I’ve known for years I may not be able to breast feed. Back in 2006 I had a breast reduction due to constant back pain and bullying throughout high school. My self esteem was so low and I hated all the attention they brought. I am ever so grateful to my parents for doing this for me at such a young age. Honestly the best decision I have made, even though I had to accept I may not be able to successfully breastfeed any future children.
When Adelyn was born I still wanted to try and see how I would go. The first few days were hard. Just like most mums it was painful and Adelyn just wouldn’t latch properly. I was determined to keep trying but unfortunately this only lasted a week. The day we got home Adelyn had the best feed she ever had, then just seemed to loose it. I couldn’t get her on, and she wouldn’t feed at all if I did. I decided to try and pump but never got more then 30ml from both boobs combined. I had to accept she needed formula. Even the lactation consultant working with me in hospital said I would most likely need to top up with formula as it seemed my boobs just didn’t have many milk ducts left after my surgery. I was gutted, even though I knew this may happen. Throw in the crazy hormones that fly around after birth I was a crying mess. Once I accepted that fed was best no matter how she was fed I felt such a weight lift off my shoulders!
So when I fell pregnant with the twins we decided straight away that they would be formula fed from after the colostrum. When they came so early I decided to still collect the colostrum and see how I went with producing milk. Kemh have a milk bank that provides for babies under 32 weeks if their mums cannot so I knew my girls would get donated breast milk either way. The midwife in recovery with me after my c section decided to give hand expressing a go for me, and crazily I had some colostrum! I didn’t think my body had produced any yet as I was only 25 weeks pregnant! I kept hand expressing and using the hospital grade Medula pump over the few days I was in hospital and suprisingly my milk started to come in. I hit a wall though and needed to take Domperidone to assist with producing more milk and it certainly helped. I was able to pump every 3-4 hours for months for my girls. Those months were draining. Ontop of everything else pumping was horrible. Having to pump at a certain time, having to wake up to several alarms over night, having a pump pull your nipples in and out was certainly no fun. My life revolved around my pumping times. I covered them though both fully for 11 weeks then Riley another 4 weeks after that while I was weaning off the pump. I absolutely never thought my body could do that, but I guess it just knew that it was more important this time round to provide for these babies.
When I was able to try feeding Hanma it felt amazing. She had a good few goes but I knew that I wouldnt be able to ever maintain enough supply for both girls to breastfeed. I enjoyed the few feeds she did have and found it very special to share this with her.
Unfortunately by the time Riley was big and strong enough I was weaning off the pump and decided to not try it as I didnt want risk my supply increasing. Part of me wishes she was able to try it just for that closeness but she is still cuddly and loves her mummy either way. Both girls are now formula fed and are thriving. We dont over feed them or go by the amounts the tin says, we let them tell us when they need more or less. Its important to remember that how ever a baby is fed is best! 💕