I was never too sure what to think of breastfeeding, or whether I would do it or not. That was until I feel pregnant and from that moment I knew instantly, of
When Tommy was born he didn’t latch at first, but I was told that was normal so it didn’t phase me. After a short
On the second night, results came back as we expected that we needed to stay another night to treat the mild jaundice Tommy had.
I changed his nappy and as I picked him up he threw up a whole stomach full of colostrum and immediately cried and signalled for more. Back on. 2 more hours went by and by now it was 5.30am and the midwives were back to their rounds… “Oh, he’s feeding I’ll come back in a bit” “No, come back” I shouted and instantly burst into tears as I explained that it had been none stop for over 9 hours now. She started off with the same script I’d been told 5 hours ago, but she was different, she saw the desperation in my eyes. She gave me a hug, some warm words and told me to sleep while she tried to settle him, she asked for my permission to give formula if she couldn’t settle him, which I agreed to. An hour later (but no sleep for me) she brought back a snoozing Tommy who had apparently cried the whole time until she gave him 3ozs of formula which he guzzled and konked out straight after.
Day 3 and a very short sleep later and breastfeeding got easy again. My milk came in and the head midwife high fived me, gave me a hug and said “It’s all plain sailing from here, you’re over the hard bit” but she was so wrong. A couple more feeds later and I was in agony, he latched and I would scream. I’m not talking a bit of pain or
Night 3 and Josh convinces the staff to let him stay
So my attitude towards this decision completely depends on what mood I’m in. I read these inspirational blogs from Mama’s who didn’t ‘give up’ who struggled through and can proudly say they’re still breastfeeding, and I feel ashamed. Like I ‘gave up’ like I wasn’t strong enough to give my baby what was ‘best’ for him. In the early months, when feeding in public, I would cradle him so closely to hide the bottle, just so others couldn’t see I was formula feeding and judge me.
But ask me on a different day and there would be no regret in my decision. I did what I needed to do to get through a tough time. I’ve never really explained it to anyone else other than the 1 midwife who told me I was being silly. But I felt like if I had carried on trying to feed Tommy through all the pain, I would have ended up resenting him. I already cringed every time he cried. I prayed for a dirty nappy, or wind, anything that meant I didn’t have to feed him. I would try to settle him any other way but boob, but he was hungry. The pain was too much and there was no one to give me an explanation as to why, or how to improve it, so
Could it have been different?
Yes. Absolutely. I was underprepared and undersupported. I knew nobody else who had breastfed. Nobody. I knew nothing of mentors, helplines, support groups, online networks. And if the 9 midwives and 2 lactation consultants couldn’t help me, then who could? I still to this day have no idea if the pain I had was normal. If it’s the same pain other mums are describing, and they powered through, or if there was some underlying problem. was it because of what my health visitor