My first 2 children were breastfed babies and my son was bottle fed from birth. I had planned on breastfeeding my eldest daughter and then made the decision to do so with her siblings to make sure I did the same for each child.
Had you given much thought to breastfeeding before/while you were pregnant?
With my eldest I gave it a lot of thought and felt I wanted to experience it. With my youngest daughter I simply breastfed because that is what I had done with her sister, and with my son I was dreading it but felt I had to. My youngest daughter had bit me so hard that I now have an open wound that will not heal, it has been checked medically but there is nothing that can be done.
What was your opinion of bottle feeding?
I never had an opinion of bottle feeding, I was just scared about how to make it up correctly and how to ensure bottles are sterile.
Were you offered any classes on breastfeeding by your healthcare team/midwives? Did you take any classes of your own ie. NCT?
Yes but I chose not to attend them. Having had 2 babies previously who were both breastfed I felt there was not much I could learn. Including one of them having feeding issues.
What support did you receive to start and continue breastfeeding? What support would you have liked?
There was too much pressure and too much interfering to keep breastfeeding, rather than supporting a decision that was made for a reason.
What triggered your move to bottle feeding? Would you consider it a choice or a necessity?
My son could not latch and I was too anxious about the pain from an existing wound, that it simply did not work. Rather than stress about it I gave him a bottle. He was happy, fed and content. It turns out he had a slight tongue tie but not enough for anything to be done about it. He suffered with colic and silent reflux, so bottles actually worked out better for him.
How did moving to bottle feeding make you feel?
I was fine about it because I knew it was the right decision
Did you experience any backlash for bottle feeding?
Yes. An infant feeding support group refused to give me advice and help on bottle feeding and told me it was a shame I was not breastfeeding. I left feeling ashamed and really guilty about bottle feeding. They also wanted to restart my milk supply to try again. I get tuts and shake of heads occasionally whilst out and about.
Do you have any advice for other new mums in your situation?
Trust your gut instinct and do what is right for you and your family. A fed baby is best and a happy Mum. Having a stressed out, over tired Mum is no good for anyone do what works. I am much happier and more confident bottle feeding than I ever was breastfeeding.
Massive thank you to Leyla for sharing her experience for bottlefeedingstories – it was great to read such a positive experience, especially coming from a Mum who had previously breastfed!
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