Lisa’s Breastfeeding Journey: The First 24 Hours
Success! Our little Sophie was born at 5:41 am and has found her way to the breast and has fed on both sides for the last hour. This has made me so happy since, with my first daughter, it never happened. She is now a sleepy little bundle of pure joy...
Things that have come flooding back or surprised me this time around have included:
- The suckle of a newborn is intense
- The initial sharp pain when bubs latches
- Uterine contractions when feeding; I never experienced these first time around
- I forgot how long a feed can take (1-hour+)
- The softness of a newborns skin and how special skin to skin contact is
After the first feed, Sophie slept for a good 8 hours straight and lulled me into a false sense of hope that this would continue. She woke and started feeding. She hasn’t stopped.
Too Clever Too Quickly
Day three and my milk has come in. Yippee! Or so I think. Milk = fuller baby = sleepy baby? NOPE!!! My milk coming in has meant that Sophie now has a harder job of latching to my now gigantic boobs.
Sophie has learned far too quickly that suckling milk from my right side is far easier than working for it from my left (flatter nipple.) This has me worried as my left breast is now like a rock… engorged is the term the midwives used. I’m so worried that I might get mastitis again.
It is my last night in the hospital and I am going home in the morning. My Swing pump will be waiting for me. In the meantime, I am trying to hand express a little off and get Sophie to latch but I’m failing miserably. Sophie is so fussy at the breast that I only offer the right and she feeds regularly, all through the night.
I am exhausted by morning and my right nipple feels grazed from the constant feeding. I forgot how nipples have to get “feeding fit” quickly before they are destroyed. The midwife on shift checks in on me and reminds me that I must try and empty the left breast by evening to avoid mastitis. I leave the hospital a little anxious and daunted by the feeding process ahead of me.
I arrive home, try my nipple shield and it’s not working for me; my pump needs a new tubing and I have a boob the size of a watermelon… time to call in reinforcements.
What breastfeeding challenges and positive experiences have you had with your baby? Please join the conversation. Let’s support each other here or on the Medela Australia Facebook page!