Breastfeeding Woes

Written by Lauren on. Posted in General

Dot is nearly 6 weeks old and has been exclusively breast-fed since birth. I’m not going to lie breastfeeding is one of the hardest things I have ever done. Dot has always been unsettled and I’ve literally had to prise her off me and shove her at the hubby to try to pacify her to give me 5 minutes just so that I can fulfil my basic human needs.

She’s a lot more “clingy” than the boys ever were and appears to be windy/uncomfortable/in pain for most of the day. I’m lucky if she goes more than two hours between feeds and even luckier if in that time she’s quiet or asleep. At night we always get a least one 3-4 hour sleep but often it takes a whole evening of cluster feeding to get her to the point of tiredness that she actually falls asleep.

I’m constantly trying to work out if she’s uncomfortable because of something that I’ve eaten and have been to both the Dr and the health visitor to try to get a solution. She is thriving on breast milk having gained 3lb since birth which is hugely motivating but I just can’t work out why she’s so upset all the time. The first Dr prescribed infant gaviscon. If you have ever tried to get infant gaviscon into a breast-fed baby you will know how much of a pain it is. She choked, gagged, puked and basically took in a whole lot more air making her full of wind with a tummy ache to boot. For a while gripe water helped but again, getting it into her is nigh on impossible and the process just filled her with more air and we now see projectile vomit where she has gagged so much it’s brought up the feed.

The second Dr said to switch to formula. I know for a fact there are other reflux medicines but she refused to prescribe anything. What happened to the whole “breast is best” campaign and supporting mothers rather than plugging formula?! Formula didn’t solve Spike’s problems so why offer out advice like it’s some miracle cure. I went straight to the health visitor who said I am trying everything I can and it comes down to whether or not I can cope with her being more demanding than a “normal” newborn.

With all of this in mind and the growing feeling of resentment whenever it’s feeding time I decided to think about combi-feeding or completely switching to formula. Yes switching to formula didn’t fix Spike but coupled with Dr Browns bottles and infant gaviscon mixed with his milk he was much happier. That’s all I want. A happy baby.

We have a steriliser from Spike and a few Dr Browns bottles that need new teats but I decided to go straight to ordinary ones, switching to Dr Browns if needed. With a heavy heart, a huge sense of failure and a mass of guilt I stood in the baby aisle of the supermarket. Frankly I was disgusted. I knew breastfeeding would save me a ton of money every month with formula costing between £7.99 and £9.99 a tub but I didn’t realise how much the rest would set me back. One well-known, popular brand were charging £7.50 for ONE bottle.

It’s safe to say I didn’t buy it. In fact I didn’t buy anything, I went back home and breastfed my daughter.

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