Tuesday, 8 August 2017

I just couldn't breastfeed, don't feel bad if you can't either

One of the first decisions you make as a parent is how you are going to feed your child. The decision of whether to breastfeed or bottle feed is something everyone seems to have an opinion on. From family and friends to midwives and breastfeeding support practitioners, advice comes from every angle yet only you can make that decision. 

I'll be honest with you here..

There's no right way to feed your child

If you can't breastfeed that's OK. If you don't want to breastfeed that's OK too. As long as you feed your child and they are developing well then that is enough.

During my pregnancy I decided that I was going to give breastfeeding a go. I had no plan for how long I was going to do it for. I read lots of information about breastfeeding and when Jack was born gave it a go. I really struggled to get him to latch on initially but persevered and expressed whilst I waited to see the Breastfeeding Support Practitioner. 

Unfortunately 38 hours after Jack was born, I suffered a Postpartum Haemorrhage. This resulted in a failed D+C - a procedure where the lining of the uterus is scraped. Following this I then had a procedure where a balloon was inflated inside of my uterus to stop the bleeding. Slowly over the next 12 hours in a small side room next to the theatre it was deflated. Thankfully the bleeding stopped. 

Postpartum Haemorrhage's affect around 6% of births. You just never think your'e going to be part of that statistic. 

Anyway, as I'm sure you can imagine, during the time of these emergency operations Jack had to be fed. Jack was being looked after by the midwives at this point whilst myself and Wayne were by the theatre. Breastfeeding was no longer an option - I had been given a spinal anaesthetic for the second time in two days and was in no state to breastfeed. Jack was given bottles for the next 24 hours and when I finally began to feel more like myself, I made the decision to leave him on them.

I had been through a lot in a very short amount of time. Why take him back off bottles to try breastfeeding just to make myself feel like a better parent? In the previous 48 hours I had endured a caesarean section, a postpartum haemorrhage, a D+C and an inauterine balloon procedure. I had been through enough and so had he. With Jack having had a few early scares and a need for oxygen at one point, he was finally settled. To be honest, breast or bottles didn't matter - the fact that we had survived it all did.

Several people tried to change our minds. One person in particular sticks in my mind - the breastfeeding practitioner who told me that this was 'the way of giving him the best start in life.'
I like to think that leaving him happily on bottles was me giving him the best start. Jack was a happy and healthy baby. This was far more important than the battle of breast or bottle. It didn't matter. All that mattered is that we were going home together which 48 hours before was not all that certain.

Bringing up Georgia



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