Breastfeeding – when a good thing becomes a bad thing!

In support of breastfeeding, I have decided to share my experience…

Whilst pregnant and once Jack had been born, the first question every healthcare professional would ask me was ‘will you be / are you breastfeeding?’.

Quite honestly, I took no notice and felt no pressure from them.  My pressure came from within, I wanted to do what was best for Jack!  As soon as I found out I was pregnant, I decided that I would breastfeed.  I felt it was natures way and also the best and healthiest option for both Jack and myself.

As soon as Jack was born, he quite literally searched for boob.  Known as the breast crawl, a newborn’s natural instinct is to find it’s mothers breast in search of milk.  So amazing, this still blows my mind!  He latched on easily and all was fine.  Once he had finished he latched off and fell fast asleep.  This was easy and quite honestly, I felt incredible.

Whilst in hospital I attended a breastfeeding session and was shown different ways to hold Jack whilst feeding him.  It seemed easy enough and throughout the day tried different positions during feeds.

When we took Jack home, everything was going to plan and Jack was feeding well, I felt pinned to a chair most of the time as he was always hungry and wanted feeding regularly.  We rarely left the house as a result.  How could such a little person want so much milk?

Milk knockout!

Milk knockout!

Around about day 4 or 5, the lack of sleep started to take it’s toll.  Even though Trevor couldn’t help with feeding, he would sit up through the night with me so he too was running on empty.  We was exhausted.

Trevor had to take his time off using annual leave so returned to work after just a week.  Unfortunately, the Paternity Pay offered to men quite frankly isn’t enough to feed a goldfish.  It was at this point that things became really difficult.

I was suddenly feeling very lonely and would go all day without food or drink because I was always feeding or seeing to Jack.  A mums job I know, but I had no idea just how time consuming and stressful it would be.  The house was quickly becoming a mess and I was drained.

Unbeknown to me, the general tiredness and lack of food and drink started to take it’s toll on my milk supply, so things got progressively worse.  Jack was suddenly always upset and in turn so was I.  I felt helpless.  What was I doing so wrong?  Suddenly, about 2 weeks in I just broke down.  I couldn’t do this, I wasn’t cut out to be a mum.  Jack deserved better and I just didn’t feel like we was bonding at all.  I felt more like a vending machine.  Trevor would literally save me from drowning in my own tears when he got home from work and took over everything else whilst I fed Jack.

The 'where is my milk?' face

The ‘where is my milk?’ face

The next time I saw the health visitor I just burst into tears.  What a useless mum I was!  She assured me everything was going fine and that I was doing a fab job but arranged for her team breastfeeding specialist to pay us a visit.  She came a couple of days later and gave me some fresh ideas and told me that I should not begin to express until my supply was well established!

At the end of week 3, I was feeling somewhat healed and decided to travel to London so that Jack could meet the family.  We was still having a nightmare time with his feeding and I looked and felt like rubbish.  Thanks to breastfeeding and the 500 calories per day it needs, the weight was dropping off of me.  Anyway, we hadn’t yet travelled with Jack so didn’t know how he would be so I decided that I would need to express some milk for the 2hr journey just incase.

It was then that I realised what the problem was!  I only managed to express 2oz of milk in 90 minutes.  No wonder poor Jack was always hungry and upset, the poor boy was starving!! This made me feel worse, an absolute failure.

Over the next week, I tried everything to make it work and I mean EVERYTHING!  However, come the end of the week I was a mess.  I remember sitting on the sofa having Jack latched on and just staring through the wall sobbing like a baby.  Except there was no sound, just tears!  I felt empty.  That was it, as soon as Trevor got home from work I drove to Tesco and picked up some formula powder.  This had to stop!

In trying to do the right thing by Jack, I was totally doing the wrong thing!  I was putting myself under so much unnecessary pressure in trying to breastfeed that I was totally missing the point.  The most important scenario by far was to have a happy mummy and baby.

That evening, I felt the most enormous relief in feeding Jack using formula milk.  I most definitely did not feel guilty, I had done my best!  From that moment both Jack and I were happy.  Our bonding over the next few days was amazing and Trevor and I was able to get some better sleep as Jack was sleeping for longer.  Jack was an entirely different baby and everything became 100 times easier!

My advice to any new mum is not to feel pressured into breastfeeding.  Most certainly give it a try but be sure to know when to call it a day!

My total admiration goes to all you mums who are able to breastfeed or to those who give it a try.  But at the same time, my total understanding goes to those who choose not to or who cannot for any reason.  A mum should have the right to choose what is best for HER family and outsiders should think twice before they judge.

So, when baby no.2 comes along, will I breastfeed?  I’ll definitely give it a go and if it should be successful then it shall be a bonus!

Some helpful breastfeeding links:

The Breastfeeding Network

National Breastfeeding Helpline

 

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A Cornish Mum
Adventures of a Novice Mum

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26 Comments

  • Reply
    occupation:(m)other
    July 30, 2015 at 9:43 pm

    Oh I really felt for you reading this, what a rubbish way to be feeling at such an emotional time anyway. I think it’s a really important post to share and Im sure it will help others feeling like this. Mothers have enough guilt to worry about anyway without piling it on over something so complex as breastfeeding. I’m really pleased you felt relief and happiness after making the switch to formula…I completely agree that a happy mother and a happy baby is important. I also really love that you put a couple of links to places at the bottom of your post where people can get support, there is support out there but it can be hard to find. I didn’t have a clue where to look for it! #PicknMix

    • Reply
      theloveofacaptain
      July 31, 2015 at 10:16 am

      Thanks for visiting our post 🙂 I certainly found it hard, it almost destroyed me. Id try again next time but will stop straight away if I think its going wrong again. Poor Jack was starving and as a new mum I was clueless. We are doing great now though and he certainly loves his milk. xx

  • Reply
    acornishmum
    July 25, 2015 at 8:04 pm

    I never managed to breast feed Fin he just wouldn’t take to it at all but I did with Harley until the little devil had teeth and liked to use them arghh! Whatever works best for the both of you is the best 🙂

    Thanks for linking to #PicknMix lovely,

    Stevie xx

    • Reply
      theloveofacaptain
      July 25, 2015 at 8:08 pm

      Did you know that some babies are born with teeth! arghhh can you imagine ;D danger

  • Reply
    Emma's Mamma
    July 24, 2015 at 6:22 pm

    Very true! I managed to breastfeed my daughter but I doubted my ability all the time in the beginning. It wasn’t until a few months in that I started to get the hang of it. I totally agree that we shouldn’t put unnecessary pressure on ourselves – definitely won’t the next time around x #PicknMix

    • Reply
      theloveofacaptain
      July 24, 2015 at 6:44 pm

      I tried so hard to go to make it work but it was literally tearing our family apart. I just wasn’t getting the milk. Such a shame though as I really wanted it to work out. Thanks for visiting our post x #PicknMix

  • Reply
    4128miles
    July 24, 2015 at 5:42 pm

    What an honest and brave post. It is so good that we can share our stories and understand that ‘one size doesn’t fit all’. I was lucky and had a lot of milk and breastfeeding went well for 8-9 months. Then we hit a wall. Mr Sausages, my little man, wasn’t sleeping and we couldn’t cope with the sleep deprivation anymore. It took a couple of months slowly making the change, but I’m so happy we made the switch to bottles when we did. A lot of people questioned why we switched when we’d made it so far, but every family knows the right decision for them and we need to feel proud of our choices. #picknmix

    • Reply
      theloveofacaptain
      July 24, 2015 at 6:41 pm

      Good for you, 8-9 months is amazing! It’s nobody’s business why choices you make. It makes me so angry. Thanks for visiting our post xx. #PicknMix

  • Reply
    adventureswithmonster
    July 24, 2015 at 11:48 am

    a brave and very important post, thank you for sharing. I treid breastfeeding with Bundle Number two and he was a very hungry (and huge!) baby…we tried but it just didn’t work for us, he was so frustrated and upset and so was I. I expressed for a while afterwards but was only able to get minimal amounts. At 22 months he still loves his bedtime bottle and I still love the feeding cuddles. We have a wonderful bond 😉 x #PicknMix

    • Reply
      theloveofacaptain
      July 24, 2015 at 11:54 am

      At least you tried your best. As we found out, with all the best intentions breastfeeding doesn’t work for everyone. Jack is a much happier baby on the bottle. Thanks for visiting our post xx

  • Reply
    teachingmum81
    July 24, 2015 at 10:18 am

    A very honest and open post about the difficulties of breast feeding, I salute you. I really struggled with my first and did five months breast and bottle. I found it much easier and more enjoyable with my second and at six months I am trying to stop – but I am too lazy to get up in the night and make a bottle!! No one tells you how difficult it is and with my first I can remember being man handled by midwives trying to get my daughter to latch on and no one offered me formula. (This was when formula was still being offered in hospitals.) I also got visits from ‘Little Angels’ and they were ringing me all the time to see if I was still breastfeeding. With my second I took formula into the midwife led unit (just in case) and told them that I wanted no help from the ‘Little Angels’ women and I felt much less stressed. Luckily, the boy latched on straightaway and like I say, I found it easier. There should be no divide between breast and bottle; we are all mothers and we all love our children and do what is best for them.

    • Reply
      theloveofacaptain
      July 24, 2015 at 10:24 am

      Hey thanks for visiting my post 🙂
      You are so right and im glad that baby 2 took to it much easier for you. Im hoping that’ll be the case for me too. Im certainly not put off by the idea of BF again but will not be stressing myself out over it next time. #PicknMix

  • Reply
    Mess stress and fancy dress
    July 6, 2015 at 2:12 pm

    I had a practically identical experience and even got prescribed don peridone to make more milk by the breastfeeding team. Eventually they concluded that the only way I would be able to breastfeed would be by also giving formula. I felt better when a farmer friend told me they regularly get sheep to feed other sheeps lambs because they can’t make enough milk. Most natural thing in the world? Meh.

    • Reply
      theloveofacaptain
      July 6, 2015 at 2:39 pm

      Oh really, I wasn’t offered anything. Just nonsense suggestions that didn’t work. Still I tried but things could of got really bad if I hadn’t quit when I did x Thanks for visiting my Blog x

  • Reply
    Adventures of a Novice Mum
    July 3, 2015 at 2:54 am

    I connected with your feeding frustrations as I read through your post. So much went wrong for us at the start, from the hospital, I just took it for granted that all will be well. O yes, breastfeeding can be very, very difficult and each mother / family must decide what’s best for them. Good for you that guilt didn’t even come into the picture; it’s good you knew you had done the best you could do. Happy mummy and happy baby is how it should be.

    I found it helpful to learn that my pumping output wasn’t an indicator of my supply, I wish I knew this much earlier. I cried in frustration from the first time I pumped, such little amount from such hardwork. Knowledge is definitely power when it comes to breastfeeding and it’s wonderful that there are a number of organisations out of there always ready to help.

    All the best next time round. Thanks for linking to #BreastfeedingandI

    • Reply
      theloveofacaptain
      July 3, 2015 at 6:52 am

      Thanks for visiting my post! I wish I knew more before I attempted breastfeeding. It is so difficult to get right. Just as I thought I had conquered it, it all seemed to blow up in my face again. Fingers crossed it works out next time! Thanks again x

  • Reply
    Cassie
    June 29, 2015 at 7:40 pm

    This is an amazing post! I felt the same way when I tried to breastfeed my daughter. There came a time when I resented her because I was tired and hurt all the time. I decided that I had to take into account my mental health as well as what is best for my daughter. The second I gave her a bottle of formula I felt a huge wave of relief and I actually enjoyed feeding her! Who knew it was possible! Thanks for sharing!

    • Reply
      theloveofacaptain
      June 29, 2015 at 8:20 pm

      Thanks Cassie. There is no feeling worse than resenting baby. That’s exactly how I felt. It broke my heart because I knew what I was saying and how hurtful it sounded but I just couldn’t help it. That first formula feed, as you say, was the breakthrough we needed. It literally saved my sanity and our relationship! Scary but true. x

  • Reply
    Julie S.
    June 29, 2015 at 12:41 pm

    Completely agree, we do the best we can and formula milk is just fine too. I do a combination of both because my supply is too low also. Great post!

    • Reply
      theloveofacaptain
      June 29, 2015 at 1:30 pm

      Thanks for visiting! I hope your BF journey continues for as long as you hope! Good luck xx

  • Reply
    Kate Fever (@FamilyFever)
    June 28, 2015 at 7:33 pm

    Great, honest post. It’s not always easy and no one should feel guilty about the way they feed their baby.

    • Reply
      theloveofacaptain
      June 28, 2015 at 8:29 pm

      Thanks for visiting my post. Definitely agree, I’ll never feel guilty. I tried my best for Jack but was just unfortunate.

  • Reply
    Shivonne costa
    June 25, 2015 at 11:25 am

    Love your writing style 🙂 I know how hard breastfeeding can be, too! I had Dmer and is was SOOO hard! Always best to do what you have to do to feel like a human being while you’re a mama!!

    • Reply
      theloveofacaptain
      June 25, 2015 at 11:40 am

      Thanks for visiting our blog! Very true, mums often overlook their own needs when baby arrives and that’s not in the best interests of anyone! x

  • Reply
    Sarah
    June 22, 2015 at 5:38 pm

    Nice post Lisa, I am the same as you, want to give it a go but don’t fee too pressured if it doesnt work. But I can imagine with lack of sleep and emotions running high, its easy to feel like a failure. It shows if you follow mothering instincts you get the right result for you and your family x

    • Reply
      theloveofacaptain
      June 22, 2015 at 5:58 pm

      Thanks Sarah. You just need to do your best by baby! What more could they ask for?

      I was so busy trying to do the ‘right thing’ that I was looking past the fact I had a beautiful baby boy to enjoy and cherish!

      Just embrace every moment, what will be, will be! xx

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