Tuesday, August 13, 2013

TBD: Sasha's Story

This week on The Breastfeeding Diaries, I'm featuring Sasha, a new mama who is just starting her breastfeeding journey. 

Breastfeeding. Oh how do we begin to discuss this beautiful, wonderful and exhausting gift that us women all share? For me, it's simple. I truly love it. I truly cherish it. And I want nothing else than to provide the best nourishment I can for my daughter.

This past May my husband and I had our first child. A gorgeous little girl that is about to be three months old (time flies by). From the day I found out I was pregnant I knew I wanted to breastfeed. I knew that no matter what, I'd do whatever it took to breastfeed and I knew that my goal was to breastfeed for a year. I prayed every night to have a good milk supply to nourish my baby and to have success with breastfeeding. 

Immediately after having a grueling twenty six hour natural labor, I did skin to skin contact with my daughter followed by breastfeeding. I wanted to breastfeed her before visitors came in because I wanted to have that immediate bond and I think it made her a better latcher with all of the nurses there to help us. In the beginning our only battle was engorgement and then an over abundant supply (block feeding helps with this). Other than some exhausting evenings of cluster feedings and some growth spurts, things were going great. 

Things were so regulated with my block feeding (feeding on one side only for a certain time frame) that I decided to stop block feeding and try traditional nursing. Soon after, we started noticing some bad diapers with strings of blood and mucus. After a few trips to her doctor, they diagnosed her with a possible milk protein allergy meaning that I would have to eliminate dairy from my diet. 

Do you know how hard that is? I drink milk like water. Yikes. And dairy is in everything!

In a way I was confused as to how this could all be dairy because she had no other symptoms commonly associated with food allergies. I began my dairy free and soy free diet 3.5 weeks ago; however someone in my breastfeeding support group mentioned that these issues could be because of a possible fore milk // hind milk imbalance. After reading about all of the symptoms associated with this, I came to believe that this could definitely be our problem since she had most of the symptoms. And since I had stopped block feeding, I had begun to notice a lot of fore milk when I pumped. 

The fix for imbalance issues? To block feed. Well looka there...I should have NEVER stopped. We are now 3.5 weeks dairy/soy free and 2 weeks back block feeding. I've had emotional days dealing with all of this because going dairy free isn't easy; cooking for a husband becomes very hard on a dairy free diet. Finding food to eat and things to snack on is near impossible. I've had emotional moments where I wonder what really is the culprit and even moments where I have doubted my ability to do this. 

Thankfully her diapers are much better now and things are looking up. This past week we had a day where my block feeding got off a bit, and in a rush I gave her a breast that was full. The next day her diapers were back to being bad again. This recent episode has led me to believe that it really may be the imbalance issue and not the dairy. In my heart, I've felt it was this for the last two weeks. Meaning that I may could indulge in a glass of milk and boy, I sure could go for a cold glass of milk right now. 

So why do this to myself? Why sit here and eliminate foods that I don't even know for sure are hurting her? Why do all these things to find a solution that I may never find or may find three months from now? It's because I don't want to stop. I don't want to give up. Breastfeeding is the best and most beautiful thing that I could have ever done for my daughter. It's a bond that I don't want to end any time soon. 

Please, never give up. If you're not ready to stop breastfeeding and you believe in your heart that you can fix the issues you are having, never give up. Even if your doctor recommends you switch to formula -- mommy knows best and as long as your little one is healthy and happy, then you have the flexibility to try different things to fix your breastfeeding issues. Hopefully I can try some dairy soon and see what happens. Hopefully I can fix my imbalance issue and get things good again. I'm so ready to have things back on track. 

Passing up a bowl of ice cream right now is hard, but not being able to breastfeed my daughter would be even harder. 

Thanks so much to Amanda for featuring me on her blog today. I loved sharing my story with you guys. I hope you check out my blog, The Mushy Mommy, where I blog about all things wife and mommy. Happy breastfeeding!!! xoxo, Sasha


  1. I'm due in January with my first and hoping and praying that I can breastfeed. I can't imagine how hard it has been for you to go dairy free. Cheese has been my biggest pregnancy craving so far!

    My mom wasn't able to breastfeed with me because I was so sick as a baby and never latched, with my brother he was a pig and she never had enough for him. I want to do everything I can to be educated and ready to breastfeed when the time comes.

  2. I'm so happy that I was able to share this on your wonderful blog. I hope that many others can find the encouragement to keep trying no matter what if that's what they want to do. As of now, my milk seems to be balanced and things were looking up but we're back to some off diapers. I am assuming it is dairy and may possibly be nuts too.

    So happy to share this! Thanks Amanda!

  3. These blogs are really helpful for mums who want to breastfeed. There isn't much support, I found, in the UK. I managed to breastfeed one of mine for a month before I was really ill with an infection (I had a c-sec) and when I got it right after the first three days of trying, it was amazing for that short time.


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