I struggled the first two days after birth. My baby was latching fine, but milk came through slowly and it made me stress. The nurses kept saying that I must hand express and
feed him. They weren't really helpful at that
time and I felt like giving up. I even told my husband: “I’m going to give my son formula, I can’t struggle like this.”
But I wanted to breastfeed my son with all my heart and I decided to continue hand expressing and letting him latch.
On the third day things changed. My milk was flowing and my baby was feeding so nicely. At 6 weeks I had 3 months milk supply in the freezer.
After I returned to work, I would express up to 3 x 150ml a day during working hours.
Today he is 3 years old and still breastfeeding, he never had an interest in any formula milk.
This journey started off rocky, but if I had access to platforms like La Leche League it would've been so helpful for me as a new mom. I now encourage all my pregnant friends to join this group, because (after I found the LLL group) it has been very helpful to me. I am so grateful that I pushed through, because it is a wonderful and rewarding journey.
I had a few stressful days at work when he was younger, and I could not express much milk during the day.
Lack of sleep because he breastfeeds 2- 3 times through the night.
My current challenge is when he wants to feed anywhere, everywhere.
Why I stuck with it?
It is so much cheaper than formula.
It has tons of health benefits.
It helped a lot when he was teething.
I’ve used milk in his bath for mild skin rashes.
He was never hospitalised due to illness, although he got normal colds and flu’s, and a tummy bug here and there. He never had mouth ulcers or sores.
During Covid my husband and I tested positive but Connor was not affected at all nor displayed any symptoms.
My happy moments : It’s the connection with my baby who is now a toddler. I know that I should wean him but I just can’t, I love the fact that he is still breastfeeding. When he is sick or fussy, breastfeeding calms him.
[LLLSA comment: While babies are growing in their mother’s wombs, the mother’s body is gradually preparing itself for the birth. From midway during your pregnancy it slowly starts preparing breastmilk.
Once your baby is born, and your body releases the placenta, and your newborn nuzzles at your breast, licking, tasting, feeling his way with his hands to your nipples…all of this signals to your body to start releasing the very first precious milk called Colostrum.
In the early days, newborn babies are learning how to drink, swallow and breathe simultaneously for the very first time in their lives. Colostrum is perfectly suited to a newborn’s needs…the small volumes are just right for a tiny tummy that is experiencing food for the first time, the sticky quality helps the baby swallow more easily as he learns to swallow and breathe at the same time. Colostrum is full of wonderful germ fighting properties because your new baby is now experiencing the outside world, away from the protection of your womb. In fact Colostrum has higher quantities of immune substances than mature milk which appears midway around the first week of life. Colostrum also works as a laxative to clear stools from the baby’s gut.
Over the next few days after birth, your milk increases in volume and changes its consistency. The more your baby suckles and removes milk from your breast, the more milk your body produces.
During the early weeks of life, there are lots of adjustments to having a new member of the family. Your body will be recovering from the birth and adjusting to breastfeeding while at the same time adapting to a completely new way of sleeping and dealing with the routines of your household.
Pumping or expressing during this time is an added burden, it is often difficult for your body to deal with and at times leads to avoidable breast complications. If you need to return to work or be separated from your baby for other reasons, reach out to a La Leche Leader who can help navigate such challenges with you.
Also have a look at our Working Mother’s Guide https://www.lllsa.org/product-page/working-mothers-breastfeeding-conference ]