The Apprentice’s Michelle Dewberry has discussed her ‘painful’ breast pumping journey after her newborn son’s premature birth at 31 weeks.
The business star, 40, who gave birth three weeks ago, explained that she has ‘struggled’ to express milk and that the night pumps are a ‘nightmare’.
Posting on Instagram, alongside a black and white photograph of herself using a breast pump in the middle of the night, Michelle discussed how the beginning of the journey was ‘super hard’ but encouraged other mums to persevere.
Honest: The Apprentice’s Michelle Dewberry has opened up about her ‘painful’ breast pumping journey after her newborn son’s premature birth at 31 weeks
In the emotional caption she penned: ‘Shout out to the Pump Army!!! (this is me at 03.00am today, half asleep doing my best impression of Daisy the cow, while desperately trying not to wake up too much!)
‘So. Let’s talk Breast pumping for a moment (sorry boys! Maybe close your ears for this bit).
‘One of the challenges of having a premmie is the need to provide breast milk; a) often without your body knowing you’ve had a baby if you’ve had an emergency c-section, b) often months before your body would naturally be ready to deliver milk and c) often without a baby to breast feed.
‘You are suddenly plunged into a world of Breast pumping / expressing… This new world is packed full of pumps, bottles, washing and sterilising. Trust me, it ain’t fun (or at least, it isn’t for me!).’
Candid: Posting on Instagram, alongside a black and white photograph of herself using a breast pump, Michelle discussed how the beginning of the journey had been ‘super hard’
Detailing her progress she added: ‘The beginning of this journey for me was super hard. Painful isn’t even the word and I felt like giving up most days…I will forever be grateful to the midwives who sat with me for ages helping me to get the tiniest amounts of colostrum with a syringe. I would be over the moon if I even managed to get 1ml’
‘I struggled with expressing so much that I had more visits from the lactation/breast nurses than I had hot dinners. (It really did hurt me so much.) Those girls have probably seen more of my boobs this past 3 weeks than they have of anyone else’s in 3 years!
‘But, I persevered and now I *finally* have a tiny freezer stash of milk, which feels like THE biggest achievement. I’m never gonna win ‘the world milking championships’, but I’m happy with where I am.’
Emotional: The business star, 40, who gave birth prematurely three weeks ago, explained that she has ‘struggled’ to express milk and that the night pumps are a ‘nightmare’
She signed off by saying: ‘So, if you’re just starting out your pump journey. Keep going if you can (and want to!) and know that it does get easier – I promise (the night pumps will always be a nightmare tho if you’re anything like me).’
It comes after she gave an emotional update about her newborn son from his hospital bedside earlier this week.
On Thursday Michelle explained that her baby faces ‘a couple of challenges’ and insisted she will ‘fight for him with every inch of her being.’
Posting on Instagram, alongside a photograph of herself cradling her newborn son, Michelle discussed enduring preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM).
Fighter: The TV star, who gave birth prematurely three weeks ago, explained on Thursday that her baby faces ‘a couple of challenges’ and insisted she will ‘fight for him with every inch of her being’
Reflecting: Alongside a photograph of herself cradling her newborn son, Michelle discussed enduring preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM) earlier this week
Michelle wrote: ‘Today I would have been 34 weeks pregnant. When I experienced PPROM at 28 weeks, we set 34 weeks as my goal.
‘Every day, I ticked off the days, counting down to this moment, wishing it so. We never made it. We reached only 31weeks.
‘So today, I am not being wheeled down to theatre, I am instead sitting by my son’s hospital bed and absolutely in love- He has my heart.’
Showing the strength of her character, she continued: ‘He will sadly have a couple of challenges in the short term, but he has the most determined and strong willed Mummy.
Skin-to-skin: Recently, Michelle took to Instagram to share a sweet snap of herself cuddling her newborn son in the neonatal intensive care unit
‘I will fight for him with every inch of my being. (His Daddy’s not too bad either!) I feel blessed to be this little guys mum. We have so many exciting adventures ahead, I simply can’t wait.’
Recently, the business star revealed she was giving her baby skin-to-skin contact in a bid to help his health and their bonding experience.
Michelle took to Instagram to share a sweet snap of herself cuddling her newborn son in the neonatal intensive care unit as she revealed it was her ‘favourite’ things to do.
Skin-to-skin contact has a range of benefits including keeping your baby warm and feeling safe, as well as helping to prevent infections.
He’s here: Michelle recently revealed that she had welcomed her first child to the world and had given birth at 31 weeks, she is yet to reveal his name
Three weeks ago Michelle revealed that she had welcomed her first child to the world and had given birth at 31 weeks, she is yet to reveal his name.
Taking to Instagram, she shared a trio of images of the tot from within hospital and added a gushing caption about the arrival and her complicated pregnancy.
Filling fans in on the birth, she wrote: ‘I am super proud and happy to share the news that I am now a Mummy!! My beautiful little man was brought into this world way too early (31 weeks) following further complications.’
WHAT IS PRETERM PREMATURE RUPTURE OF MEMBRANES?
Preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM) is a pregnancy complication that occurs when an expectant mother’s waters break before 37 weeks.
Once the amniotic sac has broken, it raises the risk the baby will be born prematurely, or the mother or baby will suffer an infection.
PPROM affects just three per cent of pregnancies in the UK and US, but is thought to be responsible for around 30-to-40 per cent of premature births.
Its cause is usually unknown.
Previously having a preterm birth, an infection of the reproductive system or vaginal bleeding raises the risk, as does smoking during pregnancy.
Symptoms can include:
- A sudden gush of fluid from the vagina
- Leaking fluid
- Feeling wet in your underwear or vagina
PPROM is diagnosed via a speculum that looks inside the vagina for fluid leaking from the cervix.
A pH test then determines if the fluid is amniotic, vaginal or urine.
Treatment depends on the symptoms, pregnancy and a woman’s general health.
Bed rest may be required, with doctors monitoring for signs of labour, as well the baby’s health and indications of infection.
Steroids may be given to help the baby’s lungs grow and antibiotics might be prescribed to reduce the risk of infection.
Tocolytic medicines may be given to prevent premature labour.
However, in some cases, labour may be the best option, such as if there are complications.
Pregnant women are rarely induced before 34 weeks.
PPROM’s main complication is a premature birth, however, it can also lead to infections of the amniotic fluid or membranes, separation of the placenta from the uterus, or a C-section.
Source: University of Rochester
Michelle went on: ‘He is already showing that he takes after his mamma and is a strong, feisty little human. Having got through my complicated pregnancy, I have now entered the next chapter on our journey, that of NICU.
‘I wouldn’t wish NICU on anybody and certainly not in a pandemic. It is exhausting, draining and often very scary… Here’s hoping we graduate this chapter as quickly, as healthy and as safely as humanly possible.’
She had previously revealed she had been in hospital for a month after her waters broke early.
The star took to social media to reveal she’d passed the 30th week of her pregnancy, but had been hospitalised after suffering from preterm premature rupture of the membranes (PPROM), which can trigger early labour.
Michelle first announced she was expecting her first child in April, but confessed that the COVID-19 pandemic had ‘taken away many of the small joys of pregnancy.’
She had been updating fans on her condition on Instagram, explaining she was hospitalised after rushing to visit her mum when lockdown restrictions were eased.
The star revealed she’d been diagnosed with PPROM, which is a complication in pregnancy when the amniotic sac, or waters, burst before the 37th week, and sometimes triggers premature labour.
Due to COVID-19 limitations, Michelle also revealed she’s been unable to have visitors during her time in hospital, calling the early days ‘horrendous and traumatic.’
In a post shared on 26 June she wrote: ‘You can now visit a loved one’, they said. After months of lockdown, I didn’t need asking twice! I couldn’t get over to Hull to see my Mum quick enough!
‘Sadly, no sooner had I arrived, my waters unexpectedly broke, *very, very* prematurely (this is called PPROM).
‘Que me immediately being admitted to the nearest hospital. What followed next was pretty horrendous I’m not gonna lie and traumatic, to put it mildly.
‘Over a week later, I haven’t moved and that hospital has become my current home – looks like I won’t be going anywhere for a while. No visitors are allowed, at all-no exceptions-because of Covid so it’s just been me and my bump.’
Michelle sadly suffering a miscarriage in 2006. The TV star was believed to be three months pregnant with The Apprentice co-star Syed Ahmed.
A spokesperson told The Mirror at the time: ‘Michelle and Syed are both extremely upset and are currently supporting each other through this difficult period.’
Michelle confirmed her relationship with Simon last July, just a few months after revealing her plans to become a parent via a sperm donor.
In January 2019, the presenter said on her Sky News debate show The Pledge: ‘I don’t have a partner and I want to be a mum.
‘So I’m going through the process of looking at sperm donor and in this country there is a law where when the children get to 18 they have the legal right to access various identifying information about the father.
‘So in this country when you do a donor you have to log identifying information and non-identifying information and when the child reaches 16 and 18, depending on the differences of the information, your child has a right to find out essentially who their father is.
Change of plan: Michelle confirmed her romance with ex-Crystal Palace owner Simon Jordan last July (pictured) on social media
‘And for me personally I’m in this really complex situation. I wouldn’t regard the donor as my children’s father.’
On Michelle and Simon’s blossoming romance, a source told MailOnline the pair put on an affectionate display during a The Specials concert, describing Jordan as ‘affectionate, smitten and the perfect gentleman.’
The insider said: ‘They met when they were both on the Matthew Wright show. He took her to The Specials concert in London…
Radiant: Michelle first announced she was expecting her first child in April, but confessed that the COVID-19 pandemic had ‘taken away many of the small joys of pregnancy’
‘Michelle stood in the sound box – I’m guessing to avoid the crowd following her surgery – and Simon was the perfect gentleman towards her. He was very attentive and affectionate towards her and seemed to be smitten.’
Simon shares an 11-year-old daughter with former Page 3 girl Suzi Walker, the ex-wife of former Bolton Wanderers goalkeeper Ian Walker.
Michelle, who grew up on a Hull council estate and dropped out of school at 16 with just two GCSEs, shot to stardom after becoming Lord Alan Sugar’s Apprentice in 2006.
In the 14 years which followed, she forged a successful career in business and TV, and even aimed to become an MP for the Brexit Party, which ended in defeat as she lost to Labour’s Emma Hardy late last year.
Early beginnings: Michelle shot to stardom after becoming Lord Alan Sugar’s Apprentice in 2006 (pictured)