My Breastfeeding Story: My struggle with finding a good breast latch
First-time Mum, Jennie, shares her journey of breastfeeding her daughter Emilia, including dealing with problems finding a good breast latch and how accepting help changed her breastfeeding journey for the better!
When I became pregnant, breastfeeding was the one thing I actually wasn’t worried about. I had concerns about other aspects of becoming a mum but I thought breastfeeding would be the most natural thing in the world and that we would sit together mother and daughter and feed in total harmony. After our struggles to find a good breast latch, I look back now and realise how naïve I was!
From our first skin to skin contact, Emilia was rooting and found the boob pretty quickly, which gave me faith that breastfeeding was going to be easy and painless for me. However, for the next week, every latch came with searing pain in my nipples and I ended up dreading having to feed my daughter. My toes scrunched up and I was sweating with the agony of the whole thing. I couldn’t understand it, breastfeeding was meant to be a lovely bonding time for me and Emilia, and yet I was finding it excruciatingly painful.
By Day 6, my milk had come in and my right nipple was bleeding from Emillia’s shallow latch. I saw blood trickling from her little mouth and I broke down in tears. I felt like I had failed, I didn’t want to feed my baby anymore.
I ended up using my Medela Swing Pump on my right breast and soldiering on feeding Emilia from my left, while I tried to heal. By Day 10, a midwife had come to my house after I’d pleaded on the phone to the hospital in desperation. After 5 minutes she had corrected my latch and it was like a breath of fresh air. That visit was a game-changer and I couldn’t believe something so simple could make such a difference.
Since then, we have had a lovely journey, from our first time feeding in public, to each 3am feed it’s been such a special time. I’m heading back to work in 6 weeks, so our journey will be ending soon but I’m so proud that we’ve learned how to breastfeed together and bonded in the process. I know now that these things are not simple, and although we were close to giving up, I’m so glad I persevered. No one should feel bad about not being able to feed easily – it’s the toughest thing I have ever done, and probably will ever do!
Thank you to mum, Jennie, for sharing her breastfeeding experience. If you would like to share your breastfeeding story please email, firstname.lastname@example.org