First of all I would like to thank you for your help, support and encouragement. In my opinion you are doing miracles!
Here is my story:
My baby David refused to be breast fed from the very first day, even though born healthy and big (3.8 kg), in a natural birth. At first I thought the reason was that I didn't have enough breast milk – during the first three days it seemed that there was no milk at all, and on the fourth day I managed to pump 40 cc in 24 hours. So my first task was to produce more milk. I achieved this by a combination of two things: capsules of Trigonella Foenum Graecum and pumping milk every three hours for twenty minutes while doing breast massage (using "Lactina" with double set). In a couple of weeks I already had more milk than the baby needed. However, he still wouldn't take to the breast. I invited a breast feeding counselor to a home visit and we tried using a silicon nipple (to trick him as if it was a bottle), using a straw (to help him so that he doesn't have to work hard), and different positions, but nothing worked! I continued trying all of those things alone for another couple of weeks without any success. As soon as the baby realized that I was offering him the breast he screamed and cried, and it took a long time and a lot of efforts to calm him down.
Then I heard from my Yoga teacher, who is a mother of two children, that the last resort for women with breast feeding problems like mine and who already have tried everything else, is to go to Gina. At that time I'd almost given up, was very stressed and even thought that there might be something wrong with me or my baby. I phoned to arrange a meeting with Gina and this was my last hope.
At the first meeting we talked about 'skin to skin contact' and 'self attachment'. We put the baby vertically on my chest and in a few minuets a truly amazing thing happened: David crawled towards one of the nipples, found it, opened his mouth as wide as he could and tried to suck! Then he turned his head and crawled towards the other breast – and again found the nipple! He was even breast feeding for a couple of minutes. When I tried to repeat the 'self attachment' at home, he also crawled, found and attached to the nipples quite easily, but he didn't suck and after two-three attempts got angry and cried. So, at our second meeting with Gina we talked about teaching David to suck, rather then press and squeeze as he was used doing when eating from bottles.
After this meeting we completely stopped using bottles and started using the 'finger feeding' technique. In the beginning he bit my finger a lot and was so tired from eating this way that slept all the time, but after a couple of days he completely mastered the new method and could eat 120 cc in 20 minutes. My next task was to choose a moment when David is not tired and not very hungry but rather feeling 'snackish' and offer him the breast again. In order to do this we had to break his feedings into 2-3 parts and feed only 40-60 cc in one go. This way he didn't get tired from eating and was always a little bit hungry. At the same time I continued doing the 'skin to skin' without breastfeeding, but just putting the baby on my chest and making him feel relaxed and comfortable. And on the 6th day of 'finger feeding' when David was resting on my chest a miracle happened: he attached himself to the breast and started sucking, and he was calm and confident as if he were breast feeding from the start and were not eating from bottles for the first month of his life. I was absolutely fascinated by my breast feeding baby and will remember this moment as one of the happiest moments of my life.
Today is a week since our first success, I am only breast feeding now (no more bottles and finger feeding). David now attaches himself to the breast from any position and in any place: in the car, on the beach, in my office at work. At home he attaches as soon as I take him out of the cot! So he is already eating while I walk from the cot to the sofa. Our daily routine has changed for the better: no more bottle washing, sterilizing, warming the milk, pumping every three hours. But the more important change is in bonding with my baby: before I was working very hard trying to take care of David according to the time table that I had set to myself, I felt that I couldn't manage everything on time and was often stressed. Now I more rely on my intuition because I feel I somehow know what the baby needs and I just enjoy our time together.
I'm attaching a couple of photos of our progress 🙂
Gina, thank you very very much!