It’s all in the latch

As soon as I knew I was pregnant I knew I wanted to breastfeed my baby. It’s the most natural thing in the world and so good for them. I wanted to give my baby every protection I could and my milk would be key to boosting their immune. Mr Bebe also liked the idea of not paying out for formula 😉

As soon as Little BeBe was born we had skin to skin on my chest and she tried latching on almost straight away. That was the first time I felt the searing pain that made my toes curl and my teeth clench.

Nobody told me it would be this hard and hurt this much! Why didn’t anyone warn me?!

We were in hospital for five days following the birth – the midwife and the healthcare staff were brilliant support and came to assist us with the latch and position on nearly every feed. They showed me all the different positions we could try and checked Little Bebe for tounge tie several times. We appeared to be doing everything right so it looked like I was just sensitive and needed to get used to it, which could take a few days. They kept say our latch looked perfect!

I cannot feel my let-downs, the pain appeared to be the latch or just how sensative I was.

The pain was excruciating and I began to dread feeds, I would sit and cry when due to feed and then cry some more out of guilt of not being happy to feed my baby. You go through so many emotions when it is not going right – from I’m a terrible mother, everyone else can manage it, I can’t do it any more, I have to keep going, to I’m letting my baby down – it was a complete  rollercoaster ride.

My nipples went through every form of hell, they cracked, they hated anything even glancing past them, I had blood blister which I had to feed through, the shower was like shape needles attacking them and Little Bebe’s Dyson latch was harrowing. I must have walked round the house half naked for the first eight weeks at least, the though of a bra or top just made me cringe.
I tried nearly everything to get the feed right and to stop the pain – warm flannel on my breast, breast cool packs, drinking ice cold water though a straw whilst feeding, every position for the baby bar having her upside down and back to front but the pain was still the worst thing I had ever felt.

I can completely understand why people give up so quickly on the idea of breastfeeding. Not all of us can just feed perfectly for the word go. Not everyone has a supportive partner to back them up, help them out and give encouragement – without this I thinking definitely would have caved.

I attended a breastfeeding support group, where I burst into tears when someone asked how we were doing – most embarrassing. They feeding specialists were so lovely and went through everything with me again and checked out latch, which they could not see a problem with.  The people that were at the group’s didn’t seem so friendly, I guess they had already formed thier cliques. One women got up halfway through her conversation with me because her friend had walked through the door. It did not give me much encouragement to go back. I was still receiving telephone support from the feeding specialists and could get support at baby clinic.

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I persevered on, taking each day at a time, not willing to give in. Saying to myself we’ll just see how tomorrow goes, if only I can get to four weeks, six weeks, eight weeks and so on.

The were a few occasions when Little Bebe latched perfectly, and it was always at points where I was thinking I cannot do this anymore – it was reprieve enough for me to keep tying with some newfound confidence. I just could not figure out what we had done differently on those feeds to make it so much better.

Despite our pain issues Little Bebe was doing so well, she was gaining weight like no tomorrow and was so content and happy.

The agony continued for eight weeks, then the pain began to gradually ease with each passing day. By twelve weeks we had finally nailed it with feed after feed being pain free. My relief was immense.

The amazing joy of breastfeeding was finally here, I am so glad I persevered through the pain as nothing in the world could beat the feeling of feeding my gorgeous little girl in the most natural form.

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