Friday 24 April 2015

a little breastfeeding rant

I'll start this post by saying that I am in no way shape or form anti bottle feeding, I genuinely think it doesn't matter how you feed your baby just so long as you actually feed your baby. I didn't successfully breastfeed Oliver all those years ago, I gave up after 24 hours and then combined fed because I didn't think I was making enough milk and I thought those normal newborn cries meant my baby was starving. Looking back I can see what I needed was support and to be educated on breastfeeding, ideally before I'd even started.

Anyway this time I have been more successful with breastfeeding and I think thats due to the support I've had. My original aim was 6 weeks and now Isabelle is 13 months old I'm still doing the morning feed and expressing milk in the evening to use for her porridge. I struggled with breastfeeding so much and I continued to feed Isabelle even when I was told by a doctor to stop because she has cows milk protein allergy, I refused knowing that I'd spent the last 11 weeks doing something I didn't want to end, so I went dairy free - yep I gave up my chocolate to be able to breastfeed my little one and at 10 months I went egg free too at which point Isabelle started sleeping much much better.Gutted because poached eggs on toast is my favourite but obviously it's much more important to me to be able to breastfeed her.

When you breastfeed you have to do all of the feeds, every time that little teeny tiny human gets up in the night, there's no one else that can feed them it's just you unlike if you're bottle feeding your partner could help out a bit.

After having a c-section I found it very hard to get up out of the bed and our first night in hospital after having a general anasthetic I spent the night on the chair because Isabelle was awake all night. I was on a ward with 4 other people and all their babies were sleeping... mine was just screaming and feeding continously. A midwife came in, asked me if I wanted a bottle of formula so that I could get some sleep... no thanks. Instead I just sat there, the same midwife came back in the morning and told me how well I'd done. I felt like telling her to do one because she was useless, she hadn't helped me when I so clearly needed it, instead she sat in her office thing on her phone! The next day I asked a breastfeeding supporter to come to see me after she had finished with someone else but she obviously forgot because she never turned up. I hated being in that hospital, the only one who helped was a student midwife who worked the day shift. No support was hard.

When the health visitor come round for the check when Isabelle was 14 days old. She told me that I wasn't feeding my baby correctly, I needed to feed her more - baring in mind I fed her continously she cluster fed and I was getting no sleep. She then asked to check baby was latched on properly, because her weight gain was really slow - she was latched on fine and the health visitor had nothing to comment on with that! Actually I was feeding my baby just fine, she was just allergic to what I was feeding her. I don't see that health visitor and she knows I dislike her. Their job surely should be to support, encourage and help new mums, not to leave you feeling rubbish, crying your heart out and being so miserable that your partner buys you a new nursing chair - thanks for that though, very comfortable!!

The old judgemental people in M&S cafe that time, who on earth do you think you are? I was covered with a Snoob breastfeeding scarf, I hadn't long had my baby by c-section, I wanted to get out of the house and it was my first time on the bus alone with her into the town. I don't want you or anyone else in this place to see my breasts I just want to feed my baby! You're intitled to your opinions ofcourse but how about you judge the lady dressed in the very low cut top and the teeny tiny skirt? Feeding a baby shouldn't offend you, if I'm covered you can't see anything - just don't look at me. And for those women who are brave enough to just get your boobs out and don't care who see's then I salute you! I'm not confident enough to even wear a swimsuit. I cover up while breastfeeding because I want to not because I have to.

Finally, the thing that made me have this little rant....... To the mum at Colchester Zoo on Sunday 19th April, as you walked past another mum sat breastfeeding her baby (covered I might add), you started to insult her, as you pushed your pushchair with your own child inside.. now you should realise how difficult it is a times having a baby whether you breastfeed or bottle feed so a little bit of understanding to a mum who was just feeding her baby would of been nice. You were saying things such as "fancy feeding your baby in that way sat there" and "how disgusting"... no it's not disgusting, it's natural and it's a beautiful bond only a mother shares with her child, if you for whatever reason decided not to breastfeed or maybe if you did breastfeed and decided to sit in a toilet while you fed your child then thats your choice but it doesn't mean other mums should be made to feel like thay have to hide to feed their child.

To all breastfeeding mums, I salute you. It's hard and no matter how long you do it for, you've done brilliantly.

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