Reflecting on 6 months Exclusively Expressing

6 months ago it was hard work, I was pumping every 2-3 hours and we didn’t know if W would live, never mind ever breastfeed but we were determined to find a way, SHE WILL BREASTFEED we said. Well, despite our efforts she hasn’t fed from the breast but she does enjoy a 100% breastmilk diet.

At 4 months I couldn’t take what had become 2-hourly pumping pressure any more, Chops was suffering, I saw myself reflected in his behaviour and it wasn’t pretty. That aside, I wasn’t producing enough milk despite pumping every 2 hours and regular ‘pumpathons’ where I’d get lots of friends and their kids around to play while I sat and did nothing other than to pump and feed Willow. Her weight gain was slipping off the curve despite this, something had to be done.

I phoned the dietician for what would turn out to be the last time. I didn’t speak to Willow’s dietician as she was out of the office, instead I spoke to an idiot called Amanda who said it was time they “stepped in” and advised I give Wriggles a high-energy formula every other feed and (this is the best part) that I DUMP my expressed foremilk and give her only my hind milk. I kid you not, this was the dumbass advice of the Frimley Park Hospital dietician. I asked what about the vital nutrients in my foremilk and asked about having my milk evaluated as I’ve been told it’s very common for breastmilk to contain more energy than these high energy formula, she said the problem with breastmilk is that it’s variable throughout the day, the benefit of formula is that it’s consistent.

When I get my act in gear there will be a formal complaint, but thank F I’m informed in breastmilk constitution, I wonder how many sick babies no longer recieve vital Mummy milk because of this woman and the thousands like her around the globe.

Anyway, W had a grand total of three formula feeds, it broke my heart, though it wasn’t the high energy rubbish that had been sent through to our local chemist, it was at least organic so she wasn’t getting allsorts of growth hormones added via the cows milk!

Then the most amazing thing happened, my tribe of Mama’s pledged to pump for our baby more regularly and since then the most amazing women share their liquid gold with our daughter. I will never be able to thank these women enough.

So 6 months on, I still pump every 3 hours in an ideal World, often it’s 3-4 hours and our little girl still gets her breastmilk, no artificial food in sight.

Pumping is simply a part of our lives now, it’s so vital to brain development that it has to be. My milk supply goes up and down, I take Domperidone on a very low dose and fenugreek supplements and I drink mothers milk tea which has every galactagogue going in it. I don’t know if they help but there’s one thing that never fails and that’s a fridge full of milk!

So thank-you, beautiful Mama’s, you will forever be a very special part of our lives, we love you.

If you want to milk share, but don’t have quite as amazing friends as I do, you can contact HMFHB (human milk for human babies) and they’ll link you up to Mamas nearby!

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