We loved speaking with this Mum, especially when she called her son her superhero. This experience could have been so very different if they had just received the care that all new families deserve and proper feeding and bottle prep advice. We need to make sure that all parents are supported.
Thank you carol-Ann, Robin and Christopher for trusting us to share this, you’re all superheroes to us.
On the 25th April 2016 I was 15 days overdue and due an induction. After a long and complicated labour I gave birth at 02:32 in the morning of the 27th. My son came into this world. The decision to formula feed was made late on, after he’d arrived, due to a mixture of medical conditions and the fact that I would more than likely never produce milk (which indeed, never came).
From the start he had trouble feeding and was later diagnosed with a weakness in his face. We had to feed him with a syringe but even then it was minimal intake.
On day two, my husband and I noticed he was shaking. We asked the midwives first and they said it was fine, we were not happy so we asked a paediatric Dr who was doing his rounds. Thankfully he went and did a heel prick test to test baby’s sugar levels and found he had bad neonatal hypoglycaemia. We needed to get him to eat but the problem was that no midwife was interested in helping us due to them being busy with the breastfeeding Mums, spending up to 1 hour per patient helping them to feed. Eventually, a midwife who was on nights came to take my son and get him eating. I learned from her how to get him to eat with his muscle weakness, but it still took 5 days and the help of specialised glucose gel to get his sugars up to a safe level.
When release day finally came, I got no advice on formula prep, bottle hygiene or introductions to any support groups. When we got home my husband and I had to do research as quickly as possible so we could feed our son. I now know that I should have researched more before I had him, but I had believed that I could breastfeed.
The health visitor was horrible when my son was having problems with his formula and silent reflux as she wouldn’t advise me on anything formula related, and also told me not to feed him more than once every three hours (who the hell says don’t feed a baby?). Obviously it was because I was using formula. Unable to get help from health visitors, nurses or midwives, I eventually turned to my GP. She was amazing; she gave my little one medicine and recommended a new formula which worked wonders for him.
Time and time again people in private, public and those in the medical profession have made me feel bad undeserving of help because I couldn’t breastfeed.
We do get shamed and ignored and it needs to stop.