27 September 2018

When Breastfeeding Doesn’t Go To Plan

This is a story about my journey and the pressure as mums we put ourselves under.

Before I had my baby girl I was sure I was fully prepared for everything. I had read countless blogs, websites and books on caring for a baby; I thought I had every single thing covered. I even paid for private antenatal classes to be sure I got the right amount of attention and I was able to ask any burning question I had about pregnancy, birth and babies.

During my pregnancy, I was frequently asked if I planned on breastfeeding. My answer was religiously the same “of course but I know some women find it difficult so I’m not going to put pressure on myself.” Lie. Lie. Lie. What I was really thinking was “obviously” I have watched every single NHS guide videos, asked multiple questions at antenatal class and read numerous blog posts specifically on how to breastfeed, I knew how to position the baby’s head, what is tongue tie and what is “rooting”.  I practically thought I was a breastfeeding expert. I was definitely going to breastfeed. Breast is best anyway. I was told that a dozen times.

Fast forward to 10 minutes after birth

One piece of advice I received was babies are better at breastfeeding if they are on your breast within half an hour after birth. As soon as Molly was born I was frantically clock watching making sure I wouldn’t miss the half an hour window to breastfeed when really I should have been enjoying the first moments I had with my baby. I ended up asking the midwife when I was going to be able to feed her.

An hour after birth

I still had not fed my baby and I was so tired breastfeeding left my mind. A Midwife entered the room to check baby and me were okay when she asked, “have you not fed her yet?” Oh gosh. I panicked. Was I supposed to have fed her? I picked up my baby and then froze. I didn’t know how to breastfeed. I was so angry with myself. I had spent so much time researching and now it has come down to it I don’t know how to do it. The Midwife kindly showed me but it the whole process did not feel right.

3 hours later

I was still struggling to feed my baby. She wouldn’t latch on well and when she finally did the perfect latch she was finished within seconds. I was getting so stressed and the Midwives recommended I stay in an extra day to “learn” how to breastfeed so I did.

The next day

I just felt crap about the whole situation. I convinced myself I would be able to breastfeed better in the comfort of my own home. The Midwives were shocked that I had changed my tune and wanted to leave so quickly but I was just over it.

Arriving home

I watched every single hour of the clock go by for a good week. My body was shaking, I’d go freezing and lose concentration rapidly. Sleep deprivation is no joke. But I needed my baby to breastfeed. She was on and off the breast constantly. I was told numerous times to stick it out and keep trying her on the breast. Honestly, it was making me miserable and hating motherhood. The whole breastfeeding thing made me start to take a dislike to my partner who got a decent nights sleep. I became so jealous of him.

I knew that it was getting the better of me and my partner had to sit me down and make me realise what I was forcing myself to do was wrong. I caved in and gave my daughter her first formula bottle. It was a dream. She wolfed it down and slept. She actually SLEPT!!!! I swear I could still hear her screaming in my head but in reality, she wasn’t. My baby looked so content it was beautiful.

From then on I combination fed her. I could breastfeed my baby when I wanted to and when she wanted to. If she didn’t or I didn’t want to breastfeed then I would formula feed.

Breast for me is definitely not best. Fed is best. A happy baby is a happy mummy.

From Pink Mole
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1 comment

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