I made no secret of the fact that I wanted to exclusively breastfeed Jax. I took the time to go to a breastfeeding session held at my local hospital's maternity unit and I watched loads of videos about latching the baby on.
I was in love with the idea of snuggling up with my baby and feeding him. I’d also heard how great it was for the wellbeing of both myself and the baby, breastmilk was more beneficial than formula milk and obviously it was cheaper too, safe to say I was completely sold on the idea and ready to go.
I breastfed Jax as soon as he was born, and I continued to do so for the first few weeks of his life. I found as the days went by that he was becoming more and more agitated and refused to feed for very long.
I had two amazing midwives visit me whilst I was struggling and they advised me that everything I was doing was right. Jax was latching on fine, I was positioning him correctly and to them, everything looked good. Then they saw him stop and scream mid feed and refuse to carry on, and this was the problem I'd wanted them to see.
According to my midwife, it turns out Jax is an "aggressive eater" (but aren't we all, I hear you say). I couldn’t keep up with how fast he wanted to feed (basically my breasts are not taps). He wanted fast flowing milk and I just couldn’t provide it quick enough, therefore he would stop, scream and refuse to carry on due to the state he had worked himself up into. I even invested in a Mendela electric breast pump to see if that would help and although the pump itself was amazing, it just didn’t suffice. In the end I was having to use both expressed breast milk and formula milk to ensure I covered his feeding times.
Fast forward a month, and I had to change the teats on his tiny bottles to 3 month old teats which had a faster flow, enabling my own newborn baby to chug down the milk like it was a can of Coke.
I really wished I had pursued with exclusively breastfeeding because I was completely in love with the idea, but my hormones were all over the place, I was sobbing my heart out at least 5 times a day and that combined with no sleep, and being very sore, led me down the evil, shunned upon path of formula feeding
As a first time mum, I’ve learnt that sometimes it’s your little baby’s character that determines how you care for them, not what you’ve been told by other people, or what you’ve imagined and prepared for whilst pregnant. It’s something you just can’t beat yourself up about.