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Breastfeeding Success!! ~ Mali's Story

My breastfeeding experience started off a little rocky, but a few things about me first. I am a proud mother to a wonderful baby girl. I am 18 years old, and until about a year ago had little knowledge about breastfeeding. Sadly, no one taught us anything in school and I saw few women nurse their babies. At a WIC appointment early on in my pregnancy, I learned the many benefits of breastfeeding.

Once I opened my eyes to it, I soaked up every bit of information on it. I had read many tried-and-failed stories, but I was determined. When my daughter was born, we awkardly tried to nurse. It was not this graceful latch on as I had seen on a video, she was a BITER. We had no success after a few hours, and I pumped some colostrum to finger feed for her since the lactation consultant said it would help her learn to suck. They put a tiny tube in her mouth and Raleigh (my daughter) figured out sucking pretty quick on my finger, but would not latch onto my breast. We were sent home with the advice to pump and some formula, just in case.

Raleigh finally latched on a few times and started getting the hang of it, although my milk came in 5 days postpartum and we did use formula for one day. I was able to use a little tube taped to my breast for the most part, but we did use an Avent bottle a few times which was just enough to cause a little nipple confusion. I made a lactation appointment right away, and we tried the nipple shield and that worked well. Once she got used to my breast without the shield, I got REALLY sore again and once more, right back to the lactation consultant. She was wonderful and suggested the football hold, which was more comfortable since Raleigh had a high palate.

By the end of the first six weeks, we were breastfeeding champions, a winning team! We had a rough start but I am SO glad to exclusively breastfeed my daughter and give her the best first year. I am hoping she will wean herself shortly after her first birthday, but I am almost dreading the end. It truly is such a wonderful, close bond, and I wish more women would breastfeed. I hope my story shows that you can make breastfeeding work, and once you get past the rough spots it is the most AMAZING experience!

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