Breastfeeding was always something I was open minded about. My mum breastfed me, my brother and two sisters. She had my younger sisters when I was in my late teens which even then I could see the bond breastfeeding gave them and how it nurtured them. I knew it was something I wanted to try and do from before I even became pregnant. I work with a lot of women and have several friends with children and got lots of mixed stories about pregnancy, labour and feeding. Some negative ones that could of easily put anyone off for life. However towards the end of my pregnancy my husband and I met with a midwife assistant. She was going to give us a feeding talk....I had no idea what to expect beforehand but it was so helpful. She fully explained all that was necessary to know about breastfeeding (she also covered alternatives) and made it so easy to understand for both me and my husband who to be honest was a bit clueless (I mean that in a nice way). She explained each part of the process and what to expect (milk coming in, emotions, latching and let downs etc). She also told us her breastfeeding journey with her own children. To have a health professional sit and take the time to explain this clearly was the best possible opportunity for us both and I am so glad she did. One thing completely stuck in my head she said which was “breastfeeding can take up to six weeks to become established, but if you get to day ten you have cracked it”.
So when my little bundle arrived 18th December 2017 I was fully prepared and equipped with my new found knowledge and ready for it all to begin. Unfortunately due to a reluctant placenta I got whipped away to theatre so couldn’t have the “golden hour” everyone goes on about the importance of but once I got back I popped her on and she took the boob no problem. After a few days I noticed my nipples were beginning to become painful and chapped which worried me that my journey was going to get cut short but in my head I kept thinking I just want to get to day ten and persevered. After some googling, guidance on latch positioning from my lovely midwife and plenty of nipple cream I was able to continue and have been exclusively breastfeeding my daughter since. She is now nearly 5 months old and everyday when I look at her I think “I’ve made them little chubby cheeks chubbier” or “that little fat roll came about because of the milk my body has produced”. As cheesy as it sounds I absolutely love feeding her myself and watching her grow. It’s also created a bond with her I cannot put into words how special it is.
I recently got a visit from my two young sisters (age 11 & 9) who when I asked if they would try breastfeeding when they had a baby, I got an immediate “Yes!”
I felt so proud and happy they would feel comfortable and confident to try it too and I really hope they do.
I am so lucky to have such an amazing husband, family and friends who have supported and encouraged me to breastfeed which I feel as made it easy for all of us to do. Along with the support of our local nhs services. I have had such a positive experience and would love to share my story to inspire other mamas/mamas to be.