May 27, 2020

Sonia Chatterjee on how breastfeeding can be as complicated as motherhood

The myriad dilemmas and challenges faced during breastfeeding are not very openly spoken and it is a good sign that increasingly new mums are talking about it to spread awareness.

Here’s a story from this mum from Kolkata who is a blogger and wants to share her journey of having a memorable early motherhood phase. One that came with its own set of challenges and high points.

Sonia shares with Mums and Stories, “My son was born in 2015. I had an extremely complicated 2.5 hours C-section, thanks to a horrible mess up by a junior anesthetist. So while she tried spinal injection seven times on me, the end result was a delivery involving general anesthesia.

Day 1- I was in so much pain that I could barely hold my son. Still my hubby insisted on trying to get my baby to latch on. I did and the extremely unfriendly nurse said-no milk. So my baby was immediately put on formula. Day 2-milk started leaking from my left breast. I tried feeding my baby. The dayshift nurse was quite helpful and she got my son to latch on. The night shift nurse insisted that I give formula because baby had low sugar count. My husband had just gone back home after 2.5 days, so I decided to follow her advice.

Day 3 -an irate husband informed the pediatrician that baby was put on formula while breastfeeding should have been followed.

Incidentally the nurse had apparently informed pediatrician, that I was the one who refused since I felt too weak to stay up. Again we tried breastfeeding on and off but with less encouraging results.

I was soon discharged on the fourth day in the evening, after gynecologist completed the checkup. Later  I came back to dad’s place. My in- laws had thankfully agreed to stay on for few days since it would have been a little difficult for my dad to manage all by himself.

My mom had passed away in 2011 and I’m the only child. The problem began when we reached home and my baby started crying. I tried feeding and there was the biggest trouble- I couldn’t get him to latch on and began a the journey where I felt dejected.

We tried formula and he refused along with every technique we had tried to feed him.  At one point, my father-in-law  felt that maybe it was colic pain and we decided to give him medicine.

My hubby who, until then, was way too scared to hold the new born for more than 10secs stepped in and took charge. He rocked the baby trying to put him to sleep. But how could a hungry new born sleep!

The entire night we stayed up trying the correct position to help him latch on . I would say, there began the new path of bonding between me and my son. My toddler, until his 5th month never slept through the night. He would stay up till 5 am and feed throughout the night. Due to such a complicated delivery, there were times when I felt like giving up on exclusive breastfeeding, when I couldn’t sit through anymore. Also my sciatica pain would make me cry and then I would go back reading pinned posts and other posts on a breastfeeding support group on Facebook. I would come back strong and inspired. Without my family’s support, specially my hubby, this sojourn wouldn’t have been possible. I am proud to share that six months of exclusive breastfeeding was the best thing I could have done and I am glad I did it.

At twenty seven months, I weaned him since the feed had eventually dropped to just once in the night. While I still miss the togetherness in our breastfeeding sessions, I am glad that my little man is growing up to explore the world so fast.”

As a final note on herself, Sonia shares, “I realized that the only other thing that made me happy apart from coffee, sleep and my toddler was writing. I run the blog through which I cover a range of categories like reviews, travel diaries, parenting, social issues and my personal journey.”


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