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“After several failed attempts I successfully breastfed my baby even with inverted nipples”

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Breastfeeding my firstborn daughter was challenging, but it was easier the second time around, says this mom. Read on to know more

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“After several failed attempts I successfully breastfed my baby even with inverted nipples”

"I was 30 when I had my eldest child. Breastfeeding was difficult in the initial days, as my daughter Honey found it hard to suckle, because I had inverted nipples. It was upsetting for me to see her struggle so hard for her feed. We tried so many things to express the milk—the elders in the family even shared their tips and tricks passed on from generation to generation, but none of them worked.

Finally, I took my daughter to the pediatrician, who asked me to get a syringe without a needle, place it on my nipple, and with the help of the suction method draw the milk out, similar to the way we draw blood. That worked like magic; after a few tries, my daughter started suckling, and, thankfully, got used to it. So much so that she didn’t let go of the habit until the age of 5. It became a concern for us, as she wouldn’t eat anything properly. It was so ironic that I had to then resort to tips and tricks to stop breastfeeding her! Tried almost everything, like applying bitter gourd juice and turmeric paste and using Band-Aid to cover the nipples to coax her to let go of the habit, but nothing worked.

Then I got pregnant again, when Honey was 5. When we told her that she was going to be a big sister, she was ecstatic. Took her a few days and a lot of conversations to understand the changes in store for our family and how all our lives would change with the arrival of a new family member. Her understanding of her role as a big sister was revealed to us when one day she came and told me, “Now that you have a new baby in your tummy, all the milk has to be given to her, so I won’t drink anymore.” It was sweet and heartwarming to see her taking up the role of the protective big sister even before the arrival of the baby in her own sweet li’l way.I had a daughter again, and Harsha, as we call her, is around a year old now, and, thankfully, I didn’t face any issues breastfeeding her. The second time around I had a better understanding of how to go about it and so it was easier."

By Athulya Ravindran

(As told to Meera Mathews Marrate)

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