HOCKING HILLS BREASTFEEDING AWARENESS PROJECT | Dani + Alivia

 

“My daughter and I have had an interesting breastfeeding road. I didn’t read really heavily into it before I had her but a few people had told me that it wasn’t hard. In my mind she would latch, nurse and all would be fine after a couple weeks of sore nipples. I thought, `no problem I can do this`. After I had her she latched on pretty well and the lactation consultant at the hospital checked her latch and said it looked good. They checked a few different times always saying the latch looked good. She nursed all the time it seemed and one night in the hospital she nursed off and on for two and a half hours. I was very sore, but I wanted to do this for her and didn’t want to give up. I tried and tried until I was so sore I dreaded even trying, so I asked the nurse if we could give her a pacifier (even though I knew they say you should wait until a baby is 1mo at least). They said that was fine, but she wasn’t interested for long, so the nurse brought in formula and that did the trick, but for me I was bummed. I wanted to be the mom that was able to breastfeed her child with no complications. At 2 days old we started supplementing with formula. I would nurse her then top her off with a bottle. I was reassured that I could stop supplementing once my milk came in, so I gave myself a pep talk and on our way we went. At her 1st appointment (at 6 days old) she was an ounce away from birth weight so her doctor told me we could stop supplementing (yay us!). She referred me to Kelly Brehm to start working on how to wean off the formula. After talking with Kelly we went home and I just knew if we worked at it we could do it. We nursed pretty frequently and I tried to use formula as little as possible, but it still hurt to nurse after the weeks went on. My daughter kept unlatching at a family get together and my aunt asked me if my daughter was tongue tied. I had no clue what was, but my aunt said she had the same trouble with my cousin and he was  tongue tied. So I met with Kelly again following week and asked her about it and she checked. She said she thought my daughter was tongued tied but she most definitely had a lip tie. Then she asked if I wanted to check her weight. I was all excited because she was a month old and hadn’t been weighed since she was 6 days old. We got her set up and my heart sunk… she was 2 oz under her birth weight at a month old. I couldn’t figure out what we were doing wrong. We started supplementing with formula again and were referred to a specialist who confirmed the lip and tongue tie. My daughter was working so hard to eat that all her energy was going to that instead of weight gain and growth. We got her lip and tongue revised and THAT DAY I noticed a difference in nursing! We continue to supplement because I don’t produce enough milk, but it doesn’t bother me as much anymore because I at least I know I can provide some breast milk for her and… Fed is best no matter how it happens. It took me a while to accept this, but once I did and we got the revision done things have been so much better! My mom, husband, friend, Katy, and Kelly Brehm have been vital in my breastfeeding journey. I have gone to them for support and questioning quite frequently. The most rewarding part for me is knowing I’m trying my best to provide the best for my daughter even if I’m not able to do it all. My biggest suggestion to mothers is trust your gut and if you feel something isn’t right say something. I was a told countless times the latch was good by if I hadn’t asked someone to check for the tie I may have given up on our journey just as it was starting. I am so glad I didn’t though. I’m hoping to make it to a year breastfeeding my daughter. We have made it almost 5 months and are still going!”

-Dani