Hello everyone. I've been reading a lot of posts recently about the pressure to breastfeed and just wanted to share my experience.
I'm mum to a 3-year-old and a 5-week old and was unable to breastfeed both times.
When pregnant with my first child, I was determined to breastfeed but unfortunately there were serious complications after a traumatic birth that meant we were separated for 7 days so obviously I couldn't breastfeed initially. I was able to express colostrum and breastmilk and once we finally got home from hospital I started expressing 8 times a day in order to give my child breastmilk exclusively.
Needless to say, it was very time consuming (setting up the pump, expressing for 10-15 mins, washing the pump parts, sterilising, THEN feeding, burping etc etc). I had no time to do anything else, despite help from my mum and husband. In the middle of all this, I received tremendous help and advice from my nct teacher, breastfeeding counsellor, doula, the midwives and nurses at the hospital, health visitors, la leche league, YouTube videos. I even bought a device that makes nipples point outwards (I have flat nipples), and tried nipple shields but NOTHING worked.
In the end, I decided to pump just twice a day and supplement with formula just so I could leave the house and actually enjoy some cuddles.
With my second child, I was much more laid back about the whole thing. I decided to give breastfeeding a go and if it didn't work out, I'd pump just twice a day and supplement with formula. I'm pumping as I write this as breastfeeding didn't work for me second time round.
Sorry for the long post but I just wanted to share that, despite good intentions, breastfeeding just doesn't work for some people. Don't get me wrong, I'm still upset and feel like I failed my two children but I tried everything and still couldn't do it.
It's ok to express and/or give formula and unlike me, please don't feel bad about it if you can't or choose not to breastfeed.
Hope this helps xxx