Jo's Breastfeeding Story
18 months prior to having my daughter I had a unilateral mastectomy and reconstruction to my right breast.. this was preventative so consider myself very lucky that never had cancer but had on going issues with pre-cancerous tumours that kept coming back and so mastectomy was the best option to avoid missing anything. Luckily this was only ever on side so my left breast is totally fine!
Anyway once I was pregnant I was really worried about only being able to feed from one side .. would I have enough milk etc etc talked to Drs and was referred to the LC at the hospital prior to birth .. (NB this was in Aust in 2020 so two things we didn’t have the amazing midwife system that’s in place here and also it was scary covid times where we were all sure we would catch covid from a door handle) anyway went to the hosp and the LC played mw a video while she left the room about breastfeeding .. helpful.. but she did say lots of people feed from one breast twin mothers etc etc .. still I was just concerned.
Fast forward beautiful, healthy baby was born.. another LC came to see me in the hospital and I happened to be feeding at the time she took a little look and said everything was great .. I never had engorgement and no idea when my milk ‘came in’ maybe because I only have one breast it was just working overtime and a very hungry 4kg baby that I didn’t have that stuff??
Anyway breastfeeding became increasing painful and every time my daughter made ‘milk face’ ash husband put it .. I would wince and just didn’t want to .. couldn’t see myself doing 6 months of this!! I had noticed she had a very obvious tongue tie right at the tip of her tongue but midwives/ nurses had said it was probably fine as she was feeding so well (ummm my nipple would disagree!) at the 2 week mark we went to the community nurse as a routine check up (again diff system in Aus we didn’t get all the midwife aftercare that happens here!) she was great and helped me with my latch and told me the pain wasn’t normal and to come back if it didn’t start getting better.. she was amazing and did help a lot still in a bit of pain but sooo much better!
2 weeks(?) later I was worried my daughter wasn’t putting on weight and was worried about my supply so went back to the nurse .. got a different one this time and she suggested top up feeds with formula as my daughter was putting on weight but not quite at the rate I should have been .. for some reason it just didn’t sit right with me .. I am not adverse at all to formula infact I had a tin sitting at the ready from day 1 but just wanted a second opinion .. hello google .. found the most amazing LC in my area she did a one on one consult with me and said that should really get the tongue tie looked at as she had clearly done damage to my nipple .. also lots of good practical advise nothing ground breaking but just reassuring! Ended up having the tongue tie lasered and made a huge difference to feed times etc
Feeding went really well from there on in .. about 4 months in I noticed she was fussing a lot at the breast at night and reached out to my LC again and decided that a formula feed before bed might help as supply was dropping and then from there the rest is history … ended up (finally!) weaning at 18 months I was ready way before that but my daughter was after a comfort feed in the mornings
Now I’m a week out from baby number two and know 1) I can do it 2) do what sits right for you 3) find an expert you trust