Wednesday, 2 December 2015

My breastfeeding it started

When I was pregnant I have read different books about first few days with a new baby and breastfeeding a newborn, how little did I know, that breastfeeding wouldn't be as easy as I thought.

When L was born we had a skin to skin and I tried to latch her onto my breast, but she didn't seem interested. I was reassured that it's normal, that we should try again sometime later and if not then she will definitely be hungry in 12 hours. First day we spent having lots of skin to skin, attempts to feed but nothing worked. Once midwives realised that it's been over 12 hours and L didn't latch they tried to call breastfeeding counselor to see if she can assess the situation ans suggest what to do, but in the meantime midwives offered to hand express colostrum in a small syringe. I was shown how to hand express which seemed easy, but once I started expressing I realised that it is a hard work!

My sister was helping me with expressing during visiting hours and at night a student midwife was helping every 2 hours. As I had a privilege of staying in my own room it felt less stressful as I didn't have to think about other mums or babies but nonetheless it was a very difficult time. L was constantly crying from hunger, because of that she refused to sleep and I felt embarrassed to press the bell every time I needed help expressing. I crumbled once when my little helper-student midwife finished her shift and instead I had a middle-aged midwife who didn't give a monkeys about me being upset and not knowing how to handle crying baby and hand expressing tiny amounts into a tiny syringe. Her stern face and an attitude were like a slap on my chick telling me to get on with it. I couldn't wait till the next day, I hoped for a better day, more colostrum and of course my husband next to me. The next day I had 2 lovely meals at the hospital and lots of different midwives trying to help us. This time they showed us how to use electric pump and tried cup feeding, once they saw that I'm comfortable with it they discharged me.

When we arrived home it was time to feed L and as I have learnt how to use hospital electric pump I was confident in using the one I have prepared to use at home. I have read all instructions, put it all up and started expressing or trying to. I sat their listening to a loud noise of he electric pump and watching the only drop of milk being stuck in one of the tubes. We have check the pump together, tried again and still no milk. I tried hand expressing-nothing came out again, and then in the moment of despair I put L to latch on my breast, I couldn't believe my eyes for the first time L latched and was drinking! 

Our second night we have spent trying to express milk with electric pump, hand express and constantly called midwife's emergency numbers for advice and support. 
The next few days we had different midwives shaking their heads in disappointment that L didn't put enough weight (it is the reason why 16 months later I still stress about L's weight), had different breastfeeding support workers talking to us, showing us techniques, health visitor giving us completely different advice from what breastfeeding workers told us with regards to breastfeeding. 
For the first 6 weeks L was slowly but putting weight on and since then she stayed on 9th centile line going up and down.
But once I was confident in breastfeeding, knew what is right for me and L I relaxed and enjoyed every single minute of breastfeeding. 
The first few weeks were hard, confusing and overwhelming, but I stayed strong and stubborn because I wanted to do this for my daughter, to proof to others that I can do it, to show that only those who believe and persevere can do this as well. 

No matter how hard it was it is an incredible experience and 17 months later I don't want it to stop. 


  1. That's a fabulous story to read. Thank you for sharing.

  2. Aww what a great story. We struggled and only managed bereastfeed for 2 weeks then combine feed to 6 weeks. this was due to weightloss. We had to stay in hospital for a week and then extra weight checks. This is better than first baby so many when I have a third baby we will manage to crack it!

  3. What a lovely story, Breast feeding is such a wonderful thing to do. I cant wait to feed again on my second!