I was excited and happy & scared of what lay ahead of me. Little did I know about the breastfeeding challenges that I was about to face. My 1-hour old son was brought to me for his very first feeding session while I rested in the recovery room. I saw his tiny little lips making an effort to latch on to my breasts and he simply couldn’t. At the time I chalked it up to me being in resting position as I couldn’t sit upright or hold him in my arms for feeding. The rest 2 days that followed I was woken up often by the nurses n our amazing lactation consultant Vandana mam, who eventually helped me get through my breastfeeding ordeal.
Despite everyone’s best efforts, my son just wasn’t latching on. I had an inverted right nipple and the left one was nearly flat. Long story short I couldn’t breastfeed him despite being fully engorged due to anatomical reasons. I thought that would be the end of breastfeeding for me and my son. To our surprise, the last day of my discharge, a nipple shield was introduced, he latched immediately and hence our breastfeeding journey began. It was painful at first but the feeling of being able to provide nourishment to my baby was extremely rewarding. Meanwhile, I kept trying to help Kabir latch directly. Pregnancy is already tough on one’s body, dealing with hormone shifts & pressures of being a new mom took a toll on me and I fell into depression. My milk supply dropped as well. And the day came when Kabir was having formula milk than breastmilk. I stayed in touch with Vandana mam and she kept encouraging me to use the shield. I put myself back together to pull myself out of this depression abysses, I read numerous articles about breastfeeding, I started to eat well including galactagogues like oats, fenugreek powder and in 3 weeks time, I was exclusively feeding breastmilk to my son. I have also suggested a breast pump and I ended up using both manual and an electric one. Following Vandana mam’s guidelines, I fed him from one breast and expressed from another. I was able to build up a frozen milk stash for days when I wasn’t available to feed him. Fast forward 7 months, I’m proud to say I exclusively breastfed my kid and we are still going strong. Don’t give up and keep trying… Persevere!