My Breastfeeding Story: Breastfeeding my Christmas Baby
First-time Mum, Emma, shares her story of starting to breastfeed her Christmas baby and coping with expressing during the most wonderful time of the year!
As soon as I knew my December due date, I thought that having a Christmas baby would be both exciting, and also hard work! A baby would certainly add another level of excitement to the festive period, as well as some extra nerves! My daughter eventually arrived on the 29th December, so although she missed Christmas day itself, the festivities were still in full swing when she made her appearance.
During our stay in the hospital after her birth, she was initially fussing at my breast and would not latch on. My milk also didn’t come in until around Day 4 or 5 so that also didn’t help with my little girl’s feeding. Unfortunately, as it was my first baby I didn’t have any prior knowledge of persevering with breastfeeding, or any support and so when I was advised by midwives to give my daughter formula in order to get her to settle, I did as they said.
I still wanted to initiate breastfeeding despite feeding her formula, so I kept putting my daughter onto my breast to see if she would take it. I was so disheartened that she wasn’t taking my milk and left hospital feeling like a failure.
Once we were home, I started expressing and freezing my milk using my Medela pump, in the hope that my little girl would want my milk if I only kept trying. She kept having formula whilst also being tried on my breast, until one day, she took to it and started feeding directly from my nipple! It was such a feeling of achievement after all of my wishing for it to happen.
I found that my lack of knowledge about my breastfeeding supply meant that I continued giving my daughter formula because I didn’t know if I could express enough milk to feed her exclusively. I persevered with expressing, even at night when little one was asleep and eventually found I was producing enough to ditch the formula and give my daughter bottles of my expressed milk at night which allowed for breastfeeding during the day.
As well as my newborn, I also have a 6-year-old who was keeping me really busy and I found that expressing my milk worked well as I could pass baby over to someone else to feed whilst I got on with normal household tasks!
Once my daughter was 6 months old, I started trying to wean her from breastmilk back onto formula, but my clever girl knew what was best and decided that she much preferred my milk and since we’ve just been breastfeeding it has been so much better and easier.
I wish I’d given up formula sooner and just believed in my body that it could make enough milk to support my baby by myself.
Thank you to mum, Emma, for sharing her breastfeeding experience. If you would like to share your breastfeeding story please email, email@example.com