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Rachel Dawson, Otley, Yorkshire, UK
Photo: Courtesy Christina Simantiri
My baby had lost nine per cent of his birth weight by day three …
I want to say a very public thank-you to Becky, Ruth, Suzanne, and Amanda for helping me discover breastfeeding solutions to breastfeeding problems.
Last Saturday I posted on our local La Leche League Facebook group that I was struggling with breastfeeding my four-day-old baby and I didn’t know where to go or what to do. My little boy had lost nine per cent of his birth weight by day three. I was on the verge of giving up at that point. Within hours, LLL Leader Becky was at my house, and I don’t live near to her. She kindly coached us through positioning and attachment. Leader Ruth came over in the afternoon, I was panicking because it was all going wrong.
Magnus was weighed every 48 hours from day three. On day five he had put on 40g—which made me feel ecstatic. On day seven he’d lost those 40g, despite feeding pretty much constantly, which sent me into another panic that breastfeeding wasn’t enough and I was failing. Becky and Ruth between them convinced me that wasn’t the case and that it was possible to turn things around.
A referral to the hospital to check for a tongue-tie left me nonplussed. The specialist said my baby had a posterior tie but that it was not bad enough to warrant snipping. His suggestion was to give up breastfeeding, pump, and bottle-feed expressed breast milk instead.
I wrote to Ruth that evening on Messenger and she suggested I come to an LLL workshop the next day, where Leaders Amanda and Suzanne were giving a talk on tongue-tie.
I went along and learned loads from a fascinating talk. I really appreciated being invited. A lot of the red flags for tongue-tie were visible with Magnus, but Amanda, who is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, checked him and agreed the tie wasn’t severe enough to need snipping. She thought he was not feeding efficiently.
Breastfeeding solutions to breastfeeding problems
I have never had so many people watch me breastfeed. By the end of the day—I was only going to stay for the tongue-tie talk—we were breastfeeding, maybe not like pros, but with so much more confidence than before.
Magnus will be two weeks old tomorrow. Since Thursday he has had 60ml formula top offs (on the midwife’s advice) and he was weighed again today. The little chunk has put on 150g since Thursday! I had a minor panic, but the midwife pointed out that 60ml of formula was nothing at all. She said it was up to me whether I stick with the small formula supplements but the only difference they were making was to my state of mind. He is not being weighed until Friday, when we will be discharged from midwife care.
I have spent the last two weeks seconds away from giving up breastfeeding, but the support from the LLL Leaders and those who commented on the posts I made in the Facebook group have all helped enormously. La Leche League kept me going and I’m glad I persevered.
I don’t think we need those 60ml of formula after all.
La Leche League kept me going and I’m glad I persevered.