Wednesday, July 13, 2011

She Did What!? Wednesday - By Life With A Fussy Eater 2.0

Milk Maid Mess - By Life With A Fussy Eater

When I delivered my first darling girl when I was in my late 30s, I experienced a rather unusual encounter with a lactation consultant. Fortunately, I was mature enough to not get completely freaked out by deal with the situation, and it left me with a very good “She did what?” story to tell.

But I often wonder what would have happened had I been a much younger new mum, and the trauma that this encounter would have left me in.

In hospital, it did not take me long to realise that mid-wives are a bit thingy about c-sections. So within the first 24 hours after delivering Darling No.1 I had been asked dozens of times why I had a c-section, even when the mid-wife was looking at the large scar on my spine from multiple back surgeries.

I also knew enough about having a c-section to know that sometimes it takes a little while for your milk to come in. So while Darling No.1 was screaming her lungs out, I was trying to calmly will my milk to arrive. Meanwhile, none of the mid-wives were offering any help in the way of a bottle, which apparently is just as bad as a c-section.

I cannot recall what day we were up to when I began to sense that there wasn’t a lot happening and I was getting just a tad bit worried. I suggested to Mr Fussy, a farmer, that perhaps I needed to ask a mid-wife about some formula to help calm the escalating situation. His reply to this was, “No! I’ve seen what happens to the lambs that don’t get their mother’s colostrums!”

So now I had a screaming newborn, an irrational husband and a guilty complex.

A mid-wife asked if I would like to see the visiting lactation consultant. We said yes, and she arrived later that day.
Photo thanks to The House of Mouse.
She was a tiny woman with only a whisper of a voice. She was the type of woman who stands in your personal space. I scooped up Darling No.1 to give myself a buffer. I told her how little milk (if any) was coming out and that I would like to give the baby a bottle; could someone show me where to get one?

She blankly stared at me as though I had just spoken perfect Greek to her. Then a lecture commenced about how it was possible to breast feed a baby through a “wet nurse”; that we could probably find one by looking on the bulletin board in the hospital lobby.

I kept looking at Mr Fussy, but he was not looking concerned.

She then proceeded to tell us that breastfeeding this way would allow a bond to form between Daddy and baby too, especially if Daddy took his shirt off and held the baby. Did Daddy want to do that now?

Alarm! Alarm!

“Sure I’ll hold the baby”, said Mr Fussy as he wrestled the baby from my arms and totally missing the shirt bit.

Now defenceless and realising that I was the only one listening to what was going on, I started to tear up a little. “Look, I just want to give her some formula to calm her down, so I can calm down and let my milk come in.”

Again she ignored me and proceeded with telling me her story. How she had so much milk for her first baby, but nothing for the second. How she found a wet nurse and is now BFF with her. Blah, Blah, Blah.
All the while Mr Fussy is happily snuggling Darling No.1 as I am left standing with this lunatic about 5 inches from my face. I started to wail. I let the tears fall fast and hard. The baby began to wail with me and Mr Fussy jumped up in alarm (at last). A very young, hip, cool mid-wife arrived at my door and asked if I needed any help.

YES! I blurted out that I just wasn’t up to talking to the lactation consultant anymore and could she please just leave and don’t come back come back later. I asked if someone could please just show me where to make up a bottle of formula.

The lactation consultant reluctantly left and the hip mid-wife and I went in the opposite direction towards the nursery to get a bottle.

“Do you want to file a complaint?” she asked quietly. “Yes. Yes, I do!” I replied as I wiped my eyes. “I’m not really upset” I told her “I just didn’t know how else to get rid of her.” “Good move,” she replied.

Sometime in the middle of the night I was woken by Bridget, a rather large Irish mid-wife. It was time for a feed she told me. In a blurry-eyed daze I got out of bed as she scooped up Darling No.1. I started to tell her my tale of woe when she interrupted.

“Darling, I’ve heard of yer troubles and that’s nothing ta worry ‘bout. Let me get the dear bub on ya, just like this,” she said as she wacked the baby to my breast. Then with her big hand she pumped my boob (honestly, I was too tired to care). “I use to milk the kittens on the farm like this when I was a wee lass.” And with that, I swear, my milk came in.

I never saw Bridget again. She was an angle in the night. I filed that complaint though, because I didn’t want another new mum to be given such poor assistance or advice. At least Mr Fussy had the sense to keep his shirt on!
___ . . . ___ . . . ___

The Fussy Eater's Mum is the fabulous woman behind Life With A Fussy Eater and creator of HealthyChart, a magnetic incentive chart to encourage healthy eating and exercise habits in kids (and adults!).

She moved all the way from New York City to the Fussy Farm in rural WA where she fell in luuuurve and never looked back. She lives on the land, amongst the sheep, with Mr Fussy (who doesn't know she blogs) and her two Darlings.

She blogs about food & nutrition, being an Uber Mum (yes, she says Mum not Mom - she's fully Ausmerican now), the original Fussy Eater and sponsoring awesome bloggers. You can stalk her on Twitter too!

Next week: Kim from The Armory dishes the dirt on... his dog.

Send your S/He Did What!? submissions to


  1. I had a beautiful midwife just like that in the middle of the night- after a string of bad ones all day. But nothing as horrible as that! Some people just shouldn't be allowed to talk should they?

  2. Wow, that's an amazing story. I had my own Bridget in the middle of the night on Chase's second night of non-stop crying. My milk came in the next day. Thank God for the Bridget's of the world.

  3. I think sometimes professionals can miss the point. 
    With both my kids I was never offered any assistance or help really. The first feed with Bluey we established a position to nurse him in and that was it. 
    I have no idea how I was able to beastfeed my two, I don't remember researching it prior to having Bluey. The only advice I ever got about breastfeeding that it was best to avoid dummies and bottles as they're different to nipples. Of course this is different now. Surprising how much changed in 3 years (between my 2). 

  4. Seagull didn't want to attach to feed for most of the time we were in hospital because he was so tired from jaundice. I spent a couple of days expressing colostrum (and lots of it) while the midwives fed him. On my last night in hospital, there was a very sweet and incredibly overworked (they were a midwife down that night) midwife who came in every spare second she had and helped us until Seagull finally latched on and had a feed with me using a nipple shield. I am so grateful to her for persisting and helping us when she was so busy.

  5. We must have been on complete opposite sides of the world. When I had my first they whisked her away and commenced bottle feeding her formula without even asking me.

    No lack of milk either, my boobs were enormous, also engorged though. I also always get the trainees - Never had so many hands on my boobs at the same time. and none of them were my baby or my partner.

  6. You had a C section AND used a bottle? WHAT KIND OF BRAZEN HUSSY ARE YOU? 

    Bring in a wet nurse? No wonder your man's eyes lit up :-)      It is amazing just how much pressure gets laid on mums when it comes to feeding their kids. Just do what you can do and stay chilled. All is cool ...

  7. Yes Glen, we do have to do what we can do. I hope no new, young mum's ever encounter this woman because she's not helping the cause, so to speak.


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