First, it was hard to get her to latch on and then I didn’t know if I was doing it correctly. Also, no matter how many times I was told it was going to hurt, nothing quite prepared me for the pain of a newborn gnashing on my nipple. And then, even when all systems seemed to be fully functioning, there was still the constant worry that I was providing enough milk.
My first few days with Mazzy in the hospital were not easy. She cried most of the time which the nurse attributed to being hungry. Hunger was then attributed to me failing at my job— breastfeeding. Both nights I battled with the nurse over giving her formula. She insisted, I refused.
Finally, with the help of a lactation consultant and nipple guards (which I wore for the first month before my boobs toughened up), I was able to get on track once I was home and never had to supplement with formula. But those first few weeks were really stressful when I wasn’t sure I was doing it right and it wasn’t a guarantee that Mazzy would latch on correctly either.
This time around, it was totally different.
Right after Harlow exited the womb, she was able to latch on and I could tell from experience that it was working. Because she fed so easily right from the beginning, she slept well at the hospital and hardly cried. Because Harlow was content, I was able to relax as well. I even got some sleep.
Once home, things continued going smoothly. It still hurt for the first couple of weeks but we have recently turned a corner and at almost a month, breastfeeding is not painful anymore. (Although she is beginning to develop some problems with acid reflux but that’s another issue.)
Harlow was born at 6.13lbs and dropped to 6.7lbs. by the time we left the hospital— less than a 10% drop in body weight and therefore, no cause for concern. By the time we made our one week visit to the doctor, she was up to 7.4lbs.
Nothing feels better to a new mom than knowing you are feeding your baby successfully. Especially after struggling the first time around.