A Breastfeeding Journey

I am very lucky to have been able to breastfeed all 5 of my children.  I have awful memories of being manhandled by a midwife when my oldest was born, as I was really struggling in the beginning.  It was only my sheer determination to feed her myself that eventually got me through (and a bucket load of Kamillosan).  Thankfully that has now changed and there is much better help and care out there for everyone.

My oldest is 18 (yes, I know – I don’t look old enough) – and there just weren’t the facilities back then to be able to feed when out and about.  You certainly couldn’t feed a baby in a restaurant without being asked to leave (or sit in a toilet).  I have many memories of being sat in the green in Worthing town centre trying to feed discreetly.  There weren’t even breastfeeding tops then!!

Thankfully, times have changed with each of my children.  By the time I had Isaac (now 4), nursing tops were common place and these have been my saviour.  So comfortable and the ability to feed discreetly when out and about.  I also discovered Lansinoh cream which was a godsend in those early days to help with sore nipples.

You would have thought after successfully breastfeeding 4 gorgeous babies, that number 5 would have been a breeze.  I have to admit that she was the hardest.  I fed her almost instantly when she was born and she was fine, but overnight she cried and cried and just didn’t seem able to latch properly.  I had gestational diabetes whilst pregnant, so it was even more vital she fed regularly as her sugars could go dangerously low whilst her body adapted.  I was devastated when her sugars dipped below the advised minimum and the nurses gave her formula (from a dropper on my insistence).

We went home late the next day after they were happy that her sugar levels had stabilised and I hoped we would settle into a routine.  I noticed that she preferred one side to the other, but didn’t think much more of it.

Within a couple of days my nipples were cracked and bleeding.  Not even the Laninsoh would sooth them and I was at my wits end.  The Health Visitor put me in contact with a Breastfeeding counsellor who was a brilliant help and suggested I try nipple shields and a breast pump just to get me through.  There is nothing worse than trying to latch a baby onto badly cracked nipples – I cringe thinking about it now.

When baby was a couple of weeks old, I decided that something was wrong as she wasn’t opening her mouth fully and therefore not latching correctly.  With two of my older children I had seen a chiropractor as both suffered with colic and was advised that chiropractors could help.  They worked wonders with my older two, so I gave my now qualified friend Nic a call.

He saw us straight away, did an assessment and discovered that her neck and jaw were stiff.  If you have read my birth post, you will know she was born with her arm up by her head (superman style).  A few gentle manipulations later, instructions to encourage her to turn her head the way she didn’t want to and an appointment for 3 days time we were sent home.

I noticed an improvement almost immediately, she seemed settled for the first time in weeks and was feeding well.  On the next appointment he was so pleased with her improvement he signed us off with strict instructions to call if we needed him.

Finally things settled down and over the course of the next few weeks we got into a routine and my nipples healed as she was latching correctly.  We are now a year into breastfeeding happily with no further problems.  My advise is, if you are struggling, get help quick, be it 1st, 5th or 10th baby as they are all different!

1 thought on “A Breastfeeding Journey”

  1. Wow! I would never have connected a chiropractor to breastfeeding. Amazing.
    And incredible you’ve breastfed five babies.
    Thanks for sharing in Parentonomy. You might just inspire a struggling mum to consult with a chiropractor.


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