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Breast is best.

I can honestly say I LOATHE that slogan.

That said slogan has A LOT to answer for. Okay I'll quit it with the capital letters, but this is one topic that gets me hot under the collar, can you tell?! ;)

Seriously though, all slogans like that do is put pressure on the mother. Pressure that is absolutely not needed. As if caring for a newborn isn't hard enough already!

When my first born, Caleb was born he latched on immediately. I thought great! That's that then, or so I thought. What I didn't plan for was the hormones that it took to produce the milk to send my skin into crazy town. Yep, acute acne on my face and back. I do not exaggerate when I say the pain was excruciating, and this is coming from a girl who at that point had only given birth weeks previous :/. I couldn't even wash my face without it feeling like I was splashing acid on it. I couldn't sleep properly at night because I would wake every time my face turned and touched the pillow. I couldn't even hug my own child close or smother him in kisses in fear of my now heavily infected skin touching his. I was in short, devastated.

My GP was at a complete loss with what to do with me as I was breastfeeding, so referred me to a dermatologist. I will be forever grateful to the NHS and the person who cancelled their appointment last minute. I was seen immediately.

What followed was a course of treatment that meant I was unable to breastfeed.

I cannot tell you the amount of guilt I piled on myself for choosing to take the treatment. Deep down I knew I was making the right decision, as the acne was so bad it was affecting my well being, but making the decision to stop was gut wrenching. Caleb was so happy on the breast, I felt like I was taking that away from him, and as the media seems to portray, giving him a substandard replacement. I knew I couldn't continue how I was though, and so I begrudgingly fed Caleb exclusively with formula.

And what did I go on to discover...

The best way to feed a baby, in my humble opinion, is whatever suits babe and mama. If that's breast, great. If it's bottle (expressed or formula), great.

A fed baby is a happy baby. A happy baby is a happy mama.

Hmmm maybe I'll get into this slogan making business myself ;)

So with that said, this time around I went in with a very clear head when it came to feeding Archie. Whatever suited us best, and by us I mean our entire family. It turns out, for now, breast.

I'll be honest and say I'm thrilled to be breastfeeding again, but that is because Archie is happy, and I am happy, and I will feed as long as those two facts remain.

7 comments

  1. Claire, that must have been really difficult. Thank you for sharing your story. It's amazing how everyone's body is different and reacts to hormonal changes in different ways. I hope your breastfeeding journey with Archie remains mutually beneficial!

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    1. Oh thank you, Roseann. I am loving feeding this time around. I can only hope it continues that way! xx

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  2. Great post Claire! I also LOATHE that slogan.
    I didn't breast feed my son and hearing that slogan makes me so mad everytime....it's just massively incorrect in some situations. My breast....pumping out is chemical laden milk from all the medication I had to take after pregnancy throwing my pre-existing thyroid disorder into chaos after the birth....would most certainly NOT have been best for my son!!!

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    1. Thanks so much for reading, Hayley! I'm sorry you've also been at the negative end of that slogan too. Feeding is not always a straight forward thing. Less judgement and more support is what's needed. It's so good to know that support like that lies within the blogging land ;) xx

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  3. "A fed baby is a happy baby" Very well put! Everyone needs to do what is best for baby and mommy alike! Tomorrow is friday and you will have made it through your first week flying solo!! Well done sweet Mommy! You got this!! -Julie-

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    1. Thank you, Julie!! My celebration was cut short by a bug, but I'm now back in business and ready for the week ahead ;) xx

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  4. I love this!! I had so much trouble breast feeding my first son and I cried a lot about it and felt so bad!! Then I was so determined to breast feed my second son that I armored myself with so much information and resources. Luckily it was an easy journey for us. But, really, you are so right when you say whatever works for you and your family is the right way.

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