Hi new mum,
Congratulations on your first pregnancy and delivery of your healthy baby boy. I know you’re struggling right now, coming to terms with what’s happening with breastfeeding your baby, but I promise it will get better.
It’s been one month since you got through a 40-hour labour. You were certain you would need to have a c-section as your labour wasn’t progressing and you didn’t think your pelvis was designed to give birth vaginally. But you did, well done.
This is what breastfeeding looks like around the world, from China to the US.
You agonised over an epidural and waited until you couldn’t take it any more. Then you had two because the first didn’t work, and it was almost 39 hours into your labour that you finally felt some relief. I almost can’t believe that you survived, but you did.
It wasn’t pretty. You had more than one breakdown during labour, and after the ecstasy and relief of the birth, three sleepless nights in, you had another one. A kind midwife suggested a bottle of formula, and you quickly agreed, desperate for some rest. You didn’t know that would potentially impact the establishment of your breastfeeding; you were desperate.
Five days after birth with minimal milk supply, the triple feeding began: first you would breast feed, then pump milk using a double pump hooked up through an old bra, while trying to feed your baby a bottle to fill him up. You did this overnight. You did this every three hours.
I don’t know how you kept going. You were amazing.
You wanted to breastfeed fully and you tried your very best for three months. Every day you tallied up how much formula your baby had required and you judged yourself and your competence as a mother by that number; less formula = better day = better mum.
Your partner also fell into this with you, no doubt because it seemed so important to you. All you talked about was feeding. How much, what milk, and where to next. You took the medications to increase supply. You seemed to be permanently hooked up to the pump.