This week’s #bottlefeedingstories comes from Kat over at Candyfloss & Dreams. She had a really lovely Health Visitor who gave her loads of advice, but struggled to find enough support to feed confidently.
I’m Kat, I blog at Candyfloss & Dreams (candyflossdreams.net) and I want my blog to inspire others to make the best choices for themselves. I love sharing my experience on topics that are sometimes a little hard for others because I believe that tough topics should be normalised and everyone needs a little support.
Had you given much thought to breastfeeding before/while you were pregnant?
Absolutely! I desperately wanted to breastfeed – it was free! It was a way to bond with my daughter, a good source of nutrition, antibodies, well, everyone knows the goodness of breastmilk. I was really proud of myself for managing my first 20 minute feed after an emergency caesarian section.
What was your opinion of bottlefeeding?
I don’t care how someone chooses how to feed a baby, bottle or breast, fed is best. I don’t think I had an opinion about it, I knew it was an option, a failsafe, if breastfeeding didn’t work for us.
Were you offered any classes on breastfeeding by your healthcare team/midwives? Did you take any classes of your own? i.e. NCT
I wasn’t advised of anything. I was 21 years old, a young pregnant woman to some, and I received no support at all. I didn’t know about peer support groups, I didn’t get much advice from midwives and I didn’t know anything about NCT classes.
What support did you receive to start and continue breastfeeding? What support would you have liked?
My health visitor was great, she helped plenty of times with latch and didn’t judge when I told her I was going to combination feed. She even helped me plan how. I am also very top heavy, I have massive boobs, literally the only position I could feed in was rugby ball and I was too embarrassed to feed in public because everything would have to come out. Some confidence in my ability, positioning and just maybe attending a group would have been really helpful but I had no idea where to look for this kind of support.
Did you have a personal breastfeeding goal?
Six months was my goal
What triggered your move to bottlefeeding? Would you consider it a choice or a necessity?
A very nasty nursery nurse came to visit me at home and accused me of starving my daughter. She was about four weeks old at the time and I was quite emotional anyway. To be told that really, really knocked my confidence down and that’s when I started combination feeding. She made me feel threatened and lost and I don’t think any new mother, breast or bottle feeding, ever needs that kind of stress in her life from someone that’s supposed to help. At the time, it was a necessity, but it also became a relief.
How did moving to bottle feeding make you feel?
So relieved. I started sleeping better and continued to combi feed for a further ten weeks or so, gradually stopping. Not only that, but Evangeline started sleeping better too. I was so much happier, so was she. It was a huge weight lifted from my shoulder after putting too much pressure on myself and being so self concious. I was able to go out more, feed with a bottle in public and just generally get on with our lives together.
Do you have any advice for other new mums in your situation?
My advice would be to always do what is best for you and your family. Other people’s opinions do not matter. They are not living your life, you are. A happy mum means a happy baby and if you’re doing something that doesn’t make you happy then perhaps you should consider making a change.
Always seek support from other mums, your health visitors, midwives, support groups, whatever you can, and don’t give up until you’ve got the support you need and deserve.
I think it’s wonderful that Kat had such a great health visitor – this series is really proving to highlight just how much help information about things like combination feeding can be. You can check out Kat’s awesome blog and follow her on social media here:
I’d love to hear from you if you have a bottlefeeding story to share 😀