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The Breast Start to Life: Our Story Print E-mail
Lenny Balston   
Wednesday, 05 November 2008
The Breast Start to Life: Our StoryAll through my pregnancy I knew that I wanted to breastfeed, being the one who came up with the whole Harmonious Living concept, it was after all the natural choice to make. But when it came down to it and my little son Mika was first placed on my boob things didn’t quite go according to plan.

In my post-caesarean groggy state (brought on by Mika inheriting his Dad’s rather large head) and in Mika’s even more confused and shocked state the ‘latching’ just wasn’t happening. The nurses who cared for me during the day were very patient, helping me to express the precious millilitres of colostrum onto a teaspoon to feed to Mika who even after a few days still wasn’t playing ball. During the night Mika was wheeled into see me and placed on my boob, but still nothing was happening. The night nurses convinced me to do ‘top-up feeds’ with formula which I wasn’t happy about at all but in my exhausted and fragile state I was too just too tired to say ‘no’. In all it was a very emotional and frustrating time for me.

The night before we left hospital we called up Janine, the midwife who had assisted us with Mika’s birth and our ‘skin to skin’ caesarean delivery. She came round the next day morning and with patience and empathy, within five minutes had Mika latched on and feeding away like a starved teenager who’s just discovered that the buffet had finally opened. I could barely contain my joy and relief at finally getting things going.

Since that day Mika has been feeding brilliantly, he soon made up the weight he need to after the first few go slow days and has been bang on target ever since. Our midwife even had me squirting milk in Mika’s eye to clear up a little infection he developed and then up his nose which very quickly cleared up his first little cold. I had no idea that not only was my milk the perfect food for my son but that it also had so many other uses!

It hasn’t of course all been plain sailing. After about six weeks I developed horrendously sore nipples, but that was soon cleared up by using a nipple shield. And then of course going back to work, which I am fortunate enough to be able to do from home, meant that I had to keep popping into the house at regular intervals for quick feeding sessions. I’m using a breast pump now which has made things much easier and at least for one of the feeds every day Mika is fed by our wonderful nanny Precious, and I can get longer stretches of work done.

I’m so glad that I stuck with breastfeeding, despite our initial difficulties, and I’d recommend that everyone consider getting a feeding consultant like Janine to help them. Before we got the breast feeding right we were messing around with bottles, preparing the milk, warming it up, and all during this time Mika was of course complaining more and more loudly that he was hungry. It’s amazing now that I can feed him without all that fuss, the milk is always the right temperature and ready to flow, which is a huge bonus when we’re out and about.

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