Breastfeeding Woes of a New Mother: From a Herculean Task to a Cherished Victory

Breastfeeding Woes of a New Mother: From a Herculean Task to a Cherished Victory

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I was disoriented and sedated on the day of my C-section, but I was so elated to hold the little angel in my hands. The nurse gently asked me to breastfeed her, and I gladly cradled my baby into position, but, to my dismay, I had no breast milk supply. My gynaecologist suggested that it will happen soon. So, in a day or two, and with prescribed medicines for it, it happened, but I had a long way to go. My nipples were flat, which was totally unacceptable for my little girl to suck, and all she liked was no milk and only sleep. I was having a good supply of milk, but my baby was not getting it. It took a toll on her health, and she lost 600 g worth of weight. She was also admitted for phototherapy for jaundice.

Then, I used a nipple sheath to feed her, which she was getting accustomed to, but then her weight wasn’t increasing. My paediatrician got upset with me for using a nipple sheath, and asked me to discard them. I did so unwillingly, and in that ordeal of feeding her directly for a day, I ended up with a breast lump. I got operated upon for it, and the immense pain of the dressing came with pumping milk, and discarding it with feeding directly from the other side.

It started taking a toll on my health. Constant pain and the guilt of feeding my baby formula milk for those 20 days was depressing. However, with immense support from my husband and mother, I not only recovered from the lump, but also successfully started breastfeeding my munchkin. Her health started improving, and so did mine. It was an end to all the misery of pumping, painful feeding, and sore nipples. I started enjoying the sessions of breastfeeding.

But, that was not the end. Suddenly, my milk supply decreased remarkably. I panicked. But, with sheer determination to exclusively breastfeed her, I changed my diet a bit, increased my liquid intake, took a few medicines, and most importantly, I developed a positive attitude – that I will get back a sufficient supply. I got things back on track. What seemed like an impossible task, was now a cherished victory for me. My baby has turned eight months old, and I am still breastfeeding her!

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