I have said time and again, that although we are lucky here in the UK to have help and advice regarding breastfeeding, it is still inconsistent and therefore ineffective. As we recently saw on the news, Public Health England suggests more needs to be done to help breastfeeding mums.
Today, I am speaking to new Mum, Charlotte who tells me that a lactation consultant suggested that her breastfeeding journey would have to come to an end after just six weeks! Six weeks!
I was induced 3 weeks early, given diamorphine in labour and forgotten about.. anyway by the time baby was born, she had been pressed against my pubic bone for hours so she had a keffel haematoma, a broken nose and two black eyes. She wouldn’t wake up at all for me to feed her. 12 hours later, still in maternity ward she still hadn’t latched. I hand expressed some colostrum and the midwife gave it to her in a syringe. She gave me some nipple shields and discharged me.
I took my baby home who still hadn’t woke to latch or cry and I couldn’t feed her. By 5am I messaged a breastfeeding consultant who came straight out to see me out of hours!
She told me to express using an electric pump and give her a bottle as she hadn’t fed in 12 hours and was starting to look very jaundiced. She then attempted to latch her but it was impossible. She came out 3 times a day for a week and my baby wouldn’t latch, the pain was excruciating, her latch was so shallow and I would scream
So I would pump and bottle feed her every day but attempt to feed too without success. She was checked for tongue tie but didn’t have one.
I was so upset that I couldn’t feed and hated pumping, and then I got mastitis. I was in too much pain to feed so started completely bottle feeding. My consultant then showed me how to use my nipple shields and after a couple of weeks. At six weeks old she finally latched on to a shield. Phew, right?
Wrong, because then she got bronchiolitis and wouldn’t feed at all. I managed to wean her off shields at ten weeks old with a lot of practice!
At a month old my lactation consultant told me I can successfully pump and should do so as she believed my breastfeeding journey come to an end. She explained a lot of women do this because unfortunately sometimes some women just can’t feed and she could seen how hard I was trying without luck.
But I had SO much determination and wouldn’t take no as an answer! I’m so glad I persevered and now I exclusively breastfeed my beautiful 5 month old girl.
YAY! How harrowing. How amazing. How blooming inspiring!
Mama, you can do the same, with the right support, knowledge and determination you can feed freely just like Charlotte!
A Word of Advice
Do the research for your specific issue, join groups (there’s thousands on facebook) and consult medical professionals, of course, just be aware that opinions often differ. To help others around you to be more supportive download our Free guide: Breastfeeding for Dada, which will help family members understand the breastfeeding process and why it is so important that they are calm and positive around you.
To learn more about using nipple shields here’s a post By Barbara Wilson Clay for Medela
All the best Mama, all the best.