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World Breastfeeding Week 2016: My experience and trials {from allergies to reflux}

This week is the World Breastfeeding Week.

wbw2016

“National Breastfeeding Celebration Week run from 18th – 27th June 2016.  This extended week is an opportunity for mothers, breastfeeding supporters and health professionals to come together and share what works well to support breastfeeding in local communities. The week incorporates two weekends and concludes on Monday 27th June.  At a national level the aim is to raise awareness of the health and wellbeing benefits of breastfeeding for mothers, their infants and the long term public health for everyone.

This year National Breastfeeding Celebration Week is concentrating on how ‘everyone in local communities can support mothers to breastfeed, whenever and wherever they are’. The week provides a fantastic opportunity to showcase all the good work that is going on around England, to share ideas, inspire others and promote the support available to women and their families.” {Unicef.co.uk}

It was really important for me to talk about it and to share my own experience with you. Not that I am exceptional, no, the total opposite, but to show that sometimes, things do not go as they should or as we loved them to.

At the moment I decided to be a mother, I knew I will breastfeed my babies as my mum , my grandmother did and all my family members as far as I remember in my childhood. Born in the 80’s, it was absolutely normal to see a woman breastfeeding a baby. There were baby bottles but they were here only to supplement the supply not to replace {in my souvenirs}.

BREASTFEEDING

I do remember starring at my aunties and my mum feeding their babies {my little sister} and thinking, this is magical. How can my mum feed someone from her body when I cannot?

Well, after growing up, I did know how and still find this absolutely amazing! A woman body is meant to do it, absolutely naturally and Baby reaches after it just after birth! Back to nature! Green living is all about it for me: Why to use a substitute to replace something existing, eco that does beautifully work {in theory}?


Breasfeeding experience with Baba1


Pregnant with Baba1 5 years ago, things were clear and obvious for me: BREASTFEEDING. I read a lot of books, seen a lot of videos on how to latch on baby, really nine months of intense research. How did I prepare myself? Reading and get all the things I will need to succeed ready:

  • Lanolin for sore breasts
  • Nursings pads for leaky boobs
  • Nursing bras

That’s all really. These were all I needed, I thought.

AM_b_bon_Benefitsofskintoskin_WP

Baba1 was born after a really fast labour stage 2 and was here in my arms after 15 minutes {stage 1 length was 2 hours}. As soon as she appeared, I have been lucky to do skin to skin contact. I do remember this intensive instant, holding in my arms, my first baby: looking at this little human-being that just got out of myself! She was immediately looking for the breast and It was really impressive. She latched on so perfectly! Even the midwife was surprised. She just did it from the first minute and we did not struggle at all with breastfeeding. I had sore breasts but it was expected but because she latched on perfectly, It was soon resolved.

But we struggled, not where I thought. Since birth, my little Baba1 suffered a lot with diarrhoeas and tummy pain {you will say common with breastfed babies and with colic as I have been told repeatedly until I was unable to stand this statement anymore and it made me cry…a lot}.

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She was unable to sleep more than one continuous hour {day and night}, unable to settle, just crying almost all the time. The only way to calm her was to put her on my breast and she will eventually settle and make a Pooplosion! I started using reusable nappies with a 15 Bamboozles set. Everyday I was using 15 washable nappies and it was not enough: so every night I was washing them and tumble drying them until I gave up…

MOBYWRAPBaba1 was almost all the time on my breasts or in  my arms: Thanks BABYWEARING and my Mobywrap. No need to tell that we did co-sleeping! We were restless with a what seems to be a very happy baby but suffering with bad eczema and bad bowel movements.

I have breastfed her until she was 4 months old. Why did I stop?

Since her birth, I went to see GP’s every week for her eczema and her diarrhoea issues and sleep problems, talked to our Health Visitor, trying to find someone to help us. I suggested that she might have some allergies but no one listened to me. I have been even said once, that my anxiety was the trigger of all this situation.

Breastfed Babies cannot have allergies.

Well, I really cried a lot as my baby was clearly suffering and it was obvious that it was linked to me but was it my milk? If yes, how? I started to avoid some foods but with no results. Meanwhile I started to notice that every time I was eating some porridge, her eczema and diarrhoea flared up! Again, trip to my “beloved GP” back in York, and as always, been only prescribed MOISTURISING creams. Nothing more, nothing else.

When Baba1 had her 2 months jabs, we ended to A&E in the middle of the night as her eczema on her face started to “leak” and was producing a lot of pus. We have been given some Antibiotics which solved the problem for the treatment time and afterwards back again.

Tired of all this, I went in France in my Family to see our family allergy specialist. Yes, because in my family, a lot of allergies runs! Few prick-tests, and two hours later, the french consultant gave me the most relieving news I have ever heard: Egg and Cow Milk Protein Allergies! I was not crazy! Yes, my Baby was breastfed but she was allergic from birth!

HOW TO SPOT COW MILK ALLERGY

Back to UK, my little Baba was 3 months old. Back to our GP with our proofs, we have been eventually referred to an allergy consultant. Well as the first appointment was only one month later, I changed my diet but with no improvement so clearly, there was something else.

aveeno-body-lotion1First appointment, with our french proofs, we had new prick tests. I asked the Consultant to test her for oats and he refused, it was impossible. But I was sure. Prick tests confirmed the egg and Milk Cow protein allergies: nothing new for us. He prescribed us some Aptamil Milk for allergic babies and some AVEENO CREAM {yes, it contains oats!}. I explained him that I was really worried to apply the cream as I was sure she had an issue with oats. He was clear, I am silly.

Back home, we stopped breastfeeding {it was really heart-breaking but I just wanted her to feel better} and started the Aptamil Milk and the Aveeno.

RESULTS: BACK TO A&E

NEOCATE LCPLeaky eczema and bad vomiting. We asked to see the consultant as soon as possible which has been refused {I love York Teaching Hospital}. Huby was so upset that he went directly there and asked to talk to the consultant: You cannot let a baby in this state! We then have been prescribed Neocate Milk.

Things started to settle : no more eczema, no more diarrheas. Of course, no more aveeno {my own decision}!

 

When BABY was 9 months old, we moved to Exeter and we saw a real Consultant who listened to me. Results: Baba was allergic to Eggs, Soya, Cow Milk proteins and OATS, and little sensitivity to fish!

Now 5 years later, things are settled and everything is behind us!

But I have learnt a lot from this. ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOURSELF whatever people say. If your GP does not listen to you, CHANGE!

Breastfeeding is in theory the best but not always.


Breastfeeding Experience with Baba2


Baba2 was born 20 months ago. She is a rainbow baby.

babyI really wanted to breastfeed her the longer possible but again I was not the only one to decide. Baba2 was unable to latch on and a too tired newborn. Delivery was fast too but she just could not handle it. I hold on 3-4 weeks until she has been referred for important loss weight. She has been diagnosed with bad reflux.

 

Again, we had to bottle feed as I cannot thicken my milk? Can I? Yes, if I use a breast pump. {It is the subject of another blogpost}


Preparing for Baba3


This time round, I do not expect anything. There are too many factors to consider: Myself and Baby.

So I will prepare myself to all eventualities to be able not to exactly “breastfeed” but more to be able to provide my milk to my baby whatever the way.

empowerment

I will publish next week my breastfeeding Essentials lists and later: Bottle feeding essentials. This list will be based on my only experience and you might not be able to understand everything as normally breastfeeding is so simple. But as you have read, not always.

My conclusion is to never judge people who bottle-feed their babies, you just do not know why.

I will be happy to learn your own experience. Feel free to share your thoughts, views and feeling about it.

 

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