I could not have done it without Sarah!
My first son was born 6 weeks prematurely he was whipped out via emergancy c-section after discovering a problem with my placenta was stopping him from growing. It was a huge shock! He was born at 34 weeks and 3lbs in weight.I didn't really have a birth plan - but that wasn't it!
Sadly I didn't know Sarah at this time.
I am blessed/ cursed it turns out with a serious over-supply of milk. To cut a long story short Elliott wasn't mature enough to suck so my only option was to express milk to feed him. This is usually very difficult for premature mothers but as I had such a large supply I was very lucky enough to be able to express far more than required for my tiny baby.
The advice from the hospital was to express as much as possible so i followed their advice.
When Elliott was large enough to suck, it wasn't as straightforward as I had hoped he just couldn't latch on.
I was told that my boobs were too large for his little mouth. This seemed plausible to me at the time as my nursing bra is a 32L!
Eventually they gave me a nipple shield and he began to feed - or so it seemed. I had no idea it wasn't normal to have the entire pillow soaked in milk at each feed. The sent us home on the nipple shield with the advice to just use formula if i didn't get on with it. NO WAY!
I felt very strongly against this especially as I had to clear 3 freezer draws to bring my expressed milk home.
I went through another month of him putting on weight perfectly
but being soaked in milk at every feed and having terribly damaged
bleeding nipples. I attended over 12 different breastfeeding support
groups, had health visitors visit me at home and was on the phone to the
support lines constantly, I then got mastitis (horrific to put it
No one could work out why I had a problem as he was putting on weight.
Then one nurse realised that the milk was literally pouring into him without him having to suck and found it hilarious - I lost my sense of humour.
On my 3rd bout of mastitis I was at my whits end, The GP told me to give up breastfeeding.
I didn't want to as I had so much milk and wanted Elliott to have the best start he possibly could after a tough entrance. Plus I didn’t know how on earth I could get rid of the milk. I was so upset but thought Imay have to follow their advice just to get well again.
Then I found Sarah!
I cannot tell you how relieved I was when she walked through my
door. She turned up with no notice at all on a Sunday evening - far
above the call of duty.
My husband and I were clearly sceptical after so many people including leading paediatricians had already checked thoroughly.
As soon as we started talking I felt at ease and i just knew that she could help me. She also had a premature baby so had lots of personal experience to share.
She checked Elliott's mouth and found a serious tongue tie, she
was able to show it to us and explain clearly how and why this would
cause a problem.
She also explained how with my milk supply the expressing I had to do would have just increased it even further.
I had never heard of a tongue tie before but was relieved it wasn't just me not being able to do it right.
She explained everything very clearly - whilst I was sitting with cabbage leaves down my bra to ease the mastitis!!!
She explained that it was actually very common and invited me to visit her group where other babies had had the procedure done.
I did that the next day and then decided to go ahead with the procedure.
She fitted us in at her home the very next day and there was no looking back.
It was a remarkably easy and quick procedure, Elliott cried momentarily then she helped me and he latched on for the very first time - all in a matter of minutes.
I think we all cried with joy!
As Elliott was already 3 months old and I was seriously engorged with enough milk to feed the world, it wasn't an instant fix it took a lot of perseverance and practice, but I wasn't alone, Sarah was there for me every step of the way. In person, on the phone, in text messages in the middle of the night.
I cannot imagine what would have happened if I had not found her.
Elliott got the hang of it eventually and I managed to feed him until he was 18 months old. Much longer than I had planned but I had a very large milk supply to slowly reduce and he and I found a lot of comfort in it.
I now also have another son. I am pleased to say I managed to deliver naturally with no drugs (just a lot of monitoring!) You can guess who the first person we phoned was when he too would not latch on!!
Unsurprisingly he also had a tongue tie but because thanks to Sarah we knew what it was we were able to catch it much earlier and after a little use of the nipple shield again I am now happily feeding him and have managed to keep my milk supply under control. Thanks to Sarah and all of her advice and selfless devotion of time and care to those in need.
I am also making use of my oversupply and donating some to the NeoNatal babies who need it.
I will never forget the difference she has made to me. Despite having a family of her own she somehow is always there when you need her.
I cannot recommend her enough! Should I ever have another child I would not hesitate to call on Sarah as a midwife, advisor and breastfeeding Guru - she is naturally talented and a real expert.