When your boobing journey isn't as you imagined

 The lovely Aimee from The Unruly Ones,  has written a blog post 

The very lovely Amie has written a wonderful pst all about her breastfeeding experience. Amie shares her journey with breastfeeding and how sometimes things just don't alway go the way you hope they will and shares how we can deal with this when this happens. 

Please tell us about how your journey started? 

I had planned a waterbirth in a midwife led center. Lovely old place, I was going to have music and candles and I would give birth in the pool, have my son placed on me before he wriggled up for his first feed... 

However my son had different ideas and I ended up exhausted having an emergency c-section. Once I was wheeled round to the ward I was left with my baby next to me, no idea what to do. 
That night I tried to feed my new baby, to keep him alive and happy, however he wasn't latching, it hurt like hell, I had babies screaming all around me, mums and dads chatting and no one to help me, the thoughts of failing my son started creeping into my head. 
My anxiety started to creep up the next night, when a very loud teenage couple and their family came on the ward. My husband wasn't allowed to stay after the birth and my mum wasn't even allowed to see her grandson, so the fact there was what felt like a family party happening opposite me, they were face timing friends etc while I was sat opposite with small tears running down my cheeks as I tried for the second night to breastfeed. 
I didn't understand, I'd done the classes, I'd learnt about different angles etc but I just wasn't getting it right and Joshua was starting to get frustrated. I was so worried he was starving and it was my fault, I was letting my baby down... I was worried (and I know this sounds so silly) but I was worried that he would die of starvation.... I had hoped being moved into a side room would help (we were still on drips at this point) but unfortunately it didn't work, and the interference of one of the nurses there-things just went down hill. 
What was it that was worrying you when breastfeeding? 
Why couldn't he latch on... 
Why wasn't I able to hold him in the right position.... 
Why did it hurt so much.... 
Why was I finding it so hard? It should be easy and natural right?.. 
Was he getting enough food? 

How did you start to notice your PND? 

I didn't notice till months afterwards myself. I knew something wasn't right at the start but wasn't sure what it was, I felt anxious, but I thought it was all normal, it was the same as every new mum. Looking at women now I can see that isn't the case. I started to obsess with milk, I had a note book, I wrote down what he had and when, his nappies, sleep, everything to the smallest detail. 

I had sticky notes with times for feeds, I was snapping at my family, I wouldn't let others feed him when it was bottles, no one could do anything right, I'd find little things on the floor and get worried he could chock and die, I wouldn't understand why people where so careless when my baby's life was what I was trying to protect .  Why its better now, I definitely still have it, and unfortunately I don't think my family fully understand what it's like and why I sometimes am the way I am, and sometimes their comments are hurtful, though I know they don't mean it. 

What have you done to help your PND and anxiety since? 

Time it's self has been great, I also lost my brother 3 months into being a mum, at a time I felt I was getting a handle on things, as you can imagine this made me spin out of control. But I tried CBT and while I found it interesting, the time, keeping of appointments and the homework was too stressful, but I would recommend it as something to try. I now keep a close eye on myself and evaluate my mood on an almost daily basis. I am. Waiting for bereavement therapy, but it's been almost a year... I've heard there is a pnd therapy through work right now it's just finding time to start this process... 

What was it that you felt were missing at the beginning? What support did you feel you wish you’d had? 

I would have liked the understanding from my husband that it isn't always easy, and that women are made to feel like failures if they can't. I wish there where midwives that could help, I didn't see a midwife for 3 days. They where so busy and there was 1 per shift to 20 women and their babies, it's disgraceful. There was a few ladies who where meant to help, but only 1 who did and she only worked one day a week. There was one lady who always seemed to be there who made me feel uncomfortable, she bottle fed Joshua after being asked not to and was very rude throughout. 

Did you feel supported with bottle feeding? 

Yes and No, (bar from my original midwife and a few that came to my home to check things after) I had to make this choice after no matter what, the girls weren't putting out.... I wasn't happy, I was worried that my baby would get sick as he wasn't getting the goodness from my milk, but at the end of the day, he was loosing weight and the most important thing is that he was fed. 

Any tips for establishing bottles? 

Do a bit of research. I ended up plumping for munkin latch as they mimic boobs shape (kinda...) and movement- they also have anti colic bits. You can't pop them in the dishwasher, but personally I would get a good brush and do them yourself. Hold the baby as you would if you are breastfeeding and hopefully they will latch on. Like breastfeeding it can be a personal style between you and your baby. 

Any tips for new mums about to have their babes? 

Don't listen to people who say things like: oh well I'm just breastfeeding, thats what my family does....  Negative people, just because they had a bad experience doesn't mean you will, but the impact might effect you. 
Relax, and enjoy those early days they go so fast, you will be exhausted but screw the cleaning etc others need to help, once these moments go you can't get them back, the mess can wait another day, and honestly no one cares. 
You will be the best thing that baby could ever have wished for, regardless of

anything. 

If you breastfeed or bottle feed, if it's through choice or not, your baby is getting fed and is healthy because you are doing the right thing. My son has essentially been bottle fed and he is a healthy, happy little chappy and we have an amazing bond even though he wasn't breastfed. 

There are classes and people who can help, IG and Facebook have breastfeeding groups, your not alone, and speak out if you ever feel that you are, you'll be amazed at how many people answer. 

Eat, don't forget you, you need to be eating and drinking to keep yourself and your little one going. 

You will always have advice and people telling you what it's like, but becoming a mum is a very personal experience, and this time is yours, you do you. You've got this xxx
Thank you Amie- it is so kind of you to take the time to write this post to share when a boobing journey doesn't turn out how you planned it would. These things are sent to try us but also we can learn, share and guide others. We can offer an ear of support if we find others' struggling. If you find yourself breastfeeding and would like some more support you can find a range of places on this page here. Like Amie says, remember you are never alone and this journey is yours and no one else's. 
Pin for later
when breastfeeding doesn't go to plan

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published