Bottlefed for 15 months
When everyone asked if I was going to bottle or breast feed I would always say ‘I’m going to TRY and breastfeed’ as I knew that it wouldn’t be as easy as just deciding between the two.
After I had given birth a midwife helped me get Eva to latch. It worked for maybe 10 seconds and at that point the midwife had already left the room. I tried and tried myself but Eva wouldn’t latch at all.
Maybe an hour later a midwife came back in the room and I told her that I was struggling. She tried but we still couldn’t get a good latch so she advised that I try to express. She helped me massage my breast and left me to it but after 45 mins I had barely managed to get a teeny tiny drop of colostrum out. I began to hurt as I was trying so hard and even with the midwife massaging me (slightly uncomfortable!) we didn’t have any luck. It was so disheartening to see the one drop that I had managed to express all dried up at the bottom of the plastic cup I had been given.
After a while the midwife told me that Eva would have to have a feed before we could be discharged so it was up to me if I continued to try and express or instead gave her a bottle. I was so frustrated and felt that the midwife was just pushing us to leave at that point so I opted for the bottle. I don’t know why but that kind of cemented that she was going to be bottle fed. A few days later I asked the visiting midwife whether I could try again even though Eva had been bottle fed so far. She just said ‘you can give it a try’ and that was all. No guidance or support. I felt let down and like I couldn’t do it by myself so I stuck to formula.
I honestly think that if I was given more support I would have breastfed Eva. No one told me that milk doesn’t come in straight away so I was scared that she would be going hungry if I didn’t give her a bottle. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel that bottle feeding Eva has made any difference to her health or well being, but I just would have liked to have been given the help and support I needed to be able to stick with my original decision.