I am a 31 year old first time mum. I had reduction surgery eight years ago at the age of 23. Like most of the other authors of stories on this site I gave little thought to the idea of breastfeeding figuring it was something I would deal with at a later date. I went from a 34 FF to a 34 C and I was ecstatic!
When we found out I was pregnant my husband was very supportive about my fear that I would not be able to breastfeed, saying that if we could, great, if not then we would just bottle-feed, as long as the baby was healthy. My midwife was also very supportive, putting me in touch with a lactation consultant who works with BFAR mums in the area.
Immediately after the birth of baby Isabelle we put her to the breast and she took to sucking for regular periods in the hospital but still lost 10% of her birth weight (7 lb 7 oz). I owe many thanks to a determined midwife and lactation consultant who on occasions stood toe to toe with nurses in the hospital who were demanding I supplement with a bottle.
Isabelle and I learned to use a feeding aide (tube at the breast) those first few days in the hospital supplementing formula with the small amounts of colostrum I was expressing. I pumped after every feed to provide the supplement for the next feed and by the second week Isabelle was feeding exclusively on breast milk.
My doctor recommended Domperidone along with the pumping to increase supply and I found it has worked for me.
Isabelle is nine weeks old today and has gained over 2 lb which the community nurse assures me is well within range. We no longer need to use the supplementary feeding system and I only pump when we miss feeds (using a bottle) or I find she is wanting to feed more frequently to boost supply back up again.
While the first six weeks were incredibly draining - feeding, pumping, cleaning and feeding again - it has been worth it to know that my baby girl is getting all of the positives of breastmilk whenever she needs it.
A note though, we would not have been as successful as we have been without a very supportive partner who knew that this was important to me and supported my desire to breastfeed even when I was ready to quit, and my midwife and LC who believed in Issy and I again even when we were ready to quit.
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