The breastfeeding journey this time round

I wrote about my indecision about breastfeeding and about my bottle feeding journey with Princess back here on my old blog. Even when I held Ragamuffin in my arms for the first time, I didn’t know what would eventuate or what feelings I would have towards breastfeeding this time.

Ragamuffin latched on well first go, and during his first night fed well. By day two, everything was still going well except for one slightly grazed nipple. On day three, my sister had arranged for the local Lactation Consultant to visit me at home. She was wonderful and I knew all the questions I wanted to ask and things I wanted clarified. She was a wealth of knowledge and came to me and left completely without judgement. When she was gone from my home, I felt confident and armed with all the information I had wanted the first time around, if only I had known!

I was honestly suprised at how much I was actually enjoying breastfeeding my son & the time I was spending with him. If i was to be honest though, I was however struggling with the lack of routine and the constant feeding (hourly, with a 20 minute break in between). I set myself a goal, a small one, one week of breastfeeding, anything beyond that would be a bonus.

There were problems I ran into, the constant feeding, my lack of confidence feeding in front of others (although I did do it) and the lack of attention I could give to Princess. As one week passed, I was wrapt with what I had already achieved. At this point too, Ragamuffin seemed to feed even more (if that could be possible) and just never seemed settled or satisfied. And the more he fed the less he slept.

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At this stage, I was really concerned that the lack of sleep would eventually cause me to get a migraine, so I gave Ragamuffin two bottles of formula at night. This did two things, allowed me & him to get some good sleep, and put my mind at ease … If ever I did get a migraine, I would know that he would be looked after and would take a bottle.

I had moments where I wanted to throw the whole breastfeeding thing away (usually in the throws of tiredness and cluster feeding) but there was always a small something in my head that made me push through. There was also another small something in my head though that told me something wasn’t quite right.

Things were confirmed for me at his two week check up (which was actually 16 days). I spoke to the Health Nurse about my various concerns about Ragamuffin’s feeding, which she fobbed off as him a actually being tired rather than hungry. She then noticed something that may be a small infection, and advised me to get him a Doctors appointment. She then proceeded to weigh my little man, he had in fact continued to loose more weight since being at home, rather than regaining his birth weight plus some. Once again, she didn’t seem overly concerned, me however, I knew that it wasn’t right and straight to my Doctor I headed.

Since then, Ragamuffin has been on his first lot of antibiotics 😦 and after a lengthy discussion with my Doctor he is now being fed formula. I breastfed my baby to almost three weeks, I enjoyed it and yes, I was upset when I stopped. However, I once again do not regret having to make the decision to stop breastfeeding. The reasons were many, they were my own, for the health of my son and for my family.

I breastfed my baby for nearly three weeks….for those three weeks it was me and only me that could nourish him, it was me he nuzzled into for comfort, it was me who he fell asleep beside some nights feeding, and it was me whose eyes he gazed into each and every time he latched on. And now, our path is slightly different and the outcomes are changed slightly, it is Hubby and au who nourish him and at times his big sister, it is Hubby and I who he nuzzles into for comfort, and it is our eyes who he gazes into each and every time he latches on.

Bel x

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6 thoughts on “The breastfeeding journey this time round

  1. I only lasted 6 weeks with Megan then 2 weeks with Alex. Same as you I wanted to breast feed but was open to bottles if that’s what I needed to do.

    I’m glad he is doing well now and the whole family gets to enjoy that beautiful feeding time 🙂

  2. That is a fantastic attitude bel.
    I agree and I think it’s import as mothers, and women, that we support each other, because we all have our own version of what we went through.

    I felt awful mothers guilt with both boys.
    Linc wouldn’t attach properly from the start so I expressed for 6 weeks. (Crazy thinking back why I didn’t just switch to formula, but I didn’t really know what I was doing)
    Flynn lasted 2 weeks which I was pretty chuffed about. Then onto formula for many reasons, one being I had a 17m old climbing onto furniture and jumping off, switching off lights and generally stressing me out while trying to feed.

    Great piece. Phoebe will be very well supported when its her turn to go through it all.

    • It’s horrible the pressure that we put on ourselves and that others put on us, sometimes without realising it. It’s ok to have your beliefs, and opinions and be passionate about them, but at the end of the day, we all need to support one another, we are all just doing our best!! x

  3. Breastfeeding is one of the hardest things a woman can do. I had 6 months with Ash although I should have stopped long before. Suffering Post natal depression after having a prem baby who was intolerant to my milk, I eventually realised I needed to look after myself too. With Zac I breastfed for 3 weeks and as my doctor said “he got all the good stuff, the rest is just milk.” Good on you for achieving your goal and a bonus couple of weeks. All that matters is that you are all happy and content.

    • Thanks Mandy! I definitely think everything in parenting is about looking after your welfare (you cant take care of anyone if you don’t take care of yourself) and the welfare of your family, both mentally and physically.

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