This week, we have the amazing Lyndsey from Me, Him, The Dog And A Baby sharing her #bottlefeedingstories
I’m Lyndsey, a 30 year old first time mum! I blog over at Me, Him, The Dog and a Baby! Erin was born on New Year’s Day 2016 so she’s just over a year old now. I started breastfeeding the minute Erin was born but soon had to change to bottle feeding, which was never really my intention.
Had you given much thought to breastfeeding before/while you were pregnant?
All through my pregnancy and even before I got pregnant, I was determined that I would always breastfeed. Although I never really planned on bottle feeding, I did have a few as back up just in case but I really didn’t want to have to use them.
What was your opinion of bottle feeding?
I was never really for or against bottle feeding. I never really thought about it too much to have a proper opinion. I certainly didn’t have any issues with anyone that did bottle feed.
Were you offered any classes on breastfeeding by your healthcare team/midwives? Did you take any classes of your own ie. NCT?
I was really naughty and didn’t attend any antenatal classes. With Erin’s due date being in January, the classes didn’t run for the whole of December and there wasn’t any free spaces in November because I left it too late to book! Before I had Erin, I had no idea what to expect with feeding Erin, in any way!
What support did you receive to start and continue breastfeeding? What support would you have liked?
I actually don’t feel as though I had nearly enough support when it came to breastfeeding. My midwife barely mentioned it to me before Erin was born and after that, well, I’ll get to that pretty soon.
Did you have a personal breastfeeding goal?
Considering that I am normally the most organised person ever when it comes to everything, I didn’t have a breastfeeding plan. Some of my friends knew that they only wanted to do it for 6 months or so, some are still doing it now. I had no idea. I was just planning on going with the flow, so to speak!
What triggered your move to bottle feeding? Would you consider it a choice or a necessity?
Unfortunately, bottle feeding was I mostly a necessity. Erin’s birth was pretty horrendous and I ended up being extremely ill after an emergency section. I had sepsis, e coli and some internal bleeding and this required a second surgery. I tried to breastfeed for the first week but it wasn’t going well. I was supposed to rest to get better but being woken up every couple of hours to either try to feed Erin or express was exhausting. I wasn’t getting any better and Erin wasn’t feeding properly. We’d been giving her formula out of a cup as well and my husband kept telling me it was okay to bottle feed. He was worried about how much damage trying to breastfeed was doing to me.
So, after nearly a week and just before my second surgery we decided bottle feeding was the way forward.
How did moving to bottle feeding make you feel?
I cried and cried and cried when we made the decision. I was already really ill and couldn’t look after Erin properly; I could barely hold her. Breastfeeding, to me, was the one thing I was supposed to be able to do that no one else could. I felt like I’d failed. However, looking back, it really was the best decision and we had an easier time back at home because of it.
Did you experience any backlash for bottle feeding?
Most people understood just how ill I had been after Erin’s birth so were really supportive of us bottle feeding.
Do you have any advice for other new mums in your situation?
Do what you need to and don’t worry about what you think should be done. I got myself in such a mess thinking that I had to breastfeed and I didn’t do me any good. A fed baby is a happy baby!
Huge thanks to Lyndsey for sharing such a personal story. As a mum who also had a traumatic birth, I’m adamant there should be better support systems in place for mums who are struggling to recover from their labour, especially when it comes to breastfeeding. It isn’t always an easy skill to learn, and to be attempting to master it when you’re far from your best is a demand that is too great when there’s not a lot of support to be had!
Check out Lyndsey’s blog and social links below, and go give them all some love!