Being pregnant with my first, my mental health was pretty low. I was extremely grateful to be pregnant but was paranoid I couldn’t be the Mum my child needed, paranoid to the point I was referred to my local mental health team. I wanted to do everything I could to be a ‘Perfect Mum’ and read every article and attended all the prenatal courses, feeling pretty overwhelmed by it all.
My little boy was born at 36+4
My waters broke at 35+6 and my little boy was born 36+4, and I felt ready to start feeding him. All the stuff I had read and been told, to me, made it out that it would be so easy. Baby would just latch on and feed like a dream, it would be so magical.
But baby wouldn’t latch, I was told he was ‘lazy’ and he was given an NG tube. He was jaundice and had a chest infection so didn’t have the energy to suck. I remember my mental health got even worse at this stage as I felt it was my fault and I was a terrible Mum already.
He was jaundice and had a chest infection so didn’t have the energy to suck.
As the days went on, the Student Midwife tried to help baby latch in all the different positions, and finally with the help of shields, he latched and had a feed.
7 weeks in and finally we got a tongue tie diagnosis
We got home and although the shields allowed me to need my baby, they were messy and so I wanted rid of them. I went to a local Latch on Group over the next few days who were fantastic in helping me.
I managed to get rid of the shields but the pain I now experienced was excruciating, to the point I dreaded every feed and cried every time. But I was determined to keep feeding my baby.
I dreaded every feed and cried every time
6 weeks of asking for help and being told ‘the latch looks fine’ by my Health Visitor I went to an NCT Group and was finally referred to ENT for a posterior tongue tie. 7 weeks in and I thought we were finally there, having his tongue tie snipped.
He was always very windy and really unsettled
Baby would feed for 45 mins – 1 hour at a time, he was super windy and really really unsettled. I couldn’t set him down without him absolutely screaming in pain. I had read all about the 4th Trimester and assumed it would get better, it didn’t.
I was seeing my HV weekly, my GP almost as often and every time was told ‘baby’s cry’ and put it down to my anxiety. I was also seeing a Psychotherapist in the Infant Mental Health Team weekly who, to me, seemed to be the only one who listened. She suggested he might have a Cows Milk Allergy and told me to speak with my GP about it. Again I called my GP who thankfully then referred me to the Paediatrician.
I cut out dairy and eventually months later, soya also. Seeing the difference in my little boy made the dietary changes easier. I was worried I would have nothing to eat, but the vegan options are really good now and I really didn’t miss out on much.
I cut out dairy and eventually months later, soya also. Seeing the difference in my little boy made the dietary changes easier.
When he was a year old, we started the milk ladder and then the soya ladder, and he passed them with time and now enjoys a normal diet.
We co-slept for a long time
My little one was never a great sleeper, we couldn’t lay him down and done shifts of holding him upright at nighttime.
We moved to co sleeping and when the time came to being in his own room, my husband built him a double floor bed for me to be able to feed him laying down overnight. He was feeding to sleep and at every wake up. I never thought it would stop.
He was feeding to sleep and at every wake up.
We eventually gently night weaned at his pace. Now at 28 months old, he is still not sleeping through but no longer needs fed to sleep or overnight, and is able to self settle with us sitting beside him.
Pregnant with baby number 2
I became pregnant when my little boy was 18 months old, I had been reading about feeding during pregnancy and was worried he would take nutrients away from baby.
I was reassured that feeding during pregnancy was completely fine and continued to do so. My little boy reduced his feeds and by the end of pregnancy, was having 1 feed every few days. I had terrible aversions and him feeding really made me feel physically sick. I just wanted him off me, even the noise was turning my stomach. But I carried on, I had got this far.
I was reassured that feeding during pregnancy was completely fine and continued to do so.
We read books to prepare him for this brother coming, explaining that baby needed ‘milkies’ because he can’t eat food and will need more than he does.
Tandem feeding took a bit of getting used to!
Baby arrived and he really did seem to understand that sometimes he could feed but not every time that baby did. I didn’t refuse him any feeds, and he took the change really well thankfully!
Tandem feeding positioning took some getting used to though!
Now the only issues we are having, is that my newborn seems to be having CMPA symptoms also, but because we spotted them early, I’ve been able to cut it from my diet and carry on as before.
He also has a club foot and has been wearing a plaster cast for the past 6 weeks. He will have boots and a bar fitted in the new year which he will need to wear for 23 hours a day for 12 weeks, so we will need to adjust positioning, especially overnight side feeding, but we will get there!
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