*DISCLAIMER! This post contains pictures and talk about breastfeeding! If this is something you’re not particularly fond it, it may be worth giving this post a miss!*
If you have been following me for a while you may know that I have tried to breastfeed both of my children. Both times I have never been able to make it past a few weeks at the most. I wont lie this is something I struggled to swallow for a very long time after having my eldest son. When I was told and taught everything I needed to know about breastfeeding, it was made to look so easy. You give birth to your baby, have skin on skin contact and then get them latching on as soon as possible. Whilst this is try they left out one very important piece of information in my classes… it’s hard fucking work!
Both of the boys have a small tongue tie, although it was only small it caused enough of an issue with latching. When I had Cohen I did the best I could with the resources I was given (which in all honesty was pretty much nothing.) By day 3, Cohen had hardly had anything and was full of wind because I couldn’t get him to latch properly. So we decided that we were going to use formula as we couldn’t stay him being so hungry. This lack of food paired with re-flux meant his weight dropped VERY quickly. Whenever I saw a midwife and I explained that we had gone on to formula, I felt as though I was looked down upon and seen as a silly young girl who just wanted the easy route. I generally cried every night because I felt I had failed him. That was until we went to the hospital for a postnatal check up and one midwife asked the question I always dreaded, ” Are you still breastfeeding?”. I told her the outline of what happened and her reply shocked me. ” That’s fine! It’s not easy, fed is best!” Oh my god! Someone actually saw it like I did! It was amazing to finally feel as though someone understood, how hard I found it.
Looking back on it now the cycle was broken. They constantly told me that “breast was best”, I went on to try to find it very hard and ultimately choose to feed my child rather than see them starving and then I was made to feel guilty but wasn’t offered any forms of support (support groups and drop in clinics.).
The second time round I was determined to make sure I had as much support as I could ready for me. I asked about classes and groups and lists were given to me but there only really seemed to be one hat was within walking distance from me and it was open one day a week.
After giving birth to Kaiden I had to stay in for 24 hours and as a result, I had on hand support when I needed it. However, everyone was showing me different ways of getting him to latch and in the end we were both getting confused.
This time issue seemed to lay at my door. I just wasn’t producing enough. He was feeding almost every hour in the hospital and it takes 2 hours for your breasts to fill with milk. So after a very tearful chat with a lovely midwife, I decided to give him formula. I again felt like a failure I was plagued of thoughts like ” what sort of a mother can’t make food for her baby?”. Now looking back I honestly hate myself for that. I did the best I could with the resources I needed!
A few days after coming home, my milk came in and tried to express. I was shown at the hospital how to hand express and I managed to get 1oz out of each of my boobs! I was so happy. I managed to keep this going over a few weeks but despite eating all the foods i found online and drinking as much as I could, my milk supply slowly dropped. At 4 weeks I got mastitis, which meant that I couldn’t get any milk out. By the time it had completely clear I was all dry
If there is one thing I have learnt it’s that, our bodies do amazing things having babies and to not be able to get the breastfeeding down to an art is not the end of the world.
If you’re a mum to be and you feel you have to breastfeed, it’s not true! You have the choice and choosing to formula feed doesn’t mean your baby isn’t having the best stuff. If you’re a mum and you’re struggling or you have had to stop then know that this is hard and its OK to feel overwhelmed. Ask your health visitor for support, that is what they are there for! If you have had to stop then know yo gave it your all! You did everything you could do, sometimes we just cant do it all!
Most importantly ladies don’t you EVER allow someone to make you feel as though your any less of a parent!