Lifestyle

How to Deal With Breast Refusal: Fed is Best

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I'm an Australian-based creative, Model and Coach with big dreams of helping aspiring Models make their way into the industry and thrive. I'm obsessed with: integrity, authenticity, a tidy home, smashed avocado, and being the person I needed when I was younger.

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I didn’t even know “breast refusal” was such a thing before my baby Penelope came along!!

Penelope was exclusively breastfed from birth. I thought she was feeding & sleeping like a dream baby. On a 4 hour cycle from delivery – how could I not think I’d hit the jackpot with the perfect baby!? It came as a HUGE surprise when, at 4 weeks, the midwives told me she wasn’t gaining the desired weight they wanted to see for her milestones.

Insert many tears of thinking I was a terrible mother.

During the same visit I was told Penelope had a tongue tie. It was corrected immediately by a specialist here in Sydney. The procedure itself is complete in a matter of seconds, though the after affects can take much much longer. What I didn’t expect was to then have my baby completely reject my breast afterwards.

My breastfeeding journey

At every feed (8 feeds a day x 40min of screaming like I was trying to murder her) I listened to her in utter distress about a process (breastfeeding) that I originally thought of as being completely ‘natural.’

I had to resort to feeding by bottle.

From 5 to 10 weeks I expressed every day for 8 hours to then feed Penelope expressed breast milk via a bottle. All whilst spending ENDLESS hours in the company of lactation specialists and on speed dial with the Australian Breastfeeding Association – all in an attempt to get her back on my breast.

No amount of trying all their 20+ years of experience, proven techniques, skin on skin, listening to women tell me I should eat this, take this supplement… etc has made her go back on.

This has been my view for 16 weeks… The hardest thing for me as a first time mother so far has been accepting breastfeeding hasn’t worked for us (to date).

“Penelope’s “breast refusal” has made me all the more wiser to the concept of #FedIsBest. I’m 100% for breastfeeding, though not to the extent of starving my baby.

A message to all the mothers out there – YOU ARE DOING A GOOD JOB.
Keep going! 

Further Reading: If you’re here for the mama content (hi mama!), you can find more lifestyle articles here.

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