"Fact: Natalie Cassidy’s boobs have dried up. Really? Yes. Eeeeeeww….!
Far, far too much information, isn’t it? But the former Eastenders actress has been as candid as ever, letting everyone know of her most intimate of issues."
The beyond childish nature of this comment stunned me for a few minutes, was this written by a hormonal fifteen year old girl I wondered? The sort who usually blushes at the utterance "breast" (let alone having to type it in an article). It continues:
"This time, she’s been speaking about how gutted she is to be forced into feeding her baby daughter, Eliza, from the bottle instead of by bitty because her breasts aren’t producing enough milk."Yep, you read it right - they do actually use the word "bitty" to describe breastfeeding. I'm now thinking actually perhaps it's a teenage boy?
But what's worse is that Natalie has been forced into bottle feeding - that is forced as in feels she has no other choice, rather than a team of armed health visitors turning up (just in case you were concerned). Natalie's next words are telling:
"I'm just bottle-feeding now. I did six weeks but there wasn't enough milk, “ explains Nat Cass, “I was expressing and getting, like, half an ounce. There was just nothing there. My milk had just finished.”"Just bottle feeding now" implies to me at least that she was perhaps mix/combined feeding both breast and bottle previously - which is one possible explanation for the next words of there was not enough milk. Expressing isn't a reliable gauge of how much a mother is making - some mums really struggle to let down with a pump, particularly if they are given no support in using it to achieve optimum results. I personally remember trying to express when my first was five weeks which resulted in only a few drops and a lot of tears! Milk doesn't just "finish" after six weeks - once the body has been kick started to make milk, it continues to do so as long as the amount removed remains constant. Sure there are rare cases such as severe shock/trauma that can inhibit milk letdown at least temporarily, but no mention of that here.
Far more common is the scenario where a bottle of formula or a top up is introduced - perhaps around that 6 week mark Natalie mentions, where baby has a huge "growth spurt" and feeds for England. To a mum not in the know about these spells it very very easy to assume you're simply not making enough milk (BTDT got the shirt!) so a top up is given. Baby takes the bottle, appears to zonk and settle as he works to digest the foreign protein; perhaps resulting in a longer feed spacing and perhaps taking a little less at next feed. After a few times maybe the baby becomes fussy at the breast, now annoyed at having to wait for letdown and so reinforcing to mum baby isn't content/getting enough there. The supplements get bigger, time at the breast gets shorter and milk supply dwindles.
I decided to have a bit of a hunt and a further Google found this statement made 10th November:
“My adorable angel Eliza appears to have turned in to a little madam overnight. She’s demanding feeds all the time and has gone off my nipple because she has to work for her milk. She prefers it to be poured down her neck in a bottle. I think it’s my own fault for spoiling her in those first few weeks. On the plus side, Adam’s [Cottrell -- Natalie's boyfriend] mum Sheila is staying with us, so it’s lovely to have an extra pair of hands and reassurance that I’m doing things right.”
“I was really upset because I'd have breastfed for six months if I could have,”This is really quite sad, Natalie obviously wanted to breastfeed and yet like so many other mums has ended up at the mercy of the bottle. Perhaps there was a transfer issue, perhaps supply was low and supplements needed - but with support things don't have to end,
"She drinks 7oz of milk every three and a half hours, like a six-month-old baby. She's really hungry! I loved it [breast feeding], but if you haven't got the milk, you can't magic it up."Natalie is clearly suggesting she's not producing enough because she has such a hungry baby - but when breastfeeding it doesn't matter if your baby wants that amount at 6 weeks or 6 months, breasts makes it! It doesn't gradually increase as the months go on and baby gets older - this is why the vast majority of mums with the right support can feed twins.
I'm guessing (hoping) Natalie doesn't mean every 3 1/2 hours day and night, as that would total a whopping 49oz of formula which seems rather a lot? Perhaps Natalie meant "during the day" and there's a longer stretch at night.
In exclusively breastfed babies, milk intake increases quickly during the first few weeks of life, then stays about the same between one and six months (though it likely increases short term during growth spurts). Current breastfeeding research does not indicate that breastmilk intake changes with baby's age or weight between one and six months. After six months, breastmilkAs a final gem the article concludes:
The research tells us that exclusively breastfed babies take in an average of 25 oz (750 mL) per day between the ages of 1 month and 6 months. Different babies take in different amounts of milk; a typical range of milk intakes is 19-30 oz per day (570-900 mL per day).
"Now, seriously Natalie Cassidy… we’ll hold our hands up and admit that it’s a real issue that affects a heck of a lot of us new mums, but come on… some things we just don’t need to know about. Not whilst we’re eating our lunch, anyway! Ick…"I think perhaps the last paragraph though for me was the most jaw dropping, as it included the words "us new mums" - and it hit me the person writing this with "icks" and "eeews" is a woman with a child! Not a daft teenager who could be perhaps excused for thinking the word "bitty" is an appropriate term for breastfeeding.
Why not drop an email to give Heat some appropriate feedback for this piece?