Why didn't anyone tell me that sometimes it takes weeks for a newborn to learn to breastfeed?
I thought it was going to be so easy and natural. My mother had breastfed all three of us, and never seemed to have any problems. I took a breastfeeding class to make sure I knew what I was in for, but apparently they didn't tell me everything...
When my son was born in January, I was fully prepared to breastfeed, but he screamed and cried when we tried to get him to latch on. The lactation specialist at the hospital was certain he had some abnormality of his mouth or tongue-tie, and the doctors told me that probably wasn't the case and to wait it out. Now, when you've just given birth, you're on very little sleep and have raging hormones, this is not a good time to hear two specialists arguing over your son's health. I left the hospital with a breast pump, assorted breastfeeding gadgets, and some backup formula. I felt like I was letting him down.
I was determined to keep trying anyway, and my perserverence paid off. Suddenly, at 6 weeks of age with the help of a nipple shield, he figured it out and got down to business! I then read online that others experienced the same thing around the 6th week, and that not all babies are able or willing to latch on right after birth. We've had our ups and downs since then, and he's not 100% breastfed, but things are going better.