Posted on April 4, 2011

My Breastfeeding Experience – By Emma

breastfeeding/ Guest post

Today’s breastfeeding guest post is by the lovely Emma from The Real Supermum Blog, you can also find Emma on twitter @TheRealSupermum – Thank you so much for sharing your story with us Emma x

I was only 19 when I gave birth to my first daughter. I was terrified at the thought of becoming a mum. I had bought every baby and parenting book and magazine available and read them daily, absorbing as much information as I could. I was determined to get it right. I felt I had to prove I could be a good mum. My parents disapproved of my partner, he was 10 years older than me and looking back I now wished I had listened to them, but I within 2 weeks of meeting him, I moved in with him. I was basically then left to get on with it.

My midwife was due to retire soon after I had my daughter and a old school type midwife breastfeeding was often discussed. She did not force the topic but it was pushed upon me that I should at least try. If all perfect mums breastfed, then that’s what I was going to do. I was very proud of the fact I was going to feed my own child. Breastfeeding came naturally to me and the bond between my daughter and I blossomed beautifully. Her father worked long hours and we were getting along quite happily. It was when my daughter was 4 weeks old that my breastfeeding nightmare began.

My partners mother, whom may I add has never accepted me in her sons life, began making negative remarks. I was not eating enough, I was too young, my boobs were not big enough. In her opinion I was not doing a good enough job for her granddaughter. I should not be breastfeeding. The relationship with my daughters father was some what strained. Since having our daughter he had become extremely jealous that this new baby was taking up so much of my time. He now had a new weapon to use against me, that I was not giving our daughter what she needed, she needed to be fed properly, on proper milk.

This made me feel worthless and after weeks of them both taunting me, I gave in. I stopped breastfeeding. I did not slowly stop, I just stopped. I was in pain and felt incredible guilt. I soon became depressed, I was diagnosed with postnatal depression and was soon prescribed antidepressants. Did breastfeeding trigger my depression? I believe so.

When my second daughter was born, I had already decided she would not be breastfed. My thoughts on breastfeeding were only negative ones. It was not something I would ever do again.My son was born at home, ten months after my second daughter. My relationship with their father was by this time over. Sadly it would take a further 3 years before I finally found the courage to leave him. The domestic violence was at its worse when our 3rd child was born. He had already made it clear when we found out we were due to have a boy, that this boy would never be accepted. My partner refused to share me with another male.

Our son arrived 3 weeks early. Before the midwives would leave, they had to make sure that baby had been fed. I gave him the bottle of formula milk, we had prepared. Within minutes he began to vomit aggressively. Either I tried to breastfeed or we would have to be transferred to the hospital. Our new baby was not tolerating formula milk. I know I had to be at home, so I breastfed my new baby and he was more than happy with that decision. I was terrified of trying a bottle again, yet terrified of breastfeeding. I was in turmoil and within weeks I was severely depressed again. I continued to breastfeed for 6 weeks before giving up.

I thankfully left my ex husband after 11 years of sever violence. I met my new partner 6 months later. Four years later we also have 3 children together. He was very supportive in allowing me to choose which feeding method we would use. I did breastfeed our first 2 children, each for for 2 weeks, but always upstairs alone. I did not have the confidence to feed them in front of others. Our 3rd son was not breastfed.

It was only a matter of months ago that my partner and I were discussing breastfeeding, I for the first time revealed how frightened I am of the subject. He was rather upset that I was not able to tell him how I was feeling, as he could have supported me more. I have decided that IF we had another baby, I would definitely at least try to breastfeed again, this time with the correct support.

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12 Comments

  • Reply Anonymous July 20, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    I don't think breastfeeding triggered the depression, i think the environment you were in did. thankfully you have now left that bastard and found someone a lot nicer. it's just a shame that the emotional scars take longer to fade than the physical.

  • Reply Laura Woodcock April 5, 2011 at 10:02 pm

    Emma, having followed your story from the beginnong i have to admit this was an issue i did not know you had. Im proud of you that you would try again. Unfortunately i will not be so lucky as i just dont produce enough milk to go more than 2 weeks.

    Be brave hunni, its another demon you CAN and WILL defeat xx

  • Reply Mrs E April 5, 2011 at 9:52 am

    I don't know what to say really but I just wanted to say that I think its wonderful that you kept trying x

  • Reply WorkingLondonMummy April 4, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    So sorry to hear you had such an awful first experience. It is such an important bonding time and shame that for you it was not that, but thanksfully you moved on in many ways

  • Reply Rachel Higgs April 4, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    emma, im from your page =] and your blog =] …would just like to say your amazing for trying again after how hard it was for you …i tried breastfeeding my first and didnt work and my second went straight on bottles …i admire you emma ..really do xx

  • Reply Inside the Wendy House April 4, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    This post has made me so sad Emma. My heart goes out to you. I have breastfed all five of my children with the last three enjoying extended feeding. Freddy is 20 months and I still feed him. I'm so glad you have found the courage to start a new life with a supportive partner…I hope all the scars heal eventually! XXX

  • Reply The Real Supermum Blog April 4, 2011 at 4:15 pm

    Thank you for your kind comments. Yes I finally left the brute 4 years agoi now, sadly the scars remain on some topics.Breastfeeding being one of many but I would try it again, just to try to beat the negative feelings.

  • Reply coffeecurls April 4, 2011 at 3:28 pm

    I know this is about breast feeding – and I'm quite neutral on that subject so have nothing to add. But. Would just like to say well done for leaving your violent husband and I hope that your new relationship brings you happiness.

    Lisa xx

  • Reply Anonymous April 4, 2011 at 12:55 pm

    Well do for trying again. I tried to breastfeed my daughter but unfortunatey due to one thing or another it wasnt to be. However, it won't stop me trying with my next child 🙂 x

  • Reply Anonymous April 4, 2011 at 12:38 pm

    well done for trying again. you are a strong woman and if you can get passed everything else then you can this. brave lady x

  • Reply Katy Gilbert April 4, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    That's a really touching post, and I hope if there's a baby no.7 you feed the way you want too. Well done for sharing, it can't have been easy x

  • Reply carolefindsherwings April 4, 2011 at 12:20 pm

    Oh goodness. What a horrible thing to go through 🙁 I know what it's like having people telling you breastfeeding is not enough to the point where you stop but nothing like what you went through.

    Well done for trying again with your other children though, I'm not sure I'd have been brave enough.

    xxx

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