Breast feeding journey 

Breastfeeding. Well this has been one interesting journey and I can’t say I have loved much of it but from when I found out I was pregnant it was so important to me to breastfeed and it still is. 
When Harry was in hospital for the first 5 weeks of his life I pumped. I pumped and pumped and pumped. I wanted to breast feed. That was my plan. The benefits and importance of breast milk for a baby is a must and literally in my mind it was not a choice for me. He needed it.
The first time he latched was in hospital, around 2 weeks old. I had to empty my breast first because of them monitoring how much milk he was getting, so he wasn’t getting a lot but from what the nurses saw they said his technique was great. When he got home I fed him on demand, when ever he was hungry or needed comfort I would put him on the boob. 
As time went on it seemed we may have had a problem, Harry wasn’t gaining weight. When it first became clear that Harry wasn’t gaining weight, I was onto it straight away and reached out to a friend, who is a lactation consultant. She helped me through this hard time and gave me great advice. I learnt a lot. I tried everything to increase my milk supply, I was pumping after each feed and importantly I continued to feed Harry on demand. Despite all my efforts, Harry was still not gaining weight which devastated me. To be honest during my whole pregnancy I thought breast feeding would be a piece of cake… how hard would could it be? They latch on and they drink. That’s it. Just like the movies. WRONG! 
I’d like to point out that my case is extremely rare – the term “I didn’t have enough milk” is actually thrown around quite loosely and very few (I believe it’s only 3%) of women actually physically can’t produce enough milk for their baby. Majority of women have the exact amount of milk their baby needs.
At around 3 months old I decided it was best we ‘top him up’ as weight gain in this time is crucial and we were becoming concerned about the lack of weight gain. As well as expressing after feeds, I also expressed in between feeds to get a little stash so I could top him up with breast milk when I could. Unfortunately I couldn’t always keep up so we had to supplement with formula as well. 
Harry fell in love with the bottle. It was easier for him, he didn’t have to work for it. He would start on the boob and when the “let down” (for those who don’t know, that is the initial fast flow of milk) finished he would scream. Scream and scream with frustration. This was heart breaking for me. Couldn’t he just be happy with what I could provide for him? That’s all I ever wanted was to be able to be a successful breastfeeder and give Harry all the nutrients he needed. 
I want Harry to be having breastmilk as his primary source of milk and I feel blessed and lucky that I can produce milk at all. I thought the pumping was far behind me when Harry left the hospital. I am now expressing every 3 hours and feeding Harry breast milk through a bottle. I am hoping this is a phase and he will come back to breastfeeding. But right now this is where we are at. I ALWAYS try breast first and I will continue to do this but I always have a bottle of breast milk ready because, usually within 30 seconds he has a full blown meltdown and that is so stressful for him and me and well who ever else is around. I still get a few minutes over night with him feeding directly on the breast, I think maybe because he’s a bit sleepier. But other than that, it’s not longer than 30 seconds at the moment. So expressed breast milk it is. Yes it is hard work, but no I don’t want to give up. I will express my breast milk and give it to him in a bottle until he’s at least one but we could go on for longer..and I’ll keep hoping that one day he will go back to full time breastfeeding. Because for me breastfeeding is not just about the wonderful liquid that breast milk is – it’s the skin to skin and the closeness between mother and baby. And hey let’s face it, it’s a hell of a lot easier than having to make a bottle 🙂 

4 thoughts on “Breast feeding journey 

  1. It’s so good to hear different breastfeeding stories, because you’re so right it’s not always easy. My little boy who is now 4 months was feeding every 1-2 hours (day and night!) and getting such bad wind, my nipples were also extremely sore and I wasn’t sure what I was doing wrong. I was really upset, not sleeping much at all and concerned he wasn’t getting enough milk. It wasnt until a friend said to me that I looked a bit uncomfortable breastfeeding and maybe I should see a lactation Consultant. It was the best thing I did because I found out he had tongue, lip and two buccal ties in his mouth which meant he couldn’t suck properly and came off the breast quickly because he was tired – hence the regular feeding. I had never even heard about ties, but once we had them released and along with some chiropractic work, he is feeding so much better, sleeping for longer and overall much happier. Thanks for sharing your motherhood journey and good luck with your ingoing breastfeeding 🙂

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    • Hey Sarah! Thanks for sharing your story with me! I’m glad you finally got to the bottom of it, I know how stressful it can be! It’s a lot of pressure on us mums I think more than we realise it’s going to be. So glad to hear your bub is a lot happier- of course now you would be too😊🙏🏻 Good luck to you too ❤️

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  2. Beautiful Renee, I really hope you can keep feeding Harry for as long as possible. And you’re right – nothing surpasses that feeling of skin to skin between a mother and her child. It’s such a precious time for you to treasure

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