Is Breast Best?

Now there is a lot of discussion surrounding the concept that ‘Breast Is Best’ and maybe it is, maybe it isn’t.

Something that stuck with me from long before I even fell pregnant was my friend telling me how she felt like she had failed because she had struggled with breastfeeding. No woman should feel like that. Being a mother is hard enough without all the pressure that society puts on us. One thing I knew from the start was I wasn’t going to beat myself up over it – as far as I was concerned as long as my baby was fed then whose business is it if I breast feed or bottle feed? Fed Is Best!

I was very lucky and within the first fifteen minutes after giving birth my little champ had latched on like a dream! I was so proud of the little guy and couldn’t help feeling slightly chuffed with myself too! Go us! After a while I gave my precious boy over to his dad and thought about having that awful first shower. I didn’t realise how much it would hurt to stand up. Everything felt like it had been turned inside out. I got washed as best I could, feeling slightly bemused by the sight of my still swollen belly. I honestly thought it would be like a balloon had been popped and I’d be rocking my jeans within a couple of days…clearly not!

So because I’d given birth in the evening, by the time we had got sorted and moved into the Maternity ward it was time for my man to head home. He was allowed to stay until we were settled, and then to be honest I was glad that I could finally close my eyes and go to sleep! Ha ha ha…had I forgotten I had a new born baby beside me, a life that was now my responsibility for the next 18 years!? The minute his dad left he decided it was time to stretch his lungs. He started crying and I started panicking! What the heck was I supposed to do? I went for the most obvious choice and stuck him on the boob.

I will say that if you are healthy and baby is healthy and you are able to try breastfeeding, then go for it! It is the most amazing feeling in the world (and a bit strange) but honestly, the fact that your body is feeding your child is just something magical. I had the doubt that everyone who has tried breastfeeding has – and that is ‘is my baby actually getting any milk?!’ So I did what any normal person would do and I asked the question.

In hindsight I wish I’d just trusted my body and kept my mouth shut! The woman on shift told me we should use a breast pump and see what we could get…so not knowing any better I agreed. And then came a mix of emotions. Naturally there was hardly anything there as all that is produced to start with is tiny amounts of colostrum. She seemed surprised that no milk was pumped out and suggested we cup feed him the colostrum mixed with formula. I had failed. The high from earlier disappeared in a flash. She took my baby away and fed him. I never got to see that. Exhausted I fell back asleep and woke to hear her putting my baby back in the cot. As I said, in hindsight maybe I should not have asked that question in the first place, or maybe I should’ve got a better response.

Looking back it’s obvious that all that’s going to come out is that liquid gold, Colostrum, as your milk doesn’t come in for 3-5 days. It was then noted the following morning that I had had trouble feeding and I had to agree to formula feed my baby (and actually give him a bottle) before they would let me leave. I was determined that once home we would get back on the bike so to speak, and continue trying to breastfeed. And we did.

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