Breastfeeding During the First Week

It sounds so simple.

Feed the baby from your breast. Have him latch on, and he’ll be done in about 15 mins. Quick process right?

Wrong. So wrong.

During my pregnancy, a local store (Babies R Us) was hosting a free breastfeeding class. Of course I dragged Joe along with me (he is a complete angel and a bomb support system). I went into the class thinking there wasn’t much I was going to learn, because it was such a simple concept. Like, why did women even get Lactation Consultants?

I learned SO much from that class. That was the sole reason I was able to properly breastfeed Noah right after birth. The nurses were blown away at how easy it was for us.

After the first 2 feedings, however, Noah wanted to fall asleep while nursing, and the nurses kept telling me to wake up him to feed. He would latch, feed for a minute, and pass right out. Nurses were not happy with me.

“He needs to eat”
“He’s going to lose weight”
“Every 2-3 hours you need to feed him”
“A 5 minute feeding isn’t good enough”

Already the mom guilt was starting. I was taking the blame.

Disclaimer: I know the nurses were just doing their jobs. They were trying to keep my baby full and healthy. There was nothing wrong with what they were doing, but their approach had a pretty big emotional impact on me

3am rolls around, and its an hour long process to wake Noah, change his diaper, and try to feed him…Joe and I are exhausted.

By the time we leave the hospital, we’ve seen 2 lactation consultants and MY GOD what a difference that made. It was also extremely helpful to have Joe there with me. He was great at positioning the baby for me, and made the entire process a lot less stressful.

The first night home, we caved and gave him formula. It was so tough on Joe to see me having to be awake every 1-2 hours to breastfeed, and for him to not be able to help me. My milk still hadn’t come in yet, so I wasn’t even able to pump. Supplementing with formula allowed Mom to get some rest, and let Dad bond with the baby while feeding.

A week goes by and Noah is still hungry after eating from both breasts, and then eating again from the first breast. After he ate from me, he needed some formula.

This made me feel like a complete failure as a mother.

“I can’t even provide for my baby.
What am I doing wrong?
I’m not good enough for him that he needs the bottle.”

The thoughts just kept getting darker, and I was constantly on the verge of tears. I was starting to isolate myself and resorting back to my old coping mechanisms.

What has kept me sane is talking to other moms. Breastfeeding is not an easy thing to do, but I am not giving up. Mom’s tell me that the first month is the most challenging, and I believe them. It’s been almost 2 weeks, and this is slowly getting easier.

This is a topic I feel is not talked about enough. Mom’s go into it having these high expectations, but it doesn’t always play out that way.

Breastfeeding is okay.
Formula is okay.
Bottles are okay.

YOU are more than enough for your baby💙

Mindful Momma TIPS:

-Take a Breastfeeding class BEFORE giving birth
-Take that class with your partner
-See if the hospital can have the lactation consultant come in soon after you give birth
-Have formula and bottles in the house (the hospital gives you formula when they discharge you too!)

Xo,
Michelle

3 thoughts on “Breastfeeding During the First Week”

  1. I completely relate! My son was in the NICU for a week after birth and he couldn’t eat anything until 4 days in. The nurses then cleared him for feeding, and I gave breastfeeding a shot. We would breastfeed both breasts and then have to give him a bottle of formula until he was full. It was exhausting! We decided pretty quickly that breastfeeding just was not for us and he was on formula after that.

    http://www.themodestparent.wordpress.com

    Like

    1. Aww 4 days is such a long time. I’m proud of you for trying it out!! Formula has been such a life saver for us

      Like

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