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Heavily pregnant and clueless about what the future held, there I was sitting in my birthing class, grasping a baby doll to my boob. “This breastfeeding thing will be a breeze, the doll has it nailed”… I thought to myself.

Oh boy was I wrong! Breastfeeding is HARD… for some.

Right after I had my son Mac, there I lay in recovery (post c-section). I was barely able to feel my own legs, and feeling pretty overwhelmed from the whole experience. I’d never even held a newborn, and next thing I knew I was being forced to get him latched and feeding.

Well, Mac just didn’t quite perform as well as the doll, and I was definitely nowhere near as relaxed. This was much harder than I imagined.

Off I hobbled to the breastfeeding clinic to hopefully gain a little insight and get some assistance. I’ll never forget the poor girl next to me who had just had her first baby also. Her milk hadn’t come in and she was struggling. I just wanted to give her a big hug and say ‘I am here with you, this isn’t easy’.

She went on to tell the nurses she had given her baby formula, as he wouldn’t settle overnight.

The nurse SHRIEKED!! “You did what????”

Her exact words, and I do not tell a lie, were … “don’t ever do that again!”. It was like she had fed her baby poison.

It was from this moment, I was aware that there was a pressure to breastfeed.

I will point out, that I am neither pro or anti breastfeeding, however, I do feel strongly that we are all individuals. While breastfeeding works for some mums and babies it just doesn’t for others.

If you can do it, then DO, but if you can’t, don’t beat yourself up about it. You are not, and I repeat NOT a failure. Your baby will survive and even grow up with a full bill of health.

Did you know 1 in 7 mothers are diagnosed with Post Natal Depression (PND) each year? Alarming figures in my opinion!

It’s all about HAPPY MUM, HAPPY BABY. Babies are smart, they can sense our emotions. If we aren’t relaxed and happy, chances are they won’t be either. Do whatever keeps you happy.

We should pat ourselves on the back each night – the kids have survived the day!

They have even been entertained, fed, bathed and cuddled. We know they are happy (most of the time anyway), so we have done our job.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com
  • You just have to do what is right for you.

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  • It is better for a Mum to supplement feed if she doesn’t have enough milk than to have a hungry baby. She continue to do that if it works for her. If she continuously doesn’t have enough milk and is starting to stress her baby is going to pick up on that. It’s probably best to wean and switch to formula.
    Each Mum is different as is each baby. You have to do what is right for you or you won’t have a happy baby either.

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  • I agree fully. Give it a go. And don’t feel guilty if it doesn’t work for you.

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  • As mums, we want to be perfect at it all, but it’s not possible. I breast fed, had no major problems and enjoyed it. I don’t like the young girls who have babies and decide they don’t want to breastfeed, they prefer the bottle so it’s easier to find a baby sitter from an early age. That is wrong!

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  • Good post. I have been lucky but had friends who had real trouble. The pressure lead to unnecessary stress and even depression for one of them.

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  • Can’t believe a nurse would do that to the other mother.. If your baby is hungry, you need to give it food.. I had trouble with a tongue tied baby and my milk not coming in because of lack of stimulation.. Took a couple of days before I was able to express enough to feed properly… If I didn’t feed formula, was my baby expected to starve until my milk came in?

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  • I struggled to feed my son the first time, and I allowed myself to feed so pressured to breastfeed that I caused myself some health issue. I ignored the advice of my GP who recommended that I stop as my breasts continually struggled with thrush (deep within the breast, not just the nipper) and continuous mastitis. I eventually fed my son until he was 15 months old and I am proud of my efforts, however, if I have such a difficult time next time, I will ensure I listen to my GP and not let the pressure from society and midwives get to me :)

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  • I wish I read articles likes this before I had my baby and then during the hardest 4 months of my life! I wasnt able to get my little one to latch so I ended up exclusively pumping for 4 months. I could feel myself falling into a deep hole and I knew I was around the corner from PND. Moving to the bottle it was the best thing I could have ever done for myself and my little one.

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  • Definitely felt that pressure! I feel it should always be whatevers best on a case by case basis.

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  • I wish people would read more of these articles, Who cares how a child is fed as long as the child is fed, not everyone can or wants to breast feed and many of these nurses have never breastfed in their lives, I had twins and ended up with bleeding nipples, and the most agony that could be imagined, swapping them to formula was the best thing for me, however I experienced so much opposition from people who really should not have concerned themselves with the issue, I also had a daughter 20 mnths later and breastfed her for 6 weeks at which time she still was not back to her birth weight, she was happy, feeding fine, and settling, she just did not put on weight, the nurse suggested formula feeding, which I did, she still did not get to birth weight til she was over 12 weeks old, she just did not put on weight. So everyone is different, do what is best for you, and what you want and ignore everyone else. don’t beat yourself up about whatever decision that you make. look after yourself and your baby.

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  • You are true, If we can only we can .. other wise no..


    • yeah don’t beat yourself up in any case.

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  • So true, I am of the same belief breastfeed if you can and want to and don’t if you can’t or don’t want to. It doesn’t make you less of a mother
    Everyone is different and do things differently, whatever works

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  • Too much pressure is put on many new mum’s, the whole breastfeeding issue needs a good overhaul, me i couldn’t breastfeed any of my 3 kids, not through lack of trying i couldn’t produce enough for any of my bubs.

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  • I love your statement “We should pat ourselves on the back each night – the kids have survived the day!” – That statement right there is definitely it!!
    Formula is most certainly not poison – it is amazing stuff!! As much as I tried, I was not able to breast feed and I certainly did try with all 4 of my kids, not getting further than 6 weeks… Thankfully I had A LOT of support with having to go to formula and I am so grateful that we do have formula so that we can feed our babies. All 4 of my babies are thriving – the eldest 6 years and the youngest is about to turn 1 year old.

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  • I remember when I had both my 2 and I felt like I had failed because I couldn’t breastfeed. It might be the best for our kids but if you can’t from the beginning everyone needs to help you instead of making it harder

    Reply

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