Donna from http://www.littlelilypad.co.uk/ tells us about her breastfeeding experience today and how she struggled with getting her daughter to take a bottle. Thank you for sharing Donna 🙂
Breastfeeding is a personal choice. It has to be! Despite the healthcare guidelines that “breast is best”, sometimes its not best if the baby and mom are becoming distressed. Whilst pregnant I always thought I would try breastfeeding but never actually thought that I would master it, I am not the most well blessed in that department and in my baby brain, I thought that maybe I would produce enough milk. So once I had actually survived labour (and is it wrong to admit that I actually have fond memories of it?), I was pleasantly surprised to find that my gorgeous new baby girl latched on and fed quite naturally.
She was a tiny 6lb 2oz born and fed regularly and I have to admit to being guilty of being very slightly smug that I could do it. I had friends that gave birth around the same time, some of whom were completely against the idea of breastfeeding and others who simply couldnt get to grips with it. I know many were made to feel inadequate that they couldnt – I am just thankful that they are strong characters and were able to say “its my choice”.
So I continued to feed my little lady and the health visitor continued to be pleased with her progress, until I made the decision to reduce the breastfeeding and introduce formula feeds, as I was returning to work. This is where my earlier smugness vanished and was replaced with desperation and despair! We tried everything, different types of bottles (we could possibly have set up our own ebay shop with the amount of baby bottles we had), we tried different types of formula and we even tried the “she will take it if she is hungry enough” method. Needless to say, nothing seemed to work and I was getting more stressed and my previously content and happy baby was getting agitated at feeding time, so we had to have a rethink. I did some research and found the advice of the Baby Whisperer and the “breastfeeding” bottles by Haberman. When they arrived from America (and made a dent in my bank balance) I actually thought I had been sent a miracle! I expressed my own milk and the design of the bottle meant that the milk was dispensed in the same way as from the breast, rather than a constant flow and she took it, she actually took it!!! So by a seemingly pain staking process of expressing, slow introduction of formula and our fingers crossed, she slowly made the transition to bottle feeding.
I am quite sure that this probably took about 2 months but at the time it was all consuming and heart wrenching. My mom kept telling me it was a moment in time and I could have quite easily throttled her but as usual, she was right! I know you can now get these bottles on UK websites such as Amazon and for anyone struggling, I would definately recommend them (and I promise I am not on commission).
So would I breast feed again? Absolutely! Would I beat myself up if I couldnt? Not at all! Would I know what to do if baby wouldnt make the transition to bottles this time? I am quite sure the same panic would arise but with the benefit of hindsight, I know it is simply a moment in time.