Updated: Feb 16
Not everyone has a smooth run with breast feeding their baby – me being one of those people! I would like to share my experience with others, in hope that I can help someone out that may be in a similar position I found myself In.
7th of November 2014 – the memorial day my first daughter arrived into this world, all 8 pound 9oz of her! After a very spontaneous labour (just over 2 hours) from waters breaking to her arriving a very knackered me, found myself attempting to breastfeed straight away! I had every intention of breast feeding and hadn’t prepared for any other outcome.
At first I thought she latched on and after an hour or so it became very painful, I asked the midwife for some help, but they were very busy on the ward and she just said "keep trying, you’ll be fine".
We left the hospital a few hours later, again I tried all through the night and the pain was unbearable. I called my friend who was a trainee midwife and she popped over to help. she said she thought the arch of her mouth was small compared to most and my nipple was not the smallest!! She was so hungry she was attacking it but not latching! I ended up expressing and feeding her from a little cup. She was clearly hungry and it was incredibly hard to watch, all I wanted to do was feed my baby!!
The next day I woke with a blood soaked bra, the pain was awful, but I trooped on because ’breast is best right?'
The health visitor arrived the next day and she did everything to try and get her to latch correctly - again failing, I remember at this point having tears streaming down my face because the pain was unbearable, but she insisted I must carry on and
shot me straight down when I mentioned the possibility of bottle feeding.
I continued like this along with expressing and cup feeding for 4 days, it was day 5 when I knew something wasn’t right, I woke to very bruised red breasts and I felt really unwell – hot and sick . (Image below)
I went to the doctors and he informed me I had mastitis and to stop breast feeding immediately, I was given a course of antibiotics. My husband went to get them and came back with formula, a steriliser and bottles. I just wept with guilt! But what was I suppose to do? I didn’t want to let the midwife down or the health visitors but in the process I was letting my baby go hungry and myself become poorly!
WELL she took to the bottle like a duck to water! After a full feed she seemed so happy and content and slept well, at this point the guilt wasn’t so much guilt any more! More relief and happiness!!!
My second daughter came along 17th July 2017 and straight away I knew the same was happening , she would not latch! (maybe the combination of my babies small mouths and my rather large baps) who knows? But I was not going to let people make me feel guilty this time, I was going to do what I had to do for myself and for my child.
My oldest is now 4 and my youngest will be turning 2 this July. I have 2 very healthy, happy, clever and very rarely ill (touch wood) children who make me proud as punch every day! so taking this into account…..’is breast best?'
I am happy with the decisions I made, I want new mums out there to know that they have options, that you do what is best for you and for your baby! Never feel peer pressured into doing what you are being told is best – whether it be one way or the other.
You have years and years of making the right decisions for your children and as a mum you KNOW WHATS BEST.
Love Libby xxxx