Breastfeeding Awareness Week

If you didn’t know already it’s breastfeeding awareness week. Feeding your baby is obviously extremely important, and I support all ways of feeding; breastfed, bottle fed, tube fed etc. I had always wanted to breast feed but unfortunately things don’t always go to plan. Inspired by Helen at The Hels Project I thought this week was a great time to share with you all my breast feeding story. It’s quite a short one but it’s still important nonetheless.

Oliver was born at around 9pm on a Thursday evening by emergency forceps. Because we were in the theatre room Oliver was soon whisked away by my husband, Nathan, as they had to sort a few things out for me – something I won’t go in to! We didn’t get much skin-to-skin contact and because of this Oliver didn’t get a chance to naturally latch on immediately. After I was ‘sorted out’ we were all taken back to the postnatal ward which, little did I know at the time, would be my home for the next week.

I tried to breastfeed as soon as we settled in the ward and I assumed it was going okay. There were no midwives checking to see how it was going and my husband was sent home pretty quickly so I thought he’d latched on and that was that. I continued to do what I thought was successful breastfeeding for 2 days. The second night on my own arrived and this is where it all went downhill. From around 8pm Oliver was beginning to become very upset and restless. I was breastfeeding and putting him down to then almost immediately having to breastfeed again. It seemed like I was constantly breastfeeding for hours. I couldn’t understand why! The midwives came in and tried to help Oliver latch on, but they soon left again thinking he was latched on, which he wasn’t.

Because of the labour Oliver was on 2 doses of antibiotics a day; one at 3am and another at 3pm. His morning antibiotics were due so I made my way down to see the paediatricians. He was still crying constantly and I was trying to breastfeed, and I’ll be honest, I couldn’t stop crying. I felt like I was a terrible mother and I couldn’t stop my own baby from crying. After a while of waiting a lovely paediatrician came in and comforted me immediately. She watched me try to breastfeed and she noticed he wasn’t latching on very well. He had a look into his mouth and noticed Oliver had tongue-tie. Because of this, Oliver wasn’t feeding properly, and probably hadn’t fed properly from the moment I first tried.

I kind of felt relieved that it wasn’t me being a terrible mother, but then I had a huge wave of worry come over me because my son hadn’t fed properly! The paediatrician asked whether I wanted to feed him some formula as he was clearly starving. Originally I had it in my head that I did not want to formula feed, but it was either I feed Oliver formula or he starves, so I of course I said yes. As soon as we put the bottle to Oliver’s lips he guzzled the whole thing down. Once he’d finished he fell straight to sleep. I was so relieved that Oliver had stopped crying and had a full tummy.

Through the night I had given Oliver a few more formula feeds. He was so settled and happy. The midwife on shift came in and asked whether I wanted help breast feeding again and I’ll be honest, I was too scared to try again! They suggested I expressed milk to keep the milk supply coming though, and to also give Oliver some of my breast milk mixed with the formula. I did this a couple of times but I wasn’t doing it very well.

During that day I had a nurse come in to talk to me about Olivers tongue-tie. I was told that because we were admitted in hospital, and the ward that fixes tongue-tie was in another town, we wouldn’t be able to fix his tongue whilst we were in hospital. I was pretty devastated to say the least! That meant whilst we were in hospital I’d struggle to get Oliver to breast feed until we were home and had his tongue-tie sorted. This is a tough situation to be in as a mother. We are always told breast is best, but what could I do? Oliver wouldn’t feed properly on the breast and after a week of formula feeding it would be difficult to change him to breastfed due to the size of his tummy.

After a lot of crying and worry on my behalf my husband and I decided it would be best to formula feed from this point onward. I was absolutely gutted but I knew it was for the best in our situation. We eventually left the hospital after a week of living there to a healthy and happy baby who is now just over a year old.

To this day I’m still gutted we couldn’t breast feed. It’s horrible knowing all that was needed was for someone in the hospital to cut the tongue-tie and we could have carried on. I don’t really understand why the ward was in another location. It would have made sense to be in the same ward as all the brand new babies, especially as some mothers cannot leave the hospital with there babies. I feel that this is something that needs improving. But at least I now know for next time. It hasn’t put me off trying again.

As I said earlier I believe that FED is best. The most important thing is that your baby is being fed. Breastfeeding has a lot of positives; immediate chance to bond, it contains antibodies from the mother and it even helps burn calories for the mother. It’s important to chose what’s right for you. At the time bottle fed was right for us. Hopefully I’ll be able to breast feed my next child.





  1. 03/08/2017 / 1:08 am

    This was so informative. There were, and still are, so many things I didn’t know so thank you for the post! xx

  2. 03/08/2017 / 2:50 am

    All that matters is that he’s a healthy boy now! Thank you for this informative post!

  3. 03/08/2017 / 3:01 am

    Very informative. It’s something we should talk more about

  4. 03/08/2017 / 8:59 am

    I absolutely agree that fed is best. I bf both of mine but had a really hard start with my first who was also tongue-tied. It was snipped at 5 days but up to that point I was bleeding and in agony at every feed. By the time it was snipped she had learnt to do it wrong and therefore what followed was about a month of trying to teach her to do it right. I almost gave up so many times. My son in comparison though took to it with no issues whatsoever so every child and every feeding journey is difference. Overall fed is best.

  5. 03/08/2017 / 12:38 pm

    I tried to BF with both of my children. Neither of them would latch properly and I felt like a bad mum. I was so upset the first time and hoped it would happen with my second, but it didn’t. I realised that it was a problem with me and accepted it. My kids are 6 and 10 months and are happy and loved. My opinion is to do what’s best for you and not feel pressured by midwives. I wish I would have accepted it sooner.

  6. abbeylouisarose
    03/08/2017 / 3:12 pm

    Good on you for being so open and honest about your breastfeeding experience, Sarah! I think that posts like this are so important as the realities of feeding a newborn and the stress that comes along with it must seem incredibly daunting when you’re constantly confronted with people pressurising with “breast is best”! You made the right decision for you and your baby at the time and there is absolutely no shame in bottle feeding! Oliver is absolutely adorable and how much you adore him is clear! Fantastic post, I applaud you!

    Abbey ?

  7. 03/08/2017 / 6:10 pm

    Fed is 100% best and I am honestly sick of people criticising those words, fed is best regardless of how! great post and I’m sorry you had such a tough time, it sounds very similar to my first experiences. I wouldn’t change my choice on my second and third for the world..
    three extremely healthy, happy formula fed children 🙂

  8. 03/08/2017 / 9:00 pm

    I completely agree, FED is definitely best. There’s so much stigma around formula milk when there really shouldn’t be as often it’s best for the baby. I was formula fed as my mother wasn’t able to breastfeed. It sucks that you had a tough time and little help though, I can only imagine how frustrating this must have been for you x

  9. 05/08/2017 / 10:16 am

    I’m sorry to hear that things didn’t go how you’d hoped. However, I am glad they picked up on tongue-tie so quickly. I’ve had many mum-friends who’s little ones have suffered with it for ages before anyone picked up on it! Totally agree, FED is best. Whichever way that may be. Good on you 🙂 x

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