Long time no see everyone! As you probably guessed, little baby Hannah is here! And she has for sure been keeping me busy. In fact, she is on my lap right now as I write this blog post. I’ve been posting most of my updates over on my Instagram and the biggest thing I’ve been sharing about is my struggle with breastfeeding. I wanted to lay everything out in a blogpost since it has now been more than two months since Hannah was born and I can finally say… I am breastfeeding successfully! That is a huge thing for me because there were so many times when I thought I wasn’t going to make it and was ready to throw in the towel. With a little perseverance and several amazing people who helped me, I’ve arrived at this point. I couldn’t be more grateful.
So yeah, breastfeeding. I was already worried that I would have problems because I have PCOS, which is a risk factor for milk production. From day one, breastfeeding was a nightmare. Feeding Hannah was excruciatingly painful and my nipples were in terrible condition. Every time she would latch on I would be in serious pain. I met with lactation in the hospital a handful of times and they kept telling me that it was normal and it would get better. But I knew deep in my heart that the pain I was feeling was definitely NOT normal. Thinking back on this now, lactation did not spend enough time with me in the hospital at all to know my situation. They were just too busy with all the babies being born. I would highly recommend anyone struggling to get an actual appointment with a lactation consultant outside of the hospital ASAP as those appointments typically last around 90 minutes. It makes a huge difference!
One day out of the hospital after a terrible night, I got up and googled my local La Leche League in desperation. I told them everything that was happening, how the pain was unbearable and how my nipples were cracked and bleeding. This was seriously the best thing I could have done. The leader had their phone number available and told me to get in with the lactation consultant at my pediatrician’s office immediately. I called, they got me in within 30 minutes and the lactation consultant there spent 90 minutes with Hannah and I checking her suck and how she was eating. They prescribed me ointment for my nipples and sent Hannah for pediatric therapy as her suck wasn’t looking good and her muscles were super tight which didn’t allow her to open her mouth wide enough. While healing, I pumped.
I got set up with a hospital grade pump and this is where willpower came into play. Pumping every two hours around the clock was EXHAUSTING. I don’t know how exclusively pumping Mamas do it! I was miserable. After my nipples healed, I would put Hannah to the breast first to eat, then pump out the leftover milk to give to her because she was not eating efficiently. Basically she would eat at the breast, get tired and fall asleep for 10 minutes just to wake up angry and hungry! I was exhausted. This left me basically no time to do anything but feed her and pump, repeat. This was definitely one of those times when I thought about throwing in the towel.
After a few weeks of therapy, we saw the lactation consultant again and she told me that Hannah had improved and was opening wider but her tongue was not coming out far enough. So basically her tongue was just sort of jabbing at my nipple. Ouch! At this point she was 5 weeks old and I was reaching my breaking point with pumping so often. They told me she could get it clipped with scissors in the office and it would take 15 minutes or I could go to the pediatric dentist and get it done with a laser for one minute. It was the same price so I definitely went with the laser. A week later, she got revised. I’ll be honest, at this point I was starting to get really depressed. I was barely sleeping and was connected to my pump for what felt like the entire day. It limited my time to hang out with my baby. I was extremely stressed about providing enough milk for my child. I had decided at that point that if the revision didn’t work out, I was going to stop breastfeeding.
THANKFULLY. There was a rainbow after this storm because almost immediately after her revision she had a better latch! Doing the revision was fast and she was not happy about it of course. Afterwards we went to a private room to nurse where she latched on like a champ, nursed the longest she has ever nursed and then passed out. It was amazing! I did a lot of research online before going to this procedure and was prepared to give pain medication but Hannah didn’t end up needing it. She was a little more sleepy that first day but was back to her usual self the next day. It still took us a few weeks to get to where I didn’t need to supplement any milk. That first week, my milk exploded! The baby really is the best at getting your milk supply up.
Now… pumping. I do want to pump to have a small stash in the freezer so that my husband could feed her sometimes when I go out. I returned my hospital grade pump and after a lot of research decided to buy the Baby Buddha portable breast pump. I hated pumping so much when we were dealing with my little one’s tongue tie because I was always stuck next to my pump wasting time so it was important for me to find a portable pump that would let me move around. I LOVE how small the Baby Buddha is and man oh man… does this thing have some power! I only use it on the first level because it’s so strong. Added bonus: my milk lets down SO fast and my breasts empty around the 10 minute mark instead of 20. It might not seem like a lot of time saved but that adds up! I’ve been using it for almost a month now and have a good amount of milk stocked in my freezer. I love that if we go out I can pump discreetly outside of the house. I’m especially excited to use it when I drive an hour to see my family in Indianapolis. Each charge gets me about three pumping sessions which is great, and the USB charger is convenient since my car has a USB charging port in it.
I reached out to the owner of the company to tell him how much I loved his product and he was nice enough to give me a 20% off discount code for my followers looking for a great portable pump. Until October 31st, use the code AUTUMN20. I absolutely love my Baby Buddha and I know you will too!
To all of the Mamas out there battling to breastfeed their little one through supply issues and tongue/lip ties, you got this. You are enough. You can do this! Feel free to message me on my email or through Instagram if you are dealing with these issues and need any help or advice. I would love to help another Mama experiencing the same thing that I have!