My name is Ashley and my daughter Pearl just turned 6 months. When I found out I was pregnant I knew I wanted to breastfeed and thought it would be a doddle, it’s natural so it would be easy wouldn’t it?
I had quite a traumatic birth and after 4 days it ended in an emergency c section, she was born 9lb 12oz at 37+5 weeks. On the ward the next day I had a breastfeeding support worker pop round, check her latch and checked how long she fed for (that was the only support I was given) and I thought all was okay but I later realised quite a lot of information was missed out and I personally feel like that was the reason for the tricky start to our journey.
I went home and we really struggled, Pearl wouldn’t latch or she just slept so when the midwife came round I wasn’t surprised to hear she had an 11.7% weight loss, I was asked if I was swapping boobs, letting her feed on demand and making sure her latch was deep but I hadn’t been told any of this in hospital so I hadn’t been. They wanted to put her on a top up schedule to see if we could get her weight up before having to go back to hospital which would mean I would have to pump and top up after feeding, the trouble was my milk hadn’t come in so we had to use formula after a failed few days of pumping. On day 5 I decided I just wanted to formula feed, I couldn’t do it anymore and the midwives supported me but I wasn’t so sure that was what I wanted so when my husband popped out to get formula I did skin to skin and Pearl latched back on and fed like champ so I ditched all top ups, all pumping and just fed fed fed.
The midwives continued to come every 3 days and weighed Pearl and slowly she put weight on and it was also discovered she had a tongue tie which we had snipped. I must have seen about 10 different midwives in the first 4 weeks and the information I got was so different and quite often the opposite of what the other midwife had said so when they called for feedback I explained it all, I hope they took it on board because it nearly ended my journey. Without breastfeeding support groups, the NCT classes and the support from my husband I wouldn’t have had the confidence to continue.
Pearl has a dairy allergy and egg intolerance so I’ve cut them out of my diet, we’ve also dealt with bad reflux, a baby who wouldn’t sleep anywhere other than my arms, a bottle refuser and the lightest sleeper ever but through it all I couldn’t imagine not breastfeeding her, it’s been a rough journey but I wouldn’t change it for the world!
So remember don’t give up on a bad day and seek support when needed