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Perseverance pays off - Renate

To all new moms out there, please read my story for some inspiration! I am a midwife and have a lot of knowledge on breastfeeding.

Five years ago I expected a little girl. I prepared a lot for the birth but wasn’t worried about the breastfeeding as I thought I knew what I needed to do to successfully breastfeed.

I had an unmedicated normal delivery with immediate skin-to-skin with my baby girl. She did a beautiful breastcrawl and was suckling within the first hour after birth.

On day three my nipples started cracking and bleeding. On day seven I had severe mastitis. The pain of breastfeeding was excruciating, I cried with every latch. I applied nipple cream, had laser treatments, sat in front of an infra-red light and consulted with two different lactation consultants to try and find my mistake. We eventually found out I was allergic to a specific ingredient in the nipple cream, which aggravated the whole situation, we worked on the latch and even treated me for possible thrush.

It was the most difficult 6-10 weeks! I told my husband I would easily rather give birth than deal with the pain of breastfeeding... fast forward to the better part... eventually after about 10 weeks or so something just shifted and the pain subsided, and I kept on breastfeeding my girl for 22 months after my rocky start, but this is not the end of my story.

Three years later I was expecting a little boy. Because of the very traumatic initial breastfeeding of my daughter I consulted a lactation consultant beforehand and made sure that this time I will do everything correct from the start.

I had a beautiful unmedicated water birth of a 4,7 kg (I did not expect that!) baby boy, he was also in skin-to-skin immediately and suckled within the first hour. I was convinced that this time everything will be fine as I breastfed my daughter that long... but that was not the case.

Even though I double checked every latch, sat in the sun, didn’t use lanolin cream and did everything right, my nipples cracked and bled again at about day four after birth. I developed severe mastitis on day ten with a fever of 39,5 degrees. I was completely devastated. I just couldn’t believe that this is happening again.

The first few weeks were traumatic, as with the first I cried with every latch, I tried everything to help heal the nipples but absolutely nothing worked. I had a lot of support from lactation consultants, friends and family which kept me going. The good news is that March 2020 marked two years of breastfeeding my son and I am still going strong.

Breastfeeding both my kids was one of the best experiences of my life and I am so grateful that I just kept going even when it felt impossible to do so.

So all the new mommies out there... my message is this, please keep on going and pushing through, sometimes time is the one thing you need to breastfeed successfully.

[LLLSA comment : Having a painful latch is NOT normal. It generally means that the

baby is not latched on deeply enough. Please consult an experienced La Leche

League Leader or International Board Certified Lactation Consultant to get one-on-one help with getting a deeper


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