The Misconceptions Of Breastfeeding

Breast is best. The end. That is what is rammed down our throats when we become parents and ultimately it is the truth. However, what happens when you are unable to breastfeed?

When I became a first time mum two years ago there was no doubt in my mind that I wouldn’t breastfeed, the baby would be born and straight away latch on and away we go. Unfortunately it wasn’t so easy and my new born son did not latch on properly every time. Midwives I saw gave me different advice, hours after giving birth one told me to give up and bottle feed. This might have been because she was under pressure to see another new mum in the ward and with a look of pure desperation in my eyes she felt it would be easier to escape leaving me to mull it over and I don’t blame her, I was a mess. I did not give up, I persevered and the other midwives during the first week told me not to worry and that if he latched on sometimes it meant that he was getting what he wanted, he was getting enough. Again and again we were told that babies’ stomachs are the size of their fists and my husband and I shouldn’t worry, our son was feeding. Deep down inside I knew this not to be true, I had a feeling he wasn’t getting enough milk but being a first time parent we listened to the medical professionals. After all what did we know?!

Exactly one week after giving birth our son would not wake up from a sleep, we called his name, tried to feed him (to no avail), tickled his feet, stroked his hair and everything we could think of before calling help. Paramedics arrived and although he was breathing his listless little body still would not move or give us any other indication of life. He was given glucose and still nothing. Off we travelled in the ambulance to hospital with the blue lights flashing, my husband and I unable to speak, numb with fear. After being admitted the wonderful doctors from paediatrics revealed that our son was starving! Yes, starving and dehydrated and that it was lucky we brought him in when we did. As the guilt washed over me I…

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