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Breast is best...most of the time

Updated: Apr 17, 2020

I have been to the brink of crazy several times in the last 7 weeks. I cried, I gritted my teeth and tried to just get on with it, I did all I could to get through it. I was also incredibly lucky because I have a large support network of amazing friends who kept offering to help. A great mum in law who saved my sanity more than once in those weeks. I do the school run every day and the lovely mums there were so supportive, offering advice and sympathy.

But many first time mums don't have a network like this so I have decided to share our story in the hope it might help someone.

Having a third baby I thought would be pretty straight forward. Yes of course, there will be the sleepless nights, the feeding, the nappies and the crying. But I have done this twice before, I have breastfed, I know what to do/expect. Well, let me tell you, I did not. Baby number three did not like sleeping. She liked feeding, a lot. She also cried. And cried. And cried some more. She never seemed to stop. She was never content. I kept thinking something was wrong.

She displayed symptoms of reflux so she was put on Gaviscon Infant. We tried Infacol. We tried probiotic drops. I swaddled her, gave her dummy, tried shushing, white noise and everything else I could think of.

She cried on the school run, she cried at home, she cried at night. I tried giving her formula and she came out in a rash. I cut out dairy from my diet.

Then one of the mums on the school run suggested seeing a cranial osteopath and another mum gave me a number for one who helped her. At that point I would have been willing to dance around naked by the moonlight if that was going to help. We got an appointment arranged.

One day before the appointment was her 6 week check with the health visitor. Once she was weighed the problem became apparent. In the 6 weeks she only gained just over 1lb. A quick trip to the GP the following day and special formula prescribed.

Then we went to see the osteopath. Robert was very nice and gentle with our little one. He checked her sucking technique, looked in her mouth and suggested that she might be tongue tied. He also gave me contact details for a clinic to have this checked out. Then he did some gentle manipulation with her head. The session was very calm and pleasant.

We started topping little lady up with the prescription formula and that seemed to make a lot of difference. I was also expressing milk as she did not really want to feed from me by then.

At the tongue tie clinic (Feeding First) we finally found what the problem was. She had a 90% tongue tie. She could not feed properly, therefore I was not making enough milk and she was hungry. The ladies at Feeding First were incredibly helpful with advice. The procedure of cutting her tongue tie was not pleasant but they were so nice to me and the baby and are still providing support with breastfeeding.

I feel terrible that she was hungry. That I was cross with her for all the crying. I feel cross that nobody noticed and that we lost 6 weeks of her life going through what felt like hell. I tried my best and thought I was doing the best for her by breastfeeding. And if everything was ok, it would have been enough and it would have been the best for her. But it wasn't.

I can't change that. She is now a lot calmer, we sleep at night, she smiles and 'chats' to us now. We are trying to re-establish breastfeeding. I feel like I can start enjoying being a mum of 3 children. I am so grateful for all the support I got from my friends and family and also for the support I got from my children. At 10 and 5 years of age they kept singing to the little one when she cried, they helped with whatever they were asked to and they deserve all the praise in the world for being amazing kids. So this Mother's day I think we will have a lot to celebrate. We got through this, we fixed it and we grew stronger as a family.

Below are the contact details for Robert and for Feeding First, should any of you need them.

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