Below is mom Renee sharing her story with Leann F., RN and lactation consultant about what impacted her decision to breastfeed her third child.
Leann: You shared with me some of the issues with your first baby. Could you talk a little about them?
Renee: My first son, Skyler, is 10 years old now. His birth was very complicated. My epidural didn't work; forceps and a vacuum had to be used. I had full intention of breastfeeding him, I tried so hard but there were problems with him latching on. Once we got him home, I still tried to breast feed him and it was so stressful. I didn't feel like my milk was in or that he was getting enough to eat. I called the rural county hospital where he was born and they told me to start formula feeding. That was the only advice they gave me so that is what I did. He ended up having to be on soy formula and having cereal in every bottle; I can't help but think that if I could have kept breastfeeding he wouldn't have needed soy or cereal.
Leann: How did this influence your second baby? And then this baby?
Renee: With my second child, I did not even consider breast feeding; I did not want to relive the same thing, so I didn't even try. With this baby, I also did not consider breastfeeding until the second this baby was born.
Leann: How did it feel putting the baby skin to skin after delivery? And how did the baby act?
Renee: The skin to skin contact was amazing! As soon as Zane was placed on my skin, he went straight to my left breast and immediately latched on. It was the most special moment, at that moment it felt so right and I knew I had to breastfeed because the baby knew what he was doing and wanted to breast feed.
Leann: When did you decide to try breastfeeding this baby?
Renee: I decided to breast feed him as soon as he was laid on my skin, the baby went directly to my breast and latched on.
Leann: How did the hospital stay go regarding nursing this time? Who helped you the most? Or did you even need any help?
Renee: The hospital stay was amazing. It was the easiest birth I have had. I did not need a lot of help because Zane knew what he was doing more than I did, however, the most helpful tip I had was with positioning. The lactation department helped me the most.
Leann: How are the siblings doing with you nursing the baby?
Renee: The siblings have been really good with the new baby, my 10 yr. old is very understanding that it takes more of my time to breast feed and he helps me out a lot. My 5yr old is taking a little more time to adjust but he is getting better. My husband has really stepped in and made sure both older boys are getting the same amount of attention as before.
Leann: Now that you have fed your babies both ways, how do you compare/contrast the experiences?
Renee: Now that I have fed both ways, I would never bottle feed again. It is such an amazing bonding experience and it was so amazing to watch this baby latch on as soon as he was born. He knew exactly what he was doing. I wish I had been more educated and had more help trying to breast feed the other two.
Leann: How is the baby growing and how are you doing now that he is a few weeks old?
Renee: The baby is growing like a weed! He was born weighing 6lbs 10oz and left the hospital weighing 6lbs 2oz. When we went to Great Beginnings 4 days after leaving the hospital he weighed 6lbs 8oz. And at his first pediatrician appointment 9 days after birth he was already up to 7lbs 2oz!!!! He also has only spit up twice in the 3 weeks since he has been born.
Leann: Any wisdom you want to share with expecting mothers now?
Renee: My best advice would be to breastfeed. The moment the doctor places the baby on you, and you have that skin to skin contact, it is the most valuable time! If we had not had that skin to skin time, I can guarantee this baby would have been bottle fed. I would have never known that he could do so well and latch on so quickly. I am so thankful he went straight for the breast and I changed my mind and decided not to bottle feed. My baby made the decision for me. I am also thankful to the nurses at the lactation department for all their help and dedication.
By Leann Fuelling RN, IBCLC
This post sends a message out about the need for continued support and education for breastfeeding moms. To find a list of local resources for breastfeeding support, visit www.deaconess.com/lactation or call our Great Beginnings Outpatient Lactation Boutique at 812.842.4525.