A few weeks ago, The Best For Babes Foundation put out a request for moms to let them know how they were booby trapped. They then took all of the stories that were posted (by moms like you and me) and presented them to the Surgeon General at the meeting of the United States Breastfeeding Committee.
I wanted to share my story with you. I never even realized that I was booby trapped – but I was. Please read and please share your own stories –
Education is power and through education, more moms can overcome the booby traps that we all have faced!
The biggest booby trap that I faced was right after delivery in the hospital. I had a very difficult delivery that ended in an emergency c-section after 26 hours of hard, intense labor. My baby came to us all swaddled up in a tight little package. Because of the trauma of my birth, I was advised (by my midwife) not to try breastfeeding right away. It was probably 10-12 hours later before we even tried for the first time. We had difficulties with latch. We couldn’t get my son to latch on and it was difficult to get help.
The nurses all came in and tried to shove my 40G sized breasts into my little 7 lb son’s mouth. NOT A SINGLE PERSON – not my midwife, not my doula, not the nurses nor the maternal fetal medicine doctors and not the hospital lactation consultant – none of them ever suggested that I unwrap my baby and spend some time skin to skin. The nurses took him away to give him his heel stick and despite the fact that my birth plan and his bassinet both had instructions that he was not to be given a pacifier, he came back with a pacifier in his mouth. Finally one of the nurses gave me a nipple shield and I was able to get him latched on. At the time, I thought this was our “saving grace” – now I see that it was just one more part of the booby trap that we fell into. Why was I given a nipple shield when I should have been unwrapping my baby and letting him spend time skin-to-skin first – to see if nature could help him latch on instead of an artificial nipple?
One time when my husband was out of the room getting some food, my baby started crying. I wanted to hold him and try to nurse him, but I couldn’t get him because of my c-section pain. So I rang for the nurse. She came in and yelled at me for disturbing her. She told me if my husband wasn’t going to be there to help me, then she would have to take the baby to the nursery. I was scared out of my wits to ask for help again. And when they questioned me about how he was nursing, I told them everything was going well – for fear that they take would him away.I went home from the hospital having NEVER unwrapped my baby (except when the nurses unwrapped him to change his diaper) and with a big ol’ blue pacifier in his mouth. I got home and was still having difficulties latching. I called many lactation support lines. Then my baby stopped having wet diapers – he was dehydrated because my milk hadn’t yet come in and no one gave us any tools to help us get a better latch.
In retrospect – imagine how things would have been different if we had tried breastfeeding right away – despite being tired, I could have just held him on my bare chest – skin to skin. And imagine how much easier it would have been to get him to latch on if we spent those hours waiting for someone to transfer us to our new room snuggling skin to skin. Imagine how much easier it would have been to get him to latch if he hadn’t been given a pacifier by the nurses. Imagine that we may not have even needed to use the nipple shield if all of these others things had taken place. I had a doula and a midwife – so I thought I was in good hands.
What is your story? How could breastfeeding have been easier for you? What booby traps did you face? Please leave a comment below.