One month went by, then two, then three, and I kept it up. I was really breastfeeding a baby! Reed refused all bottles and ate so often that I wasn’t away from him for more than 2 hours until he was 7 months old. Even so, he was slow to put on weight and was monitored monthly by the pediatrician. I became very close friends with my Boppy pillow. I had to be brave and nurse in public to have any hope of leaving the house. It wasn’t until my son was 9 months old that he actually stretched his feedings out long enough for me to spend an afternoon out and about without him (and by that I mean 4-5 hours). He was still nursing 3 times a day when he turned a year old. At that point I felt a wave of relief. I DID IT!!!! I made it to one year and I honestly didn’t think I’d make it past week one when I was pregnant. He dropped the remaining three feedings soon after, with a little push from me on the last one.
Thankfully, I had a pretty easy road overall, which I know helped me to keep going. Sure, I had some sore nipples, but I made it all the way to the end without a clogged duct, mastitis or any of the other major issues that can hinder a breastfeeding journey and for that I am SO thankful.
It turns out that the one big issue we had, I didn’t even realize was an issue and that’s why I want to take a minute to mention it here. It wasn’t until after my son was done breastfeeding that I came across a post on one of my favorite blogs (Bower Power – here) about lip ties. I’d heard about tongue ties, but never the lip. Sure enough, that’s exactly how my son’s mouth looks. He has a lip tie. I talk more about it in this post on my blog.
When I learned about lip ties, all of a sudden the sore nipples, frequent feedings, fast nursing sessions, slow weight gain, etc. all made sense. What’s surprising to me is that during Reed’s early months we were seen on a monthly basis by his pediatrician for the weight checks and we were seen by two different lactation consultants at the office during that time. They checked his latch, watched him feed, looked in his mouth, and never noticed the lip tie. They had me pump and attempt to supplement with a bottle (big fail – lead to an oversupply that lead to a foremilk/hindmilk imbalance that lead to some gross diapers). They had me mix breast milk with oatmeal cereal (big fail – lead to screaming fits from tummy pain, short naps and the worst “new mom attitude” month for me). The only thing that worked was their suggestion to feed him every two hours if he was awake, which made me feel a little defeated since I thought I was finally at the point where he’d start to stretch feedings out, not bring them closer together. Thankfully once he got more into solids he dropped feedings pretty quickly and that was only a few months later.
Be sure to catch up with the rest of the Breastfeeding Diaries at the top of my navigation bar. If you are interested in sharing your story, please email me at thegirlintheredshoes @ gmail