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Vicky and Ted

I knew I had to have an elective cesarean section so I wanted to be as prepared as possible. No one in my family had been able to breastfeed so I didn't think much of it until my midwife and I discussed antenatally expressing colostrum. This started the cogs whirring and I expressed colostrum for 2 weeks before he arrived at 39+1, according to plan. I had expressed in case I had to have a general anaesthetic as I didn't want him missing out on the liquid gold. Luckily I could stay awake, however when we tried skin to skin in theatre he was too big to fit on my chest (10lb 1), so I had to wait until we were in recovery.

When we were in recovery, we tried feeding for the first time, with a little help (manhandling) he latched and had his first little feed! Felt like such a victory! When we were back on the ward we tried feeding again, he had a 15 minute feed and I felt like I was on top of the world, my elective section went to plan and he was feeding like a champ. However my victory was short lived, by day two I had gotten about 10 minutes sleep and he had made his way through all the colostrum I'd harvested as well as intermittent feeding from me. The midwife asked to test him and his blood sugars were low and I was told I had to give formula top ups. Heartbroken, I reluctantly agreed, within a few feeds I'd gone from ambiguous to adamant I wanted to breastfeed.

Over the next few weeks I was repeatedly told he wasn't gaining enough and to keep taking him to get weighed, it wasn't until just before I started weaning on to solids that Lowestoft and Waveney Breastfeeding Support started, between this and him luckily being a little foodie, his weight started heading in the right direction. Attending the feeding cafes was a real inspiration too, being around so many nursing families that went beyond the first few weeks.

I fed Teddy until he was 2.5 years old. I am so proud of this achievement given the lack of support, lack of options and lack of choice I felt I had at the beginning. It is amazing what a little determination and a little support can achieve. Feeding has helped with bumps and scrapes, teething, growth spurts and leaps in his development. Feeding has also kept him safe during a global pandemic and I am so grateful we survived those early days to keep going for as long as we did.

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