When I was pregnant I was booked in for a planned c-section. This was because baby G was well and truly upside down and not inclined to move since around 16 weeks. My hope was to breastfeed her – but I was prepared for it not working out as my own mum was unable to breastfeed. What I wasn’t prepared for was birth weight loss after the C-section which put our whole breastfeeding journey into jeopardy.
I made sure to express colostrum from 37 weeks
Knowing I was having a c-section meant I could start to prepare under the advice of my midwife (and now awesome friend Naomi) and hand express colostrum from 37 weeks. My section was planned for bang on 39 weeks and I went into hospital with 40 little tubes for the liquid gold just in case!
I was always keen to try breastfeeding, however, knowing how hard my own mum found it (I have tongue tie and it was never diagnosed to her so no wonder really) I decided I’d give it a go. If it worked then great and if not then we would go down the formula route. In hindsight I think I really would have been devastated had it not worked out for us but luckily we haven’t had to worry too much about that.
If it worked then great and if not then we would go down the formula route
My c-section experience was fabulous
My section experience was fabulous and the midwives, doctors and anesthetist were all fantastic at making me feel at ease. G arrived safe and sound at 11.56am on 5th October 2021. I’d lost quite a bit of blood during surgery but wouldn’t known had they not told me so.
Luckily I was pretty ‘with it’ and our golden hour feed went ahead smoothly. We didn’t even need the support of the breastfeeding mentor hovering as G knew exactly what to do and where to go (she almost got there without my help!). We were allowed to move on to the postnatal ward after midnight and settled down for the night completing two hourly feeds with no problem and no sign of the dreaded tongue tie. I breathed a huge sigh of relief!
The five week check at hospital did not go as planned
We got to go home the following day and went back into hospital for our 5 day check a few days later. This is where things got a little tricky! G passed her 5 day check with flying colours but had lost just under 14% of her birth weight (qué all out panic from the hospital).
My milk had only come in the prior day and G had jaundice so for 3 days had only been getting colostrum of which most was going to flushing her out. It was of no surprise to me that she would have lost a bit but she was a decent size baby at 8lbs, 4oz. I personally wasn’t too worried given there were lots of nappies and no signs of dehydration.
I personally wasn’t too worried given there were lots of nappies and no signs of dehydration.
I was asked to pump out 60mls of my milk
I tried to explain this to the doctors who were insisting on inserting cannulas for blood tests and refusing to let us leave to collect my pain medication post section (we had only come in for a day 5 check and weren’t prepared for an all day session at the hospital).
I was feeding G as usual and this was witnessed by doctors but I was still asked to pump out 60mls of my milk and bottle feed it to her after her full feed.
I thought their reaction was over-the-top
Being first time parents we followed instructions from the staff but something didn’t feel right in my gut. G was feeding well, my milk was in finally and we were doing great. All the fuss seemed overkill and like a textbook reaction. We were finally let home after 10 hours under instructions to top up her feeds with expressed milk or formula until our next appointment.
I followed this for one feed where after a full boobing session and top up of 60ml from bottle G projectile vomited and screamed for 30 mins (and I cried ALOT). I had a midwife follow up two days later so held off to talk things over with her knowing she had the full story from our journey. I had concerns of mastitis and making G sick.
Soon she was piling on the weight
By the time of my appointment G had already gained 500g and we agreed with my lovely midwife to persist without expressing or formula. By day 14 G was jaundice free and up to over birth weight. I’m so glad I went with my instinct as our breastfeeding journey could have so quickly been over.
We are now nearly 7 months in to our journey with no signs of slowing down. I’ve been very lucky in that I’ve had very little complications since then (one milk bleb which was lovely, imagine pulling a cheese string from your nipple!!). And G is a boobing monster! We intend to keep boobing for as long as we both want to – which I think will be a long time yet!
We intend to keep boobing for as long as we both want to – which I think will be a long time yet!
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