Something so beautiful and natural isn’t always easy or painless. This is something I’ve known since my first son was born. What am I speaking of? Well breastfeeding of course.
Some women and babies take to it like no bodies business. Some never have problems with breast infections, nipples confusion, comfort nursers and so on. I do wish I were one of those women and had one of those babies.
With my first born he was tongue tied but we didn’t realize this until some time later. I used a shield because we couldn’t get the latch right. It affected my supply and I quit only a few short months in. I also struggled with nipple confusion and long nursing sessions.
With my second born he latched great, had a good big mouth (first born and current baby have smaller mouths) but had Thrush and gave it to me. We struggled with that. I was also dealing with ear infections, vertigo and many other symptoms of my yeast overgrowth. And same with my first born we struggled with nipple confusion and long comfort nursing sessions. I nursed him for a few months.
This baby was going to be different. I was determined not to introduce a bottle to him. To avoid the nipple confusion. To nurse well into his first year, if not longer. And then unexpectedly he was put into the NICU and supplemented with a bottle. Had I been offered the option of an SNS I would have taken it in a heart beat.
Our PED wanted us to supplement his feedings at home and I did this occasionally. I could tell his latch was different, his nursing behavior was different than before he was put into the NICU and nursing was getting more difficult.
Nipple confusion has set in. And likely even worse than my other two since he was introduced to a bottle long before my other two were. In addition to the nipple confusion, long nursing sessions, comfort nursing and he not actively nursing at the breast now I’m struggling with a terribly painful yeast infection of the breasts.
So what is a Mom to do when it isn’t easy or painless? Give up? Call it quits? Pump exclusively so that he still gets the milk but it is easier on me?
Not this time. Not now. I’m not ready to give up even though this has turned into the most difficult experience of all three.
I have reached out to the local LLL gals in my area for help. I’ve explained my problems via email and asked for a phone call. I’m going to attend the meetings for one on one help. And I’m going to try some Thrush remedies that don’t require a doctor to prescribe them.
I so long for a long term nursing relationship with this child & I’m much more willing and determined to make it work this time around. Even knowing he is still getting the good stuff from my milk via a bottle I still miss the skin to skin contact and I know he does too.
(I’m still nursing him but it’s so painful that I’m giving him my expressed milk via bottle too. As soon as I get help from the LLL’s for the nipple confusion & I get the yeast under control there will be no more bottles. Hopefully within a matter of 2-3 days.)
I can do it, I can do it, I can do it, I can do it… right? :–)