This week we have Jenna from Then There Were Three sharing her #bottlefeedingstories
www.thentherewerethree.uk – I started to bottle feed pretty much from the day she was born. Ideally I would have loved to have breastfed; however I always had an idea that I would not be able to as a few years ago I had been advised that I had underdeveloped milk glands and that breastfeeding would be a struggle.
Had you given much thought to breastfeeding before/while you were pregnant?
Yes I had given quite a lot of thought to it and did really want to do it, despite knowing that it may not be an option for me. As my husband was working away in the Middle East at the time it seemed the easiest option as it meant less cleaning up afterwards too!
What was your opinion of bottle feeding?
I have never had an issue with bottle feeding – I knew that there was a high chance that I would be required to bottle feed and in my own personal opinion, Fed is Best. I would much rather have fed with a bottle than struggle with breast feeding and not knowing if my child was getting enough milk due to low milk supplies.
Were you offered any classes on breastfeeding by your healthcare team/midwives? Did you take any classes of your own ie. NCT?
Unfortunately not, I didn’t feel supported at all in regards to not being able to breastfeed.
What support did you receive to start and continue breastfeeding? What support would you have liked?
I wasn’t given a lot of support at all. The midwives could see that I was struggling; her latch was perfect but I had no supply at all. I was told to just use formula – luckily I had brought some with me if this had been the case and I wasn’t able to breast feed.
Did you have a personal breastfeeding goal?
Not in a sense of a timescale, but just to have tried it and to have been somewhat successful with it; even if just for a few weeks.
What triggered your move to bottle feeding? Would you consider it a choice or a necessity?
No milk supply. It was definitely a choice as I couldn’t risk waiting for any supply to come in when I knew there was a high chance that it wouldn’t. I ended up being right in my thinking and never had any milk supply come through.
How did moving to bottle feeding make you feel?
Awful – I felt as though I had failed my daughter and myself. I had a horrific first few weeks which I should have spent enjoying my new daughter. Instead I was stuck in the failure frame of mind.
Did you experience any backlash for bottle feeding?
Only the once; I was in Tesco collecting formula when my daughter was about 3 months old. Another customer told me that I was “Killing” my child for feeding her the formula that was in my trolley. At the time I just walked off but now I wish I had said something. My daughter is almost 2 now and is thriving in all aspects of her development.
Do you have any advice for other new mums in your situation?
Please do not beat yourself up if you are not able to breast feed, or even if you don’t want to. The most important thing is that your baby is being fed; nothing else.
Thank you to Jenna for sharing her story with #bottlefeedingstories. You can check out her blog and social media here:
I’d love to read and share your stories – please email me firstname.lastname@example.org for more info or to get involved.