I had a breast reduction surgery when I was 18 …

Comment on Feed The Baby: When Supplementing Saves Breastfeeding by Crystal.

I had a breast reduction surgery when I was 18 years old. 8 years later, my midwives told me that I would likely not exclusively breastfeed because the surgery typically damages too much tissue.

We didn’t have much of a plan in place as I was pretty determined to breastfeed. When my daughter was born, she was on the lower side of a healthy birth weight, she had the cord wrapped around her neck and she wasn’t breathing well. They immediately took her away from me for the next 2 hours. By the time that she was returned to me, she was very lethargic and it was difficult to get her to latch for more then 1 or 2 minutes at a time.

By day 3, she had lost 11% of her body weight and was still jaundiced. At that time my midwife recommended supplementing with formula. It was what I had been dreading. My body could not give my baby what she needed. I alone could not sustain her and keep her alive. Of course, my baby’s needs will always come before my own, so we began supplementing.

I would struggle to wake her up enough to nurse her for a few minutes, then I would pump, feed her the pumped milk out of a shot glass (so as not to cause nipple confusion), then top her up with formula out of the shot glass as well. After 24 hours, she had gained over 9 ounces.

After 48 hours, she was an entirely different baby. She was eager at the breast, demanding to be fed, for 20-30 minutes at a time! I continued to pump, slowly pumping from 1/2 ounce to 2 ounces. The first time I pumped 3 ounces after a feed I cried. Before I knew it, she was refusing the formula top up. With the help of our midwives and IBCLC, we were exclusively breastfeeding!

Without supplementation, my child would have been very hurt or worse! I am so happy that it helped us on our breastfeeding journey! She is now a very healthy and happy 11 month old and is loving solid food with no sign of stopping nursing any time in the very near future.