Mum and breastfeeding baby

WBFW: Alex's Story - Breast Engorgement, Nipple Trauma and Eczema Journey

World Breastfeeding Week 2022

Alex's Story:
Breast Engorgement, Nipple Trauma and Eczema Journey

My breastfeeding journey was unfortunately quite short with my first daughter, lasting 3 weeks mostly due to an incredible lack of knowledge and support. I mean, it still hits me hard some days that I was so let down in this area of care. When I found out I was pregnant with my second daughter the first thing I did was contact my incredible IBCLC and join every breastfeeding page available. I had an antenatal zoom consult and I was confident and educated and excited for the birth of my second baby.  

 Despite being more proactive and prepared leading up to birth, unfortunately our latch just still wasn't right. At a week old we had an in-home visit and dealt with the joys of healing the toe curling painful nipples which consisted of pumping and pace bottle feeding. With that I stumbled into major engorgement and a super close call with mastitis that we got on top of just in time.

A couple months later we hit another bump, my daughter was so constipated and unsettled and just would not feed properly. In fact the only way she would feed was if we both were laying down. I will never forget on mothers day in a busy restaurant ( in my Moolk, in fact). I had to lay down on the bench seats to feed her. We went through paediatrician appointments, allergists and dietician appointments, low weight gain , and suspected intolerances the next 8 months consisting of food trials and laxatives. It was gruelling. I was also put on motillium as she was just so fussy and not gaining enough weight. I then spent the next 6 months trying to wean off it and was finally successful after the 4th attempt. 

After thinking we’d finally had this breastfeeding business sorted, I started getting eczema on my breast that slowly but surely got worse. To the point it was so infected I had to take steroids and antibiotics a few times. It got so bad that every little suck was like a lighter being held on my nipple. It was excruciating and yet, somehow, we still persevered.  Going back to work was also very stressful as I didn't respond well to the pump and had to spend a lot of time expressing and increasing my output. But again, I persevered and we got there.  


 Right now, I have embraced the round the clock demand feeding and co sleeping. I know this won’t last forever and she is getting the best from me 💓 Nearly 18 months on she is a thriving wild child who sleeps on my chest every night and helps herself to “booba" when she needs.  I write this with tears in my eyes and I'm so incredibly proud of us and how far we have come and so honoured to be able to provide such goodness and comfort to my baby gal.

I'm so grateful to Alex for sharing her beautifully unique breastfeeding journey with us. From all of us here at Moolk, thank you endlessly for your vulnerability and helping raise awareness for World Breastfeeding Week 2022.