World Breastfeeding Week Story | Shereen Nielsen | Early Childhood Sleep Consultant
When I had my son, breastfeeding initially came quite naturally to us. He latched well for his first feed and since I had such a large supply, the milk flowed and he was able to gain good amounts of milk at each feed. This was all great at first, but as my milk settled in and started to regulate, it seemed to ‘diminish’. I was told that I had a poor milk supply and my milk wasn’t enough for my baby. As far as I was aware, this must have been true because nothing really appeared wrong but, I must admit, I didn’t even know what a ‘good latch’ was or that fussiness at the breast and constant popping on and off whilst feeding was a concern. My son would feed around the clock, every 2 hours, 24 hours a day but he wasn’t gaining weight and was labelled as ‘failure to thrive’. At 8 months of age, I put him on formula as our breastfeeding journey wasn’t working for us anymore and he was genuinely hungry. Once he was on formula, he started to gain weight and slept a bit better and I knew I had made the right move. When he was 2 years old, I discovered that he had oral restrictions and this was the underlying problems for our breastfeeding issues.
When my daughter was born, I knew what to expect; what was ‘normal’ and what wasn’t. I was nearly certain that she would have oral ties and I had her assessed at 4 days old. By this stage, she was already showing the signs of ‘poor feeding’. She kept popping on and off the breast, had a poor latch, was fussy while feeding and fed excessively frequently during the day. When my daughter was 8 days old, her ties were released and breastfeeding from this point was so much easier and less painful. Her top lip would flange beautifully, forming the ‘Special K’ shape, creating a secure latch. My milk supply was large to begin with but as it settled, it didn’t diminish this time round. My milk flow has been constant and strong, and at 8 months old now, my daughter is gaining weight well and I have no issues or concerns around breastfeeding. I plan to breastfeed up until at least 12 months old and this is achievable for me on my second journey with breastfeeding.
By SHEREEN NIELSEN
Shereen is Managing Partner and Senior certified Infant and Child Sleep Consultant at Early Childhood Sleep Consultant.