Desperately Want to Breastfeed
When I was pregnant with my son (he is now 8.5 months old) the thing I was looking forward to most about him being born was breastfeeding. I have always thought it was this beautiful, magical thing. When I was pregnant, I did everything right. I took care of myself, I took classes on breastfeeding, read the books, etc.
So, then the baby was born. In recovery after the c-section, I was so excited to try breastfeeding. He didn’t latch. I was fine with it, he was barely an hour old and I knew it would take practice on both of our parts. We kept trying that day and he just wouldn’t do it. Again, I was fine with it.
The next day he still refused my breast. He would cry whenever I tried putting him on. They assigned me a lactation consultant and she started me on a pump to try to produce some milk, thinking maybe the baby was being impatient. So, I pumped every three hours for half an hour a time and would get nothing. At about 1am on the third night at the hospital, they told me that the baby had lost over 10% of his body weight (he went from 7.2 to just under 6 pounds) and I had to supplement with formula since I wasn’t producing enough colostrum for him. I was a mess. I begged them to feed him with a syringe so he wouldn’t get confused and even though the nurse said she did, I am not sure I believe her. But I hated the idea of my baby getting formula.
We then tried a nipple shield. He did get on one time, and it was amazing. We thought all of the troubles were over. I had never been so happy as I was with my baby eating from me. It was just the best feeling.
We continued having problems. When I got home, he again completely refused to latch and all he did was scream. I was a complete mess and pumped every 3 hours but would only produce a few ounces a day. My husband and I fed him with a syringe, as we had to supplement with formula and he had to eat pumped milk since he wouldn’t latch. I ended up getting severe PPD, mostly due to the fact that I was failing miserably at breastfeeding I think, and had to give it all up. I just could not do it anymore, and I gave in and gave the baby a bottle of formula. This is going to sound dramatic, but it was seriously the hardest time of my life. I had never felt so hopeless and sad as I did during that time.
ANYWAY, after that LOOOOONG background story, my question is, has anyone ever had a similar experience? I desperately want to breastfeed my next baby and am afraid I will fail again. Any tips so that I won’t? Any advice at all? Sometimes I think one of the reasons he wouldn’t breastfeed is because in the hospital they forced him onto my nipple even though he clearly didn’t want it and would scream. I wanted to let him do it himself, but they told me not to. I don’t know. Any tips/stories about difficulties would be helpful.