I thought with it being a natural process that Breastfeeding would be easy & come very naturally to me. I assumed that Lily would be born knowing what to do. I assumed that my body would automatically know what to do. Our NCT classes hosted a 3 hour session on Breastfeeding, which all the dads attended too. I thought this seemed excessive for such a natural process. I could not have been more wrong! I ended up having a lot of breastfeeding problems after my c section. I wonder if the problems stem from the C Section or whether I would have had them either way.
Breastfeeding problems are very common. The latch was our first breastfeeding problem; in the hospital the midwives would come and help me while I was feeding. The would teach me tips which were useful, but once I got home it was still it was a 3 man effort getting baby to latch (me, daddy & baby)!
I was worried that Lily wasn’t getting enough milk as she seemed to constantly be attached to me. We were feeding on demand and she was feeding every 2 hours for an hour or so. In the evenings it was usually a marathon of feeding between 6pm and 9pm continuously. Lily was still waking at 11, 1, 3, 5 and 7am for food. I also had problems expressing; again my assumption was that this would be easy. I used the Tommee Tippee Electric Breast Pump but was only ever was able to express a maximum of 1 oz at a time. This added to me wondering was my baby getting enough milk! My fears were allayed at the first weigh in. Lily had gained 13 oz in her first week. I started thinking I was imagining my breastfeeding problems!
My nipples became really cracked and my midwife recommended Lansinoh Nipple Cream, I have to say it was expensive but worth every penny. The previous nipple cream that I had been using had made no difference in a week and Lansinoh repaired them in hours!
I only managed to breastfeed for 3 weeks in the end as it turned out that my suspicions were right and that Lily was not getting enough milk. I felt a little guilty at having to stop. I had enjoyed the close bonding experience that Breastfeeding gave us, but I have to say that part of me was relieved that we had to switch to formula. We were able to start routine feeding rather than feeding on demand and everything started to get easier and fall into place. Lily also started to gain weight nicely and stayed on the 50% line beautifully.