I would have loved to be telling you that Oliver’s feeding issues are now resolved. In fact, I was actually putting off writing this until I could. However, I want to tell my story regardless, because I want any other mother struggling with feeding in any way to know that she is not alone. I want to reassure her that feeding does not define her bond with her baby or her worth as a mother.
During the painful, emotional blur of the first few days and weeks I had the statistics whirling around in my head - my baby was going to get cancer if I didn't keep breastfeeding, she would have constant infections...
Let’s hope that one day, the moral principles of the health organisations will value mothers and babies equally and will implement a new approach with mindful, inclusive options and communication. Mother & Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative perhaps?
But the problem with the breastfeeding culture is that it’s gone from “Formula is best. Breastfeeding is gross.” to the other. Now formula-feeding mamas have little to no support, which forces mothers to keep up breastfeeding even when it’s dangerously compromising their mental and physical wellbeing.
When a friend endures a pregnancy with hypermesis, bed rest, and prenatal depression, all you can do is be there for support and pray things improve after the birth. Like the majority of mothers, she had her heart set on breastfeeding, and having worked as a Midwife, she certainly had the knowledge to make it… Continue reading The Battle Of The Breast
I just didn't want anyone thinking less of me because I wasn't breastfeeding my baby. I didn't want to be judged because I didn't suck up the pain of my nip being chewed on, when other mom's can nurse when their babes have full sets of teeth, and I couldn't even handle two. Then I kept seeing these Insta + blog posts shaming other mom's for formula feeding their babies. And all my fears were becoming a reality. Clearly they were in the right because they have 15K followers, and their words have more meaning than my feelings.. right?
I tried to nurse him. My heart wanted to nurse him so bad. It was going to be magical once we figured it out. I was sure of it. I obsessed over it. I lost sleep over it. I cried over it. I bled, actually bled over it. Then I tried exclusively pumping.
At 10 weeks, she started to refuse breastfeeding (by screaming as long and as hard as she could) in favour of the formula top ups I was told she had to have. I cried on her head because I felt like I was not good enough.
But what if our issues stemmed from emotional barriers? Thoughts and feelings that consume a mother to their very core and are far more ingrained than simply 'snapping out of it' or 'try to push past it'. What if a mother's commitment to provide breastmilk prevented her from getting the help she desperately needs?
We recommend that mothers talk to their midwife or a good lactation consultant if they wish to start combination feeding. When we say a good lactation consultant, we are referring to the vast majority who are open, understanding and respectful of bottle and formula feeding. If you have any lactivist pressure from anyone, report them to their superiors (or governing body) for bullying... because that is what aggressive promotion of breastfeeding is.