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Friday, January 14, 2011

Breastfeeding Story - Guest blog on Goochi Ma :)

I wrote this blog for Goochi Ma and I thought I'd post it on here too. Head over and have a read of the other Breastfeeding stories too. I found it really interesting reading about other girls experiences.

My Breastfeeding story – Thus far

As part of my pregnancy classes, my husband and I attended a ‘Breastfeeding’ class. The midwife who was giving us this information was so ‘pro’ breastfeeding it was ridiculous. I had always intended to breastfeed but the information she gave us and the way she delivered it made me feel as though any other option would put my son at a significant disadvantage.

The birth of my little man didn’t go as I had hoped/planned for and he was born by emergency c-section. I spent the first few minutes with him and my husband before they were taken up to the room and I was taken to recovery. As soon as we were told I needed a c-section my heart sank. The information that we had been given had made me think that without that skin to skin contact directly after the birth the chance of me being successful with breastfeeding was not good.

I ended up being wheeled into my room 90 minutes later still fairly groggy from the spinal block and the nurse asked whether I was ready to feed him. Honestly at that point I could hardly feel anything and had been awake for almost 48 hours – I really wasn’t that into feeding him.
My little man on the other hand had different ideas. He was born 3.992kg and he was hungry!! He had been nursed by my husband and my parents for the past 90mins and had been rooting around for the breast the whole time. So he pretty much latched on straight away without any assistance. I can’t remember how long he was on there for but the nurse was telling me he was doing a great job. Later that night when everyone had gone home and me and the little man were asleep, I was awoken by the sound of him choking. Panicking because I had a catheter in and wasn’t supposed to lift him it was decide by the nurse that she would take him out and watch him for a few hours while I slept as he was full of mucous. She hand expressed my breast so that she had a feed to give him. I think she got about 3mls of colostrom out for him and at the time she was telling me that was a big amount.

We were in hospital for 6 days. During this time he would feed every 2 hours or so and each feed would last for 1 hour. My milk didn’t come in till day 4. So for the first few days it was rare that he would settle. I cried. He cried. Especially when I was alone. It was just so hard and I kept thinking to myself that no one had told me it was going to be this hard – maybe I was doing it wrong?

One night in hospital he cried for hours. They just kept telling me to put him on the boob and it will be fine. Then when I changed his nappy I found what looked like blood and it turned out he was dehydrated and when they weighed him he had lost 270grams. They then told me he maybe wasn’t getting enough so to give him formula top ups. I had to sign forms to say this was okay and I felt so guilty about it. Everything I’d been told at those classes informed me that this was going to be bad for him. Well the first time the nurse fed him the formula he guzzled 20mls without taking a breath. Over the next few days I would feed him from the breast (shaping it and swinging it into his mouth) then top him up with formula. I also expressed and used that for top ups as well. I believe that because he was given these bottles of formula from 2-6 days old that this has helped with him being happy to take bottles of EBM so easily. I will say though there were some nurses who were very supportive of giving him top ups. There were others who made me feel like crap for even asking for the formula. I hated the inconsistency. He was dehydrated , and they were still frowning upon it!!

Since we have been home I haven’t had to give him any formula. My milk came in really well and once I started trusting my body I felt a lot better about feeding him. The first few weeks were hard, spending so long feeding was mentally and physically draining but I’m glad I did it. I have been pretty lucky I think, I used nipple shields for about a week on the right side, but for the most part he has latched on well. Almost every night that we have been home he has also been fed a bottle of expressed milk by my husband (even though I was told at that class that this would be the WRONG thing to do) which in those early weeks allowed me to have some extra sleep.

When I first started expressing I’d get between 20-40mls, now I can get up to 200mls. We give him a bottle of expressed milk every night before bed so we can measure what he is having. I always have expressed milk in the fridge so that I can leave him with my husband and get out and about. I’ve also started stocking up in the freezer for when I head back to work.

I am definitely going to tell my friends about all the hard parts when they have babies. I hate the fact that we are told ‘breast is best’ and yet there is so little support and information out there for mums. I honestly thought that it would all just happen naturally. I am enjoying breastfeeding but still at times I find it hard. The fact that he is totally dependent on me is scary. I’d like to continue till at least 6 months - but whatever happens happens :)
Sorry this is so long! I started writing and couldn’t stop.

1 comment:

  1. I was crying reading this.. :( Brought back so many memories of my first few days as a mum..

    As if becoming a new Mum isnt hard enough, without every different nurses opinion and all the standards you have to live up to..


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