Thursday, July 20, 2006

Breastfeeding : What helped me to perservere

"The single most important factor influencing whether or not the baby latches on is the mother’s developing a good milk supply. If the mother’s supply is abundant, the baby will latch on by 4 to 8 weeks of life no matter what. "

Excerpt taken from Dr Jack Newman's article on "When the Baby Refuses to Latch On".

Now that was the sentence that spoke to me and kept me going throughout the 2 months I was trying very hard to get my baby to latch on. I cannot remember when my first latched on but it was very difficult and we ended up on a mixed feed eventually. With my second however, I was determined to do full breastfeeding. Still it was impossible to latch baby on even though I was now more experienced in breastfeeding having breastfed the first for 17 months.

With that sentence always in my mind, I worked very, very hard at establishing my milk supply while I fed baby breastmilk using a cup for 2 whole months. I pumped at 3 hourly intervals without fail, sometimes even falling asleep while pumping and my supply grew from 1/2 an ounce each pumping session to about 8-9 ounces. I was about to give up cup feeding to substitute for bottle feeding (with expressed breastmilk) at the end of 2 months when I was reaching the end of my tether. I also considered the use of a nipple shield at about that time but then..... like magic, baby latched on at exactly 2 months and 1 day! Whooopeeee!

I just love this Dr Jack Newman even though I've not met him. Lol! I've read each and every one of his breastfeeding handouts. And the man has even generously made it available for copying and distributed without permission.

The other thing that kept me going was reading successful breastfeeding stories of those mums who went through a difficult time and eventually succeeded to breastfeed their babies. I mostly read about those who had difficulty latching their babies on for several months but manage to successfully breastfeed in the end. Those cheered me up and kept me going when I wanted to give up... which was like almost everyday.

It is my hope that my breastfeeding story will give some other mums support too.

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  1. Wow you really have a lot of perseverance and lots of tolerance. I failed to latch and gave up. I exclusively pump out for my children but my gal drink milk like water. I had to give her formula on top of breast milk. Usually the second child, we are better at it.

  2. michelle,
    Well, you had a lot of patience and tolerance too to pump exclusively. :)


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