Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Breastfeeding Awareness Week.

This week is Breastfeeding Awareness Week. And to be quite honest, I am getting sick and tired of the amount of pressure that is put on ladies to breastfeed!

Before my gorgeous baby girl Molly was born, I planned on breastfeeding. I attended the breastfeeding course on the NHS to make sure I was really clued up. The course was great. And the midwife did stress that it would not be easy but it’s completely worth it. The best start for your baby, cheap, convenient (no bottles, sterilising etc) and don’t get me wrong, I TOTALLY agree.

However, such is life, things do not always go to plan!

Molly was born and I breastfed her for her first few feeds. She wasn’t having a lot, but I didn’t panic as I knew it takes time. The fact that I had a c-section didn’t help as of course I was very uncomfortable. Then after a few tests it came back Molly had a little infection due to my waters breaking early and then delayed labour, so she had an IV drip and canular fitted into her tiny, tiny hands. It broke my heart.
Everything went down hill from there. I was going through the baby blues, constantly crying and worrying about my precious baby girl, that the last thing I needed was the added stress of breastfeeding. She wasn’t really taking it and of course, I just wanted Molly to get better, so as her mummy I took the decision that I just wanted her as strong as possible rather than having an infection then being told her sugar levels were low due to not feeding properly (I overheard this ‘chat’ from midwives to ladies all the time on the ward).
I mentioned it to one midwife that I was considering switching to the bottle, and she brushed it off and just said ‘keep trying’. So I did. Afternoon came, so I mentioned it again to another midwife. ‘Sweetie, it’s not been that long, you should really give it another go’. So I did. But enough was enough. Next midwife visit and luckily it was the ‘nice’ midwife and as soon as I mentioned it she replied ‘ of course, your Molly’s mummy, you do what you feel best. What brand bottle would you like?’. Easy as that.

No one ever takes into account the situation to why a woman is not breastfeeding. I’m sure it’s not because they can’t be bothered. But the period after having a baby is such a delicate time that the last thing us ladies need is added pressure.

I’m glad I bottle-feed Molly and I don’t regret my decision.

So breast maybe best for some but bottles can be the winning ‘formula’ for others!

Rant over.

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7 comments

  1. Hello, just came across your post from BritMums.. Good rant, quite agree with you. You have to do whats best for your little ones and not what other people think you need to do.. I know so many first time mums who felt like failures due to the pressure from the midwives. Sometimes it's just not to be..

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  2. Thank you for the words of encouragement. I never felt like a failure but the midwives sometimes try to make a good job of making you feel this way. Good to know i am not the only one!

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  3. I find breast feeding a great thing if your comfortable with it. I never was, to be honest the thought of baby on MY boob makes me feel queasy,( always feel I shouldn't be saying that)
    But I was never pressured in any way to breast feed, and I'm shocked midwives even said that to you. I always think Happy Mummy, Happy Baby, so if Mummy isn't comfortable its not gonna make her all that happy and you should never be made to feel bad for a bottle. Great post. Nat (sorry for the epic comment!)

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  4. Thank you Nat. I love an epic comment ;-) I'm pleased breastfeeding was a success for you, I would have loved to have able to have breastfed Molly and I always admire women who manage to stick at it. I guess what fueled this rant is that I read somewhere (genuinely cannot remember where) is that women need to 'suck it up and get on with it' when it comes to breastfeeding. Probably written by someone who has never had babies or by a man!

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  5. Oh no, don't think I was very clear there, I didn't breastfeed either of mine, and what I trying to say was I was never made to feel bad, and I'm shocked that you were, even after you actually had breast fed! Sorry for confusion. Nat

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  6. Great rant! I get so narked by women sounding off as though I'm abusing my children by not breast feeding exclusively for 6 months. My twins were born after a horrendous 32 hour labour by emergency c-section, when one was put to my boob, he stopped breathing, any wonder why after that I just couldn't do it, felt like my knockers almost killed my child! We put enough pressure on ourselves to be the perfect mum without others adding to it!

    Your boobs, your baby, your choice!

    Off to see the rest of your blog!

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  7. Ha ha i love that Amanda. 'Your boobs, your baby, your choice!'i am so glad i am not alone with this one! Thank you.

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