As Parents There Is Nothing More Powerful Than The Stories We Share..
Welcome back to the #BreastfeedingStories guest post series, an opportunity to bring together stories from other mums who have breastfeeding experiences that they would like to share.
This weeks guest post features Busy Working Mummy who shares her experience of breastfeeding and what it was like to realise and eventually make the decision that it wasnt the best option for her and her baby.
When I was pregnant, I didn’t even think about not being able to breastfeed. It wasn’t really something that anyone spoke to me about on the lead up to the birth either.
I just thought I would start breastfeeding and figure everything else out from that point.
So when little man was born and the midwife asked if I was breastfeeding, I said ‘of course.’ She then helped me with the first feed and attachment, and off we went.
We caught on to it all pretty quickly so I assumed it was all okay. My milk came in within a day of giving birth so I knew my body could handle it. I just didn’t realise that I wasn’t going to be able to.
After the first few days of constant feeding, it suddenly dawned on me that this wasn’t going to be easy. I had a little grazer….one who found comfort by staying permanently latched to my boob, day and night.
The only way I got sleep, and peace was by hubby taking him out for a drive in the middle of the night. If I fell asleep whilst feeding, then woke up, I would put him down in his Moses basket, but he would wake straight back up and off we would go again.
I started resenting my husband laying there asleep, not being able to help or feed him. I was the only one that could care for our baby.
Instead of loving the constant attachment and cuddles, I began to suffer from exhaustion and anaemia, which didn’t help anything. I couldn’t go out anywhere as I would need to sit there with him constantly attached to me. I couldn’t leave his side for longer than half an hour, an hour at a push.
I spoke to my midwife about my concerns, and then had a visit from a breastfeeding expert to talk through my problems.
Both took a similar approach – bottle feed if you wish but ultimately breast feeding is 1000% better for your baby, and it does get easier!? What a way to make a new mum feel confused with what to do for the best.
I then spoke to my mum, my mother in law and a friend who used to be a midwife. All 3 said I had to do what was right for me. If I wasn’t happy, or coping, then my baby wouldn’t be either.
So after another week of sleepless and frustrating days and nights of feeling like a cow being milked, I walked round Tesco and looked at the options for formula.
I chose SMA as that was what I had when I was younger. I found a routine online for bottle feeding babies, including the amount of ounces required at each feed, and nap times. From that day forward, he went to sleep at night and woke up only twice for a feed.
It quickly became just once a night and then at 3 months old, he slept through for the first time. I felt like I was finally being rewarded for such a traumatic start to motherhood.
Not everyone’s experiences of breast feeding will be like mine. Some will love the constant requirement of being needed for feeding; other babies won’t be as hungry in the first place and will feed every few hours – I probably could have coped with this. But there will be a few who will try, and feel guilty for not being able to get to that magic 6 month window.
I couldn’t even get to 6 weeks.
One thing that I learnt from my breastfeeding journey was that you must do what is right for you, and not let anyone tell you otherwise. If I had of listened to myself earlier I may not have had such a rocky start to motherhood.
I may have enjoyed the baby stage a bit more. A happy mummy equals a happy baby, and this is 100% true.
It was the best thing I ever did at 5 weeks old to start bottle feeding with formula. I don’t feel guilty about my decision at all.
I now have a healthy and active toddler of 18 months and couldn’t wish for anything more.
If you’ve got a breastfeeding story you would like to share as part of the series please get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter. I’d love to help you share your #BreastfeedingStories.