“Fed is best” is a phrase I’ve come across recently as I follow more and more mummy bloggers. It’s a phrase and concept I wholeheartedly agree with. But just because the rational part of me knows that fed is best makes sense, the emotional part of me that is severely lacking in confidence and self belief is constantly berating myself (bad grammar, I know) because my breastfeeding attempts “aren’t good enough” I’m going to tell you about when I first started feeding my second child when he was born two months ago.
I had my son on a Sunday and I was lucky enough be be allowed to bring him home two days later on the Tuesday. The next day, Wednesday, my mums friend came to visit. She kindly did my hair and was just generally giving me advice chatting and keeping me company. It came time to feed my newborn so I put him to my breast when I hear “that titty isn’t full enough, he won’t be getting enough milk.”
“Alright give us a chance to get going will you,” I jokingly replied but in my mind I was already nervous and feeling the pressure of being scrutinised…
“Have you been drinking water? Those titties should be rock hard, the size of your head and almost touching your chin. I don’t think you’ve been getting enough fluid, go and drink a pint of water now and pour yourself a glass of milk to sip on.”
“It’s only been two days, I don’t think my milk has come in properly yet. The midwife said-”
“Never mind the midwife! My titties were huge and my kids fed for half an hour on each side in one sitting. Aw the poor thing is starving. Keep drinking and you should be able to feed him by tonight.”
The pressure was physically showing by this stage as I frantically tried to calm a screaming, allegedly starving, baby whilst holding back tears.
My partner rushed out to by formula, leaving me to listen to this woman harp on about how shit I am (at least that’s what it felt like she was doing). II wasn’t fully listening though, instead I was having an internal dialogue desperately trying to remind myself that my insincts are right- my baby is fine and I’m doing ok.
I’m going to cut this story short and get to the point. The point being that every breastfeeding experience is different and unique. Just like parenthood and definitely like mothers.
I think I’m lucky that my child easily adapts to both breast and bottle. It did used to get to me that I can’t purely breastfeed but I know that if I could, I’d just be complaining about being nothing but a milk machine.
The most important thing is that my son is thriving. He’s healthy and happy and that’s all that matters.