The trials and tribulations of breastfeeding

When Libby came along, I always knew that I wanted to breastfeed her. I knew it was the best thing for her because of the immunity that she would gain, and I was also very aware of the facts in relation the reduced risk of breast cancer associated with breastfeeding. When it came down to it, I ended up feeding her for 18 months, much longer than I had anticipated. She stopped when my milk changed when I was around 5 months pregnant with Lia. 

I know that breastfeeding Libby was the right thing to do because she has always been really healthy, rarely picking up any illnesses. So when Lia came along, of course I knew that I wanted to breastfeed her as well. Unfortunately, we have had a few problems along the way but we are overcoming them now and I just wanted to share our experience in case other people were in the same boat. 

As soon as Lia was born, she latched on and fed well. She fed again in the hospital before we came home, but when I got her home I struggled to feed her. The first night we were home, I couldn’t get her to feed at all despite trying all the tricks. I started to worry about her getting dehydrated and I knew that downstairs, I had a few bottles of the ready made formula that come with a teat. 

Out of desperation at about 1 am, I went and got a bottle of formula. I put the teat in her mouth and she sucked it, taking on only a couple of drops. Because I realised that she was sucking, I immediately took the formula teat out of her mouth and replaced it with the breast. Hey presto, she started feeding immediately. I had to con her like this with formula just a few more times and she took on only a few drops of it in total, and now she feeds like a dream every time. I know that midwives wouldn’t recommend this because they don’t advocate the use of formula at all, but it worked wonders for us, and if I hadn’t done it I’m not sure I would have been able to breastfeed her at all. 

The next setback came just a couple of days after getting home from hospital, when Libby kindly shared her germs and we all came down with a sickness bug. Touch wood, Lia hasn’t had it yet, but the rest of us have been really ill. It has effected me more than anybody because of breastfeeding. The sickness bug wiped everything out from me, all of my fluid and energy and yet I still had to produce milk. 

Luckily, my milk supply continued and much as it has been hard work, we are still managing. I’m exhausted and haven’t ventured far from the bed since Monday, but I’m hoping that I’ll feel better soon and be able to get back to normal. In the meantime, Libby is totally better and Lia is completely oblivious to it all. 




  1. Marianne Hopwood
    May 14, 2014 / 8:26 pm

    That’s a great tip, I’m glad it’s worked so well, what a gorgeous girl 🙂 I found ready made’s a great thing second time around – I fed Toby all day in hospital and my giant hungry boy was still creaming for more, so I topped up with the formula. When we got home I’d feed on one side, express with an electric pump the other and still occassionally needed to top up with formula last thing at night, but we managed 6 months like that, as opposed to 7 weeks of hell with trying to exclusively do it all by boob with Ollie. I’m a big believer in every baby and family being different and supporting people’s choices xxx

    • Natalie Ray
      May 15, 2014 / 11:06 am

      Thanks Maz. Yeah I totally agree with you, it’s all about what’s best for that baby, even if that doesn’t mean much sleep for mum 😉

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