World Breastfeeding Week (1-7th Aug 2018) 3/7

 

Throughout this week we've been sharing inspirational stories from mums about their own personal breastfeeding journey.

My little boy, Teddy, is 10 months old and breastfeeding him is one of my biggest achievements.

I am particularly gifted in the breast department and had always wondered if this would make breastfeeding more difficult. After a lovely water-birth Teddy struggled to latch on; looking back I think the shape and size of my breast made it difficult for his tiny mouth. We persevered through some weight loss and lots of tears; both mine and Teddy’s. I was in such a fortunate position to have my partner and his family which comprised of him a doctor, two midwives and a breastfeeding peer supporter. With their help I began to use shields which helped us immensely. I can vouch that their is nothing quite like hands on nipples to bond you with your in-laws! After seven weeks of faffing with nipple shields, I had grown in confidence and Teddy in size and we started to try coming off the shield mid-feed. By Week 10 we were shield free!

We are fast approaching Teddy’s first birthday and breastfeeding is a huge part of who I am as a mother. I will forever be grateful to my partner, his Mum, sisters and all the other midwives who supported us even when things got difficult. I can only hope that one day we as a country prioritise breastfeeding in a way that see’s all women are supported as expertly and sensitively as I was lucky enough to be - Cara

I exclusively breastfed my son until he was 14 months (obviously he went onto solids at 6 months, in addition to breastmilk!); he was on his way to self-weaning and was down to just one very short feed at night, which he could take or leave. So I decided we'd stop. It was with mixed emotions as I loved that closeness, but I was also happy to go into 'proper' underwear! I remember feeling very sad during that last feed (though still knew it was right for us) knowing it might be the very last time I fed a baby (long journey to having my boy and not inevitable that he would have a sibling). Fast forward to today and I am exclusively breastfeeding (plus solids!) my 8 month old daughter and hope to at least match her brother's timescales. I was very fortunate with both: they both latched relatively easily, and although I had a painful couple of weeks with number 1, getting the latch right, I never had any major issues. He quickly put himself into a routine of breakfast, lunch, tea, supper feeds. Likewise for number 2, although I ever had any pain issues with her, I struggled with her latch for many weeks. She doesn't have any schedule and feeds as and when! LOVE LOVE LOVE breastfeeding, and like someone else said, I just don't get why others choose not to (though completely understand that it's not a choice for some); it's so much easier than having to plan ahead, make up bottles, remember to take bottles, sterilise etc. The one downside is the pinching/grabbing/smacking etc. that goes on (luckily, so far, I've never been bitten).
Funny anecdote: I was out with a couple of the NCT girls when the babies were several weeks old. I was the only one breastfeeding and the others had requested boiling/hot (see, I'm not even sure what you use!) water to warm their bottles. I was very obviously feeding my son... with my breast... when the waitress brought the bowls over, looked straight at me and asked "Do you need a bowl of water too?" 🤣😂😆"Erm... no, it's ok... thanks." We fell about laughing afterwards, wondering whether she thought I was going to dip my boob in!- Ellie

My little girl was born by forceps after over 48 hours of labour due to a dipping heart rate. She also wouldn't latch to begin with and due to her low sugar levels we were told we had to give formula top ups.

This didn't go very well but we managed to get just enough into her. On the 2nd night she finally latched as I had great midwives helping me persevere with it 🙂 by the time my milk came through on day 6 we were able to get off the top ups altogether. I always planned that I'd feed her until a year and then switch to full fat cows milk but she had other ideas and refused to drink it....typical! We are now just down to me feeding her morning and evening and she's 18 months 🙂

During the day she doesn't drink cows milk but has plenty of yoghurt and cheese and other calcium rich foods. She's happy and healthy and thriving! I'm not sure when our breastfeeding journey will end, I'm not setting any final goals, we will just keep going as long as both of us are happy- Hannah

I am currently feeding my 10 month old son. I had a really positive experience breastfeeding. He latched in after birth himself in skin to skin and it was a magical experience. I had some pain in the early days and found it difficult to position him at times. He was very wriggly and I remember him being frantic and me having to get my husband to hold his hands out the way while I tried to latch him on.

I got great support from family, friends and a breastfeeding counsellor from the NCT. Support makes such a difference. Even if it’s someone saying ‘you’re doing a good job’ or someone making you a cup of tea. I’ve had positive comments out and about including someone in a restaurant coming over and praising me and telling me she breastfed her children. I’ve fed on buses, trains, cafes. I think it’s important breastfeeding is visible in the community. I love how close breastfeeding has made my son and I and how I am protecting both of our future health.

I would like to continue to breastfeed for as long as my son wishes. I am back at work and am able to continue breastfeeding my son in the morning, at night and on my days off. - Louise

Thanks for reading...We'll be adding more breastfeeding stories tomorrow so make sure to check back! 🙂

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