I have been wanting to write this post for a long time, as BF is one of the experiences which has been very close to my heart as I have seen both the ugly and lovely parts of it..My two cents on Breast feeding is – do not give up.
I was totally unprepared for BF when I had little Nemo. All I knew was that it is enough to deliver the baby and the feeding would be natural. That is what my Mom told me. For the first 3 days,the nurses in the hospital helped me feeding.I am not able to recall how exactly they do that latching part.They had a technique of putting a part of the breast tissue into the baby’s mouth. End of third day my breasts were sore and engorged .The doctor suggested a nipple shield.
Five days after that, I religiously used the nipple shield.Nemo would be screaming and wailing except for the hours he would be asleep. I was so scared that I would hurt him and my breasts in the process of breast feeding.I would require the cheer group of Mom and husband to help me with the feeding. Though Mom and husband were convinced that the Nemo was fed well with the nipple guard,I was never.It was only on the eighth day that I mustered enough courage to feed him without the nipple shield.I still remember that night around 1:00 am , I felt bad to wake up my already tired mom to sterilize the nipple shield.So I decided to let go of my fears and that instance was the first time Nemo slept at the breast after a content feed.
On the tenth day weight check , I came to know that Nemo had lost 600 g of his birth weight. The hospital pediatrician suggested top feed despite my milk flow being adequate.We discussed the same with my maternal uncle and aunt who were pediatricians themselves for a second opinion. They strictly told a no for top feed and advised 6 months exclusive breast feeding. They also suggested skin to skin contact during feeding and it did a great boost to my confidence.
I am grateful for their timely advice and the constant support that they provided through all my doubts in the initial days of feeding.Since then, every cry means feed.Every week his weight was checked. I remember that after his naming ceremony, the entire evening he was tossing , turning, crying feeding in a pattern, till he finally slept off.
Till 2 months, one feeding session will go for 1 hour and it would be repeated within another 2 hours if he is not asleep. When I look back I wonder how patient, I had been through all those 1 hour session which would be peppered with acts of peeing , pooping, screaming and sleeping.
By three months playfulness and crankiness joined the list of activities during feeding.
In the fourth month it was a nursing strike and I used to feed him while he was sleepy or just awake
It was only during the 5th month that we reached the light at the end of the tunnel.Latch became perfect.Nemo would make loving aatukutti faces to mumma , give a lovely grin if satisfied and sleep off peacefully after feed.
I am happy that I pursued exclusively breastfeed for almost 6 months despite all the odds and the hints to start solids when he was around 4 months..There are few bad feed days now as well..But they seem insignificant against the pleasure of making the little one happy.
There are innumerable benefits of breast feeding quoted by experts.Am not going to re iterate them here..The reason why I am grateful that BF ing finally worked for me is because nursing is one beautiful way in which love is exchanged between the mother and the baby.Hoping that the loving relation continues in many other beautiful ways in the years to come.