The theme for World Breastfeeding Week this year is "Understanding the Past, Planning the Future" and I feel my friend Gissele's story is a good illustration of this. The system failed her with her first child and that, along with her lack of knowledge, caused her to turn to formula to feed her child. She now understands what went wrong in the past and is seeking to arm herself with the tools needed to successfully breastfeed her second child. Here is her story:
This is my experience with breastfeeding my daughter Lilyanna. Giving birth is one of the most beautiful experiences a woman can go through. When I saw my daughters beautiful face after I gave birth, I just fell in love. I didn't know then that it was important to breastfeed as soon as I gave birth. The hospital waited forever to let me hold my daughter because I was in recovery for a while. When they brought me upstairs to my postpartum room and they brought me my little girl, I decided to give it a try .
Well, this is how it went. Lily had a hard time latching on. When she did, it hurt and I was so tired and sore. The hospital staff wasn't really good help with breastfeeding, or anything else for that matter. When I asked for help with anything, it took forever for a nurse to come to my room. One time, I dropped the baby's hat on the floor and a nurse refused to get me a clean one. I had to speak to another nurse, who happened to be her supervisor, in order to get a new one. I remember one nurse telling me that I could sit my baby up and feed her from an open bottle. I felt so overwhelmed that I kind of gave up and decided to give her formula. I remember they sent a lactation consultant and I tried again but I just didnt know how to position her. It was too hard and the help I received was minimal. My whole hospital experience was a nightmare. I was in a lot of pain and requested that they check me at Lily's 2 week appointment and it turned out they had left 3 pieces of gauze inside of me!
When I got home, I tried pumping a few times. My breasts felt engorged and sore. I kept trying to latch Lily but it was just too painful. My family didn't know much about breastfeeding as they raised children in a time when breastfeeding wasn't common and they were not very supportive of my breastfeeding either. I sometimes feel like a failure for giving up. I should've gotten more help but I all I know is that I tried! I didn't have all the information, help, or support that I needed at the time. I also felt like I was in a kind of stressful environment and I know that babies can sense everything so maybe that affected our breastfeeding as well.
I am pregnant again with my second child now. I'm doing my best to get well informed because I am definitely sticking to my guns this time and not giving up because I know my child needs all the nutrition he or she can get! I have been asking my breastfeeding friend questions and doing my research on breastfeeding and what help is available in my area in case I need it when the baby is born. I understand how important breastfeeding is now and I won't fail my baby this time. Without a doubt, if I feel overwhelmed or like I want to quit this time,I will seek help and not give up.
My name is Gissele and I'm the mother of a soon to be 4 year old daughter name Lilyanna. I've been married for 8 years to my wonderful husband and I'm a stay at home mom. I recently lost 50lbs and then found out I am pregnant with my second miracle. I'm currently around 19-20 weeks pregnant and anxiously waiting on his/ her arrival. I'm willing and totally ready to take the challenge of raising a toddler and a newborn. Im also willing to try breastfeeding once again. I feel it is so important for babies to receive the best possible nutrition there is and all of that can be found in breast milk.I feel so blessed because God has given me the opportunity to become a mother once again. I didn't think I would be able to conceive again but, thanks to God and my weight loss, my prayers have been answered.