Let me begin by taking my hat off to all moms who breastfeed their babies. It’s sure isn’t an easy task.
My journey began when Azrah was admitted to NICU. When she was born and I remember going into hospital every day and trying to get her to latch onto me. Nurses squeezing my breasts showing me how to express and the pain and disappoint I felt when she wasn’t latching
After they were done monitoring her she was still kept in NICU until I could get her to latch. Every day I remember going into hospital wishing and praying that she would latch so that I could take her home. I was told that when they place babies in NICU they will not release them till they are happy with the progress and in this regard it was for Azrah to latch onto me and gain weight.
I was told by the nurses that I had inverted nipples and would need to use nipple shields. Eventually once I used the nipple shields she started drinking on me. I felt such relief as this meant I finally got to take my baby home. On releasing us we were also told to watch Azrah’s weight to make sure that she was gaining enough.
We then went to Bowwood Clinic to weigh her and she was picking weight up but not enough. The nurse suggested that we try feeding her again without the nipple shields. I remember coming home that day and trying to get her to latch. Eventually after a few attempts we got success! She was latching and drinking so much better. I remember our feeds being 45 mins long with the nipple shields and after she latched we were on 20 mins.
We went back for another weigh in and the nurse was still not happy. We were told to feed her a top up at night. This was done via a syringe and our finger. So basically Azrah would suck on our finger and we would squirt the milk into her mouth on the side every time she had sucked. The reason for this was that an early introduction to bottle feeding could result in baby not wanting to drink on the breast.
Just when I thought that everything was going well I remember getting bleeding nipples. One day it was so bad that Azrah spat up blood and we rushed her to hospital only to realise that it was from my nipples that were bleeding. Babies will bring up anything they consume that irritates their tummy. The one thing that really helped me here was the Lansinoh cream! A definite lifesaver.
As a new breastfeeding mom I would worry if Azrah was drinking enough and if my milk supply was enough for her. I remember always being anxious when feeding her. I can now say that I am confident. The stress of worrying if she’s getting enough milk has disappeared.
Breastfeeding is not easy! It’s really hard especially as a first time mom. If there was one thing I would have loved to be told it’s to start expressing in the early weeks already to build up a milk stash for when I return to work.
I remember that while on maternity leave I would stress and worry if I was going to produce enough milk for baby. Today I’m back at work and most day’s I’m expressing enough for her to go a full day without having a formula top up.
I plan to breastfeed Azrah up until she’s 2 years old. The connection it creates between mother and baby is so special and I intended on holding onto that for as long as I can.
Tips for new breastfeeding moms:
- Join the Le Leche League group on Facebook
- Try to express during the early weeks to build up a milk stash
- Invest in a Silicone breast pump. I used the haakaa pump to help capture any milk that would leak from my breast while baby was drinking.
- Stay Hydrated
- Reach out for help if things get tough
- Don’t stress about returning to work and having to pump. I remember doing this and it worked out perfectly.
- Invest in a good quality nipple cream
Want to get published on Parenty? Send us your stories to firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is Aminah and I am a fairly new mom blogger. I am currently 29 years old and reside in Cape Town. I am a fulltime working mom who loves running and keeping fit. My main goals in life at the moment is to be the best mom that I can be to my daughter, Azrah.
Berry Babies – My journey as a first time mom