Monday, 26 August 2013

                               Good or bad?

As a mother of an 18 month old little girl I can honestly say breast-feeding has had it's good side. To see your perfect baby handed to you and to hold her against your chest, it truly is an amazing experience. To watch something so new to the world instantly have the instinct to go to the breast is breath-taking. She was once quite demanding and it was easier and quicker to just pull out the breast and feed her that way. I personally didn't use a breast pump to express but obviously, had I have had people baby sitting my daughter, that would have been a very helpful option for me.
My health visitor Victoria Watson advised me to only feed her twice a day from the breast, as after a while I began to combine feed, and she shouldn't be on formula as much.
The best part about breast-feeding is that you really genuinely do build an unbreakable bond with your child, it's you that she will come to when she's hungry. On a night time, she gets used to you cuddling her and making her feel safe as she gets her fill and falls asleep.

That may all seem pretty sweet and I'm sure for a lot of Mothers out there that is the top and bottom of it. However, the Midwives do not mention when they advise women that 'breast is best' do not inform you that there have been many studies done in order to prove there is a correlation between Post-natal depression and Breast-feeding.

As I did express the good side of breast-feeding I have got to openly admit, for me, bad outweighs the good. As I mentioned she was very demanding as a baby, which is understandable, they ultimately need the milk to grow, but after just going through the major trauma of giving birth and lacking in sleep all the way back from labour, I can tell you now having a baby that will not let go of your breast is almost unbearable. I pushed through obviously, my partner and mother had to return to the hospital to help me, if you are tired you are good to no one. A sleep deprived mother can not cope.
At first, I absolutely loved breast-feeding, once your child hits the first growth spurt though it starts to become a bit too much. It makes you feel like food, and nothing more at times and considering they can be attached from anywhere between 10-45+ minutes at a time anyway, to have that increase is just so much more tiresome, especially through the night.
I am only small, and I didn't have the worlds top diet, but for the past five month, cooking has been an obsession, healthy food is the way forward. If you breast-feed and don't eat a lot, it will take every single piece of energy that you do have and you'll become a 'walking-talking-zombie.'
I'm going to admit, I have not entirely followed to the T the word of my midwife. I decided I had to combine feed and couldn't do sole breast-feeding any more, as I said above my midwife advised twice a day, one formula bottle and for the entire of the day she is to only drink water. I just went with the word of my grandmother, she has cows milk and has a little more breast on occasional days than Victoria recommended, I give her juice as a nice change/treat and I allow my child to have sweets. I was told that to only give her breast-milk to go to sleep with and water when she wakes up is best and after putting that to practise I found that it worked. However, it doesn't work all the time, some nights she will absolutely scream the place down with a temper tantrum because my partner is trying to feed her water and it comes to the point where we have to give in to her eventually. She misses the comfort of me. After me putting in place the water on a night rule, it became a little easier, and sometimes my partner just cuddles her to sleep.

Without doing any research myself via the well known Google. I eventually researched it and I found many articles that had shown that studies have in fact been done.
One example of this is one that I found on the website it states that the government-funded infant feeding practises study II researchers had found data from 2,586 women which assessed issues of feeding and depression 9% of the women fell into the category of major depression. To me that is an outstanding amount of women, and I do think it should be important that before just 'advising' someone to breastfeed they should ask them a lot of questions beforehand. The reason I think this is because I do not believe that breast-feeding on its own causes post-natal depression, I think it's other factors that need to be considered.

My recommendation is that people do breast-feed if they wish to, or even just give it a try, it is really comforting once you get used to it. However, if you do/ or have suffered from depression I would be really careful about it. Bottle-feeding is still going to be quite stressful as you have a new born baby, but at least the baby will definitely get his or her fill in a controlled way. If you are a new mum-to-be or a sufferer of post-natal depression, I hope you have found this blog useful.