New moms share their nurs­ing or­deals.

In the “Girls” se­ries fi­nale, Han­nah’s baby has trou­ble latch­ing. We hear from real women about their own nurs­ing or­deals.

Metro USA (Boston) - - FRONT PAGE - KATE MOONEY @yat­in­brook­lyn

Han­nah Hor­vath isn’t the first mom to strug­gle with breast­feed­ing.

In the “Girls” se­ries fi­nale, “Latch­ing,” we see Lena Dun­ham’s char­ac­ter lose her mind be­cause her new­born baby, Grover, won’t latch onto her nip­ple and take her milk. She feels like a bad mother whose baby hates her, and acts butt hurt (boob hurt?) as though he were just an­other guy re­ject­ing her. And giv­ing Grover a bot­tle of for­mula is viewed as a last-case sce­nario — giv­ing up.

Ku­dos to “Girls” for de­pict­ing this in­cred­i­bly try­ing as­pect of moth­er­hood. We’re of­ten told that breast milk is best for the baby’s health, and that the act fos­ters a fun­da­men­tal moth­erbaby bond that will serve the child for years to come, but no one pre­pares women for the ba­sic lo­gis­ti­cal dif­fi­cul­ties of the act, not to men­tion its phys­i­cal and emotional toll.

We hear from real women on their strug­gles with breast­feed­ing and what they wish they had known be­fore to pre­pare.

When you give birth to twins but can’t make enough milk for both mouths

“I phys­i­cally couldn’t breast­feed. I pro­duced some milk but not nearly enough for two ba­bies. It was so dis­ap­point­ing be­cause be­fore you have a child, breast­feed­ing vs. for­mula is pre­sented as this sort of choice of equal op­tions, but the re­al­ity is that one is 500,000 times more dif­fi­cult than the other and there’s not even a guar­an­tee you can do it.

“We had to sup­ple­ment with for­mula from day one be­cause they were too small and I wasn’t mak­ing enough milk. I stopped breast­feed­ing at all around four months.”

When the baby latches but that’s not the end of your trou­bles

“My baby latched from Day One, but I would have to try a mil­lion times un­til he got the breast right. He has to have his mouth open and you have to bring him right over to your breast. I called the lac­ta­tion nurse many times. With­out her help I don’t think I would have made it. Funny thing, from watch­ing movies, I thought nurs­ing was so easy. Do you re­mem­ber ‘The Blue La­goon’? The baby just goes to Brooke Shield’s nip­ple and starts suck­ing. Well, it is not like that at all.”

When pump­ing at work is a lo­gis­ti­cal night­mare

“When I went back to work, that’s when the trou­ble started. For me, I was teach­ing at a univer­sity, so I would have back-to-back classes and I would have a break ev­ery three hours. I’d run to this room, which was like a con­verted dorm room des­ig­nated for this, it was so dis­gust­ing in there. I would pump and then run back to my next class to teach, hop­ing there was noth­ing leak­ing. It’s the most in­fu­ri­at­ing process.”

When you can’t breast­feed be­cause you have in­verted nip­ples and your baby is tonguetied

“I read all the stuff on breast­feed­ing, but [my baby] wouldn’t latch. Af­ter a few days in the hospital, the pe­di­a­tri­cian said, ‘Oh, he has a tongue-tie.’ Some­times ba­bies are born with the skin un­der their tongue more for­ward so their mouth can’t re­ally open. Plus, I have in­verted nip­ples. I pumped ex­clu­sively for five months. Eight times a day. I was like a Medela cow milk­ing my­self.

“The whole point of breast­feed­ing is that you’re sup­posed to have this amaz­ing con­nec­tion with your child. [In­stead] I pumped, and my hus­band would feed him the bot­tle. I felt like my hus­band was his f—ing mother! And be­cause you’re kind of crazy, you’re think­ing, ‘Oh, my child doesn’t like me, and I’m do­ing all the work pump­ing eight times a day, my nip­ples are chafed, I can’t leave my house for long be­cause I’m at­tached to this ma­chine, so, it was just this de­press­ing cy­cle. It wasn’t the ex­pe­ri­ence I wanted.”

Han­nah Hor­vath loses her mind try­ing to get her baby to latch. Marnie isn’t much help as her smoth­er­ing side­kick. HBO

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.