It’s been almost a month since the last installment in this series, so I’ll have to start off by apologising for being such a flakey blogger of late! I’m so happy to be back and featuring the lovely Sarah from Someone Calls Me Mummy.
My little bundle of joy (I say little, she was born at 8lbs 9.5oz!) was always from the first moment going to be exclusively breastfed. I knew the benefits, I knew how important it was for forming their immune systems and for bonding with them. Plus, rather selfishly, I knew that only I could do it.
The first latch in hospital was perfect, the first night was horrendous. She would not sleep, at all. I remember in the antenatal classes being told that the babies would be so tired from delivery that you might have trouble feeding them and instead they would sleep like they never would again! Turns out for me the opposite was true. It was feed after feed after feed. Though she preferred one side to the other (and coincidentally prefers the other side to that one now, to the extent that I now have lopsided boobs… Thanks kid).
After making my peace with the no sleeping situation and being discharged from hospital, the first few days went by without any hiccups. Then before day 5 she bit so hard that it resulted in a cracked nipple. Having been completely unaware of that possibility I was unprepared and had to wait for nipple shields to arrive, in the mean time sobbing in agony with every latch. Thankfully once the shield was in use the recovery was very quick indeed and breastfeeding went back to normal. Until 8 weeks old.
At 8 weeks, she had her first lot of jabs, and as if that wasn’t bad enough she also developed an ear infection, treated with amoxicillin to discover a pencillin allergy. Breastfeeding was going dramatically downhill and by 11 weeks old she weighed the same as she did at 4 weeks old. I broke down in front of the health visitor at the weigh in, knowing that it couldn’t go on any longer and that I would have to give her a formula feed to get her weight back on track.
A week later a tongue tie was discovered, another two weeks later we had an appointment. At 14 weeks old, she was the oldest baby in the clinic and it was an ANTERIOR tongue tie that had been missed until now, which should never have happened. The procedure was awful, and latching again was difficult. But when I finally calmed you down she latched well and had the best feed she has ever had from me.
I am so so glad that I persevered. My milk supply is increasing again and despite everyone telling me to just give her a bottle I’ve beaten everything that come up against us. I may not have fed her myself exclusively as long as I had hoped, but I no longer feel guilty for making the choices I’ve made. And I know that she is thriving again once more on my milk.
Thanks so much for sharing your experiences Sarah! Her story just goes to show that even the best laid plans can be altered in the wake of those all too common newborn problems. Tongue ties affect about 4%-11% of babies and makes those early feeds extremely difficult for both parties. Luckily, they are easy to treat and early diagnosis means that breastfeeding can begin without a hitch – it’s just so unlucky for Sarah and baby Olivia that theirs wasn’t caught immediately. It’s great that you’re both settled and thriving now though!
If you’d like to share your feeding story please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org, this series is not limited to bloggers, I’d love to hear from anyone!