My baby girl Seren Marshall was born last week Sunday. I am in love! A mothers love is something else isnt it? No one but a mother knows this love!!
As a mom / as a dietitian, I wanted to breastfeed and was adamant I would. We all know the benefits right? I had also successfully breastfed my son till 18 months old so I considered myself a natural breastfeeder.
Seren was placed on my chest and latched onto the boob minutes after birth. I was so pleased to have this special moment after my first born was whisked away to NICU seconds after his birth. Soon afterwards came the bleeding, cracked nipples. Ow Ow Owie!! It was so bad that Seren was pulling away with blood dripping down the side of her mouth at one point. She also vomited blood which was terrifying. Latching her was incredibly painful, I winced every time and actually dreaded the next feed.
My gynae offered me laser therapy for my nipples which my physio friend and colleague Carin Hall provided. Laser therapy speeds up healing but my nipples weren't healing fast enough. After the next feed they were bleeding again.
I was really disappointed by the lack of breastfeeding support offered on the ward. No one offered to check positioning and latching - the major cause of bleeding cracked nipples. It was my husband that actually suggested we try the rugby ball hold which has turned our breastfeeding around. My nipples are no longer sore and I look forward to this special time with my daughter.
Breastfeeding is natural but it doesn't come naturally! It takes time, practice and patience and what I have learnt is that each baby is a different feeding experience. Kate and I will be putting together a proposal for the Maternity wards at Hillcrest and Crompton Hospitals in order to support breastfeeding mums better because Support is what we need. We don't need lectures on the benefits and the theory behind breastfeeding. WE NEED SUPPORT!!!