My "Fed is Best" journey with breastfeeding.
I haven't posted about this much because I never quite knew how to talk about it in a constructive way.
I get a bit angry thinking about it and wish I had of just stopped listening to the "people who knew best".
But bare with me on my little rant journey lol.
My milk came in after my emergency c section to get out Scarlett and my boobs went from an A cup to an "I've never had boobs this big EVER in my life cup".
I think it started off semi normal.... feeding every 2 hours. But at about 14 weeks Scarlett stopped growing and she was hungry all the time, she started sleeping through the night, which I thought was a miracle... but as it turned out she was so malnourished that she couldn't wake herself up to feed.
she had severe reflux, we went through 15 clothing changes a day. I even had to implement a 3 spew rule on myself because otherwise I would have run out of clothes by the end of the day.
She had explosive constant poops... 10- 20 a day.
She had eczema so bad and rashes from the constant spew and poop.
The plunket lady told me it was all normal ticked her boxes, wrote her notes and i went away each visit thinking that I was going crazy.
I had trim milk.... that is the best way to describe it. there wasn't much of the creamy stuff... there wasn't enough of it really at all. I ate the breastfeeding biscuits and the breastfeeding tea, someone suggested I ate fennel and oats and avocado... so I did. I stopped eating a bunch of food to try and stop her reflux. I lived on muesli, avocado on gluten free bread for weeks.
I pumped in between feeds.
I sat in the sun with my boobs out trying to heal the cracks in my nipples (I couldn't wear a bra because the blood would stick to the inside of my bra and rip the skin off every time I moved)
I hated my stupid, useless, painful, lumpy, bleeding boobs!
She would cluster feed from 4pm till 8pm until she gave up trying to get anything more out of my stupid boobs and just fell asleep exhausted and hungry.
At around the 22 week old mark I took her to plunket for the second time that week. She hadn't grown for a month or so and I was getting worried. Each time I was told to continue breastfeeding, that the mastitis and bleeding nipples were all normal.
But this time the plunket lady seemed worried. Scarlett was dehydrated, she hadn't had many wet nappies, her fontanel was sunken... she was labeled as a "failure to thrive baby".
I was advised that I might have to take her to the A&E!
She then took me aside and uttered these words... "I'm not supposed to advise this but... you should put her on formula... I can take you down to paknsave now if you like"
I just looked at her dumbfounded wondering Why the hell she waited till now, after telling my for months that breast is best... why, after me asking her if I should try formula did she not say yes?
Obviously I blamed myself, because ultimately I was with this baby 24/7 and could see the signs. why didn't I just sort it out? because... you are made to feel like you haven't tried enough... that you are a failure.
So down I went to paknsave. and I stood in front of the formula stacked high, crying, wondering what the heck brand was any good.
I stood there for a while until another mother came by and told me that my "little boy was very cute" (I used to dress Scarlett in hand me down clothes... I suppose that day I dressed her like a boy lol).
The lady grabbed a tin of formula and left... I grabbed the same tin and took it home.
Scarlett began to grow again. She started waking in the night for food because she had energy again.
When she was 2 we took her off dairy and actually discovered that she was lactose intolerant and she should have really been on a non cows milk formula. Unfortunately not one doctor managed to link the reflux and eczema to the lactose intolerance... nor did they link her allergic reactions to a food allergy.... sigh...
Honestly, just do whatever you feel is best. I know it is all so overwhelming when you are a new mum. There are expectations... some from society, some from friends and family and some that you place on yourself.
Don't beat yourself up.
Fed is most definitely best.