Thanks for hopping over from Mum without Wheels and welcome to my post for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt Day 1 The Start of My Breastfeeding Journey. Sponsors today include Boobie Milk with a £50 voucher, Cherub Chews who are offering a breastfeeding necklace and Loveyush who are offering a breastfeeding scarf for our Grand Prize winner. Over £700 worth of goodies are up for grabs entries via the Rafflecopter widget at the bottom of this post!
The Start of My Breastfeeding Journey
When I was pregnant with Little N, I hadn’t given much thought to how I would feed him. Plenty of people were happy to share their breastfeeding stories with me, but they were full of negativity: how breastfeeding had been painful, how they had suffered with mastitis, how they hadn’t had enough milk. My partner, Ian, was pretty set against the idea of me breastfeeding, because the mother of his older two children had experience difficulties, and he was convinced that I would too.
Not one person had anything positive to tell me about breastfeeding, so I concluded that my fate was likely to be the same. I told myself that I would give breastfeeding a go and if it didn’t work out I would just use formula instead. I even bought bottles and a steriliser as I was so sure I wouldn’t be able to do it.
I chose not to go to any antenatal breastfeeding information sessions. I skipped the pages about breastfeeding in my books and magazines. I’d had so many horror stories I chose to bury my head in the sand and cross the bridge when I got to it…
When my son was born by emergency c-section, he wasn’t very well and was too sleepy to latch on. A midwife tried her best while I was on the recovery ward but he soon had to go to SCBU. By the time I saw my baby again, he was already a whole day old and Ian had consented to him being given formula milk in the meantime. I just shrugged, I wasn’t bothered. Formula fed he would be.
Then Ian said to me, “the nurses said he will get better quicker if you can express some colostrum for him.”
A midwife helped me learn how to hand express and I harvested colostrum in tiny 1ml syringes. I thought it was pathetic, but she told me it was “liquid gold.” The more I expressed the more started to appear and soon I was expressing into bottles. Still just colostrum, but the amount increased each time and so my baby needed a bit less formula.
It started to stir something within me. I hadn’t been able to birth my baby the way I had planned, I hadn’t been able to care for him while he was in SCBU, but now I had found something I could do for him.
His nurses had scheduled his feeds every 3 hours. So every 3 hours I would put him to my breast and try to get him to feed. After he literally turned his nose up at me, I would give him the liquid gold that I had expressed, and finally his formula top up. I would then leave my sweet baby boy all alone in his crib to go back to my ward and try to express more for him. I did this every 3 hours, day and night, for the next 3 nights.
The next night I woke at around 4am with a strange tingling sensation in my breasts. They were enormous and rock hard. It was my milk coming in, although I didn’t realise it at the time because I hadn’t read any information on breastfeeding! Little N wasn’t scheduled for a feed for while yet, but for the first time I decided to listen to my motherly instincts and wake him to see what happened.
And I am so glad I did because that night he latched on perfectly and had his first breastfeed. That was the start of my breastfeeding journey.
Following on from my journey, please do hop over to Sunshine Scribbles to see how her journey began and be in with more chances to enter the grand prize draw. Remember, you need to earn 50 points to be eligible; full details can be found on the Keep Britain Breastfeeding site.