'lurking' in the forum for a few weeks now... really found it helpful especially in those first few challenging weeks...
    My question is, are there any Moms out there with breastfeeding success stories who would like to share their experience...? And could they also share what they think helped make it successful...

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    10,440

    Default Re: Breastfeeding Success Stories

    I have four:

    #1: huge baby born after long labor preceded by prodromal labor for some days; he is still the largest baby born to a first time mom at that birth center ever, and it has been open for almost 17 years. I had to have emergency surgery, requiring me to be transferred to the hospital, postpartum, where I stayed for a couple days. He was fine and had nursed while the midwives were transferring me, but while I was in surgery, he seemed to develop low blood glucose, and they gave him a bottle. He was very difficult to nurse after that one bottle. One nurse told me I would never nurse him because I had flat nipples. When I insisted, she threw a nipple shield at me and left, never tobe seen again, and the other nurses would not help me try. I couldn't get the LC to come in to help until we were going home, and she breezily said all was well, even though i was already cracking and crying with pain at latching. My ped said I would never make enough to feed him because he was so big and insisted we take cans of formula home. My midwife said everything was fine, and to keep trying. I was developing PPD, which exploded at 12 weeks and almost resulted in me being hospitalized. I was told to pump after every feeding by the ped, and I ended up with a gigantic OS, which exacerbated the OALD, which I didn't know was a problem. My mom said I should give him a pacifier. He had terrible acid reflux. I found a LLL group at 6 weeks, but the leaders didn't recognize the problems, but it was so nice to just hear from other moms that I could make this work. I finally things got sorted out when I threw the books out the window and just followed my instincts, threw the pump out, got him n meds, and I nursed that kid until he was 20+ months old and I was pregnant again, and he weaned on his own.

    #2 and #3 were easy, but different. I had learned no bottles early. No pacificer early, and in fact, #3 never wanted one. I had learned to take a babymoon and just rest (but I didn't get to after #3; I was cooking dinner when he was 12 hours old). No pumping until it was time to go to work. Feeding instinctively, on demand. Easy peasy. They both had acid reflux, and #3 was high needs, but nothing like it was with the first. I did get thrush with #3, oddly, as I had no risk factors (out of hospital birth, no antibiotics, no cracks), but it was cured with a round of Diflucan. I nursed them both until 22 or so months and 24 + months respectively and I was pregnant again both times when they weaned.

    Then there is my current baby. We knew he would be born with at least a cleft lip, but it was unclear about his palate. At his birth, the midwives and I all thought his palate was Ok. But he just didn't suck right. It felt weird. At 26 hours old, I learned he did have a slight hard palate cleft and a complete soft palate cleft, in addition to the lip. I had to pump. The ped we saw that day thought we might be able to keep nursing, but continued weight checks showed he was going to need to be fed via a bottle most of the time. I was overwhelmed with pumping, feeding, caring for a special needs baby, and three other kids 6 and under, along with running a household, and I just didn't have time to sit and nurse with an SNS too. So I have EPed for almost 15 months, trying along the way to get him to nurse at least for comfort. But he won't. However, I have very successfully exclusively pumped, something that 9 out of 10 mothers who EP do not succeed at because it is twice as hard as breastfeeding or formula feeding but has fewer rewards, and most quit before or at 12 months. My goal is to get this guy mama milk through June or until all the milk in the freezer is gone; I have a lipase problem, and he doesn't like frozen milk, scalded or not, unless it is mixed with fresh. I filled my big deep freeze within 3 months of starting to pump, donated quite a lot and have been working my way through it over the last few months.

    I succeeded with the help of my LLLLadies here with #4. They sent me things I needed, gift cards, care packages, cards, messages of love and caring and support. Otherwise, it would have been so very difficult. I'm determined and stubborn, which helps too
    Susan
    Mama to my all-natural boys: Ian, 9-4-04, 11.5 lbs; Colton, 11-7-06, 9 lbs, in the water; Logan, 12-8-08, 9 lbs; Gavin, 1-18-11, 9 lbs; and an angel 1-15-06
    18+ months and for Gavin, born with an incomplete cleft lip and incomplete posterior cleft palate
    Sealed for time and eternity, 7-7-93
    Always babywearing, cosleeping and cloth diapering. Living with oppositional defiant disorder and ADHD. Ask me about cloth diapering and sewing your own diapers!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    21,269

    Default Re: Breastfeeding Success Stories

    I have 2 success stories.

    Daughter 1: Within a few days of her birth, I had deep cracks and blisters. Nursing was excruciating but I was determined to continue, assuming that I was experiencing an extreme version of "normal" soreness. But then DD1 started to feed literally nonstop, so we took her in at a week and a half, only to discover that she was only an oz above birthweight. That, plus the constant feedings and the cracks and her scanty, greenish poops all added up to a supply problem. I saw 2 LCs, and both concurred. The issue was not a tongue tie or anything like that, but a mismatch between my breasts and my daughter's extremely high palate, short tongue, and small mouth. She just could not latch on deeply enough to transfer milk. We started a nightmarish round of drugs, herbs, nursing, scales, and pumping, supplementing with pumped milk when we had it and formula when we didn't. After about 2 months, my supply was adequate but the cracks weren't going away. When your nipples areas badly traumatized as mine were, it can take longer than the magical 6 weeks for things to turn around. I continued to nurse despite toe-curling pain, and waited and waited and waited for healing to take place. Which it did, but not until around 4.5 months! After that, nursing became easy and I went on to meet my personal nursing goal of 1 year, and then exceed it by 2 years!

    Daughter 2: a little blistering and ouchiness at first, but after that a dream to nurse! If I hadn't had such a rough go-round with DD1 I probably would have panicked about the pain, but I knew that after DD1 I could do anything.
    Coolest thing my big girl said recently: "How can you tell the world is moving when you are standing on it?"
    Coolest thing my little girl sang recently: "I love dat one-two pupples!"

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    5,767

    Default Re: Breastfeeding Success Stories

    My oldest was born 8 years ago via unplanned C-section after 20 hours of "unproductive" (yet incredibly painful) pitocin-induced “back” labor. Although both baby and I were in great shape after surgery the hospital policy forced me to go to surgery recovery while baby went to be bathed etc. so we were needlessly separated for about 4-5 hours post birth. Breastfeeding was very difficult from the first. Baby struggled to latch and when he did, it was incredibly painful.

    Many kind nurses tried to help but (I realized later) none really had the time or experience/training to know what to do. By the time we left the hospital, my son was slightly jaundiced (it turned out within normal limits), losing weight (but not dangerously) and breastfeeding was incredibly painful. It took over 30 minutes for him to latch in order to maybe nurse 5 or 10 minutes, and he was refusing one breast entirely. But he was pooping, which meant nothing to me at the time but I realized later means he was getting colustrum despite all our issues. I realized (months) later that in the early days I was engorged and swollen from 20 hours of IV fluids during labor and that made my nipples flat and breasts swollen and hard and difficult to latch onto. Plus being post op and on tons of meds made the nipple issue worse and the entire experience of having a newborn even more than usually overwhelming. And it was taking forever for my milk to become abundant.

    When we got home from the hospital on day 3 post birth, my nipples were cracked and bleeding, and every nursing session took at least 90 minutes. But despite our difficulties, we were never told to supplement with formula, either in the hospital or after. I have no idea why, certainly formula is pushed in much less dire circumstances. I remain convinced to this day that if we had been admonished by doctors or nurses or an LC to give bottles of formula (as I was with my next baby, totally unnecessarily) we would have quickly stopped breastfeeding.

    3 days after we got home from the hospital, when my son was 6 days old, we went to our first Lactation Consultant. On the way to the appointment I suddenly started leaking a ton of milk from my breasts, the first time I saw any milk! The LC tried everything she could think of and finally hesitantly pulled out a nipple shield. With that and using the football hold Henry latched (for him) rather quickly. A miracle! We were sent home with suggestions and a pumping plan (I was told to pump due to using the nipple shield.)

    It took two more appointments with another brilliant LC to get us totally home, but within a couple of weeks it was obvious I made enough milk and Henry was capable of nursing. Every session still took forever and (as typical) it felt like I spent every moment of my life either nursing or pumping. We struggled with that darn nipple shield but weaned totally off it by 6 weeks or so. Henry went on the nurse exclusively for 6 months and nursed for years. We had other issues down the line (oversupply, forceful letdown, reflux, lots of massive spitting up, and pressure from friends to wean) but honestly all of that was so very minor compared to the trial by fire of those first two weeks that I never even considered not nursing due to those issues for one second. It was only from talking to moms later that I found out those things are ever considered (by some) as reasons to wean.

    Some people ask me if I really "needed" to use the shield. I think that by the time we tried it, the answer is yes. Despite its many drawbacks, the shield saved our nursing relationship. It helps that I was using it for the right reasons (baby could not latch without it without a ton of struggle) and we used it while under the care of lactation consultants, we worked continuously on fixing the real latch issues, and I pumped to ensure the nipple did not cause any milk supply issues. BUT, if I had had more knowledge about breastfeeding in the first place, if I had understood better how the circumstances of Henry's birth would affect my body, his behavior, and breastfeeding, that these things were temporary, could be overcome, and not due to me or Henry being “unable” to breastfeed, and if I had had competent breastfeeding assistance in the hospital, we may never have needed it. Basically, if I had attended a few LLL meetings before giving birth and/or had felt comfortable calling a LLL Leader as soon as I was having any issues I think things would have gone much smoother. More than any other one thing, what I lacked in those early days was reassurance that Henry and I could do this despite our difficulties.

    I was able to nurse Henry despite these early issues due to the continuous support of my husband, the invaluable help of our lactation consultants, and sheer cussedness on my part.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    818

    Default Re: Breastfeeding Success Stories

    I think I was very lucky with my success story, although I did do a lot of research. I went to a breastfeeding class while pregnant and read every book I could find. I didn't really lurk too much on here at that point. I was afraid but determined since I was ff, and none of my family had bf except for mom who had done some ep for my preemie brother for a few months. When I got to the hospital in labor I made sure we had a sign for no bottles and no pacifiers. after birth I tried nursing her as soon as possible. some nurses were LCs and tried to help me out. I had memorized books and videos of the "perfect" latch so I just tried not to freak out and do the best i could. she roomed in with us and never had to stay in the nursery. She was jaundiced from blood incompatibility so that was an issue. we were worried about having to supplement but luckily we had a sunny window, a great pedi, and a very good nurser! I was very sore for about the first 2 weeks but I powered through. I wanted to avoid pumping and using bottles from the very beginning since I didn't want her to get nipple confusion. Also I was a bit ignorant about pumps and did NOT want to wash bottles. People didn't like it b/c they couldn't feed her but I ignored them. I really think that was one key to my success--just letting baby nurse and not doing any interventions if I didn't have to. Elena never lost weight after birth, only gained. I just think I was blessed with a very determined nurser (she's a taurus). The worst issue I had early on was very sore nipples, and some clogged ducts. I didn't really join the forums here until Elena started showing symptoms of foremilk/hindmilk imbalance later on (3 months?) and I think I had oversupply. I was (and still am) shocked at how little nurses and pediatrician knew about breastfeeding. I was told "some babies are just pukers". No help at all from drs. I did block feeding after reading here and that helped tremendously. I stayed here ever since, learning as much as possible. We are still bf and Elena is almost 2 yrs old. This forum helped me through starting solids, nursing strikes, nursing in public, distractababies, you name it.

    eta: also saw this link today that is relevant. a wonderful and inspiring success story: http://theleakyboob.com/2012/04/brea...eps-on-giving/
    Last edited by @llli*oakdryad5; April 9th, 2012 at 12:37 PM.
    Christine
    Can't believe I've been and a full-time SAHM to Elena (5/2010) for over 2 yrs!
    Mami de mi preciosa Elenita
    http://forums.llli.org/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=32384&dateline=131170  7429 OakRoseCharms Free Shipping for LLLadies just pm me! My Blog

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Romania
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Breastfeeding Success Stories

    Wow! Thank you all for sharing your stories... amazing and inspirational, pack full of tips as well.
    I am a first time Mom who just gave birth 6 weeks ago. I wasn't able to research a lot into BFing as I was so focused on the birth. (Didn't know that the two went hand in hand). We had an unassisted water birth at home. (Which was very successful).
    The only thing I managed to look up about BF is 'the latch'... I saw a very informative video on the internet on how to achieve a good latch. Apart from that, I heard that nipples will get really dry and cracked so by my 2nd trimester, I was moisturizing my nipples and breasts almost daily with baby oil or lotion. I think it worked because I haven't had dryness yet. My nipples would get sore at times but then by next day would be fine.
    As soon as my DD came out, I tried to BF her but she wouldn't take it. It was 8 hours after when she had her first BF and the first time was a perfect latch although it looked like her mouth was too small for my nipple.
    Anyways, I underestimated BFing and by 4th day I was so overwhelmed by the constand demand of DD. But thankfully I found this forum and from then on, I knew most of what we were going through were normal. Here I learned about the side lying position, about comfort sucking, and on demand nursing and many other things... so thank you to all who are in this forum. The forum is a lifesaver!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Location
    Romania
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: Breastfeeding Success Stories

    Oh, and Christine, thank you for sharing the pic from the leaky boob, the one also in FB... shocking and at the same time inspirational... anyone who is having challenges should see it!

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