After three years of being married to Ashish, we finally got the good news. I was pregnant after trying for so long. We were over the moon and with each passing day of my pregnancy, we were getting a little more excited to welcome our baby. My pregnancy was a beautiful experience, everything felt new and fresh and my husband took extra care of me. We read up and researched every aspect of pregnancy as much as we could, especially focussing on the benefits of breastfeeding for both me and my baby. Although my pregnancy had been a fairly uncomplicated one, things quickly changed. Ananya, our baby had to be delivered via an emergency C-section.
Due to this, Ananya had to be observed in the NICU for the first few days. I wasn’t allowed to hold my baby for as long as I wanted to and when I tried to breastfeed her, my poor baby couldn’t latch on. Ananya was top fed from Day 01 with formula milk. It pained me, but there wasn’t anything I could do. I felt helpless and at night I used to cry alone. When we finally took Ananya home, I was so relieved. I now had all the time to bond with my baby and finally a chance to coerce her into breastfeeding.
Of course, I knew this was going to be a challenge for both me and her, so I knew I had to be very patient. But no amount of time and patience proved fruitful. My baby couldn’t latch properly and this caused me immense pain as well, both physically and emotionally.
I could sense that my breasts weren’t producing enough milk, my supply was dwindling day by day. I wanted to breastfeed my baby as much as I could, but I was slowly losing hope. That’s when Shivani, my neighbour, introduced me to a breast pump. Prior to this, I had only faintly heard of breast pumps, I didn’t even know how it worked, and to be honest, I never gave it any thought because I had never anticipated that breastfeeding would be a problem. We did our due diligence in doing our research about breastfeeding, but one thing we didn’t focus on was what I would do if there were any breastfeeding problems.
Shivani told me that she too faced the same problem as I had and this is when she started using a breast pump. She brought her own pump to explain to me how the different parts of the pump worked, how to use it, how to sterilise it and she also taught me how to store my breast milk. I was still extremely sceptical. I wondered if it would really work or if it would just be a waste of my time and money. She told me that until I tried it for myself, I would never know. After being assured by my doctor that weren’t any side effects, and that there were no problems with my nipples, I went ahead and bought myself a breast pump.
When I came home, I got into a breast pumping position right away. Following Shivani’s tips, I placed a wet muslin cloth over my breasts for 5 minutes, I found a calming spot while my husband put my baby to bed and I tried to relax. I started pumping for a good 15 minutes but nothing happened. It didn’t work like I thought it would.
I told Shivani about it and she told me that perhaps I was sitting in a wrong position or that the breast shields in the pump weren’t placed directly on my nipple. And it turns out, she was right. The second time I tried it, I didn’t bend forward like I did the first time. I closed my eyes, and tried to relax as much as I could, I shut out everything else. I placed the phalange right on my nipple and I started pumping. I didn’t put any pressure on myself, and 5 minutes later, I was successful.
Since that day, I have been pumping 4 times a day. The first few days were a little tough as my supply had drastically decreased but soon with the help of a breast pump, my supply had increased significantly. I could now feed my baby my breast milk whenever I wanted. He started putting on weight and seemed to be getting healthier. I too felt a huge tension being lifted off of my shoulder and started becoming a happier mother. As a mother who faced a problem like this one and was so sceptical, I want to tell other women to go ahead and give breast pumps a try. It worked wonders for me and it will for you as well.