I think I have been quite unlucky in the breastfeeding department, I have had mastitis (blocked milk ducts) 11 times and Hazel is only 15 weeks old, I kept thinking breast feeding would get easier and kept at it because everyone said it would improve but it didn't for me. Almost every week or so (then every few days) I ended up ill with red sore inflamed breasts sometimes on both sides and flu like symptoms because even a slight tight bra or top would block me up.
I have not been blogging for a while because Hazel has been poorly, she wasn't putting on weight and seemed to be unsettled as well. I now have more or less worked out that it could be a mixture of teething, bad reflux, allergy to regular formula that we had to top her up with because she hasn't been gaining any weight and not eating because of the salty milk from mastitis I kept getting. She is now on anti-allergy milk you can only get on prescription and she is drinking it from the bottle- RESULT, she seems back to her old self again and I am so relieved. I have been caught up in all of this so not had time for other things. Motherhood is amazing but so stressful when your baby is ill I thought it was all a bit too easy at first but now I understand when it becomes hard.
I am still breast feeding a few times a day but probably more for comfort rather than feeding as I have always suspected I never had enough milk anyway but to get to 3 and a half months then have to change over to mostly bottle feeding is a bit disappointing because I worked so hard at it, I've never leaked apart from twice the size of a 50 pence piece, don't get an engorged feeling ever or a "let down" that people talk about. I am surprised at how hard breast feeding was for me. In the hospital it all seemed to be great at first, Hazel latched on o.k and it felt really natural but then we had to top up with formula because my milk hadn't come in, maybe because I had an emergency c-section we had to wait in the hospital until she had gained. I wasn't happy about it because she was a big baby and I wasn't worried about her weight, I was determined to breast feed so fed non stop and we got out, the first 4 weeks she seemed to gain lots of weight then it started going down hill about 6-8 weeks old and at first I thought it was maybe just the usual colic babies tend to get but then she really didn't put on much weight at all and just seemed to be really unhappy, it was really heart breaking and I kept getting mastitis and when you have mastitis your milk goes salty so maybe she stopped eating because of this too. We are still not 100% sure of why exactly, she wouldn't take any bottles or top ups with a cup or pipette and I was so worried she was starving but just had to keep feeding constantly (and I mean constantly sometimes 4 hours slots, no joke - urgh) because that's all she wanted, obviously something was up.
I am a bit disappointed because I was so determined to breastfeed exclusively for a long time. Hazel is on the anti-allergy milk and taking it with the bottle so I can relax and know she is getting enough by the fact she is content and smiling lots again like she used to - the last few days have been so nice and we have been laughing and playing lots and she smiles when she wakes.
It is a bit of a weird feeling seeing her feed from the bottle instead of me though I must admit and I feel upset I haven't managed to make her thrive with my milk but I will get over it. I know it's because it's new for me (just the last few days) Anyway I felt like I had to write this for some reason just to get it out how I felt about it all and I already feel better.
Hope you are all doing well and thanks for still visiting my blog even though I don't post as much. Hopefully now bambino chops is better I will be writing more, but you never know because it's so unpredictable. Here is the latest photo of my main little priority :P ..
UPDATE: Thanks for the comments from everyone it is good to hear others experience, last night was good we got an explanation, the latch she has is fine because it has been checked from various people but when she was inside me there was lots of fluid and her head was extended back instead of tucked in which was part of the reason her head wouldn't become engaged.
We have been going to see an osteopath for her and he says the nerve at the back of her neck seems a bit damaged because her head was extended and this is maybe why her tongue wouldn't latch well enough and in turn she wasn't draining my breasts. (can't remember if he said the nerve was damaged, but I do not it's not serious and wont cause problems in the future, but you get the idea) She is probably easting better on the bottle because it is easier to get the milk. He is a miracle worker. It makes sense to me because the actual feeding was checked by doctors, health visitors and lots of other mums. It also feels nice to have an explanation about it all and for there to be a mechanical reason for it.
UPDATE OF THE UPDATE: When I gave Hazel a long breast feed the other day I noticed she was being sick a lot more than usual and the other day too so the doctor things she is very sensitive to something in my milk so now I am stopping feeding all together and she is going to have some allergy tests done to see what she is allergic to. What a shame all that time I was feeding her and I was maybe making her sick, the hypo allergenic milk seems to settle her stomach better because she put on 65kg in one week!! Amazing after not putting weight one for weeks on end and the fact she is so contented again SO looks like it was a mixture of a lot of factors. Thank god we worked it out.