Thursday 15 May 2014

An undeniable pressure - I didn't Breast Feed

I have been visiting many blogs over the last few weeks reading different stories of life, motherhood, tragedy, happy times spent amongst friends family and partners but amongst the posts I have been reading there were so many about breast feeding guides, buying the correct equipment and the lotions and potions that help you to not having sore nipples.

All I could think of when I read them, was that I didn't breast feed either of my children, was it because I was lazy? or because I didn't have the right equipment? the answer to both of those questions is no.

This Is my story of why I didn't breast feed and why there is an undeniable pressure for women to breast feed at one of the most life changing moments in life.

I was rolling around the hospital bed in absolute agony, as the bed was being ran down the corridor to the emergency theatre nurses and doctors either side of me, the baby (Liam) his heart rate was dipping he was stuck.

In theatre they dragged me over onto the table like a piece of meat, I felt like I couldn't breath, panic, tiredness, worry - I was sick, they tried to use the forceps - Liam wasn't coming out the only option left was an emergency C-section, it was my worst night mare, but it was happening around ten minutes later they had sliced and diced me open and there were these amazing blue eyes gazing around the room - he was in his daddy's arms I couldn't hold him, I was being stitched back together, they ushered dad and baby out of the room - I don't remember much else I passed out.

I did not breast feed

In recovery I woke up - attached to drips, shaking like a leaf I had a temperature I felt like I had been beaten up, every inch of myself hurt - the baby was wailing at the top of his lungs - he needs feeding a voice muttered to me.

The baby was plonked on my chest, as I grappled with him, I was exhausted, his long nails ripped at my bare skin as I tried to get him to attach to my nipple - he wouldn't he eventually went back off to sleep, I sat and wept in recovery behind the curtains, I was a failure I couldn't give birth, I couldn't breast feed, how was I ever going to be a good mum? when I couldn't do the things that a mum should naturally be able to do.

I was transferred to the ward a few days later after being quite poorly myself my nipples were sore where he wasn't latching on properly. I could not barely move I was in pain, tired, drained and very tearful.

In that moment I decided I wasn't going to try and breast feed anymore, this hadn't always been my intention, don't get me wrong I was a naive new mum, I had the breast pump, pads, nursing bras, lanolin cream but I had made my decision.

Why? because I was a new mum, I was just getting to grips with changing his nappy, getting him dressed and although I know in terms of health and the best start in life for your baby, breast is best, the support in the hospital for me was next to nothing, they just haven't got enough time to sit next to you and help you - not only that you're tired the baby is screaming because he is hungry and then to add on to the list of worries is the fact that you see everywhere you should breast feed.

What if you cant breast feed? or like me you have an emergency C-section and you are really poorly? or if your baby wont latch onto the nipple? Where are the posters that say - hey if you cant breast feed its OK you're are not a failure? where is the support for mums that really just don't feel comfortable enough too breast feed - not because they're lazy or don't want to but because they cant - There is no support.

I don't think its fair that women at a time in there life that is so life changing should be put under such an undeniable amount of pressure to be able to do something they cant do - we all know the benefits of breast feeding for ourselves and our child, but just because we don't want to or physically cant breast feed it doesn't make us bad mums or people.

I guess what I am trying to say to all the mums out there who cant breast feed or really don't want to breast feed, this is a massive life changing moment, don't expect to much of yourself, you have just had a baby, do what is right for you as a person and not what everyone tells you to do and don't be to hard on yourself just because a parenting style, or choice isn't text book it does not make it wrong.

What is your experience of breast feeding I would love to know if it is good or bad? 




  1. I didn't breastfeed either of mine. My reason was basically that if I had, I would never have left the house. I'm not confident enough to breastfeed in public. Bottle was definitely the right way for me. And both my children are healthy and happy so I don't care who slates me for it either. LOL

    Louise x

    Confessions of a Secret Shopper | An Undomestic Goddess

  2. When I had my eldest I tried breast feeding there wasn't much support in the hospital and she just wouldn't latch on properly.....I got home and carried on trying! I had a c-section too and was sore....My ex...My eldests dad wouldn't help me so I ended up bottle feeding her....There just wasn't enough support for me!

  3. Great to see a different view - I did BF but in my NCT group a few didn't and we all discussed the options and what worked for us. Its a personal choice - and no mother should be made to feel like she can't make the right choices for her baby. Great Post

  4. I really wanted to breastfeed my twins and tried so hard to encourage them both to latch on, but as they were 6 weeks premature they were too little and not strong enough. I expressed for them though so they had my milk exclusively for the first month of their lives. I stopped expressing when they came from hospital after 27 days as I just didn't think I'd have time or energy to continue expressing at home. Thanks for linking up to the #binkylinky

  5. So sorry you had a rough birth, I had a similar experience, I had 3 days of labour, emergency C-Section, extended scar as baby was stuck (her poor head) then nearly died on the table 4 pints of blood lost before they found the bleed, after they'd put me under a general anesthetic, I really was nearly a gonner! But luckily I pulled through! I then chose to carry on my choice to breastfeed and was so so grateful I was alive to be able to give her that, I had to use rugby ball technique since my tummy was sore, the drips and catheter etc got in the way sure, but I was determined that I was going to do the right thing for my baby., I nearly tore a midwifes head off at the suggestion I couldn't do it after my ordeal, how dare she! I was going to do this! 6 weeks later something wasn't right I sought help, turns out the latch was wrong! oops! I had to drive for 30 minutes for the support but it was there, It is really difficult to find in this country but it is getting better all the time thankfully but for now it isn't great which is sad.
    I'll tell you something though, breastfeeding is NOT easy, I'd say it was the most difficult experience I've ever had, but then neither is chiild birth and in for a penny in for a pound! I think it's great you've managed to own your decision not to breastfeed your children, no body should feel guilty about their own choices and I can't imagine how I'd feel if I was physically unable to feed my children myself. Make your decisions, stand by it and don't let anyone make you feel like a bad parent, did you actually get criticised for not breastfeeding? I think that's disgusting and you're right, bottle feeding mothers should get support too, we should all support each other no matter what! I'll be honest though a lot of the "Pressure" is how the campaign is perceived, you admitted yourself that breast is best, and I'm sure all I've ever experienced was information sent my way regarding breastfeeding, and in fact pressure to stop! by midwives at the hospital, by family members etc, what do you mean by pressure?

  6. I have no idea why my name didn't come up! haha! I'm Sarah BTW!

  7. I'm so sorry you had such a difficult experience. I combi-fed Potato because I didn't have enough milk on my own.
    He had real problems latching and I really struggled but I really wanted to breastfed. I felt awful for having to top-up and like I was a failure at being a mum. But I was really lucky. My midwife was brilliant. Although she was happy to help me continue to feed as I wanted to, she was lovely at making me understand that the bottle was OK too. When you look at kids in a playground, you can't tell which ones were breastfed and which ones were bottle fed. We should count ourselves lucky that we live in a time when there is a viable alternative to breast feeding for those that can't or would prefer not to breastfed.
    Thanks for linking up with #BinkyLinky


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