The moment I found out I was pregnant I planned to breast feed my baby. The thought of not breast feeding my baby didn’t enter my head once but the day after my baby was born we found out that he had a cleft palate and I was told that breast feeding wouldn’t be possible as my baby wouldn’t be able to get a proper latch. After 9 months of anticipation and excitement of experiencing the magical bond I would have with my baby through breast feeding, I was completely heartbroken.
After lots of research and reading post after post on “littlepeachlondon”’s Instagram page about expressing I decided that this was going to be the way that I fed my baby. After being told that my baby wouldn’t be able to get a proper latch from numerous midwives, nurses and paediatricians my stubbornness kicked in. I was determined not to give up. Every time my baby was hungry, I would start by putting him on the breast and then give him a bottle of expressed breast milk. He tried his hardest to get a proper latch while on the breast but he would start screaming after 10 minutes, which I’m guessing was out of frustration. After about a week of putting my baby on the breast, he finally managed to get a proper latch. I cannot put in to words the feeling that I experienced at that moment.
When the cleft nurse and health visitor came to visit next, they were completely baffled with how well Thomas was doing with feeding on the breast. He still couldn’t get a full feed on the breast so we would top him up with a few ounces of breast milk each time. I don’t mind this though because I still have the luxury to breast feed my baby whenever he wants, even if it is just for a little “snack”.
Don’t get me wrong, after weeks of expressing every 2-3 hours day and night, breast feeding, bottle feeding, colic, reflux and my poor baby being in and out of hospital things were starting to get too much and I was ready to give up. I found myself crying at 3am while up expressing, when I started reading more posts on “littlepeachlondon”,s page. I don’t know what happened, but reading all the different tips and stories about expressing made something click inside me and my motivation reappeared with a vengeance. I was more determined than ever to succeed in expressing for my baby.
We are now 3 months in to our breast milk journey with a freezer full of breast milk and a little boy thriving and gaining weight like a trooper. Seeing this makes all the stress and exhaustion so worth it. It even makes all the “funny looks” from strangers worth it when they have seen me pumping in the car, or in a waiting room or any other public place that I have expressed. I can truthfully say that “littlepeachlondon” has a massive part to play on my confidence and motivation when it comes to expressing, so for that, I will be eternally grateful and I am sure my little Thomas is also grateful.
Lots of love
One very exhausted (but happy) mummy, Shona and her “chunky yet funky” baby boy, Thomas.