From the moment I found out I was pregnant I wanted to breastfeed. It wasn't even something I had to think about. Never did I think that me or Paige would have problems and I'd end up giving her formula.
Here is our story.
After Paige was born I laid down on the bed and tried to get her to latch on. I had a midwife helping as I wasn't too sure what to do. After many failed attempts we finally got Paige latched on. It took a good hour and even then she kept coming off the breast. Eventually she started to feed but I was crying from the pain. I thought it would be such an amazing natural thing and I'm sure it is for some mums but that wasn't the case for me. I knew to expect it to feel uncomfortable at first and to be sore but the pain I was feeling was horrible.
I have no idea why it hurt so much. The midwife said she eventually latched well so it wasnt that. I'm not sure if it was because I'd hardly slept in the best part of 36 hours that the pain seemed worse but I knew I couldn't do it. I was very tense and Paige could tell. All my hopes came crashing down around me and I couldn't believe it. My only options at the time were to hand express or give formula. I choose formula as Paige needed to have food right away. Upon deciding to formula feed we told the midwife. After telling her this her attitude towards me completely changed, which I don't think was very fair. I know that the birth centre I gave birth at was very pro breast feeding but I tried my best, what else could I do? My baby needed food. The pain was too much for me and because I was in pain, upset and just uncomfortable I knew Paige could tell. Her latch would become very poor, she knew!
So formula feeding it was. The midwife then asked for our milk and bottles. Me and mark both looked at each other. We hadn't brought them. We hadn't thought we would need them. That's how much I wanted breastfeed. We hadnt even bought bottles or a steriliser!!! We weren't going to bother. Luckily I had won a competition on twitter so we did have everything we needed. My best friend came to rescue... After driving mark back home to collect the bottles she also drove him to the 24hr tesco to get some milk. Very reluctantly the hospital gave me a bottle of formula so I could feed Paige. This was so much hassle!! At first they refused to give it to me. It was locked in a cupboard... Like it was some sort of drugs. I understand that breast milk is the best thing for a baby to have but surely formula isn't that bad!
As a formula feeding mum apart of me feels like I've let Paige down. Like a part of me failed because I couldn't do the most natural thing in the world and feed my baby girl myself. I'll be honest... I cried. I was so disappointed with myself and the midwife didn't help. There's so much support out there for breastfeeding mums... What about if you try but fail. Surely you need support too.
Looking back I'd love to say I wish I tried later to breastfeed Paige again, give it another go. But I remember how I felt and that wasn't going to happen. Now I'm coming to terms with my decision to formula feed. My baby needed food, it doesn't matter where it came from. Now I look at her and see how perfectly healthy she is and how well she is doing and that's down to formula.
Next time I will try again. And hopefully I will breastfeed. But if I can't I'm not going to beat myself up over it.
How was your breast feeding experience?
Thanks for reading,