Monday, 26 June 2017

Fed is Best.

I'm pro breastfeeding, I'm pro bottlefeeding, I'm pro SNS feeding; long story short, I am pro feeding. I believe that fed is always best, regardless of how it is established.
What I don't believe in is women being belittled for their feeding choices; it is something of which I have been seeing more and more of recently and it disheartens me.
There are many reasons as to why a woman is not breast feeding, such as PCOS, Mammoplasty, Hypoplasia, or through personal preferences.
When my daughter was born I tried to breastfeed, despite knowing full well that there was a high chance I wouldn't be able to. You see, I have Mammary Hypoplasia, also known as IGT (Insufficient Glandular Tissue); a lot of women suffering with this are able to breastfeed, however many, including myself, are not able to.
What is Mammary Hypoplasia?
Hypoplasia is a medical term describing the postpubertal underdevelopment of a woman's breast tissue. This tissue is the milk-making tissue in the breast.
The first time I found out about this was after several plastic surgeons used the term "constricted breasts" during my consultations for breast augmentation around seven years ago. After further investigation and research it was confirmed - turns out that "constricted breast" is a plastic surgery term for Hypoplasia. I kick myself now for not questionning it more at the time.
Years passed and I became pregnant with my now two year old; I bought the bottles and formula as I knew that there was a chance I wouldn't be able to breast feed.
My suspicions were right and I had no milk supply until my little girl was around seven weeks old - even then it was so small that it would never have sustained her.
At the time I got on with it because I had to; my daughter needed me to provide her with milk to keep her strong, so formula was used. She was constantly following the 90th centile and was coming on leaps and bounds - even now she amazes me with how much she knows at the tender age of two.
I hid it well that I was actually devastated that I hadn't been successful with breast feeding; I didn't feel like a proper mother to my daughter as my body couldn't do the main thing it was meant to do which was feed my own child.
No-one knew that I was upset as I just got on with focusing on my little girl; however one day I was in Tesco picking up formula when a woman turned to me and said that I wasn't making the right decision for my daughter by feeding her "that". In the moment I kept a straight face and laughed, but when I got into the car I burst into tears. I had so desperately wanted to breast feed but never made my wishes known to people as I knew the chances weren't the best. I felt that if I told everyone I wanted to breast feed then wasn't able to do it that everyone else would have seen me as a failure too.
When I found out I was pregnant again before Christmas, I knew that I wanted to do everything in my power to try and be able to breast feed. I joined IGT and Low Milk Supply support groups which have been amazing for me and provided me with a fountain of knowledge.
I've discovered that there is medication that can be prescribed, although I have held off from this for the time being as I am hoping that it won't come to that. I have stocked up on natural herbal remedies, a few of which I can start taking in the next few weeks, along with being generously gifted a stretchy wrap to help increase skin to skin contact once the baby is here.
I am also being referred to a lactation consultant who will hopefully be able to provide me with some valuable tips and tricks at the suggestion of my most recent midwife (the only one who didn't fob me off may I add).
My aim is for one breast feed a day along with supplementing with formula; although I know this time round I will not be devastated if this doesn't happen.
As long as my daughter is happy and healthy, then that is all that will matter to me.
So please, before you judge a woman for her feeding choices, please remember that her choice may not be her preference. It may be the choice she had to make to ensure that her baby was fed; and even if it was her personal choice to choose formula over breast, she made the best decision for her child.

Fed is most certainly best.


Mummy Times Two

4 comments:

  1. A brilliant post and I completely agree, fed is best. I was never pro or anti anything, I decided to give breastfeeding a go and was of the mindset that if it didn't work than that was fine. And despite initial difficulties I took to it pretty much ok until Joseph developed reflux and an intolerance to the milk protein which meant I had to stop drinking milk but could carry on breastfeeding. By that point I didn't want to stop until I decided I was ready so I carried on despite him being admitted to hospital with associated problems. I got my milk supply back up and then and only then did I stop. He went onto a special formula and it was a pain in the arse but he was thriving again.

    #PostsFromTheHeart

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  2. I totally and utterly agree that fed is best. No one other than you knows the full circumstances of you and your family and no one has the right to judge. I hope things go the way you want them to this time, but if not remember that that is ok to. How you feed your baby doesn't determine the kind of mum you are in any way. #PostsFromTheHeart

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  3. I had a real problem with supply when Charley was 1st born and then after a short spell in hospital. Im sure you have got it all covered but i did write a post myself about some great lactation cookies i made and it really helped - http://theunnaturalmother.co.uk/?s=lactation+
    #PostsFromTheHeart

    Good Luck

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  4. I love that you're aiming for one feed a day and have such a positive attitude after last time. I believe that my anxiety affected my milk supply and I would've liked to have combi fed but the support wasn't really available to me. Hope your experience this time us betterxxx

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