Wednesday, 3 November 2010
There, I said it.
Phew, like admitting to being an alcoholic in terms of shame and guilt.
I have been pumping for between five and six hours everyday since the start of the summer. I have been distressed. I have tried (and tried) to get my smallest son back to the breast. I have failed.
Sebastian had his first birthday and I carried on pumping so he could have his Mummy Milk from a cup. I carried on until about a week ago when it was clear that he wasn't actually that bothered about it in a cup or any other way. Much as it hurt me and felt like I had failed in the most fundamental part of motherhood I knew it was the sensible thing to do.
And, you know what, no one died. The world didn't end. Nothing changed except that I became a happier Mummy and now have several more hours in the day for kisses and cuddles.!
It is the end of an era, I have spent all of the last decade either pregnant or breastfeeding, and alot of time doing both! But it's ok. I am ok. My babies are ok. They still love me best and we still have an amazing bond and our relationships continue to blossom and change as they grow.
I am now in the process of redefining myself. I am still Mummy and always will be (even when they are parents themselves) but am growing myself, my skills and goals.
I hope to share more with you very soon and be back with some less personal breastfeeding issues and information very soon.
Thanks to all of you for the support you have given me over these past few months.
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
He doesn't have thrush or any other source of discomfort or pain we can find so am putting it down to the bloody teeth again. Last time it was just four days. This time, everyday I feel a little further away from nursing him ever again.
The fact that he seems to want to nurse now and again makes me think this is not him self-weaning, as most babies do at some point, but there is a reason why he can't at the moment.
He's eleven months old so nutritionally he doesn't need the breastmilk*, he eats three meals a day with snacks inbetween, he eats a wide range of foods including meats, fish, dairy and vegetables.
But he is to be my last baby and I wanted this to go on a little longer, hoping for another year.
A bit of a sob to my peer-supporter supervisor on facebook over the weekend and by monday afternoon the infant feeding team had rallied round and managed to get a spare electric breast pump to my home. I had a good old double pump and for the first time in a week had the 'empty breast' feeling and was more comfortable than I had been for days. I am so grateful for working so closely with the infant feeding team as I fear had I gone down the 'contact your HV' route I'd have been fobbed off and advised to stop now. The pump will have to go back as soon as there is a mother physically unable to nurse her child but for now I'm plugging in a few times a day and stashing the white goodness in the fridge for when he wants it.
As I said, I didn't come for sympathy but just to share with other mothers who will understand my unhappiness. Simon is sympathetic but with Seb cruising round the furniture and scoffing avocado and toast for lunch and chilli and rice for tea he doesn't see why it's so important and maybe it's not really, am I just being selfish, is he ready to move on and I just can't let go?
I think there are many more tears to be shed in the coming weeks by both him and me through sheer frustration and sadness.
But while his prefered method of breastmilk delivery is this;
Then this will have to be my best friend;
* I do think that the WHO recommendation of two years is great (and have achieved it with two of my other children, the other self weaning slightly earlier) but I do wonder to myself whether it is the breastmilk that is of benefit or whether it's just that babies breastfed for longer never have artificial feeds? Something to think about.....
Friday, 20 August 2010
So we're in the car on the way home from work. Dad has popped into the shop, Heather is just waking and the boys are in the back. Heather decides she needs a quick nurse whilst we are waiting, she always wakes up grumpy and hates being in the car so it is the best way to cheer her up. Owen and Cain say they need a drink. Cain decides he wants milk, with a cheeky twinkle in his eye. Owen says he can't have milk because we have none in the car. And so the conversation continues:
Me - "where can we get milk from?"
Owen - "the shop"
Me - "which shop?"
Cain - "The food shop, in the fridge"
Me: "In the fridge?"
Cain - "yes in the fridge, in big jugs"
Me (glad the immediate demands for a drink are easing) - "So how does the milk get in the jug?"
Owen - "the shop lady put's it in"
Me - "but where does she get it from?"
Owen AND Cain together - "from her boobies!"
Now I'm all for promoting breastmilk, after all it's my job, but maybe that is taking things just a little too far........
Tickled me no end!
Thanks for letting me share Becks!
Saturday, 14 August 2010
And a quick thank you to everyone who has expressed concern and offered advice about my feeding issues with Seb. He's back on. Not like he used to be but enough for me to be happy and for him to be happy too. What more can a mother ask really? Thank you all. x
Thursday, 12 August 2010
Let's do it, lets feed our young!
A fabulous day at the farm with my babies looking out for lactating mother animlas and their young and cheeky young sneaking a quick snack ;)
*I know technically neither birds or bees actually do it but the song was in my head!
Wednesday, 11 August 2010
I have learned lots of things I didn't previously know about breastmilk and artificial forms of infant feeding during my training and I learned alot about WHO's international Code which dictates alot of guidelines for the marketing and use of 'infant formula'. It is against the Code to advertise artificial 'milk' for babies under six months, which is why we suddenly have 'follow-on' milk when for centuries cow's, goat's or sheep milk has been a good enough and suitable suppliment to our children's diets. The can advertise these 'follow-on' 'milks' and then when parents go along the aisle they will be confronted with rows and rows of other artificial 'milks', side ways advertising!
It seems that lots of companies either choose to ignore the Code or are unaware of it, I made a complaint in Asda earlier in the week as they have SMA cartons on offer at 3 for £1 and tins of powdered SMA at 2 for £7. This is against the Code and shouldn't be allowed, there were complaints made in our local Sainsbury's last year too when they offered 33% off the price of tinned powder as part of their baby week. And then it was brought to my attention that in the Argos catalogue there is a "feeding pillow", the picture in the catalogue shows a woman bottlefeeding a baby with the cushion on her lap. Against the Code! The online image just shows a woman and baby though?
It does concern me that we are bombarded by images of artificial feeding as the norm. I am doing alot of antenatal work and I love the enthusiasm I am greeted with and the comitment to babies not yet born to give them the very best nutrition. But I want to cry when I have spent time with a Mum before birth and after and only a week in she gives up and chooses a bottle, it makes me sad that she believes she is giving her baby the 'next best thing to breastmilk' because that's what the advertising tells her when really there is no such thing. A bit of an exageration but I do feel very strongly about the damage artificial 'milks' do to our children, it's like saying that CO2 is the next best thing to clean air?!
Friday, 23 July 2010
I am a bit scared.
My arthritic finger and thumb joints are complaining about all the hand expressing and making me more grumpy.
He is teething, he is in great discomfort and is biting everything. He has taken to biting at the breast. I say no, sit him at my feet and put my breast away. If he still shows interest then I will offer it to him again in a short while. I have done this with all my children, no shouting, smacking or biting (like I had been advised to do by other BF mums (scary)) and eventually they get the message that if they bite me they don't get any more.
He bit me several times during a feed on thursday afternoon, he was tired so I persevered so he would be soothed and drop off to sleep. It got beyond a joke so he was sat down and I put my breast away. That was the last time he went to the breast. He is turning his head and refusing. I'm not sure if it's because his mouth is so sore or because I upset him.
Last night he slept for barely three hours, he screamed, bit my shoulder, didn't want to cuddle up tight like he normally would and wouldn't nurse. We gave him paracetamol and teething powders to try and calm him, nothing worked, he cried and cried. I brought him downstairs and expressed into a cup. He had a whole beaker of EBM and then slept for a short while.
He had a beaker of EBM with his porridge this morning, he had some in a beaker after lunch. There is lots in the fridge as I am sore and very full, he is wanting to be held and is crying alot my production and let-down seem to have gone a little mad.
What if he doesn't go back to the breast?
There is no way he is having anything other than milk from his Mummy but I'm not sure my fingers or sanity can cope with hand expressing every few hours. I have a pump somewhere but have never been very successful with it. I had it so I could leave the girls when they were smaller for the odd evening. They rarely got left and wouldn't have milk from anything but me. It wasn't until my training when I learned how to coach another woman how to hand express that I really got to grips with it and made a success of doing it myself.
When all the children are snuggled in their beds tonight I'm going to strip us both off and wrap us up in bed and see if the good old skin-to-skin can encourage him to suckle again.
Any hints, tips or personal insights much appreciated.