That dreaded B word

Breastfeeding.

I didn’t do it for as long as I’d hoped but I did it.

I tried, I struggled, I would feed him while I cried my eyes out. The pain was horrible. My bleeding and split nipples would simply not heal. I would pump and in an attempt to ease the pain, the milk was red with blood.

I cried to my midwife, I so badly wanted to breastfeed. She was so supportive and amazing, in a way I felt like I would be letting her down if I made the decision to stop.

I felt like an outsider at my antenatal group catch-ups when everybody was successfully breastfeeding and I was fumbling around trying to prepare a bottle while Baxter melted down. Don’t get me wrong, our group is full of supportive and lovely mums but it didn’t change how I personally felt.

After weeks of pain, blood and a hungry baby, my partner and I made the decision to switch to formula.

I’ve come to the realization that giving up on breastfeeding doesn’t make me a bad mother. Baxter is thriving and happy. I feel like I made the best decision for me because PND was starting to creep up on me. I was in so much pain, I kept trying, I couldn’t get him to latch properly, it didn’t feel right and mentally (and physically) it was taking its toll on me.

Some horrible people say had I persevered it would have got easier, maybe so. I did what was best for me and my baby and to this day I don’t regret my decision.

Breastfeeding is easy for some, it’s also really tough for others. Mothers who do it with ease often don’t understand how hard it can be for others, to see you feeding and wishing we could have done it. If you are successfully breastfeeding, I take my hat off to you. You’re amazing. I couldn’t do it.

I dreaded nosy people asking ‘are you breastfeeding?’ not only is it none of your business, it’s fucking rude. You have no idea the circumstances or struggles they’ve been through. Anywhere I went I was questioned about how my child was fed, plunket, the doctors, even total randoms. I felt hesitant to tell them he was bottle fed and I really wish that I (and others) were not made to feel this way.

I don’t post this to justify ‘why’ I stopped. I post it so others in the same boat don’t go through the pain and struggle that I did, so they know that it’s okay, it will get easier and it’s true what they say – happy mum = happy baby.

Fed is best.

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This photo was taken at the hospital 2 days after I’d given birth.

 

 

 

4 Comments Add yours

  1. Amanda says:

    I just came across your blog after your story was published in The Age. I have an almost 4month old & can connect to much to this story. I has so much pain & issues breastfeeding. My boy wasnt able to latch (even after tounge tie was cut), my milk dropped after a week (they said it might struggle as i lost 1.2litres if blood in birth).. My boy tried desperately to get milk over a couple of days, resulting in part pf my nipple being ‘bitten’ off- as the lactation specialist said ‘that is one of the most traumatised nipples I have ever seen’.. From there i expressed for as long as possible- i made it to week 6.. Topping each feed with formula.. I stopped when my milk was producing 2ml..
    I have felt so ashamed, guilt ridden when asked if u was breastfeeding & find myself blurting out my story so i dont feel as if i didnt try.
    Breastfeeding is so hard.. And as you said- fed is best!
    Thanks for a great read x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. newmumclub says:

      Thank you for sharing your experience. I’m sorry you went through what you did, it’s definitely not easy but it sounds like you did and are doing an amazing job. Be proud, your baby picked you for a reason. It definitely is hard and the struggles some of us go through are not talked about enough and the guilt we feel is overwhelming. I hope things are improving for you x

      Like

      1. Amy says:

        It is so refreshing to read your blog and especially about breastfeeding – you are so right! Our wee girl was dehydrated at 3weeks & in neonatal because I didn’t make enough milk for her and I still had doctors telling me ‘breast was best’! If I could I would but it just wasn’t meant to be…. The most important thing is my baby is fed & happy & so is her Mum x

        Liked by 1 person

      2. newmumclub says:

        I’m glad you’ve enjoyed reading and have been able to relate! It truly was a horrible experience for me 😦 I wish I could of done more but I physically couldn’t and at the end of the day, my wee man is happy and thriving. Good on you mama x

        Like

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