Sunday 6 November 2011

So who should you listen to anyway?

Dear readers....

Dear all Mummy's to be.....Dear new Mummy's and all new Daddy's....Dear second time parents with 3 or 4.....and anyone who has ever been given conflicting advice.

I know from first hand experience that as soon as you find out your pregnant, everyone has advice and an opinion to ram straight down your throat, and as soon as you have had your oh gets worse!

So you are recovering from actually giving birth, some of you may even be trying to perfect the breastfeeding latch, where as some of you will want to go down the formula route, and all of you will be getting to know your new baby.

Midwifes will tell you how breast is best and really turn up the heat, that may push you into a corner...make you feel like a bad mother for not wanting to breastfeed, or not being able to, despite wanting to. I am a firm believer in doing what you feel is best.

As soon as Leo was born, he was placed upon me for skin to skin and imedietly the midwife pushed for a latch. I was not asked whether this is what I wanted...It was just done. I did want to breastfeed however, and for the first week I thought that we had got it sorted. I thought that we were well on the road to becoming breastfeeding super stars!

Only.....within the first week I was told that my baby boy was not getting what he needed from me, he infact had lost 11% of his birth weight. That latch...that I thought we had mastered was in fact not providing Leo anything. I felt like a failure.

So cue the midwifes bringing in all the proceedures and 'helpful advice'...I had more midwifes than I care to remember...each with a different opinion. I was told to hand express and to give this extra milk to Leo on a spoon - under no circumstances was I to give Leo a bottle, and I shouldn't even attempt to use a pump at this early stage. The midwife sent out the breastfeeding support worker who sat there and watched my every move....she didn't really offer me any advice, nor did some of the people offering their 'golden advice' have any children of their own!

As soon as everyone left, I could not contain my emotions any longer and just sat their and sobbed. I had really put my all into doing my best for Leo, and my best was not good enough. I couldn't do the most natural thing in the world....feed my baby.

That night, Leo went down and slept until 2:30am, when he woke up no matter what I did...he would not latch on. I felt that I was the only one that could feed him...and I couldn't....I was failing. He was hungry and I couldn't feed him.

At around 4:00am after constant screaming...and nothing I did able to console him. I ignored all the advice and I got my elecric pump set up, I expressed 2 oz's into a bottle and Leo readily snapped it up. I made my desicion to feed Leo my expressed milk through a bottle.

The midwife was coming back in 2 days to make sure Leo had stopped losing weight, and in the hope he had started to pile back on the pounds.

The next day.. after Leo's first bottle, I sat on the pump all a dairy cow...trying to express my milk. It made me feel horrible. Leo was in his moses basket and all I wanted to do was pick up my gorgeous baby and spend all my time with him, but I told myself I was doing the best for my son and continued to sit their expressing. It turns out my milk had not come in at this point.....

That evening I went out and I bought a box of formula. I then tried out combined feeding, as I really did not fancy expressing every 3 hours, especially throughout the night but I did not want to give up on breastfeeding completely at this point.

As silly as it may sound, I thought that by admiting defeat, I had let so many people down....Leo, myself, the midwifes, the support worker. my other half.....even all the people that I had told that I was going to be breastfeeding my son. By this point...I really did not want to carry on any longer.

I combined fed Leo for 2 weeks, before I put my hands up in the air and surrendered. Since buying the formula I have not looked back....and guess what! Leo has been doing just brilliant, he put all the weight he lost back on...and more! He is thriving!

I told the midwife's my final desicion and they still tried to push me into breastfeeding. I learnt that you have to make up your mind...stick to it and stand your ground! You do what is best for you and your baby! If Mummy is not happy then it stands to reason that baby wont be either.

Feeding is just one example of conflicting advice. Everyone has a old remedy that you must use....grandparents, inlaws, aunts...uncles....So who should you listen to anyway?

Listen to everyone, but do what you think is best. Maybe use bits and pieces of everyones advice if it fits in with YOUR picture for YOUR baby. If you don't agree with what you are being told...listen and then forget it all. People are trying to help, but sometimes they do just the opposite.

I have been given advice on everything, when to wean, when to change my son's nappy, routine, how I am making a 'rod' for my own back....but still Leo is doing so well.

So dear readers..Dear all Mummys to be.....Dear new Mummys and all new Daddys....Dear second time parents with 3 or 4.....and anyone who has ever been given conflicting advice.

Follow your heart, you know your baby better than anyone else. Your natural instinct is to do your very best. So keep giving it your all!


  1. Well said! I think there is a lot of pressure. I managed to feed my little girl for four months but the last 6 weeks were a struggle, it was like she had lost interest and was pulling on and off and it was taking ages. I battled with myself as to whether to just quit or keep going and at points burst into floods of tears in front of friends during that time. I'd been giving her a nightime bottle of formula since 2 and a half months so I knew she would take the bottle. I tried expressing, both with a manual pump I had bought and an electric one lent by a Sure Start centre but I could never ever get more than 2oz off and why would you want to sit for ages expressing like you say when you just want to a) relax or b) be with your baby. I think your words are wise you need to follow your gut and your heart and do what is right for you x

    1. Thank you lovely. I agree there is so much pressure and that in it's self is a strain that no new Mum needs in those early days of bringing home a baby! I think success does rely on the baby to a certain extent, if they wont play ball then there is only so much you can do! I am glad you found the right rought for you and baby! Remember your an amazing Mum whether your Breastfed or not! As long as you and baby are happy you are doing the right thing!


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