Esther & Maisie, Newmarket

As a new Mum I had read all the literature and was sold on the benefits of breast feeding, it felt really important to me to provide Maisie with the best start in life that I could. I had also imagined that it should be pretty straightforward, this was where I can unstuck a bit. Maisie was born 16 days early, and weighing in at 7lb1oz was a healthy weight, whilst in the hospital we managed to get her to latch on a couple of times and she seemed to suckle for a bit and so I knew she was getting that all important colostrum. However, when we got home things didn’t quite work out – she would suckle for a short while and then lose interest and stop. Despite numerous attempts by day four I had to resort to giving her a bottle of formula, as my milk was slow to come in and Maisie was really fretful – she was hungry and I couldn’t provide for her. It was at this point a friend recommended Sarah, who returned my voicemail and promised to come out to see us the next day. Her confidence in the fact that we would get Maisie latched on the breast gave me the boost I needed. Sarah advised using a supplementary feeding system, with me expressing milk and then offering this to Maisie through a tube that I attached to my finger. I hired a hospital grade pump from Sarah to increase my milk production, which soon began to flow! It took a week for Maisie to get the hang of sucking on the finger, we then moved on to nipple shields and once again it took about a week for her to get the hang of suckling on my breast through the shield. Some days we took backward steps and I had to give her a bottle, but as we both grew in confidence we dropped the nipple shield and then there we were breast feeding as if it were the most natural thing in the world. Maisie is now seven weeks old and we’ve established the breastfeeding routine, last week we even braved a public feed in a cafe. So my advice would be to persevere, Sarah’s confidence and tips gave me the strength to continue and I’m so glad I did.

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