Boobs and Bot

A few people have asked me about my breastfeeding experience.  As a first-time mum, I went into this thinking ‘how hard can it be?! Don’t you just put the kid on your nip and bobs-your-uncle?!” haha oh how I was SO wrong.  Breastfeeding is one of the hardest things, physically and mentally, that I have had to do. For some women, it is lovely and without many problems, but for me it was horrible, hard, and hurtful.

I had a natural birth with no drugs (not my choice, I wanted that epi so BAD, but we had no time!), so little Carter came out very alert and hungry.  I spent 4 days in hospital and during that time used the midwives to help me figure out if I was breastfeeding correctly.  My boy was really good – he latched well and knew how to suck straight away.  But the little critter wanted to eat every 30minutes during the first few days and my poor nips just were not coping.  It was horribly painful and so many people kept saying ‘it must be because he isn’t latching right,’  but you know what I put it down too – of course it hurts, nipples are sensitive, it even hurts to shower so having a strong alert little human trying to suck their food out of them is not going to feel pleasant.

I breastfed and expressed for 2 weeks until I got a flu and my milk completely dropped off within 24hours.  I then had to/wanted to introduce formula.  Ahhhhh the formula wagon – holy shit there are A LOT of formulas and HOW THE HELL are you supposed to know WHICH ONE to choose?!!! We started with S26 Gold which made the poor guy constipated and he started getting colic.  I still breastfed up until he was 6weeks old, but only did 2 feeds per day and the other 13 feeds (yes he was a hungry boy) were formula.

After 6 weeks I stopped breastfeeding and he was exclusively formula fed.  The formula journey was just as hard.  We tried 5 formulas until we found one that worked with his tiny digestive system.  We finally settled on Karicare De-Lact and Infacol on occasion to help get burps up.  I’ve just introduced Life Space Baby Probiotic Powder too.

I must admit I did feel guilt when I gave up breastfeeding BUT I look down at this little chubba and at 13weeks old he is a very healthy 7kg and starting to get too big for 00 clothing so we must be doing something right. Trust your motherly instincts and although everyone says ‘breast is best’…it is not necessarily the best option for mum.

7 replies
  1. Charlene
    Charlene says:

    So glad little carter is happy and healthy 🙂 it sure is a whole new experience being a mommy. Lots up downs but soooo many ups 🙂 i bottle fed my 2 boys and they were very happy and healthy boys i am now preggers with my 3rd and i will bottle feed again. Dont feel ashamed to bottle feed who gives people the right to judge how we raise and choose to feed our babies. You do what is best for yourself and your bubba 🙂 no doubt you are an awesome mummy goodluck x

    Reply
  2. Leo
    Leo says:

    I’m so sorry for your experience, not knowing your full history on breastfeeding I can’t help but wonder what type of support you were offered or had access to. The Australian Breastfeeding association is an amazing organization which provides the kind of support that helps mothers continue to breastfeed through all types of challenges. One of which I faced was that my son had a tongue and lip tie, apparently very common and goes undiagnosed because of lack of knowledge and experience. Luckily I was referred to our local lactation consultant who was able to diagnose and have it treated by a doctor. This was all about 12 weeks and now my son is nearly 9 months and I’m still able to breastfeed him. I would just like to say also that I am a strong believer in whatever works best is best too so I’m happy that you have found something to suit your family and I wish you all the best for any future breatfeeding experiences! Xxx

    Reply
  3. Louisa
    Louisa says:

    Thanks so much for this post! Well written and so honest.
    I hated breastfeeding my little man when he was born, even though I had a huge supply and he was an easy latch. But it hurt and I couldn’t stand the feeling of it, so I pumped for a few months instead, and then straight onto formula. He’s now a big strong 2 and a half old who is healthy and bright as any other kid. It should be ‘breast is sometimes best depending on your personal circumstance!’ Your boy is getting fed, that’s all that matters. ?

    Reply
  4. Sharnah
    Sharnah says:

    couldn’t agree more! My first bub was much the same too sore/tired/emotional to go on, I felt guilty about not breastfeeding until I had one happy and content baby with formula. My second bub is breastfeeding perfectly so I guess each baby is different. I’m so glad you wrote this!

    Reply
  5. Kylie Lavis
    Kylie Lavis says:

    Too many women are made feel inadequate over breast feeding. Well done to you for putting your story out there making people feel human. I won’t even touch on the drama of feeding two babies at once (twins). I’m sure you can imagine that hellish nightmare, all 10 weeks of it. I still, after 5 years, feel guilty for giving up. Keep up the good work.

    Reply
  6. Steph
    Steph says:

    Hi Maddi (and little Carter!)

    First of all- loved you and Lloyd on House Rules!

    I have a very similar story…..breastfeeding was such a challenge! Who knew?! But what I would love to know, is how you dealt with the “formula judgers!” You know, doctors/midwives/other mums who kind of give you that look of “Ohhhhh….your using FORMULA”! And the “ohhhh….you didn’t try hard enough”, “ohhh….how could you not enjoy it”….”ohhhh…it’s suppose to hurt, get over it”…..etc?! I’m finding the judgement the hardest thing to deal with!

    My baby Rose (12 weeks old) and I were never really great at breastfeeding. I had to wear a nipple shield as she just couldn’t latch properly. Then after a couple of weeks, she started rejecting going near the breast at all! Literally, screaming and getting really distressed whenever I brought my boob out to feed her! It was heartbreaking and stressful as I knew she was hungry. There was no reason for her to reject the boob- she wasn’t sick, I had a good supply, she was hungry etc. I tried for about a week before making the decision to exclusively pump and supplement with formula sometimes. We are currently feeding her about 60% of the time breastmilk from a bottle and then other 40% of the time formula. And I STILL get judged!

    We are using S26 Gold, which seems to agree with her…but overall, I’ve found the introduction of bottle feeding has actually brought us closer together….I’m not stressed out trying to get her latched, she doesn’t get distressed and upset, I don’t have to mess around with nipple shields, I don’t stress over how much she’s getting, and now Daddy gets to bond with her too by feeding her.

    I would have LOVED to have been one of those amazing mothers who breastfeeds exclusively….but sometimes you gotta just do what’s best for you and your baby….and for some of us, breastfeeding just didn’t work (no matter how hard you try!)

    Stephanie
    New Zealand

    Reply
  7. Rachelle
    Rachelle says:

    Don’t feel guilty. I know its super hard as both of my kids had stage 4 tongue ties (didn’t know with my first) and I struggled big time. I felt so guilty. You know whats right for you and your baby 🙂

    Reply

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