Saturday, 15 June 2019

Our Breastfeeding Experience

*collaborative post
Most people assume that when you're having your third baby, you have everything pretty much sussed out.
You've done it all before and you know what you're doing when it comes to things like bathing, nappy changing, feeding and so on.
But for me, things were different with my third...I found that my approach to parenting had changed a little and the ideals I had were different...I wanted a more active role in deciding how the birth should be, I wanted to try things such as cord ties which I'd never used before...and the biggest change for me was feeding.
Throughout my first pregnancy, I had been told that I wouldn't be able to breastfeed due to the medication that I needed to take to treat my Graves disease...I agreed straight away of course, I didn't want to take any risks with my health, it was important that I was healthy so that I could look after my baby.
When my second child came along, things were less certain - I was no longer on regular medication but the Drs did say that I needed to be prepared to be put onto it following the birth if my body needed it, so I was able to try breastfeeding if I wanted to but I may have had to stop if medication was necessary.
I was unsure of what to do, and I didn't receive any encouragement to try when I spoke about this to the midwife on the day of the birth - she simply gave me a bottle, so I gave it to the baby and that was that.
  When I fell pregnant for a third time, I knew I wanted it to be different - I knew I wanted to try breast feeding.
I tried to prepare myself as much as I could before hand, I read books and asked questions of my friends who had breastfed for years, I thought I was ready.
When Sailor was born, he latched on in the theatre straight away and the midwife even declared him to be "feeding like a pro!" - I was delighted, I thought we'd cracked it and that we'd never look back.
Fast forward to 12 hours later, sobbing in my hospital bed at 3 am, with my baby screaming and me trying desperately over and over again to get him to latch on - and things couldn't have been further from our great start.

I really struggled in those first few weeks - Sailor had tongue tie which needed to be snipped but nobody was available in my area to do it right away, he had a poor sucking reflex too and struggled to even feed from a bottle - instead he had to be fed by syringe.
There was one particular night when neither of us had slept a wink, when I had spent the entire night trying to get him to latch on to no avail, trying to pump as much as I could and syringe feed it to him but he seemed to need more than I could provide and I didn't know what to do.
I pressed my buzzer and when the nurse came she found me crying my eyes out, there were a million questions I wanted to ask her but I was too upset - instead I just sputtered "It's useless, maybe I should just give him formula"
I think I hoped that she'd encourage me or comfort me, give me a bit of a pep talk...but she didn't. She went and got some formula, handed it to me and left.
We did keep trying, and we managed to make it almost to the 6 month mark but it became too much and with a lack of proper support available - we reached the end of our breast feeding journey.

I wish I'd had more knowledge of where to look for help, or of products that might have been able to assist - I was recently shown the Minbie breast pump which comes with the option of a double pump, and is lightweight and portable so would have been easy to use whilst on the go. 

The Minbie bottles have a revolutionary nipple design which which allows baby to keep their natural latch and feed using the same technique they're born with and use during breastfeeding, so that nipple confusion is avoided.

There's a great video here which explains more about the Minbie pump from a mum who has used it:

Minbie Double Breast Pump For More Portable Comfortable Pumping from Minbie on Vimeo.

 I wish I had known about this back then, but if we ever do have a fourth child - I will certainly be giving the Minbie pump and bottle system a try!

You can find out more here:

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