Breastfeeding always brings me mixed emotions, on the one hand it’s a beautiful thing to watch Henry feeding away looking so cute and perfect, but on the other hand I’m thinking “hang on a second son, those boobs are normally my playground not yours”. That aside as a man you expect breastfeeding to be simple, it’s such a natural thing isn’t it? Mum takes out her boob, baby opens it’s mouth, it latches on and feeds. Simple.
Except it doesn’t always seem to work like that. This is my biggest frustration with the whole thing, it seems so inexact, so lacking in real rules or science. For example there is always a question about whether the milk is calorific or not, why not test it? It can’t be that difficult for some scientist to come up with a simple test for this right?
The good news is that Henry has started putting weight on, topping up with formula once or twice a day seems to have helped. But we still don’t know really why this is needed and why just breastfeeding isn’t enough. We’ve been back and forth to the hospital to see the midwives and answered ‘the checklist’ each time, it goes something like this;
- How’s the latch? Perfect, that boy sure knows his way around a boob and can suck with the best of them.
- Have you got enough milk? Well it’s dripping onto the lady of the manors lap and a little squeeze is akin to a fire hydrant so yep I reckon we’re ok there.
- Mum’s diet? Well not a lot of junk food but certainly not low fat, oh and we had fish and chips last night. Malnourished we are not.
- Length of feed? That boy will happily chomp for at least an hour, more if you give him the chance.
It’s at this point that the midwife inevitably runs out of ideas and goes to ‘talk with her colleagues’. Well we finally had enough of this lack of any real answer or suggestion and today the lady of the manor went to a breastfeeding support group run locally.
There she met a lady who had some fancy official title but whom I shall just call the Chief Boob lady. This lady ran the checklist of course but she also inspected the ‘apparatus’ and observed feeding for more than 5 minutes. Then she did something different to the midwives, she looked for solutions and answers that didn’t end in ‘give him some formula’. She was positive and enthusiastic, she made the lady of the manor feel good that she’s made it to 3 weeks and is still feeding.
So now we have a few ideas, tomorrow we are going to see the chief mouth lady to see if Henry perhaps has a tongue tie and this is impacting the amount of the hind milk that he gets. We’re also going to see a Cranial Osteopath to see if Henry has suffered from what was quite a stressful birth and whether that could be impacting his feeding in some way.
It feels so different to actually have some good suggestions on things we can do. Feeding is going so well with no pain or discomfort at all for the lady of the manor, it’s stupid to give up on that just because it doesn’t seem to be quite filling him up at the moment.
If any of you have been through similar experiences I’d love to hear about them and what you did.