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Should I Breastfeed or Not?

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14/05/2009 at 15:15

Hi everyone

Anna I have to agree with you on this, I was GOING to breastfeed and nothing anyone could say was going to change my mind!

Until it came to it... 3 days of induced labour ending in c-section meant Grace was too tired for a feed so it was 24 hours before she was put on the breast, at which point we noticed my nipple didnt stick out enough for her to latch on, tried nipple shields, fought for hours to get her on, to her distress i might add, kept trying but after 72 hours I had to give her a bottle or watch her starve as she was only 6lb 8

I continued to try in the hospital and at home despite having to have 2 operations to remove things the incompetent surgeon had left behind, I tried to express too, did this every hour (including throughout the night) for weeks! but the antibiotics I was on were making her sick, so finally, exhausted and very very upset at my failure, I gave up and put her on formula and she and I started to feel better

Luckily I had a lovely nursery nurse who supported my decision either way and was a huge help

I still get very emotional now about it all and I am so disappointed that I couldnt do it, but at the same time I have a gorgeous healthy daughter so I wonder why I feel so guilty? is it that we are programmed to think badly of ourselves if we cant breastfeed? who knows!

All we can do is do our best by our babies and hope they are healthy

This is my healthy ''Formula fed''  baby, Grace

http://www.thinkbaby.co.uk/members/images/19999/Gallery/8thmay4_0.jpg

x

14/05/2009 at 19:54

Claire - Grace is beautiful, and thats also my middle name so I think its lovely  

It didn't help me that my mother is a midwife and very for breastfeeding so I was getting pressure from the professionals and at home.

And when you think about it most of us who are adults now were born when everyone was formula fed and we're all ok!

14/05/2009 at 20:23

Nice name Anna, your parents had good taste he he!

It must have been hard, I was never pressurised personally but somehow still felt guilty?

x

14/05/2009 at 23:13

Hello,

As it's National Breastfeeding Awareness Week I thought I'd add my tuppence worth. My son is 7 months old and has been fully breast fed from day one. I would never wish for a world without formula as it helps babies who can't feed due to illness, prematurity, maternal illness etc (also helps if mum has to go back to work after 6 months). However, the suggestion that mums who persevered with breastfeeding did so because they found it easy is unfair and wrong.  I found it incredibly painful from the get go - my son couldn't latch very well and my nipples were blistered, cracked and raw for the first 8 weeks (no exaggertaion, lansinoh was my best friend). I would have to steel myself everytime my son was about to latch, and would cry every time he came off because I knew how painful it would be when he latched on again. I would wince and have to count through the pain very much like I did when in labour, and it felt like it would never get better. It hurt throughout the feed (not just for the first couple of minutes as I was told was normal), my son fed for around 40 minutes at a time and I ended up with very stiff shoulders from tensing against the pain. I remember one night when I was so raw I tried nipple shields but couldn't make them work for me, so instead took a couple of paracetamol and just cried through the feed. My saviour was my breastpump, I expressed as often as I could (milk works to supply and demand, the more I expressed the more I produced) so I could give bottles at night and give my poor boobs a break. I also have a wonderful husband who supported me throughout.

By the time we got to 10 weeks things had improved, it only hurt at the start of the feed and my son fed more efficiently; and by 20 weeks the pain was gone (apart from frequent bouts of blocked ducts). I now enjoy the special time we have when feeding and I am so very glad I persevered. I know it's not for everyone, and I don't presume to judge people for their choice whether it be boob/bottle/both as there's a story behind every decision. In my case I felt that my son's (and my) longterm health was far more important that a few weeks of pain; as it turns out it was the right decision: at 12 weeks my son developed extensive eczema (not very common in breastfed babies) and if it wasn't for the antibodies he gets from me he would have had several rounds of antibiotics by now to fight off the inevitable infections from having permanently broken skin. He's also recently been diagnosed with slight tongue-tie, which explains why it was so hard to begin with but got better as he grew (he has a heart shaped tongue - is very cute!).

I look forward to breastfeeding my next baby, nobody seems so regret having done it yet lots of mums beat themselves up for not trying/not continuing to breastfeed. If we do encounter problems that cannot be overcome (illness etc as mentioned above) then I will use formula without feeling guilty becasue I'll know the reasons behind the decision.

The important thing is to make a positive decision and stick to it, whatever the reasons.

Hugs to all mums and babies  xx

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