With my teeth clenched and my toes crooked I laid on her.
Every other week we ask a Real Mom if they would like the NurtureGoods experience. These moms use a breast pump from NurtureGoods in order to describe and share their experiences. In this way, we hope to raise awareness of the NurtureGoods experience and help you make a choice. This week it's mom Marion's turn. Will you read along?
Marion's NurtureGoods experience (Instagram @marionvanzutphen)
Me and breastfeeding, it's a sometimes hate but mostly love relationship
I have never experienced so much perseverance in myself as in wanting to breastfeed and persevering!
It started with the birth of my first daughter Guusje. I knew I really wanted to breastfeed and thought I would easily succeed. When I started some leaking at the end of my pregnancy, I was so proud of that yellowish goodness: wow, there is just milk coming out of me, which I made myself!
When she was born she was having a hard time latching on. She'll probably be fine I thought. Yet the help of nipple caps turned out to be necessary. A great help for Guusje. I found it a lot of fiddling and fussing, but she was drinking, that was the most important thing. Then the engorgement started. The hard spots stayed and started to hurt, I thought that was just part of it. A little massaging and keeping warm, feeding my daughter in different positions and then it would probably go away. Unfortunately it did not. The day after the maternity nurse left I had a fever of 41 degrees. I had a breast infection. I was shaking all over from the fever, I had never experienced anything like it! That night my friend went to the doctor's office to get antibiotics, which finally cleared up the infection.
The following weeks I had two more breast infections. Fortunately these were less severe than the first but still no fun! As if that wasn't enough, we also had to deal with thrush: a fungus in our daughter's mouth. Unfortunately, this fungus also got into my nipples causing me a stabbing pain during feeding. I had to grit my teeth every time she sucked. Guusje drank very restlessly because of the thrush which caused a lot of fuss and stress during feeds. The remedy from the doctor didn't help and I started searching the internet.
I think I tried just about every medication and trick in existence against thrush but nothing helped. The thrush remained and so did Guusje's mega restless drinking. After about three months the thrush was suddenly gone and I could finally really enjoy breastfeeding. What fine moments we had! Wonderful when they drink, look at you and start smiling. I breastfed her until she was nine months old (and started biting me, haha! Then it was done for me).
With my second daughter Charlie, born May 2023, I went into it with the same feeling again: I really want to breastfeed. Despite my experience with my first daughter and knowing that I could go through it all again. I even knew of myself that if I went through the whole circus again, I would still push through. Maternal primal instinct?
Immediately after birth, she was breasted incorrectly which had already resulted in a large sucking spot on my nipple. During the week she also didn't always latch on properly which resulted in broken nipples, the skin was literally peeling off. It felt just like with Guusje's thrush: a stabbing pain when she started drinking. With my teeth clenched and my toes crooked I put her on. I then continued with nipple caps to ease the pain a bit. Also this time I had fink some congestion, I had to pump my breasts completely empty at times because she didn't empty them. I was also very alert for breast infections given my past.
By massaging a lot, I got ahead of the infections and so far I still haven't had a breast infection! After a few weeks, the skin on my nipple had also regrown and I started tapering off the nipple cap.
Unfortunately Charlie has also contracted thrush but so far I have not been bothered by it myself. Occasionally she drinks restlessly but for the most part she enjoys the feedings. Especially now that she is looking at me more and more while drinking and every now and then a cozy smile appears!
I think I will continue breastfeeding for a nice long time this time as well which means I will be pumping at work as well. Super nice with the Nurture Goods wireless breast pump! With Guusje, I always sat next to a sink on a stool at work because there was an outlet there. This time, I know it: nice and comfortable in a nice chair to pump my own milk for the little girl. It's such a special thing, your own breast milk.
Breastfeeding is often underestimated and is really hard work in most cases! But the beautiful intimate moments I have (had) with my daughter(s) are truly moments of us together that no one takes away from me anymore!