OBS Case Study - Majd
Majd with her daughter
When I got pregnant, I knew I wanted to breastfeed exclusively for the first six months. I remember my midwife telling me that many people think that just because breastfeeding is natural, it should be easy. She warned me that it's not. I thought I was prepared for it to be challenging. But I don't think anything can really prepare you.
My daughter latched well after birth with the help of the midwives, then I went home a few hours later. That's when the nightmare started. I struggled so much with the pain, even when it looked like she was latched well. I watched so many breastfeeding videos and tried so many positions, but breastfeeding remained the hardest thing I've ever done. I remember telling my friend that I'd get pregnant again, that I'd have an unmedicated birth again, and that I'd forgo sleep again, but that I couldnt go through breastfeeding again, and that was why I wouldn't have another baby.
My daughter cluster-fed a lot and was a terrible sleeper. Even when we managed to put her down, she would only nap for 20-30 minutes. This exacerbated my breastfeeding issues. It felt like she was feeding all the time, and it was so painful, no matter what I tried.
I reached out to OBS for support and received so many helpful tips from Lisa, but the lack of in-person meetings due to COVID meant that I couldnt receive hands-on support, which I felt like I desperately needed. Still, I learned excellent nipple and breast pain relief, and learned a lot about normal vs concerning feeding behavior. I also felt better after Lisa explained to me that my baby feeds for so much more than just calories. She also feeds for comfort, to feel close to me, to ease gas pain, and to go to sleep.
I hated breastfeeding, but learning its benefits made me keep going. I was also waiting for the six-week mark, because I had it in my head that 6 weeks is a magical time point at which all my breastfeeding troubles will be resolved. That unfortunately wasn't the case.
Talking to Lisa gave me goals and made me focus on trying new things, instead of how miserable I was. And then, a little after eight weeks, I woke up one day to realise that breastfeeding no longer hurt at all. It was definitely gradual, but I was surprised to find that none of my feeding sessions were painful anymore. I could look at my daughter and enjoy this time with her.
Still, every time I wanted to give up, I talked to Lisa. It really helped that I always got a response within hours of sending in a request for one-on-one support. Talking to Lisa gave me goals and made me focus on trying new things, instead of how miserable I was. And then, a little after eight weeks, I woke up one day to realise that breastfeeding no longer hurt at all. It was definitely gradual, but I was surprised to find that none of my feeding sessions were painful anymore. I could look at my daughter and enjoy this time with her. I didn't silently pray that she would be done, or cry the entire session, or even gingerly rub nipple cream after she fed. I just snuggled my baby and talked to her. I'm not sure what changed. I think it's her head and neck control, and the fact that she latches herself now rather than needing me to do it for her. Ever since she took charge, we've been doing much better.
I'm so glad I kept going, because now it's just a special and lovely time. I'm so lucky that I had OBS's and Lisa's support and understanding when I was going through a hard time. It helped me keep going and push through.