Bell Shaped Breasts
I had my first child and like most expecting mothers went to all the classes at the hospital on breast feeding with no thought that perhaps this wouldn't be an option for me as this was never discussed.
I knew that my mother wasn't able to feed me properly, but I didn't know why. We had an emergency C section and my beautiful daughter was born.
Along with the effects of the surgery, I was suffering from carpel tunnel, which prevented me from being able to hold my baby in the right positions to feed.
The midwives at the hospital encouraged me to keep trying, but my milk wasn't coming in. I thought it was because of the operation.
We left hospital after 3 days when my husband realized how the pushing of the nurses and my screaming hungry baby was impacting me.
We tried for another 4 days with a midwife visiting our house. I used a breast pump and breast feeding till my nipples were cracked and bleeding, but I just wasn't getting enough milk.
My mother spoke to the nurse and told her that she couldn't breastfeed and she remembered that her mother had problems as well.
Our daughter lost more and more weight and was becoming so sick that we were looking at having to take her to the hospital to have a feeding tube.
It took us to get to this point for the midwife to finally agree that it wasn't working.
She said that I had bell shaped breasts, which meant that the baby was unable to stimulate the milk ducts to produce and release the milk and it was most likely GENETIC.
We went straight to the supermarket and started formula. Within a few days our baby was putting weight back on, was sleeping and happy as well as her mother.
My biggest disappointment was that it took us so long and we put our daughters health at risk, all because of some preconceived ideal that "Breast is Best".
New mothers are not provided with enough educated to realize that if things don't go to plan, (and lets face it, how many pregnancies and births actually do) there are other options.
We need to be given the right information so that we, as new mothers can identify when we have to make a choice between an ideal and the Reality of the situation.
I wonder how the midwives will feel with I turn up to my next birth with a bag packed with bottles, teats and formula.
Hooray to this website for discussing these hard topics and allowing women to express their frustration and disappointment and to share their experiences.
We need to let each other know that it's okay, even if society doesn't. We have all tried our hardest to breastfeed with no success, but ultimately at the end of the day we have done the right thing by our children, which is what matters the most.