Life with little Man blog post,E,Mammy Why I choose to breastfeed

Why I choose to breastfeed

I have seen this topic going around a fair amount recently and thought that I would share my experience.

Now, before I start I would like to stress that I firmly believe that #fedisbest and whichever way you choose to feed your own baby should be respected, so long as you are making that choice. In saying that, I also believe that a lot of people are not making informed choices, and are not given the required amount of information before making their choice. I have decided to share my story on how I chose to breastfeed, and why I continue to do so.

With M I was adamant at the start that I would try breastfeeding, and 100% thought it was for me. This was until a friend explained to me all the possible things that could go wrong with breastfeeding, which scared me right off, and a lot of the things were not even true, however, at the time I didn’t know the difference.

At around 16 weeks pregnant with M I decided I was going to bottle feed, and even bought my bottles ready. When I was in my third trimester I attended my prenatal classes, where an experienced midwife went through everything with us, she showed us how to latch, different positions and even what to do if things went wrong. Immediately I felt the support, I knew that breastfeeding was something that I wanted to try and I knew where to turn if things went wrong.

Once M was born, the midwife encouraged me to have skin to skin, and attempt to feed him. M knew what he wanted straight away and latched on. I thought he was on correctly and the midwife on for the night came to assist and even she wasn’t concerned about my latch so I thought all was going okay. We went home the following day at 5 pm and by 10 pm I was in agony with blisters and M wouldn’t feed properly. I had called the ward I stayed on to ask for their advice, and was told to keep trying and search on the NHS website and wait for the midwife to come out the next day on their routine visit.

I struggled feeding M for the first few weeks, and every time I asked for help I was always told to adjust my latch and that was all, no one attempted to help further. At the time I thought I was failing, M was losing weight, throwing uo a lot and the whole experience was horrible for me. I had emergency surgery when M was 14 weeks old and I had to give up breastfeeding him, which made me feel even more like a failure. It wasn’t until M had been on formula for a few months that we started to realise that M actually had silent reflux which was causing him to be sick, hence the weight loss and feeding issues.

When E came along I knew I was ready. I had learned a lot from my own experience and through friends and midwives alike. This time I have been determined, each time I thought I would give up I kept pushing. E’s feeding has not been great at the start, but seeing her put weight on each time has reassured me, and I’m still going strong at almost 18 weeks. Feeding her feels very different than feeding M, it sounds strange, but I can feel that this time I am doing it right.

At the start, we had issues with thrush in E’s mouth, who knew that nipples could get it too! Mine were sore and cracked, and aching no matter what I had tried. This was until E was diagnosed. Most of this was down to the fact that E would not take a dummy, and would only suck on our fingers or me, even with cleaning our hands before and after, it is very easy to miss something. We didn’t know much to look for, and E’s mouth was clean to our eye, but the doctor knew the symptoms and knew that most times the pain comes before the actual signs in the mouth. Once that was cleared up feeding started to become easier until cluster feeding came alone. E feeds every two hours through the day as it is, so when she cluster feeds its at least every hour and I began to feel like she was never off me, and I couldn’t catch a break let alone any sleep. I tried expressing to see if I could get a slight break and that didn’t work as she had taken it all! Luckily that only lasted for 3 very long days. At the time they felt like an eternity, but now it doesn’t feel like it was so bad. I barely remember the sleepless nights. Since then I have been using Lansinoh HPA Lanolin Nipple Cream and it is honestly a life saver.

My new issue with E is after around five to ten minutes into a feed she will pull of and scream as if she is in pain. It is only a few feeds out of the day, not all of them and never at night. So far nothing has resolved this issue, and both us and the doctors and unsure what it is, however, I have some friends who have experienced the same thing and said they grew out of it. This stage is new to me since I have been going a whole month longer with E than I had with M. But we are going to ride it out and continue for as long as she will let me. We have started weening too, which is going fab, and hasn’t affected her feeds at all! More on that later

So to wrap this up. Breastfeeding for me means my kids get the best I can give them, straight from me. It’s a real bonding moment, and B gets involved since I can express and he gives the feed. His favourite thing to do is to feed her porridge, which melts my heart all over again.

I do believe we need more support, and more information regarding the amazing job that breastfeeding can do, without shaming others who choose to bottle feed. Afterall, a fed baby is a happy baby.



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