Breastfeeding Blues

Of all the worries I had about becoming a mother, breastfeeding was nowhere near the top of my list. I assumed it would come naturally and didn’t give it another thought. Well, it has been anything but natural. While I was in the hospital, a lactation consultant met with me both days after my son’s birth to help me get him started on breastfeeding. It was a struggle. He would not latch on, and every time I tried to breastfeed he would scream. On the rare occasion that he did latch on, I did not have milk coming out. Eventually, the nurses gave me some formula to give to him because he had to eat something, but they said I should attempt breastfeeding at every feeding. The first few days at home, I tried to breastfeed, but he continued to scream and my milk supply was low so for the first few days we gave him formula. During this time, I began pumping to increase my milk supply. Finally, I was producing enough milk to feed him about two ounces at each feeding. I still tried to breastfeed, but he would not latch on. By the second week, I was so frustrated with his screaming fits when I tried to get him to latch on that I stopped trying and pumped exclusively. By the third week, my milk supply which had temporarily increased had now decreased, and I could not pump enough milk to keep up with his feedings. I decided to give breastfeeding another try, so I persevered through his tantrums until he finally latched on and began to eat. The first two days he was spitting up everything, so I cut dairy out of my diet and he had some successful days. I think my milk supply had gone down even more because by the fifth day, he wanted to breastfeed almost nonstop. I had to use formula to make sure he was getting what he needed. Even before he was breastfeeding, he was having issues with excessive spit up. The doctors thought it was an issue with digesting milk, so we first tried soy formula. That didn’t help, so the doctor then gave us some special formula that was supposed to be easier on the stomach. That didn’t work either, so now I am going to resume pumping and try to give him more breast milk because of the benefits of it. Feeding my son has been one long nightmare, but I hope it will get better.


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