As it is National Breastfeeding Week I thought I would share my story of when support sometimes goes wrong and has the opposite effect.
My breastfeeding journey with Elsa only lasted a few weeks and because of that I feel like I had failed myself but with Cleo the journey has been amazing and I have been feeding her for over a year which is more than I had hoped for. I think it is because I have more online support this time round. But when Cleo was a newborn I got some bad support from my health visitor.
So as the majority of you know I didn’t have the best experience when Cleo wa born. After her birth I struggled with her feeding, the mixture of pain from latching on problems and recovering from an emergency C-section wasn’t the best. Almost 2 weeks after Cleo’s birth, my C-section incision reopened and I developed an infection and at the same time I was also suffering from mastitis ( An infection of the milk duct in the breast). One day it just become too much and I was rushed to my local GP, also that day I was meant to be seeing the Health Visitor. I told the HV that I was ill and had to be taken to the GP so was going to miss her appointment. After sitting in the GP waiting room for over an hour and then being seen, I was then greeted outside the doctor’s surgery by the HV, she had thought it would be a good idea to meet me there. With my mum there, we then had to explain again that I couldn’t see her today as I wouldn’t be at home as my mum had to look after Elsa and Cleo at hers but I had to be there to feed Cleo. I thought see would just rebook the appointment. She didn’t, she followed me to my mum’s house.
She then made me feel so uncomfortable that I decided that I should just have the HV appointment anyway. Only for it then to get 100% worse. She asked me about breastfeeding so I went on to explain that I was so tired and needed to rest that I was expressing as well as exclusively feeding so I could give myself a bit of a break. The HV then for the next hour told me not to be so stupid and to just feed her myself and if the bad latch was hurting that much I should get some nipple shields for my nips. Yep. She used the word nips. She then asked if I could afford then and if I could travel the 50 mile round trip that day to go and get some. Even though an hour before I had explained that I was close to being admitted to hospital.
After being pressured for an hour by someone who is seen as a health professional, I did put in a complaint and now I have a lovely HV, who is much more understanding and supportive. I knew that I wanted to push through with feeding Cleo and everything got easier. I can imagine though that there is HV like this, that put off mums from breastfeeding all together because they are too pushy. I have had amazing support from fellow mums online and it has helped me when I need it the most!
You can now vote for me in The Norfolk Pregnancy, Baby and Child 2018 Awards! It takes 30 second to vote and would mean so much to me! You can vote here: https://www.theparentandbabyshow.co.uk/vote-in-the-norfolk-pregnancy-baby-and-child-2018-awards-sponsored-by-voewood/vote-norfolk-blogger/