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Gallstones

A customer sent us an email today with her baby feeding story, we hope you find it useful.

She writes "After giving birth to my gorgeous daughter, Cassie, on the 12th of February, we were both given a clean bill of health and sent off to the after birth centre.

After a great nights sleep, I checked my daughter and her hands and feet were blue and she was having trouble breathing. Cassie was whisked into an ambulance and put on oxygen.

She remained on oxygen (CPAP) for the next 3 days and was nil-by-mouth which meant I couldn't provide for my newborn daughter.

I had never heard of expressing, and on day 3 the nurses taught me to express breast milk. My daughter came off the oxygen and then suffered from severe jaundice.  I was only allowed to hold her for 15-20 minutes at a time, and only for feeding.

Cassie was discharged at 12 days old, about the time my milk started coming in.

At 14 days old Cassie was rushed back to hospital - this time for dehydration. She lost 300 grams in 2 days. I was simply not producing enough milk for her. I was getting between 20-40mls per feed.

I met with lactation consultants, used lact-aids, prescribed medication, used herbal remedies, ate milk-producing foods, old wives tales, expressed for hours on end until she was 10 weeks old. I felt I needed to make a decision. By the time I had breastfed my baby girl, then topped up with formula, expressed and had a drink it was then time to start the whole process again.

I was then struck with what I thought was a gastro bug, but it kept happening every night. I was diagnosed with gallstones. When I was having an 'attack' I couldn't hold my daughter, let alone feed her. My wonderful partner would step in and formula feed. I lasted as long as I could with only panadol, but had to be prescribed something rather stronger inorder to cope with my gallstones. And of course this medicine wasn't safe when breastfeeding. My decision had been made for me.

When Cassie was 12 weeks old, I went in for surgery and definitely couldn't breastfeed afterwards.

I went through a wide range of emotions. The "mothers guilt" appeared and I went through a short period of the blues. It still makes tears well up in my eyes. All throughout my pregnancy, I was adamant on breastfeeding. The thought of formula feeding never even crossed my mind.

The looks I received when making up formula would break my heart. It got tiring trying to explain to people that I really tried breastfeeding, but no one could really understand. They thought I took the 'easy' way out.

But my little girl is a healthy nearly-6 month old and I wouldn't have done it any other way.

I have a great respect for people who breastfeed and for people who bottle feed, whether it be their decision or not. Which ever way a woman decides to go, there are always obstacles to overcome.

As a friend once told me - "Out of difficulties grow miracles" - every child is a miracle.

Sarah M.
Proud Breast/Bottle feeding mother

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