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Share your experience - Nadya's story

I have always known that one day, when I have children, I will breastfeed them. There was never the question - shall I use formula or not, I did not know what formula was! The longer you breastfeed the better - my mum was telling me stories that she had to eat raw onions when there was a possibility of her milk drying up when I was 6 months old. I have vague memories of my mum breastfeeding my brother (I must have been 4 years old at the time) and it seemed the most natural thing in the world.

A few friends of mine (different nationalities/upbringing) could not breastfeed and when I got pregnant with my daughter, who is now 4 months old, I started worrying that that may happen to me too. I was so lucky to have my independent midwife with me, as my home birth had ended up in hospital and I felt under pressure as baby wouldn't start feeding straight away. my midwife was there the whole time and helped me with it - I know now that I am so lucky about that as hospital staff seem ever so eager to start off babies on formula as they "reject the breast" and to do "topping up".

I had read some information about breastfeeding and latching on but when we got home that night from the hospital I was not at all prepared for what followed. My mum had told me - "feed her 15min on each side to begin with so you both get used to it" - but that was not what Anastasia had in mind. She would feed for over an hour at each side! and would want to eat again in 2 hours! In addition I developed such sore nipples that virtually lost a whole chunk of my right one! But it wasn't the pain that worried me, she didn't seem to gain as well as I wanted her to, and in her second week she did not gain a gram! The third week she gained 20 grams and that after so much effort from both of us was just devastating. I knew something was wrong as my nipples would not heal and I could not believe that my milk was the problem.

I don't know what I would have done without my midwife at this time! She was the one to notice that Anastasia actually had a toungue tie which was causing all that trouble by not allowing her to latch on properly. We had it examined by a lactation specialist who confirmed and sniped it, so my daughter started gaining. She's on one of the lower curves, still trying to catch up and not gaining as much as she is "supposed to" but I don't care, she is gaining enough (about 150g/week) and I will never buy formula! My sister in law also has a baby, she is combine feeding and he has always gained as much as Anastasia. There was a lot of pressure on her to start topping him up from the very beginning but now, because of his supposed "slow gain" they have started to force feed him formula, and at 3 months old he is down to one breast meal a day! It makes me feel so proud we persevered!


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