Sunday, 22 February 2015

#100BloggingDays Day 5 - Breastfeeding

I never really thought about whether or not I was going to breastfeed Betsy to start with. I felt like there were a whole other ton of things I should be concerned about rather than worrying about how I was going to feed my baby. However as the due date loomed, I started to lean towards breastfeeding. It was my antenatal class that sold it to me. With all the health benefits for both me and my baby, the special bond it seemed to guarantee I would have with my baby and how convenient it was, there was no question in my mind that I would breastfeed.

Me and Betsy started off great. She latched on perfectly and from day one I never had any issues with feeding her. I did get mastitis, which admittedly was not nice at all, but otherwise no problems. I surprised myself and all those around me at how little I cared where I was when I fed her. I was a confident breast feeder. I loved knowing that when we were visiting family and friends and she was taken away for cuddles, eventually I would get to have her back because I was the only person who could feed her. It was amazing.

I cant remember when exactly, probably around the 2 month mark, we decided I would start to express some milk so that I could leave her with Ashley to have some 'me' time. This wouldn't be a problem, because the midwives and health visitors had all told me that I would be able to do this.
Except it was a problem. What they had all failed to brief me on was what to do if my baby wouldn't take a bottle. Which was exactly the predicament I found myself to be in. It didn't matter at first. It was fine I told myself, she would take it eventually, I just had to persevere.
I persevered for 6 long months. That's 6 months of never spending anymore then about 2 hours at a time away from her. Never having a night off. Never being able to relax and switch off for a little while. 24/7 with Betsy. I know some will see this as a little selfish, that I wanted time away from my daughter, but I so desperately did.
I tried different bottles, different teats, different people giving her the bottle, different ways of holding her. Different times of the day, different places, with me in the room, without me in the room. I rang the health visitors, desperately in search of a solution, only to be told that Betsy obviously knows what's good for her. Which was definitely the case, but what I wanted to know was what about what was good for me? They didn't seem to care about how I was coping with the overwhelming intensity of it all. I felt so indescribably guilty, too. Here I was, healthy child breastfeeding so very well, complaining, when I knew there were so many women who desperately wanted to breastfeed but for whatever reason they weren't able to. I felt like I was being ungrateful and stupid, and that everyone was just willing me to shut up and do my job as a mother.
Eventually she accepted it. We left her with her Nan who finally managed it.

I had planned to gradually phase out the breastfeeds, keeping the bedtime ones as I knew she found these especially comforting. I planned this when I first decided to try her with a bottle. 6 months later, this is not what happened. I stopped straight away, I expressed as and when I needed to but that was it. I was so paranoid that she would go on strike again, so desperate to just finally be at the end of this long drawn out battle that I daren't do it gradually.

I do not regret breastfeeding Betsy. I loved it and feel so proud of both of us for doing it so well. The special connection it gave us, the closeness, is something I couldn't ever put into words.
Although if I went back to the start knowing what I know now, and how difficult a time it was for me and Betsy and everyone involved, I may choose a little differently! A happy mum is just as important as a happy baby.
Mami 2 Five


  1. That's a tough one alright when they won't take a bottle. I only managed to breastfeed mine for a couple of months but it is a fabulous and lovely experience (when it works, ouch when it doesn't!!!) #sundaystars

    1. It was so tough, they don't tell u about this at the antenatal classes do they! Thank you for commenting xxx

  2. Very tricky. I couldn't breastfeed so didn't have this issue, although mine never really liked milk so always struggled to get them to take a feed! It wasn't fun. I was so glad when they could start weaning. All 3 of them. #sundaystars

    1. Ah wow that must of been tough! I was the same about weaning, couldn't come quick enough as everyone told me that wood be when she would take a bottle. It wasnt, but she did start feeding from me a little less! Thank you for commenting xxx

  3. Oh I just felt so sorry for you reading that post. I brought back to how hard it was feeding my little girl five years ago. I was exactly like you - breastfeeding was easy for me and I was so proud to do it but my husband wasn't confident feeding her when she was tiny so I just let the expressing go and by the time I wanted to give her a bottle she wouldn't take one. She never did. I breast fed her for 15 months - 15months of having to be the one to put her to bed every single night, to put her down for every nap, to be there all night in case she woke up and couldn't get back to sleep. Yes I'm proud as you should be but it was so hard. With number two I started expressing and giving a bottle from 3 weeks she was happy to switch between boob and bottle and life was so much easier. I hope you are really proud of yourself you deserve to be ((big hug))

  4. Oh bless you. I have no idea how I would have managed if this had carried on for as long as it did for u. Well done u. It is so hard, looking back on those early months is a bit sad because I was just so caught up in the bottle battle and so desperate for some time off that I didn't enjoy it as much as I should have done. I'm glad things were easier for u second time around. Thank u for commenting xxx