Anna Meads, Mummy Blogger of ‘Diary Of A Mixed Up Mum’, shares her experience when it came to feeding her children Theo (2) & Daisy (5 months):
“When I was pregnant with my son, I was determined that I was going to breastfeed him for at least six months. When he was born he latched on within minutes. I felt so lucky as I had read about other women’s struggles to establish breastfeeding, and was fully prepared to face the same battle myself, so I was very pleasantly surprised.
By day three I was in agony. The pain got progressively worse until about day 14. I was desperate to switch to formula but guilt got the better of me. I spoke to various medical professionals, and they all encouraged me to persevere. Not one person told me it would be ok for me to use formula instead. All I needed was to be told I had done well for trying but that my happiness was the most important thing. But that didn’t happen so I carried on through the pain. Then slowly but surely it started to get a little bit easier. At the end of the first month I was barely feeling any pain at all.
I then had two wonderful months breastfeeding my son. I loved that I was solely responsible for his growth and felt incredibly proud of myself. I used to express a bottle a day to take out with me as I was never fully comfortable breastfeeding in public.
Then, when he was three months old, I noticed he started feeding more and more frequently. I was feeding him almost every hour, day and night. One day I tried to express a bottle for him and barely anything came out. I burst into tears. I tried again the next day, and the next, and the same thing happened. My son was becoming incredibly grumpy and restless. So I gave in and fed him a bottle of formula. He instantly relaxed and became a contented little boy again. He started sleeping better and I was able to pass some of the feeding responsibility onto my husband. I still found it hard though. I cried for weeks, feeling as though my body had failed my little boy.
Then just before his first birthday I fell pregnant. I struggled coming to terms with the pregnancy because I felt a great deal of guilt. I wasn’t ready to let go of my one on one time with my boy.
When my daughter was born I didn’t bond with her straight away. I had assumed the breastfeeding would be easier because I already knew what to do. It wasn’t. She struggled to latch on and the soreness was just as bad as the first time. She had a nasty case of oral thrush and I could see she was in pain every time she tried to feed. I was extremely worried about my son and felt that feeding my daughter was taking my precious time away from him. I was also exhausted for doing all the night feeds.
So when she was two weeks old we decided to move onto formula. Again I felt incredibly guilty, but it was definitely the best decision for us. I just felt awful for not treating them the same with regards to breastfeeding.
My son is now two and my daughter is five months old and I’m extremely pleased to say they are both absolutely thriving. I’m glad I didn’t force myself to power through the pain and tiredness the second time around. I had my own personal struggles regarding my attachment with her without having to put additional stress on myself. Today, the bond with my daughter is growing every day, and I absolutely love both of my children equally and with all my heart.
I’m grateful for my breastfeeding journey with my son, and I admire any woman who manages to breastfeed for several months and even years. I also admire the mothers who gave it their best shot. But most of all I admire the mothers who refuse to feel the pressure to feed their child a certain way, and decides to do what is best for her and her baby, whether that be breast or bottle. Fed is best!”
Don’t Judge Just Feed want to thank Anna for her bravery in sharing personal story with us. It’s not easy to be open and honest about such sensitive topics in the parenting world, feeding and attachment. We are so pleased that Theo and Daisy are healthy and happy and, most importantly, that the bond hasn’t been affected by the rollercoaster ride of emotions involved with Anna’s journey.
We absolutely love the final paragraph along; an empathetic and supportive message to all.
Where you can find Anna:
Blog: Diary Of A Mixed Up Mum
If you are interested in sharing your story, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org