My wife would describe her breastfeeding days as the most gratifying time of her life — but it didn’t start out that way for Dana and Jack.
Dana and I knew the benefits of breastfeeding, and that’s how Jack’s life began. By the time he was an hour old, he was breastfeeding.
But almost immediately Dana sensed that something was amiss. Jack would fuss and act frustrated while he nursed, and Dana feared he wasn’t getting enough milk.
When a friend suggested giving Jack a bottle of formula, he immediately calmed down and seemed satisfied.
We were distraught. Wasn’t breastfeeding natural, like rolling off a log?
That’s how it was with Dana’s sister and her son. We feared we would have to abandon breastfeeding.
Then we turned to a lactation consultant, who turned everything around – although the next two weeks were wild.
She suggested that Dana continue to nurse, and to pump her breast when she wasn’t nursing to stimulate milk flow.
Also, while Jack nursed, I was to drip formula down Dana’s breast into Jack’s mouth.
This sounded crazy, but we tried it.
I’m not the neatest guy in the world, so as I dripped, the milk went everywhere – but mostly all over Jack’s face and head.
For the next two weeks, that was our messy routine. Dana nursed and pumped, and I dripped formula all over the place.
We laugh about it now, but as new parents we were riddled with doubt and feared we’d be doing this messy milk dance forever.
Amazingly, it all worked. Within two weeks, Dana produced enough milk for Jack, and we discarded the formula.
And that’s when doubt was replaced by bliss – Dana’s word to describe her days as a breastfeeding mom.
It was a wild ride, but our persistence paid off.
And thank goodness for the lactation consultant.