Friday, 10 August 2012

We Tried Our Breast

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,

Nicola Xxx

13 comments:

  1. I know exactly what you mean. I really really wanted to breast feed but after over 24 hrs labour, emergency section, high temp and infection it wasnt happening! My daughter wouldnt latch properly and I was devestated, confused and exhausted. In the end the midwife took her and I slept and the midwives gave her formula. By the next evening I sat with another midwife and tried again but found it extremely painful and distressing for my daughter who was clearly hungry. I decided then and there enough was enough and stuck with formula. My daughter was happy, full and thrived. I did feel in some way I let her down and Id see other mums and couldnt understand why they seemed to find it so easy. That said all the midwives I had were amazing, there was no pressure and there was certainly bottles freely avaliable. I credit the midwives and drs at Fairfield maternity unit of saving my daughter and giving me the confidence and support on the decisions I made over feeding x

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    1. Awwwww. Im so glad that you had lovely midwives. Maybe I was just unlucky x

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  3. It is shocking how badly you were treated. With my first I really struggled, on night two in the hospital, I was desperate & said to the midwife I thought I'd need formula, she told me not a problem and she would leave bottles in babies crib. The hospitals here provide milk & bottles if needed. I persevered but at 4wks baby was put on bottles. My second was a different story, easy from the start, I put her on bottles by choice at 4 months because she was a chunk. The only important thing is keeping baby happy & fed.

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    1. I was very upset. I feel better knowing that Paige is doing so well. I will try again next time and hopefully things will be better. If not I will formula feed again and hopefully won't feel as bad x

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  4. Ah honey, I'm so glad you are coming to terms with it. You did nothing wrong. I am disappointed to read how you were treated by the midwife. This could not of helped. What she should have done was supported you in what ever decision you chose. With the right guidance maybe you might of been able to have another go. I don't know why everyone see's this debate as so black and white (formula or breast)
    But that doesn't matter now. Like you said Paige is happy and healthy, your baby needed food and you gave it to her.
    Well done honey for dealing with something so difficult xxx

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  5. Awww, don't beat yourself up about it :) Formula isn't bad at all!
    I'm still breastfeeding Amelia at 16 weeks. But there are days when I feel like im not giving her enough and she should be on formula.
    We had lovely midwifes at the hospital as I saw with the other mothers and some were bottle feeding, the would go and get one as soon as the babies were crying.
    Btw paige is beautiful! Im a fellow UK mummy blogger :-)

    Kerry
    www.ohsoamelia.com

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  6. I know the guilty feeling too well, i actually did a similar post back in January http://theygrowsoquick.blogspot.co.uk/2012/01/are-you-feeding-him-yourself.html if you want to read. My little boy is 20 months now and very happy and healthy and the guilt of giving him formula has gone. I am due my second baby in November and will try to breastfeed again but i am more prepared for it not to work out this time.

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    1. I hope it works out for you next time and me when my time comes :)

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  7. Don't feel bad, it can't work out for all of us. I had a lot of issues with my first daughter and wasn't able to exclusively breastfeed her. But who knows, it could work with your second, like it did for mine. My second daughter latched on right away and we've never had a problem. And both of my kids are perfectly healthy!

    And by the way, the formula is locked up because people steal it and sell it on the black market. I just read about that the other day.

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    1. Awwww. I do hope next time will be different but if not that will be ok too x

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