On January 31st 2017, I got to feel the bliss of motherhood for the first time in life. Motherhood comes with its own set of wows and woes. The biggest and most common woes is not being able to breastfeed your baby !! I did not suffer from any medical condition but I was not lactating. After the second day of my baby boy’s birth, he was given to me for breastfeeding. Being a first time mom I did not know how to take the baby in my arms properly, or how to latch him on my nipples. Breastfeeding our baby is the most beautiful feeling. The moment the baby latches on our breast and starts suckling milk gives us immense satisfaction. But sometimes because of some medical conditions or lack of knowledge, new moms delay breastfeeding, reducing milk supply.
Well, I was one of those moms. I had a c-section and after operation, the doctor came once or twice and told me how to breastfeed and instructed the nurses to help me. I was waiting eagerly for my baby to wake up so that I could breastfeed him. After a few hours, he started crying for milk and I took him in my arms and tried to feed him. But he was not latching. I tried hard and called the nurse for help. She came and held the baby in a way so that he can latch and start suckling. My son tried but started crying. So the nurse gave him formula milk. After a few hours I tried feeding my baby again, but I couldn’t. Again I called nurse for help and she said angrily, “Madam apke nipples hi nahi bane hain, baby suck nahi kar pa raha (Your nipples have not been formed well and hence baby can’t suck).” My mother-in-law insisted to give my baby formula and seeing him cry I also gave in. After sometime I again tried to feed my baby but in vain. I again called the sister. She then checked my breasts and pressed them hard and told me, “Doodh nahi aa raha aapko (You are not lactating).” After that she came with a blunt-end syringe and tried expressing milk with it but the result was extremely painful and yielded only a few drops of milk(colostrum). Whenever my baby was crying I myself was trying to express milk through the syringe. In spite of extreme pain I was trying again and again but there was no milk and the result was sore nipples and fever. I tried everything from moong ke dal, dalia to oxytocin injection but nothing worked. I used to cry at night seeing my baby cry for milk and the torturous thought of not producing milk for my baby. Relatives were coming to see me and my baby and were sharing their story of having huge amount of milk for their baby flowing out of their clothes every time. After every visit, I used to feel as if I have committed a big crime by not producing milk and by feeding my baby formula milk.
Advice That Changed Everything
By third day my baby boy was diagnosed with jaundice and hence he was shifted to NICU for phototherapy. After some hours the nurse called me to that phototherapy ward as my baby was hungry.
I told the nurse that I was not lactating and was unable to feed my baby. I asked her to go with the formula instead. I believe Goddess Shakti came in the disguise of this young 20 something nurse as her gestures, advice and efforts changed everything. This nurse kept her hand lovingly on my shoulder and asked me, “Why do you think you can’t produce milk?”
I just started crying not because I was not producing milk but because of the love and care I was getting which I had been craving for so long.
I narrated to her the whole story of my efforts and the zero result. She looked at me with a divine smile, held my hand and said, “Mam, there is nothing like non-lactating. Every mother can lactate. This is a gift given by God to all mothers. Some mothers may take time because of some reasons but they lactate. The most important thing for a new mother is good food with relaxed, stress-free mind.
You just take this negative thought out of your mind that you can’t produce milk for your baby because it will only affect your milk supply. Just continue feeding your baby. The more the baby suckles, the more will be the milk-production. Trust me and you will see the result by your own”.
After that she first tried extracting some colostrum with a blunt syringe and kept motivating me..with our efforts 4 5 spoonful of milk came out. She went and gave it to my baby in NICU. She then came back and took me in wheelchair to my baby. Nurses were very cooperative and stood beside me till the time I was breastfeeding my baby. I allowed my baby to suck my nipples as long as he wanted.
The very next day I found the milk coming! I was discharged after two days from the hospital too as my baby had recovered from jaundice.
That nurse instructed me to continue breastfeeding and waved me a loving goodbye.
After this I continued breastfeeding. Though the supply was still less, but I WAS lactating.
My boy is 6 months now and we have become a pro at it. Sometimes I feel if that nurse had not been there to guide me and motivate me, I would have resorted to formula and would never have the blissful feeling breastfeeding gives. My Message To New Mothers, Doctors & All Other Women I want to tell all new mothers – be positive when starting to breastfeed your baby. Try different positions to latch baby but don’t give up hope. Remember that you are bestowed with all the essentials of a mother that’s why God has gifted you this motherhood. #Happyfeeding #breastfeedingweek