I feel very lucky that I had my baby pre lockdown, as I was able to access the face to face support from infant feeding specialist, BFN volunteers and peer support workers.
My first baby was born just before Christmas 2019. I planned a hypnobirth, because I wanted a calm drug free delivery. Unfortunately, my waters were low, when I went for a scan just before and everything changed.
Between Monday and Wednesday, I had multiple interventions ending with me attached to a hormone drip. By Thursday morning I was only 3 cm dilated, my baby was in distress and I had spiked a temperature of 40 degrees. My baby was finally born by emergency caesarean. I was gutted.
My baby girl was put on my chest briefly, then whisked away to neonatal. We were both treated for sepsis and had cannulas fitted – which was very uncomfortable for us and for feeding. I worried about hurting her and I was in pain because of my surgery.
To be honest, the hospital offered no specific breastfeeding support – and some of the midwives showing me had never breastfed before themselves. One midwife suggested I use a rolled up towel under my ‘pendulous” breasts’ but the sister in charge told me off for doing this.
Then my baby lost weight and I was pressured to cup feed. It was a very bad experience and I felt at a loss. I was desperate to get out of hospital and get the breastfeeding support I needed in comfortable and familiar surroundings. Once I was allowed home (on a feeding plan a week later)
I had a breastfeeding peer support worker come to my house and spend over an hour with me working on positioning and attachment. She suggested tongue tie and I got a referral to the hospital where they said there was no tongue tie. But I was still experiencing issues and painful nipples.
When my baby was two weeks old, I attended the BfN Bolsover breastfeeding support group and the support they gave was outstanding. To hear similar experiences from other mums was great. I cried the whole meeting. They offered me cake and comfort.
I finally got a referral to an infant feeding specialist, who came to the house and confirmed that my baby had a posterior tongue tie. When my baby was 6 weeks old, we got her tongue tie released. I also got advice on positioning, and attachment which really helped.
All this time I continued attending BfN support group at Bolsover, then the new Chesterfield support group that opened. By the time baby was 10 weeks old, I was no longer experiencing pain! I was so relieved.
My baby is now 7 months old, exclusively breastfed and I’ve even mastered feeding her in a sling! Thank you!