Or I guess I should say some other mammal but “breast feeding is for the birds” sounds way better than “…it’s for cows”. Let’s just say there is nothing natural, easy or even remotely peaceful about breastfeeding a newborn. This little squirt has bruised me, scratched me, and gotten herself addicted to a nipple shield. Feeding sessions feel, and sound like I’m wrestling a teradactyl.
This entire process has been a huge blow to my ego not to mention basically chained me to my ‘breastfeeding nest’ in the living room since the process starts with pumping (to start milk so baby has it easier), feeding 15 mins on one side…8 on the other, giving a 1-2 oz. bottle of expressed milk, and then finishing off with 10 mins of pumping. Assuming this squirmer actually latches properly at the get-go this entire process can take upwards of 40 mins if I have no help with the bottle part and I have to do it all myself. People who want to visit and think I can just calmly sit under my hooter-hider while I peacefully feed my babe are shockingly mislead and it has caused frustrations for me when they show up late or near a feeding time and sit there and say “well just go ahead I don’t mind”. Well I do, and it’s why you get shooed away during feeding time so that I can sit in my nest half-naked and not be concerned with discretely covering myself as I pump, feed, and pump again.
It’s exhausting that is for sure and when you have to repeat it 7-8 times per day it can be truly mind numbing. Yesterdays weight check appointment where she didn’t gain one stinking ounce and remained a 6 lbs 14 oz (6 oz shy of her birth weight) after what I thought was a fantastic week of feeding, was about all I could handle as I broke down in tears totally defeated. The only positive I can find from this entire experience is that 17 days in to it I’m back to my pre-pregnancy weight and in my pre-pregnancy jeans and the numbers are still going down.
Seems so easy to just plug a bottle of formula in her, let her suck for 2-5 mins and be done with it…then I have 2 hours 55 mins to do something else before I have to repeat. Instead I’ll forge on, give it a good month before I throw in the towel. But this little miss has got to learn to latch to breast and break this nipple shield habit they started her on in the hospital. Never ever again will I use one of those things…I don’t care how much pain I’m in.
So please send happy breastfeeding and weight gaining thoughts our way, we need them!