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Success Second Time Around

Dawn's story:

When I was pregnant with our first son, I had said that I was going to breastfeed. I had read as many books as I could get a hold of while on bedrest but as far as support outside of my husband or knowing someone who had actually breastfed a child, I was alone in that aspect.

Our first son was born and we began what was to be our first try at nursing. We tried for around an hour after his birth and he was not interested at all. During our stay we continued to try to get him to latch on and nurse. The lactation consultant from our pediatrician visited with us, and she gave us all the tips she could but he would still not latch on. We continued to try once we left the hospital with little success. At his weight checks he wasn't gaining so I began pumping and gave him the expressed breast milk for six weeks. At that time I stopped pumping and we made the switch to formula.

With our second son, I was almost afraid to even think about trying to breastfeed as I felt we were almost set to fail. I was scared and not sure what to do about it. When it came time to make a decision when he was born on how to feed him, I still wasn't sure what to do. We did start him on formula but I thought about it and wanted to give breastfeeding a try. I began to try with him when we were home, and he actually did latch on! That was a huge thing to me, but I still was unsure of whether to continue or not as it seemed he was always hungry! What I know now is that was the first growth spurt and I probably had a huge dip in my supply to starting out with the formula then me trying to nurse.

Between the time we had our second son and becoming pregnant with our third, I did a lot of research on the net, read more books, (I was buying books on breastfeeding when we weren't even ttc), and trying to find a support system for the next time I was pregnant. I had decided that no matter what I was going to work out my troubles with breastfeeding a child of mine. I think a lot of that had to do with the fact that our second son had many troubles with ear infections and I felt that if I had held out longer he might not have had to deal with them.

We found out we were expecting again and I was so excited to think that we would have a nursing relationship! Anytime we were asked how would we be feeding the baby we (dh and myself) told them breastfeeding. When Ethan was born I was looking forward to beginning our nursing relationship. When we were looking at him for the first time we noticed that his chin was recessed a bit (just like his daddy's) and the nurse said that some babies have trouble latching on. As she was saying this we were trying to get him latched on for the first time and it made the thoughts start for a bit about if it would work or not. Ethan must have wanted to show up the nurse cause he latched right on and settled down for awhile! We got off to a great start. He lost 6.4 ounces before we were discharged but continued to nurse. I was sore but thought that it was normal, only to find out it was due to a bad latch. Over the weekend after we were discharged, Ethan refused to nurse for anything. I thought that it was due to engorgement as my milk was beginning to come in and I could tell a huge difference. We kept trying but he was refusing and his output in his diapers was slowing down. During this time we started to supplement him after offering the breast to him.

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The not wanting to nurse lasted for about 36 hours or so beginning Saturday around lunch until he latched back on early Monday morning. During this time is when he started to show signs of a very bad diaper rash which turned out to be due to thrush from the antibiotics I had during labor. We were able to get him back to the breast early Monday morning. We met with the LC's and it was found that he had a bad latch and wasn't getting enough at each feed. We began to nurse, pump and DH would feed the EBM to him. We had another weight check at the end of the week and he was maintaining but hadn't gained since Monday. We started to use the SNS (supplemental nurser system) at this time and I started taking Fenugreek, in hopes it would help to increase my supply. The SNS was the help we needed! We went back for a weight check a week later and he had gained almost a whole pound! We weaned off of the SNS over the next week just to make sure that my supply was up to his demands.

I am so thankful to have stuck it out and made it this far and I look forward to seeing how far we go with our nursing relationship. He is now 6 months old and nursing has becoming such a special thing for the both of us. If you have trouble the first time, please know that it can be different the next time around there are many of us here who are proof of that.

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