Thursday, 18 November 2010

Breast is best!

photo by chris patience

I know...not the beginings of a creative project, more a rant about feeling sorry for myself and my son!
Throughout my pregnancy I was adamant that I would breast feed my baby no matter what.
My son was here, but where was my milk. A new baby and no knowledge of what to expect when nature does not take it's course. You have boobs therefore you have milk!! My little Harrison ended up jaundice. I was in hospital from the Sunday to the Thursday....they were keeping an eye on us and the small matter that there were not enough staff to discharge me! 
Don't get me wrong I am not having a dig at the midwives, they are a godsend...over worked and under paid. But the frustrating thing was not one of them was listening to me in the hospital or had the time to listen when I was explaining that me and my baby couldn't latch on..they thought that I was being impatient. One thing I am not is impatient! I crochet!!
Harrison went on to formula to build him up and finally a breast feeding specialist was sent to help me, but still no milk.....even the pump couldn't find it!
Finally I was sent home and once again I was helped by a midwife to latch Harrison on... didn't last and I had to go back to the formula with much annoyance.
I tried again this week to put him back on the breast and hallelujah it worked....I dreamed of this moment and I cried with joy that maybe I could carry on for the next 5 months giving my son what he needed, but my joy soon turned to heartache when I realised I had to let it go.The pain was just too unbearable and I had been beaten by nature.
I have continued to beat myself up at not being able to breast feed my baby. I feel as though I have failed him, something so natural that I cannot supply as a mother and isn't that what we are here for to give our children what they need.
It's a terrible place to be as a mother to feel that you have failed.
As women we have breast feeding drummed into us, but nobody tells you what to do when it goes wrong and no leaflets or books say well done for trying....only my family and I guess they are the most important ones!

Motherhood makes you feel delicate and vulnerable, but at the same time elated.
 In the beginning. I felt as though one blow and I'd disperse into a thousand pieces. Day by day it's getting easier and I can enjoy my son.I have never felt so many emotions and only now realise what every mum goes through. We all deserve a medal, especially you mum! Thank you for everything.


  1. Hi, I've never read your blog before but just followed a link from Scented Sweetpeas...I'm so sorry you've had such a hard time and just wanted to say this: you would be a bad mother if you chose NOT to feed your baby anything at all - but you HAVE chosen to feed him, even if it's not using the method you wanted. That in itself shows you care and love him and want to give him the best you can. Motherhood seems to come with a load of guilt but Harrison will grow and thrive and be happy because you love him, not because you couldn't breastfeed. lots of love xx

  2. oops that last sentence should say 'not because you breastfed him' - hope that makes more sense! Tired mummy here! x

  3. You know, don't beat yourself up about it. As time goes on, you realise that, although it is something that you would lave liked to have done, it isn't the be all to being a good mum!

    When I was pregnant with my first, I had visions of being the perfect mother, breast feeding and all that goes with it. In the end, my son stopped growing in the womb at 28 weeks and was whipped out at 30. He was only 2 1/2 lbs so was tube fed. The first fatty milk from a mother was very important at this stage so I expressed. I felt like a milking cow in the special care unit, but it was simple to do as no latching and I had no problems with it. After 6 weeks, he was allowed home as he had reached 4lbs with no complications and I made the decision to bottle feed. This was because he had been tube fed to start with, and then fed with my milk through a bottle when I wasn't at SCBU by the nurses. The nurses were great and told me that in fact it's only the first couple of weeks of breast milk that are important, so I shouldn't worry about formula. Plus these days, formula is very good. I had friends who breast fed and gritted their teeth though extreme pain just to say they had breast fed. I just don't see the point. Both my mother and mother-in-law had bottle fed, and between them that was a lot of kids, and they all grew up fine, so I was okay with the whole bottle thing.

    For saying son number one such a small baby, he did just fine. 14 months later my second son was born and I made the decision to go straight to formula. He was a big baby and I knew he would be okay with it, and it took the pressure off me (it was like having twins as the first was still so small!). I did get pressure from the midwives during pregnancy, but I did what was right for me and I don't regret it.

    With my last, I thought I would try breast feeding, and it was horrible. I got bad mastitus and it made the early days with a new baby extra hard. So, I don't feel like a bad mum. Do what works for you. At the end of a day, babe will be more content with a content mum! That is far more important!

    Take care

    Vanessa xxx

  4. oh you poor thing, it is such an emotional time when you have a baby that it is so easy to blame yourself for everthing. If your body wasn't doing what you wanted it to there is nothing you can do about that. My first only fed for 2 weeks as I had the opposite problem of too much milk, may sound fab but mastitus and a little boy who chocked when being fed as he couldn't drink it fast enough wasn't fun :-( Every time is different and maybe next time you can feed but as long as your baby is happy and healthy that is the main thing - you are being the best Mum giving up your dream for your baby's sake! xxx

  5. I to know the feelings that you have. I did not produce milk for either of my children. I felt like had let them down, the one thing that I should be able to do. I beat myself up and got very down about it. I put them on formula. They are both happy healthy children and thats what I focus on now. Sending hugs your way, you are not alone xx

  6. I feel your frustration. I have 3 boys and my first two absolutely refused to breast feed from my left breast and made it impossible for me to continue breast feeding, which made my guilt radar go UP. To make things worse everyone around me suddenly became an expert in the breast feeding world and their advice was all over the place. So with my third child I breast fed for 3 years.... yes, 3 ! ( I figure what his brothers missed he made up for ) BUT, in short I just want you to know no matter your guilt and frustrations ( which is inevitable when you are a mother ) your children will always see you as the center of their universe !
    Wishing you and your family all the best xoxo

  7. Fun blog! :) love the little owl... drop by, follow! :)

    happy holidays!

  8. Sorry I'm laughingbat the comment above! So inappropriate for this post! Even though you are well and truly past this breastfeeding thing I wanted to chip in. I had a he'll of a time trying to breast feed my first. No idea how I managed it at all and it was short lived. Second son was a vicious feeder and I got mastitis that left me with 3 visible lumps for 6 months. Third time my baby didn't gain weight and was getting more and more yellow. In the olden days we'd have had help from wet-nurses. Now we have formulae, which, by the way, new findings are suggestion breast feed babies should have iron supplements which you don't need on the bottle.

    I still feel sad about the boob thing.....but that shows I care deeply about being a good mother to my boys, just like you x x x x