Saturday, 27 August 2011

Breast is Best?

Ok, let me start by saying these are my opinions, that's all they are. I know breastfeeding is a hot button issue and this post may evoke some strong reactions from some but I stand by my own feelings on the matter.
On a lighter note.. little know fact about me, I have inverted nipples (look it up) I never realised this until I was pregnant with Ella and I saw an advert for Avent Niplette. I thought the pictures looked familiar and after a little google research discovered that I had this problem and how it would affect my chances at breastfeeding successfully. I don't really know if I ever had my heart set on breastfeeding but I know I was never against it. I've never been one to recoil at a woman breastfeeding in public, I suppose I'd never really had any strong feelings either way until I discovered I might not be able to do it. So I invested in the niplette. I can't decide if it would be better used as a bondage accessory or a torture device. Needless to say it didn't really work for me. I wrote it off as a bad job and didn't give it another thought until I was in the hospital with my newborn baby. You are asked if you intend to breastfeed. They didn't seem too pushy about it, I explained my situation and I think because I didn't give them a flat no that's where my issues with them began. They pushed me on several occasions to try to breastfeed. Now bear in mind how long you spend alone in hospital, outside visiting hours.. the only times they wanted me to try I had visitors. I'm not talking close family, I'm talking MOTHER-IN-LAW! They had no sensetivity about the issue at all and the way they dealt with me totally put me off ever trying again. I have absolutely no problem with breastfeeding or those who want to do it and can but some people can't! I had as much milk as I could have needed but the long and the short of it is I didn't have the nipples to deliver it! My Mum had the opposite problem, no milk, but again.. they pushed! Why must it be like that? It seems to work in cycles, for a time it's all pro-choice and whatever Mum wants is fine and then they go back to the old adage "breast is best". Well what about those of us that can't give our babies breastmilk? Are we failing to provide for them? I don't think so and I don't think we should be made to feel that way. Here are a couple of things I don't like about breastfeeding...
  • You never know how much your baby has had. Your child could be starving and you wouldn't know until the next weigh in... even then you'd just be guessing. 
  • A lot of women really struggle with it and it can be immensley frustrating even when totally rested let aone when sleep depreived at 3am alone with your newborn.
  • The rest of the family don't get the bonding experience of feeding the new baby.
  • The Mum doesn't get the necassary rest provided by others being able to help with the night-time feeds.
  • For those that have cut out things like alcohol and cigarettes for 9 months that deprivation is extended by however long they breastfeed for.
  • It is apparently very painful not only to feed but the ache in your breasts when they're full, I've felt that and I can't imagine how much worse it is when feeding.
At the end of the day if you want to do it and you can do it then I hope it's everything you ever dreamed it would be but if it's not or you can't... so what? Don't let anyone make you feel bad for the way you are parenting your child. They are your child after all!!!

And that's my two cents


  1. I am all for breastfeeding but never down a woman's choice or inability to. With our first son I wanted so badly to breastfeed but he simply could not latch on and my milk would not come in. After 7 long crying filled frustrating weeks of trying to he ended up being bottle fed. With our second son it was a completely different experience he was born looking for something to latch onto. I remember getting stitched up after my c-section and hubby holding him and he kept nusling in his dads chests trying to find milk. To this day 32 months after his birth he is still nursing even with my flat nipples.
    What you chose to do is completely your choice however with the experience and knowledge I have obtained after my struggles and success I'd like to comment on some of your reasons for not liking it.
    1) you can tell how much your child is getting not by an ounce on a bottle but by how many times they are wetting themselves.
    2)The family gets to bond with the baby just in different ways
    3)After the first few weeks you can easily transition to bottle/pump and get the break allowing others to feed the baby while you rest.
    4)The pain comes from improper latch and encouragement from not expressing milk either with a pump or nursing your baby. Nursing in itself should never be painful if it is the latch is incorrect.

    It's breastfeeding not nipple feeding :)

    Please don't think I am bashing your feelings on the subject or trying to make you feel bad. I simply wanted to give you my experience and maybe let you know something someone might not have told you before. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy and with which ever decision on breastfeeding you decide is best for you and your bundle of joy.

  2. I'm so sorry that you had such a negative experience with your first 'try'.
    I fed both my children and I have one inverted nipple. I was fortunate to have brilliant help from a bunch of very patient, expert midwives with my first child.
    The previous commenter mentioned 'latching on', and she's quite right. It does take a bit of practice, but once you both get the hang of it, well, off you go.
    I do hope you try again. I could reassure you over every one of your list of concerns.
    (I can say that babies sleep very well if you've had a glass or two of wine.) :-O *slapswrist*
    I hope you have a better midwifery team this time round. Whatever you decide, good luck and all the best!

  3. I had the same thing with Ella nuzzling anyone that held her when she was small.. it seemed to be a natural instinct so I was disappointed when it didn't work for me but for the same reason I want a planned c-section I plan to bottlefeed because I want to be in control. I am able to make the choice rather than wish things had been different.

  4. aww, im so sorry that you had such a unpleasant experience!<3 thats horrible that they push you even though they know it might not work?xx


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