I wish someone told me how DIFFICULT breast feeding would be. *sigh*
I always knew I would breastfeed my babies. Fun fact: My mother breastfed me until I was 3 years old. YES! My mother is the real MVP! 😂😂 For some reason, because of my mother, I figured I would follow suit and be a breastfeeding boss. I was in for a real shock.
Both my children were born with tongue ties. What is a tongue tie you ask? A Tongue-tie (ankyloglossia) is a problem with the tongue that is present from birth. It keeps the tongue from moving as freely as it normally would. It occurs when the frenulum on the bottom of the tongue is too short and tight.
We noticed that when my son cried, his tongue didn’t move very much. Our first lactation nurse didn’t think much of it. My son was latching well, but the pain while he was trying to pull milk was intense. I thought it was just because we were both new to breastfeeding. Little did I know that we would end up in the lactation clinic 3 days later finding out that he indeed had a tongue tie that needed to get clipped. He was losing weight from not being able to use his tongue to pull milk.
Also, I was so engorged that my milk ducts were getting blocked, yet, when I pumped I was barely collecting 2 ounces at a time. I was devastated to know that I was not able to feed my son effectively, nor was I able to pump enough to feed him.
I struggled with the thought of giving up and just switching to formula. We had 1 can in the house “just in case” but I was determined to not access it unless it was an emergency.
Well, at 10 days old, off we went to the Dental Surgeon to get the tongue tie clipped. There was an IMMEDIATE change in latch and feeding satisfaction for my son. It wasn’t easy, but he nursed for 10 months and I was a proud momma! We introduced formula for convenience at 6 months, because pumping was not going well for me and my husband wanted to join in on the feeding 😁.
My daughter was also born with a tongue tie AND a lip tie. She was introduced to formula at 2 weeks because of the damage done to my nipples. She also had her ties snipped, but breastfeeding was not going as well afterwards. So, I made the decision to alternate between bottle and breast. My ultimate goal was to FEED MY BABY!
There can be a lot of pressure to exclusively breast feed, and formula is frowned upon. While there are definitely pros and cons to both that can be debated, I think we can agree that FED is best, no matter the route taken.
I want to introduce you to my friend and colleague Dayana Wolski! She’s an awesome Certified Breastfeeding Support Nurse and is super passionate about supporting women to have success with breastfeeding. Follow her on instagram @Lactation_nurse.
Dayana Wolski is a Registered nurse and Certified Breastfeeding Support Nurse with her own experiences that have made her passionate about supporting women with breastfeeding. Here is her story:
“When I started breastfeeding my first child, I experienced a sudden drop in mood during the milk ejection reflex called “the let down”. It would happen often during the first 2 weeks of feeding him and I would feel so sad as soon as the milk started to come out.
I started researching more about it and decided to take a course to further my knowledge. What I was experiencing was called ‘dysphoric milk ejection reflex’. Many moms experiencing this might quit breastfeeding because it can become really frustrating. It’s very important to have positive supports from family and knowledgeable professionals”. – Dayana W
Here are some of her top tips for moms….
- Drink plenty of water: You may also choose low sugar drinks as well as decaffeinated drinks.
- Eat a well-balanced diet: Choosing a variety of vegetables and fruits, lean proteins, whole-grains and unsaturated fats. If you are breastfeeding, your healthcare provider may suggest that you eat more calories each day than otherwise recommended for a person of your height and weight. Be sure to ask your healthcare provider about how much and what to eat.
- Get sleep: Try to sleep when your baby sleeps. Take every opportunity to get some rest.
- Get physical activity: Choose an activity that you enjoy and that you can practice every day. For example, it can be an outdoor walk or a virtual yoga session at home.
- Be kind to yourself: Practice saying this out loud. You can even sing it out loud!
“I’m a good mother.”
“I’m doing my best.”
“I’m caring for my baby and for myself.”
- START EARLY-Put baby to the breast to nurse as soon as possible after birth.
- NURSE OFTEN-Nurse baby 8-12 times in 24 hours. The more you nurse the more milk you will have. Night feeds are important as they boost your milk production.
- AIM FOR DEEP LATCH– relax and sit comfortably, hold the baby skin to skin and close to you with baby’s face and body turned towards you, baby’s chin leads the latch and nose is tilted back in a sniffing position, baby’s bottom lip touches breast and top lip brushes nipple as baby opens mouth wide, baby’s mouth should cover a large part of the areola especially with the lower lip.
- GET SUPPORT-Have a list of lactation professionals contact information so that they can answer your questions and help you problem solve.
Learning to breastfeed your baby requires patience and practice so getting prompt support from lactation professionals is very important.
And remember…FEEDING your baby is the priority, no matter if you choose to give your baby breastmilk or formula.
Thanks for sharing with us Dayana!! Please follow her on Instagram @lactation_nurse.
Leave a comment or ask a question right here on the blog too is you like! Happy Feeding!