Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Mummys milk

***This post includes breastfeeding photo's, please do not continue if this offends you***

I've never been one to think that breastfeeding is the ultimate goal of parenthood.
Whilst I was pregnant I just went along with it thinking that if I could do it then great as it's a fabulous start for the baby but if I couldn't then I would formula feed
I was of the school of thought of happy mummy, happy baby.
Due to Finn's IUGR he didn't have milk for 2-3 days because it can cause complications with the gut, as I knew I'd always give breastfeeding a go I was able to get ahead with expressing.

I remember being in the ward without Finn and the midwife giving me a syringe to collect the colostrum with and showed me how to hand express, my god that was hard work. The next day I went to NICU crying that I couldn't hand pump and the midwifes wouldn't give me an electric pump, one swift phone call from NICU to my ward and on my return there was a pump at my bed. I ended up expressing every 3hours in the day, and 4hours at night.

When was discharged after 5 days I went and bought a manual pump which was the worse thing I've ever used in my whole entire life and again I cried all night.

A medela electric pump was swiftly bought and I carried on expressing until Finn was able to feed from me. I honestly think if you are solely expressing then an electric pump is the way forward and to me the medela was a miracle


Breastfeeding Finn was a challenge in itself as he was so so tiny and he couldn't latch on and still had his feeding tube in.
After a few days of support of from the nurses I was given nipple shields which worked well and he latched on instantly.
I'll never forget the first time he had his tube feed and then I topped him up and he vomited every where 15mins later, only then did I know he was getting more than enough from me and the nurses allowed me to feed him more and his tube feeds were reduced.
 When we were discharged from NICU I was still using the shields, and because he was so small and I had chosen to breastfeed, I had to administer him vitamins and iron every day by syringe which wasn't fun.

Breastfeeding in public never had bother me and I still to this day maintain I would of done it had I not had to use the shields, latching a baby on discreetly is one thing, getting a shield on and then latching Finn on was another, especially as he used to wave his hands about and knock it off.

I was so worried about Finn when he was tiny that I hardly ate when I was discharged from hospital which affected my milk production so I ate well whilst he was in NICU but when we got home my eating went down hill and I would hardly eat which obviously affected my milk.

After about 5 weeks of Finn knocking the shields off at every feed, gaining minimal weight despite constant feeding and staring from other people, I decided to give up breastfeeding. For about a day I felt slightly guilty about giving up with no 'true' reason but that didn't last long when I saw how much happier and perkier he was on formual, and how much happier I was in myself.

Finn's weight gain went from strength to strength on the catch up formula and it meant I no longer had to give him vitamins or iron.

I can safely say that stopping breast feeding was the best decision for me and Finn, which I have no guilt about as he has thrived on prescribed catch up formula.

If we have another child then I will of course try to breastfeed as I do believe it gives the best start possible, but I'll be under no illusions that stopping breast feeding is a bad thing or something you should be made to feel guilty about.


  1. Awww such gorgeous pics in this post.
    Well done for doing so well with the feeding, it can't have been easy, i think you have the right attitude. I put too much pressure on myself to bf and felt awful when it didn't work out

  2. I hate that certain Mum's feel pressured into breastfeeding by the milk mafia. In a perfect world everyone should give it a go. But I pass no judgement on those who end up bottle feeding. It's really hard work breastfeeding. x