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Baby Refused to Suck

By Marjolein Dallinga, St. Sauveur, Quebec

The labour was short and very intense, but the birth was painful because the doctor painfully pulled my baby into the world. We were both quite damaged. My baby was unhappy, and anxious and would only sleep in my arms.

In the hospital they didn’t allow me to hold him constantly. During our separations we were both wakeful and crying. When they at last brought him to me he was hysterical, and refused to suck.

I discovered he would calm if I rocked him, or walked him, and when calm he would easily nurse. I was very engorged with sore nipples in the hospital, but at last when we came home, this was easily relieved by constant nursing.

Nursing made us both calm and serene, and I could stand the stressful life with a spirited baby who hardly slept. I learned to be a mother.

Hans refused all food but my breastmilk until he was one year old. I was unsure of myself; everyone told me he should have solids at six months, but he was thriving. He was tall, fat and very healthy and knew what was good for him. Slowly he began to take a little bread and yoghurt.

When my son was 18 months I suddenly had very cracked and painful nipples. He teeth touched the crack when he nursed but we continued and after three weeks it healed and never reappeared.

My son is 21 months now. Our continued breastfeeding is the most loving, profound experience I have had since he was born. He talks a little and it is even more special that he “asks” for my milk and my love.

Pumping and Praying

By Janet Bardon, Halifax, Nova Scotia

My five-year-old was born early, at 30 weeks. I ran from office to hospital for six weeks, pumping, holding, tube feeding, pumping and praying. Owen came to the office with me until he walked, thankfully not until 18 months, when he started staying home with Daddy. We breastfed two years.

When Isobel was born three years later, full term, thank heavens, I found myself with another infant who couldn’t nurse, probably due to a very traumatic birth with high forceps. I started pumping and tube feeding, and she nursed, finally at 12 days.

I blossomed into a breastfeeding radical. I feed my babies openly, publicly and as often as possible. I challenge anyone who remarks on the breastfeeding relationship. Isobel is two years old and still breastfeeding many times a day; we’ll stop when she wants to. We managed to afford a king-size bed a year ago, and have a family-bed. The children are thriving.

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