Whether your breastfeeding journey is just beginning or 10 years in we all have different experiences. In this series I will be sharing journeys and experiences from a range of people who have breastfed or are currently breastfeeding their littles.
Was / has your breastfeeding experience been positive? Explain your feeding journey.
I had always been sure that I wanted to try to breastfeed my children and despite having problems with fertility, my body seemed to know what it needed to do when it came to breastfeeding. My journey was Emelia was quite straightforward with little/no issues. I fed her exclusively until she was 6 months old and then when I returned to work she had formula in the day and I fed her morning and evening, I did this until 8 months when I finished breastfeeding with her.
With Edison, I expected everything to be the same as I thought that I knew what to do. It has surprised me how feeding the two children has been such a different experience, in terms of the babies, how they feed, how often etc. Edison also had a tongue tie which was cut at 11 days. Until then feeding was extremely painful as he couldn’t latch properly and lost 9% of his birth weight. After that he did great and had regained his weight by 3 weeks old. He is much more of a comfort baby and loves snuggling up to me for feeds. I don’t have a set time period in my head for how long I will feed him. I like to think I could achieve 12 months however I return to work when he will be 10 months and I don’t want to express at work, so it will just be the morning and evening feeds at that point.
How long did you breastfeed for? Did you plan on feeding that long?
See above. Both times I haven’t had a set goal in my head, I’ve just taken each day as it comes and how we have both felt. This time around I think I have fed for longer as I am part of a brilliant breastfeeding support group that has been an invaluable source of support and help.
Did you have support from health professionals?
Yes although it has been very varied. I found the midwives that visited us at home after the birth very poor in terms of breastfeeding advice. We had around 10 different midwives visit us until Edison had regained his birth weight and I found the knowledge and support lacking and I was advised to offer him formula top ups multiple times, even though he was happy and content, he just needed time to find his feed again after the tongue tie.
I reached out to a breastfeeding specialist who had helped me with Emelia and her source of advice was incredible at any time of the day. I found that I trusted her and felt comfortable with her advice
Did you have support / help from family/ partner / friends?
Yes my Husband is fantastic, he helped out so much with taking care of Emelia to give me space and time to feed Edison. He also made sure I had food and drink to hand during those early cluster feeding days.
My family and friends have been very supportive of my choices too and interested to talk to me about breastfeeding and learn more about it.
I also found a local free breastfeeding support group where I met a lovely group of ladies, who I have become firm friends with. Knowing we are all going through the same issues and there to help and support eachother is so useful and I hope they and their familes remain in our lives for years to come.
What was the best breastfeeding advice you were given?
Never give up on a bad day.
What is something you wish you were told about breastfeeding before you began?
How painful it can be when your milk comes in.
That cluster feeding is normal, surround yourselves with snacks and films and get comfy for the evening.
That your gut instinct as a mother is pretty much always right and don’t let others persuade you otherwise.
Did / have you ever experience negative comments whilst feeding? Was you worried you would before you started?
No, I feel very lucky that I haven’t experienced any negative comments when feeding. Before Emelia I was nervous about feeding in public however I quickly learnt that if I just got on it with and didn’t make a big thing of it, people didn’t even notice me. With Edison I have grown even more confident feeding in public and have learnt which clothes give the easiest access. I have had some great comments when feeding in public and had kind offers from strangers to get me water and offers to cut my food up for me in a cafe.
What was your favourite thing about breastfeeding your baby?
The special bond it develops between me and my baby and also how convenient it is, particularly during the night feeds, no waiting for bottles it’s always ready to go. I love that I can comfort my baby toom
What kept you going on the hard days/ nights? Support from my husband but also my stubbornness that I wanted to achieve breastfeeding and seeing my babies thrive and be healthy and happy from my milk.
Thank you so much to Lucy for taking part, if you would like to take part then please email me firstname.lastname@example.org. Breastfeeding for a month or decade, your journey counts and we’d love to hear from you.