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The first time I breastfed my baby was 24 hours after his birth, as he was in the NICU in the meantime. He was unable to latch on properly, and my milk supply was not very high. But, I didn’t give up. I kept trying. Every time he fed, even after a week of his birth, he was not able to latch on to the nipple. Then, someone told me about the nipple shield. I tried one, and it really helped! My baby boy was instantly able to latch with the help of the nipple shield. The best part is, I had to use it only twice, as after that, he started latching on his own.
But then, the real challenge started. He started latching, and my milk supply was building up well. However, after 3 to 4 days, my nipples were sore, and there were cuts on them due to the baby’s latch. I was in extreme pain whenever I would breastfeed him, but I did not stop it, because I knew if I did, my milk supply would reduce.
People gave me advice on what to do, and I tried it all. But the condition worsened. It persisted for 3 months. After 3 months, I went to my mother’s place. She saw me feeding the baby for 30 to 40 minutes. My baby would not leave the nipple on his own even when he was full. It became my habit to feed him for a long period of time, because I thought that he was still feeding because he was hungry. My mother told me to feed him for a maximum of 15 minutes only, because the baby gets full in that much time. Whenever I used to feed him, the other nipple would leak due to heavy flow. Then, I started feeding him for only 10 to 15 minutes at one time. And slowly, my nipples started healing.
Breastfeeding my baby was something I always wanted to do, but I did not get the right support from my in-laws. They felt that I was making a big deal out of it, as formula is the exact substitute to breast milk, and that it’s even great if I do not breastfeed him, as I had to go back to work after 6 months. But, I was very clear that, no matter what, I must breastfeed him.
Ladies, whether you want to breastfeed or formula feed, it’s completely your choice. But, never think that you will not be able to breastfeed due to low milk supply. Our bodies are designed in the manner to feed. Until and unless you have a medical condition, you will be able to make enough milk for your baby. And, your milk supply will build up as the baby suckles. Don’t think that you have to wait till your supply is strong enough to start breastfeeding! Start feeding your baby, and your supply will build up eventually.
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