Breastfeeding Journey for Six – Love and Pain In One

As young girl, just 20, I was very convinced that breastfed babies had a better chance in life. So when my first daughter was born in 1980, I went flat for it. As I am a very persistent type of person – determined to succeed – I had to take huge obstacles.

My nipples were withdrawn and hard to get for my little daughter! As a consequence, there arose fissures. It was very painful every single time as I started feeding. Tears streamed down my cheeks every day.

One day, I got a visitor and she said, you need nipple protectors! Silicone caps. From that day forward, it went a little better.

After 3 months, I stopped and went over to bottled milk. I had suffered enough.

breastfeeding journey for sixSecond Time’s Not Really a Charm

With my second daughter, I gave breastfeeding a go for the first 3 weeks. Due to my very busy and outgoing life, I quit!

Well, I knew that she was a crybaby – she had colic from the milk. The good thing was, feeding went well. I regretted that I stopped but there was no way back.

This Time It Went Beyond Six Months

Then my son was born, and it was wonderful. I breastfed him for 8 months and he went right over to solid food.

Forced to Stop The Very Next Day

Several years later, my third daughter was born. Thinking of my last experience, I was filled with courage about the thought of breastfeeding. I never thought it would end the next day.

Overnight, I developed a severe breast infection and fever. I was shocked to find my daughter lying in a pool of blood – what she drank from me. She had vomited and the circle around her was larger than her little head. I called the doctor and immediately started an antibiotic therapy. I was lucky and very grateful for bottled milk!

Loving My Silicone Caps

Again, I had another daughter. This time, I was prepared. I used rough towels for over 5 months, and I had silicone caps. It went terrific!

Honestly, I hate to stand up in the middle of the night to get a bottle. And I loved that breast milk is always ready to go.

Courage and Success with My Last

The sixth, a son. Full of courage again on breastfeeding, it went all too well. Had too much practice with 5 kids! I could have fed 3 babies at the same time. I had to release a bottle in advance, so as not to overfeed him.

After 7 months, he got his first Danoontje or cottage cheese. Within an hour, he looked like a red spotted alien. He was allergic to cow’s milk!

It was such a huge blessing that he was breastfed. From that day on, I prepared his potatoes with breast milk. I made nice desserts with breast milk, and baked pancakes with, you guessed it – breast milk! During daytime, I pumped and froze the breast milk for later use.

My youngest son was the luckiest of the bunch and was breastfed for 2.5 years! During his last year of breastfeeding, I fed him in the morning, before his nap, and in the evening.

I still remember when I decided to quit – it was just before Christmas. We had a party and the room was filled with approximately 75 people.

My son came to me, and cried out “Mommy, tit!”. I replied, “No, not here”. And he screamed loud! “MOMMY, TIT!” “TITTTTTTT!” And he wouldn’t stop!

On that day, I decided that I will quit! I had a fairly big amount of frozen milk to use for his daily consumption. I had kept it in ice cube bags. I was confident that it was enough to survive the first year.

Despite everything I went through, I have always been an apostle of breastfeeding. However, there may be times when medical conditions or circumstances can make the decision for you, then you may unfortunately have to quit prematurely.

breastfeeding journey for sixAbout the Author

Loes Knetsch

Loes lives in The Netherlands and has six children (four girls and two boys). She also has two grandchildren. She runs a day care centre and actively coaches refugees in the Dutch language. She also designs websites and manages This Is Kids Art, Work At Home Future, and Kleurboekjes.

Editor’s Note:

Moms, if you decided to go for breastfeeding, you will surely have your own colourful tale of your breastfeeding journey. It will definitely be an experience you will never forget. It can be painful especially at the start, however, if you have medical conditions that affect breastfeeding, it makes it all the more challenging.

Thank you for sharing your breastfeeding journey with us, Loes! Your story is truly inspiring and your determination has indeed come a long way. – RT


  1. Apeng says:

    Even if this is meant for nursing mothers, I am an advocate of mother’s milk. Got 3 daughters and all of them were breastfed. I attribute their good health from breast milk. My brothers’ wives do not want to breastfeed their kids and look at how they turned out. Two of them are regular patrons to their paediatrician, one is fine but already 3 years old and cannot speak more than 20 words, the other 2 are okay but not doing well in school. Mine breastfed … Seldom to the doctor and doing from well to excellent in school. All because they start with mothers milk! But … All 3 I forced stop by about 1 year old as after that its not as effective anymore. Also as kids grow, teeth get sharper … Worry for my wife …

  2. Rebecca says:

    Thanks for sharing your story, Loes. I had an absolutely terrible time trying to breastfeed my twins. (Yikes!) I find that breastfeeding troubles are not things that we talk about, and as a consequence, when a new mom runs into a problem, she feels very isolated. I hope others learn and find solutions and inspiration from your story.

    • Raquel says:

      Spot on, Rebecca! No one likes to talk about problems and challenges, that when new moms experience it, they are taken aback, get frustrated, and give up. By sharing real experiences, we can learn more from each other and we can be more prepared when these things happen. Moms should know that they are not alone, and others have experienced it too.

    • Loes says:

      Thanks for your reply on my story, I have a lot of happy memories, but also spilled a lot of tears. You want to succeed so badly, and it’s hard to let go.

  3. Tammy says:

    I have four different experiences too with breastfeeding. Each one had its own story. I will definitely encourage my girls (three of them) to breastfeed when they start having children. For them it will seem normal because they all know they were breastfed. I think you are doing such a good job encouraging people who may be thinking about it. Keep it up!

    • Raquel says:

      Thanks Tammy! While it truly is a personal decision, it will be good to encourage mothers to breastfeed. It has so many wonderful benefits such a providing nutrition, preventing illness, and even helping establish that special bond with your baby. I’m sure the future generation will appreciate it a lot!

  4. Andrea says:

    Wow, it sounds like you have had quite the experience! I too had sore nipples with my first, though I never developed fissures. I mainly had bruising. My baby wasn’t latching correctly.

    With my 3rd and last child I nursed him until he was 4 with no problems. Hahaha, your son said “mommy, tit! ” Mine said ” Mom, I want milk from your boob!” It is embarrassing when you are in public lol.

    • Raquel says:

      Loes is indeed amazing! Persistence does bear fruit. Usually, sore nipples may be caused by a poor latch. It helps to work on that right away to prevent further damage on your nipples.

      Glad to know that you breastfed your youngest till he was 4! That’s inspiring for moms who have the same breastfeeding goals. Thanks Andrea!

    • Loes says:

      Hi Andrea, it’s a strange embarrassment that such a natural thing made me decide to stop the feeding. But that’s way in the past now, he is almost 16 and rises far above me now. The breastfeeding did give him a head start…

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