My journey

breastfeeding

“Fed is best”

I had no intention of breast feeding while pregnant. I’m not really sure why, it just wasn’t for me. I have heard many times the quote above, ‘fed is best’, yet I still found the need to justify my decision not to breast feed my baby. So many people asked, how will you be feeding baby? Surly if my baby is fed it shouldn’t matter.

A traumatic start…

As you can see on my birth story blog, little mans entrance into the world was quite traumatic and he was a very poorly baby. He was taken to NICU and we told the nurses we would like him to be fed with Cow and Gate first milk formula (while pregnant I did a lot of research into the formula we were going to use) and we were happy with our decision to bottle feed.

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Things weren’t looking great…

Thomas continued to get worse and his stomach became distended, where he wasn’t tolerating food. The doctors decided to make him nil by mouth, so his stomach could rest. He ended up being nil by mouth for two days. There was talk that he was going to have to be transferred to Southampton hospital.

One last shot…

It was suggested that I began hand expressing colostrum into little syringes, and introducing it to Thomas. Colostrum is liquid gold, full of goodness and much easier for babies to digest. By this point I was struggling with being a part from my baby, feeling like a mum and concerned for his health. We decided we would give it a go.

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Colostrum collecting…

Mr Mitchell helped me to collect the expressed colostrum and take it to little man. We gave him the smallest amount to start with, to see if he could tolerate it, and he did. I continued to express, even moving on to using a machine pump to keep up with the colostrum demand.

Hungry boy…

Thomas was tolerating the colostrum well and became very hungry. The nurses suggested trying him on the boob and I just wanted him to get better, I was desperate to do anything I could to help.

The first experience wasn’t great. I had no idea what I was doing, Thomas couldn’t latch and became very distressed.  I had great support from the NICU nurse, it was fantastic. We decided to try again later.

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The start of our breastfeeding journey…

We tried again later and he latched so well, he guzzled it down and fell asleep on the boob. I had only held Thomas a handful of times and we hadn’t had skin to skin contact really. The feeling was incredible, I finally felt like a Mummy, only I could give this to my little man. He tolerated it so well, he was ready for another feed shortly after.

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Getting stronger and stronger…

Then the turning point happened, Thomas began getting stronger and stronger. Myself and Mr Mitchell truly believe starting breastfeeding was the turning point for little man, it saved him. It gave him the strength he needed to get better.

Where he was still poorly and recovering, he was very tired. The nurses suggested introducing formula top ups, so he was getting enough. My milk had helped his stomach and he was able to accept these top ups.

I had never thought of combination feeding before and it was working really well for us. Mr Mitchell loved being able to feed little man occasionally.

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Going home…

I continued to combination feed Thomas once home. I was enjoying every moment of it. I loved the skin to skin contact and bonding time. I feel for me personally it made such an emotional difference after the start we had. Mr Mitchell could help with feeds at night, I was even pumping milk successfully to build supply and provide bottle breast milk for some night feeds.

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Morning and bedtime feed…

I never felt completely comfortable breastfeeding in public, so would often feed pumped breast milk when out or his formula. I had a couple of breastfeeding items that helped me to breastfeed more easily, which I will tell you about in my next blog.

Over the weeks I breast fed Thomas less and less and by around 6 weeks, it was down to our morning feed and bedtime feed. These feeds were our special time and I loved it. By 8 weeks this had gone down to just the morning feed and we gradually became formula only.

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The best start to life…

I’m so glad that I was able to experience breastfeeding with Thomas. For someone who had no intention of doing so, I absolutely loved it. I am so excited to breastfeed my next baby now and have every intention of doing so. Although, combination feeding worked so well for us and Mr Mitchell loved his input.

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Fed is best…

There is so much pressure on women about the decisions they should make around feeding their baby. So many different opinions, including breast is best and then discrimination for feeding in public. My hat goes off to any mum, whose baby is happy and healthy and feeding well.

If you decide to breast feed your baby great, If you decide to bottle feed great, just please feed our baby!

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If you want to find out more about my birth story and our first week as parents in NICU, please see my previous blogs.

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My next blog will be about my breastfeeding essentials, I would love for you to subscribe and check it out.

instagram Please check out my Instagram – mummymitchell18

 

13 thoughts on “My journey

  1. Liquid gold like you say, and so rewarding to be able to give it. I combination fed too and it worked for us both, I only felt judged once and that was walking through Winchester holding the baby with a bottle in his mouth! He had a meltdown in the white company and I decided we needed to feed on the go…

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    1. Feeding on the go is hard! I attempted it when little man decided he instantly needed feeding in hobby craft 🙈 better that than leaving a screaming hungry baby! There wasn’t a cafe in there xxx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is such a good read. Great for new mums especially. I breastfed my first and second. Gutted I didn’t persevere more with my 3rd. Thankyou for sharing your experience xxx

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