Sebastian is pretty darn perfect. That’s not just a biased mother’s opinion; the doctor agrees 😉
But even in all of his perfection, we had a rough start with breastfeeding. I have nothing against formula or mothers who choose to feed it to their babies, but breastfeeding is one of those parenting decisions that both Nick and I felt very strongly about. We were going to breastfeed for as long as possible. All throughout my pregnancy I had the normal concern most first-time moms have: will I produce enough milk? Turns out, I was a milking machine but it was an issue with Sebastian that caused our breastfeeding woes.
Sebastian was born with a tongue tie and accompanying high palate, which made latching to my breast/nipple and therefore efficient sucking nearly impossible. The hospital wouldn’t let the midwife cut it right after birth so we had to wait until we were discharged two days later to visit the midwife’s office so she could clip it. Even after it was taken care of, Sebastian still had a really hard time latching. That whole first week I would pump as much colostrum as possible and feed it to him with a syringe. It was extremely stressful and caused me so much anxiety that I was thisclose to giving up and switching to formula. Instead, I kept pumping and we started feeding Sebastian the pumped milk with a bottle, which was much more sustainable but seemed to horrify lactation consultants and experts everywhere who have acted like I’m a monster for introducing a bottle to a newborn (but whatever, my baby was eating and growing and that’s all that matters… but I digress).
We were referred to a wonderful lactation consultant who has worked with me so much to make breastfeeding a reality. She taught me how to use a nipple shield, which has been a life changer for sure. It has allowed us to go from almost exclusively pumping & bottle feeding to almost exclusively breastfeeding (we still use a bottle every now and then when I’m away or need a break). And let me tell you, it’s a wonderful feeling of success when you’re finally able to feed and bond with your baby the way you wanted to.
The plan is to try to wean him off of the shield and try to get him to latch directly on my breast BUT if I have to use the shield for the next 6 months or more, then that’s what I’ll do. I am very much of the mind that fed is best, whether that’s breast milk directly from the breast, from the bottle, or formula. Whatever keeps your baby alive and well.
I still have some anxiety around breastfeeding. Mostly, I worry that even with the shield, Sebastian isn’t getting enough to eat. But at his two-week check up, he had already gained about 12 ounces since his last visit — and the doctor really did say he was perfect! — so we’re obviously doing something right. And that’s all that really matters.
Until next time,