Tuesday 7 July 2015

My Breastfeeding Experiences

I have been thinking long and hard about writing this post but I have finally decided that I am going to write it. It has been one of those things that has been a should I, shouldn’t I but if I don’t write it, it will always be at the back of my mind.

I breastfed both my boys. And both times were completely different experiences. I have to start by saying that even though it was tough, so so tough, I loved it!
I  am not writing this saying breast is best, as in my opinion and my experience I wouldn’t totally agree. Some women can’t and some women don’t want to. I think there is far too much pressure put on mums to breastfeed and when it doesn’t work out, or they decide not to, they are made to feel bad. But I’m not here to write about that, so here is my experience.

Throughout my pregnancy with Finley I hadn’t really thought about how I was going to feed him. That sounds terrible but to breastfeed or bottle fed just didn’t cross my mind. I bought the bottles and steriliser before Finley was born and I was all ready to set it up, as I hadn’t even thought that if I breastfed I wouldn’t need it to begin with. That is how naive I was. I was 24 when Finley was born but I was hyped up on the excitement of having a baby. I did go to NCT classes and this is where I began to think about it. I knew from then on that I wanted to but I thought if I can’t it’s not the end of the world.

Finley was born, my birth was a little traumatic, and I was just told to feed him. Not shown how or anything. This was pretty stressful as I didn’t know if I was doing it right and then I felt silly asking how to do it. We got it sussed but he fed every 1-1 ½ hours!! It was exhausting but I persisted. He had colic and reflux so cried alot, didn’t sleep so I was knackered but I kept on going. Until 5 months when I started to wean him onto the bottle and food as he was a hungry baby. I was going to stop breastfeeding as I was getting married when Finley was 7 months old, so feeding in a wedding dress wasn’t going to work. But I have to be honest, and I felt awful feeling it, but when I finished I felt relieved. I felt so much pressure in the fact I was the sole person feeding my baby and what if I wasn’t eating the right stuff, drinking the right stuff and just worrying about everything.

Then when I was pregnant with Noah I knew I wanted to breastfeed as I thought it would be easier than making bottles with a 22 month old around my feet. Noah arrived and we tried feeding. It just wasn’t working. But I was told to keep going, he had jaundice and back into hospital we went. I kept saying something wasn’t right but I was told to keep going. And I did until 4 weeks on and I broke down. He wasn’t gaining weight, he was hungry all the time and feeding just wasn’t feeling right. I knew this after having breastfed before.

I cried to the heath visitor who really didn’t know why it wasn’t working, she said the only thing she could think of was a tongue tie but she couldn’t see one. One referral later and a cancelled appointment from someone else and we got a call to go in that afternoon to see a tongue tie specialist. Of course we went and it was such a relief to be told he had a tongue tie, this was why it hadn’t been working for us and he had it cut. Not a pleasant experience but we were told it would make feeding better.

And it did. He latched on and we both felt happier and it felt better. The only problem was that my milk hadn’t established from him not being able to feed in the first 4 weeks so we still had weight problems. But I continued to feed him with such pressure on my shoulders then one day I buckled and broke down again. It was making me unhappy as I just wanted the best for him and I didn’t seem to be giving it to him. I gave him a bottle and never looked back. I did have a week of feeling like the worst mother in the world, and figuring out bottle feeding but it made us all happier.

I am glad I breastfed but I wish I had listened to my gut with Noah. It just didn’t work for us and I wish I had realised that earlier but he is happy and healthy now so I must have done something right. And with Finley, the 1-1 ½ hour feeding was exhausting but worth it.

But I just wish women didn’t beat themselves up about not being able to breastfed. I did it and I wasted a lot of time worrying and worrying doesn’t help anyone or make the situation any different.

You know best – you are mum and do what YOU want to do and not what your told to do.
Finley - September 2011

Noah - July 2013
The Twinkle Diaries
Best of Worst
Mummy and Monkeys
The Dad Network


  1. Oh this must have been such a pressure for you! You are so right. Your gut instinct really is the best even though you felt guilty. You did a fab job and just look at those cheeky, cute little boys! xx #twinklytuesday

  2. I know exactly how you feel, I went through very similar experiences with my two (same age gap too). And I too, felt sooo guilty for stopping but I am so much more relaxed and happy now my youngest is well established on formula. You're right, you should just go with what feels right.

  3. I also had a hard time with my baby and breastfeeding... Your definitely did a great job for your baby...#twinklytuesday

  4. I ended up combination feeding from 10 weeks because I just wasnt producing enough milk it made me feel like a bit of a failure but it was so the right thing to do for Monkey. You are so right - trust your gut you know your baby and look how right you were! Great post I am glad you chose to write it xx #TwinklyTuesdays

  5. It is mad how tough it is! but I know what you mean - worth it :)

  6. I had some issues at the beginning of both my breastfeeding journeys but thankfully they worked out. It is so difficult not to get stressed about it but I agree with you that worrying doesn't help anyone. Breastfeeding isn't all roses but I wouldn't change my decision to give it a go #TwinklyTuesday

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  8. I can totally relate with your breastfeeding experience as I have breastfed my two little kids as well.... it might be tough but it's all worth it! #bestandworst

  9. Gorgeous pics :) My 2nd had upper lip and tongue ties, it made feeding a nightmare until we had them snipped. Breastfeeding my two kids was totally different each time too. #bestandworst

  10. I can definitely relate. Whilst we didn't have tongue tie we had a very hungry baby! I breastfed him for the first five months exclusively but it was at the point of exhaustion when he was feeding every two hours day and night that I could no longer cope and I decided to start weaning him onto the bottle - it worked and suddenly he started sleeping better, being full for longer and he was way way happier. You are so right that we know what to do, we know what our baby needs and we should t feel pressure. People close to me had been telling me stop way earlier than I did but I kept going because I thought I had to. And then I felt really really guilty when I stopped! I'm glad that it all worked out for you in the end to. Thanks so much for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

  11. Wow you really gave it your best shot, well done! I had a real nightmare with breastfeeding (third bout of mastitis left me on a drip in hospital when my first was only 2 months old) and I still feel guilty for having to give up. I only lasted about a week with my second and that was more of a psychological barrier than a physical one I think, as I was so mentally scarred from my first experience. I remember one of my friends (with a slightly older baby) asking me 'When's the punishment over?" and she was kind of joking but also knew from her own experience that breastfeeding can feel like that! Whatever way we feed our babies, the most important thing we can do is love them - either breastfed or formula fed, if they have love and support they will flourish. Thanks for having the courage to write about this - if you wanted to read more about my experience you can search for breastfeeding on my blog. Becky x #bestandworst

  12. I had very similar experiences with my two, Monkey was tough but I persevered and fed for about 6 1/2 mths and was like you, really relieved not to be doing it anymore even though i was proud I had managed for so long. Second time we struggled and by 7 weeks moved to a lactose free formula as LM had colic and reflux and we felt a lactose intolerance. Thankfully my HV and everyone I know fully supported my decision but I still beat myself up over it for a long time. It instantly made our life easier and while occasionally I wish I could have breastfed her for longer, like you with Noah, it jus wasn't the right thing for us. Always good to read similar experiences and opinions about breastfeeding! Thanks for sharing #bestandworst

  13. It is such a journey with feeding a baby in general and I agree with the fact that you're just not prepared for this. Like you I went to NCT classes, which did help with how to breastfeed but they didn't talk at all about bottles. I wanted do combined feeding from 6 weeks but at 3 weeks my daughter was so hungry, from her first growth spurt, and I just couldn't keep up. So I gave her a bottle, luckily we had pre-made ones because after that night I had to research/buy/discover how to make and steralise a bottle. I think we should all be educated in both breast and bottle, allowing us as parents to make the final decision and adapt to different situations. #bigfatlinky

    Helen x


  14. So lovely to read such an open, honest account. I did try breastfeeding but just found it so unbearably painful I only managed it for 10 days. I did feel such relief when I finally moved to bottle and both mum and baby were so much happier. We all no the pros of breastfeeding but I feel like everyone should be given a choice rather than the pressure that's currently on offer to breastfeed. Mums shouldn't be made to feel guilty no matter what they choose :)

  15. It is such an emotional issue and the social pressure does not help at all. As long as we do feed our babies then we need to be okay with ourselves. when I was interviewing for my book I spoke to so many mothers who felt so guilty even when they had breast fed for a while. It is wonderful to hear your story. It made me reflect on how much we learn and grow as people and mothers. You have learnt to trust yourself more and that is great. Thank you for sharing. #justanotherlinky

  16. Omg you don't look like you've aged a bit!! Yours is a great story because people wrongly assume that second time mums don't need help but as all babies are different, this could not be further from the truth. #maternitymondays

  17. Oh I can so relate, the relentless feeds are a killer. Ava had a tongue tie that wasn't picked up, it was posterior and it was me that knew something wasn't right! I beat myself up for stopping feeding my first at a couple of weeks through total lack of support. Thanks so much for linking up to #PickNMix

  18. Oh bless you!
    I would love to be able to breastfeed if I ever have another baby xx

    Thank you so much for linking up with this weeks #justanotherlinky hope too see you again Sunday!

  19. Sometimes it just doesn't work out how you want it to, and to me loving your child is much more important than whether you breast and bottle feed and it's obvious you were brilliant at that ;) We all put too much pressure on ourselves to be perfect parents, thanks for linking up to #PicknMix hon

    Stevie xx

  20. I always enjoy reading breastfeeding posts and seeing everyone's experiences. Everyone is different. What is clear is that you tried your best and ultimately the love you gave. Thanks for linking up with us on the #bigfatlinky hope to see you there this week



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