There are so many reasons why we are made to understand that breast milk is better than formula for our newborn babies.
Here are just a few
- It releases a bonding hormone.
- It may lower the risk of childhood cancer.
- It may lower the risk of breast cancer in mums.
- It may boost babies brainpower.
- Better for the development of your babies teeth.
- Reduces the risk of SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome
- Mum tends to get back into her jeans quicker as you burn up to 500cals per day.
You can see why 73% of woman atleast attempt to breastfeed their children. I was very laid back about my birthing plan putting in my notes that I had no real instructions but just to get my baby boy out safe and if possible would like a water birth. when deciding on how I wanted to feed my baby I like most people knew I wanted to breastfeed due to the benefits.
When Freddie arrived he latched on straight away with no troubles, however the hospital needed to see two feeds before they could let us take him home. When the nurse came round at 2pm to check on us and hopefully discharge us she noticed Freddie haven’t had his 2nd feed so we had to stay longer as it didn’t seem he was hungry. It got to around 6pm and still no hope, so the midwife asked me to hand express while she used a syringe to suck up the milk. I was only able to express around 2mm to give to my boy but that wasn’t enough. It was 8pm by the time Freddie had drank what the hospital class as a sufficient amount for us to leave.
The 1st night was horrible and not what I expected at all! After trying so hard to hand express at the hospital I had made my nipples so sore that every time I tried getting Freddie to latch on I was in agony, from that point on they got worse and worse. I was up all night as Freddie was feeding for 10-15 minutes a time, falling asleep just to wake up again 20 minutes later for more milk. It was all such a blur as I was so tired, I had already been up way over 70 hours due to the length of my labour that when I was feeding I was like a nodding dog.
Although I was the happiest I had ever been because of the birth of my 1st son I was also incredibly miserable. I was crying at each feed, dreading Freddie waking up as I just couldn’t bare the thought of having to feed again. I couldn’t admit it to anyone or even myself but I had started to resent my own boy for causing me this pain. I had moments where I thought I was being a drama queen but soon removed that idea from my mind as I had just given birth to a little human with no pain relief or help from the hospital until I was 10cm dialated.
After a few days, despite the amount of nipple cream I used my nipples were red raw; so I decided to try the nipple Shields my work friend Gina had bought for me before the birth. I felt that the shields helped for the next couple feeds but again at night time (because I was feeding so frequently) i was soon in the pain I was before and my right nipple started squirting blood.
I was so upset as I felt I was failing to do one of the things that my body was made to do. I put so much pressure on myself thinking that if I stopped I wasn’t giving my baby the best start in life and if anything happened to him like SIDS I would never ever forgive myself. It wasn’t until I spoke to my nana who gave me her opinion on it all and how breastfeeding/bottle feeding affected her 4 children that I realised it was ok to be struggling and ok that it just wasn’t for me.
I decided to try expressing using a machine so that I was at least feeding Freddie my milk, just not having the pain that went with it. It was that night sitting in front of the TV I realised that only one of my breasts was producing milk. I was then riddled with gilt, I had cause this problem myself….I was selfish and stupid when I was 18 to have a breast augmentation (no longer have the boob job as I had PIP implants and had to have them removed) and now I can’t provide for my child. I cried about it that night until I couldn’t cry anymore and told myself I can’t change the past but I can do what i think is best for my baby now.
On day 10 I asked my partner Tommy to pick up some formula and I allowed myself to give up, that night Freddie slept through the whole nite with just 2 feeds and mummy got some much needed sleep.
Dr Brown bottles
My opinion on it all now is that although tests show that breast milk is best for our babies it’s not always the case. I was stressed, over tired, miserable and even started to resent my child so for me breast wasn’t best.
I want to let anyone know who is thinking about breast feeding or going through what I did that you can only try your best and if it doesn’t work out don’t beat yourself up a about it. The midwives, doctors, nurses, friends or even family members can be really pushy, but just know that as long as you are feeding your baby when he/she needs feeding and giving him/her all the love that you can give, then you are doing your job just perfectly.
Much loveage Loz x