Just to follow on from my instagram post I wanted to share a little more & for anyone who hasn’t seen my previous posts or stories on this..
In an extended nut shell..
From leaving theatre we went into the recovery bay & she instantly latched. A few weeks on, all seemed to be going well until weigh in showing she had lost 11% body weight (due to the majority of the time she would instantly fall asleep feeding on my boob) so our health care advisors suggested I expressed some milk feeds so we could keep her awake on the bottle & see how much she was having. Wether this was the best advice I don’t know but you do what you think it’s right at the time, anyway she quickly gained weight (so I guess it was) but I was never told by feeding both bottle & breast could cause nipple confusion & for her to reject the boob. So up until 3 & 1/2 months she then decided she didn’t want to feed from me anymore (I was doing approximately 50% boob & 50% expressed bottle feeds). I’m not going to lie when she screamed on my boob & wouldn’t feed from me it felt like this kind of rejection. Looking back it really got to me & one of the only ways I could feel better was sharing it as I felt like if I could give others the heads up it could help them not having to go through it unexpectedly. At least if you’re informed before then it’s your decision to do what’s right for you.
I will be forever grateful to Stacey @feedeatspeak for being the kindest human who said we will get her back on.. & do you know what, just that bit of support & encouragement gave me everything I needed to give it my best shot. It took weeks; a lot of pursiverence, sore nipple, 10 different nipple shields, low milk supply, pumps, & positions. We had that breastfeed that I had hopped for but the next feed she refused again without a nipple shield. Nipple shield back on I continued to use until I got mastitis.. It was still abit of a battle & ultimately she was happiest when it was from the bottle so that was decision made & it felt like a relief. Since this I have been exclusively expressing & I have days that are a breeze & others that bottles spill, can’t face another lot of sterilising bottles for the 10th time that day, or being attached to the pump, making plans around pumping/ rushing home to do so, milk supply drops & feeling frustrated with sore nipple like a cow in a cattle yard! But their are positive & negatives to everything & the positives keep me going (for now anyway). The health benefits for us both, my worry about CM allergy I can monitor, & it’s also free, not to mention useful for weaning adding it into the veg! I said I would probably do it until 6 months, & now a year but maybe stop sooner – who knows, each day as it comes!
Anyway back to the awareness – by talking about this, realising I’am not alone & everyone has their own journey has made me feel so much better this may have not being my plan & what I hopped for initially but this week seeing everyones honest posts really has normalised breast, expressing & formula feeding & realising we are not alone!
So my point is please be aware (I know I will be for the next) that breast refusal is possible when you express at any age a few days old or months. Everything happens for a reason so take it as a sign. There are always pros & cons to every decision we make so do whats right for you both. Which ever way you feed it doesn’t make you any better or worse mother – your baby thinks you are just the best, so ultimately do what makes you all happy!
If you need any support on any feeding topics, check out Stacey’s page for lots of advise on latching, pace feeding etc too.
You got this Mama! Xx