After I gave birth to a beautiful healthy baby boy I was unfortunate to have a major haemorrhage and had to be rushed off to surgery for an operation to stop the bleeding. Once I woke up from the general anaesthetic I tried to start breastfeeding but was having real difficulty with it as I was very tired and sore from the operation. In the days following I persisted with trying to breastfeed and thought I was doing ok with it. I had lots of assistance in getting my boy to latch on etc. but nothing was ever mentioned about bottle feeding.
Once I got home from hospital that’s when things really went downhill. I felt like I would just feed him and then he was unsettled 30 minutes later and I would have to do it again. My maternal and child health nurse just told me to keep persisting, and still no mention of bottle feeding.
The night feeds became a real nightmare and by baby would just scream when I was trying to feed him. I eventually gave up after 2 weeks of hell but it was a very hard decision to make because I felt like I was a failure and a bad mother if I didn’t breastfeed. It took a lot of tears and convincing from my husband that I needed to start bottlefeeding or I would just be a complete mess.
We went out and got the bottles and formula on our own without getting any advice from anyone because we felt that we wouldn’t get any help anyway. I did actually ring a nurse at the hospital when I decided to stop breastfeeding and she was quite rude and was very reluctant to give me any advice about stopping breastfeeding. Once we started the bottles and formula it was like we had a different child and I actually started enjoying being a Mum for the first time.
I did end up finding out a couple of months later from the doctor that performed my operation that when you have an operation with general anaesthetic it does actually slow down your milk or completely stop it from flowing (which I think is definately what happened in my case). I was so angry when I found this out because no-one had told me this, they were too busy telling me how important it is to breastfeed!
I really feel that there should be more encouragement and information given when you are in hospital about bottle feeding so that the mother feels more informed and can make the best decision for her and baby. I am sick of some nurses pushing that breast is best because in so many cases it just isn’t true. Too many times I have seen mothers stressed out and tired because they are struggling with breastfeeding and feel like they have no time to do anything else. They just keep persisting because they feel pressured and I think that is so wrong. Post natal depression is a big issue and I think mothers feeling pressured to breastfeed is contributing to the high numbers of mothers suffering from this condition.
My little boy is a healthy happy child with no health issues of any kind and I have no regrets about bottle feeding other than the fact that we were never given any information or advice on it.
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