During our pregnancy, Rambo decided that she would like to breastfeed when the baby arrived. I personally never really gave it much thought. I knew that breastfeeding was not the preference of every mother, but having no breasts and not much information or influence on the situation I just decided to be supportive on any decision made.
I certainly know that breastfeeding has benefits for the baby and I’m an advocate of natural nutrition. What I didn’t know was breastfeeding could be difficult, tiring and emotionally draining on the mother.
In the UK, you’re discouraged from leaving the hospital until the baby has had a good feed post birth. In our case, Rambini had a ‘mammoth’ feed in the maternity ward. Almost 1 hour she spent comforting herself on her mums breast. Everything looked rosy.
Unfortunately, once we arrived home Rambini became a nightmare. She just wouldn’t latch. No matter what position you put her in. It became a battle of wills between mother and daughter. Neither of them were backing down.
In the end, we got to a point where we began to worry that she was in need of food. It had been a while since she had any milk and was starting to get very distressed and would not sleep or eat; she’d just cry and cry. Rambo was also tired after a gruelling natural birth and having to endure a screaming hungry baby who just would not latch. It wasn’t the snapshot of happiness you’d imagine when you think of parents bringing their child home for the first time.
For those of you who have had children, you’ll be familiar with the piecing sound of your baby crying. The natural maternal and paternal instincts kick in.. you feel upset at the sight and sound of your baby being upset and want to do all you can to help. Unfortunately, it’s not always within your power to remedy the situation.
In the end we found ourselves in all night supermarket buying a breast pump. Adamant we would not resort to formula, we found a working solution…. Rambo would express her milk.
The morning after the midnight dash to the supermarket, the midwife arrived for her routine home visit and spent a good few hours trying to help Rambo and Rambini with their breastfeeding issues. By the end of the visit, the midwife gave up and said the problem may be down to Rambini’s personality. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, my daughter was stubborn.
I appreciate this may sound like a minor blip on the parenting road but it was one that I was not prepared for. I just assumed the baby would feed like it was the most natural thing in the world. I never anticipated that breastfeeding was a bonding phase for mothers and their children. Rambo wanted to breastfeed so badly that she felt like a failure when it didn’t happen the way she had envisaged.
Even after 6 weeks, Rambini won’t breastfeed, she’ll drink expressed milk from the bottle but just refuses to latch. In a way, it’s been a small blessing as it’s allowed me to help with the ongoing and relentless feeding process.
So…. Is breastfeeding important? Should we have switched to formula to save us any stress?