(Sorry, it’s a long post) The inevitable happened today and it sure did scare me. I’m talking about breast refusal from Mr P. I haven’t blogged about it yet, but over the last 4 months (possibly more) we have been having a real struggle with regards to feeding.

As you all know I am very pro breastfeeding, but as with anything that is good for you it is never easy. Sometimes it’s just plain difficult and today, impossible! Anyone that goes into a breastfeeding relationship thinking that it just happens is delusional. It takes a lot of work from both mum and bub and sometimes it is just too hard.

I have a lot of respect for mums out there that have tried breastfeeding and simply not been able to keep at it. Your head has to be in the right place otherwise it just doesn’t work. Some mums have physical problems that mean they can’t feed and others have mental ones. At the end of the day the important thing is that both mum and bub are happy and of course that your baby is fed!

Preston and I seem to be having a big of a fight when it comes to feeding. All I’m wanting to do is make sure he is getting enough and keeping it down but he acts like I’m torturing him. Sounds simple right? Apparently not!

From about 3 months I raised the issues I had been experiencing with our Doctor. One of these was reflux. This resulted in Preston being prescribed Losec to help him keep his milk down. While his reflux was quite mild in comparison to some cases I’ve heard of, it was still enough to make sleeping difficult (which wasn’t on!). From early on (6 week check up & 2 month immunisations), no one was really concerned about it as he was gaining weight and was a very healthy looking baby. But when it started to affect his sleep I knew I had to do something fast.

The Losec has been a constant battle, with Preston screaming blue murder every time it is administered. So much so that Daddy now refuses to do it and I battle on giving it to him on my own. I know it helps and so I preserver even though it breaks my heart to hear his crying and screams. After a month of using it I decided to test how he was without it (reflux often improves with age). After a couple of days his sleep took a turn for the worse and I knew my answer…he needed the medicine. Crying and all, it was for the best.

The other issue we had been having was the feeding itself. He seems to really struggle, constantly pulling off and arching his back. He pushes away from me and it’s a real fight to keep him on, only feeding for short periods of time. I had done a lot of reading about this to try and find a solution with no luck. It was suggested that it is related to the let down reflex (the milk either coming too fast or too slow) – this tends to get better as the baby gets older and they have more control. Expressing for 5-10 seconds first can help with this. Another suggestion was he was in pain from the reflux – but of course the Losec should be helping, and we also tried Infant’s Friend (an antacid, for immediate relief). I was feeding for shorter periods of time, but more frequently, hoping this would help. I tried rocking, swaying, walking, shushing, singing while feeding, but nothing seemed to help. He always wanted to swap sides too, which I started to trick him, using the football hold so that he would think he was swapping sides, so that he wasn’t missing out on the hind milk. I tried burping him often too, but after all the crying and pulling off we were both so exhausted during something that should be a wonderful experience for both of us. Something had to give!

Now you can’t have a baby constantly pulling off your breasts with no repercussions. I’m of course talking about cracked nipples. It is toe curling pain, but you have no choice, you have to keep feeding your baby. So that’s what I did. For months I treated my very sore, cracked nipples just to have them crack again and again. Every feed was agony, but with no one able to give me a solution, I didn’t know what I could do but struggle on. After all, I know the benefits of breastfeeding and it’s what we wanted for our little Preston but at what cost?

To say our breastfeeding relationship wasn’t a happy one is an understatement. Everything came to a head today when Preston went for 6 hours without feeding (despite trying multiple times with the same result, crying and pulling away from me). I knew what I had to do, and without hesitation I called the Australian Breastfeeding Association for advice from one of their counselors. Long story short I got him to feed but only by tricking him, getting him sucking on the dummy and then quickly swapping it out for the breast (this wasn’t actually suggested, I tried everything they told me with no luck; so I thought I’d give it a shot). I did this for the rest of the feeds during the night but noticed I was in more pain than usual (where the pain used to go away after feeding, it was still there and seemed to be different, more a burning feeling). What timing, the Easter long weekend was upon us…

Categories: Life's Fun & Games

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