I was so unprepared for how hard breastfeeding was. My daughter and I weren’t a perfect match as I was expecting. Breastfeeding wasn’t easy for us.
After I gave birth, my daughter had a brief stay in NICU, which meant she had a few bottles before we had a chance to breastfeed together. As I sat in NICU with a lactation consultant learning to breastfeed I felt so overwhelmed and started crying. The lactation consultant was very forcefully instructing me on how to get her to latch and it wasn’t working. My baby was screaming and I was crying.
We struggled for quite a bit that afternoon in NICU. Ultimately my daughter was an aggressive latcher and she was hungry. She was used to getting a bottle and I was petrified that meant she wouldn’t ever breastfeed.
What I wish I knew before trying breastfeeding for the first time, is that it can take time. It’s not always an easy or perfect fit right off. For me, an environment that was calm was really important. My mom calmly sat next to me in my darkened bedroom as I breastfed my daughter for the first time (4 days after labor). There was no heavy coaching or specific named holds that did the trick. For me, it was just a mom and her daughter having the time and space to connect and figure it out together.
I hope my story can help other Moms.
-Written and shared by an Awesome Mama. Do you have a Mama story you want to share? Send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org