My Breastfeeding Story: ‘I had to rely on YouTube Videos!’
Number of children – 1
Length of time I breastfed for – 15 months and still going strong
Why I love breastfeeding:
I love it for the bond and the closeness I instantly felt with Evelyn. I had a traumatic birth which ended up in c-section and felt in many ways that my body had failed her. Breastfeeding was my way of remembering that my body was capable of amazing things and was able to nourish and provide for Evelyn’s every need.
I watched my milk change colour when she was ill as it was using my antibodies to fight her infection. I bathed her in it when her skin was dry and flakey to help moisturise and I washed her eyes with it and finally cleared her conjunctivitis as antibiotics weren’t working.
I’m glad I persevered through all of the hard times because the highs and the bond we have are so worth it.
Why I chose to breastfeed:
I always said I was happy to feed with breast and formula so I guess in someways my initial choice to use only breast was made selfishly because I needed a reason to believe in myself again.
I wasn’t in control of my delivery but this was something I could be in control of. It was the best decision I have ever made. Looking down and seeing Evelyn feed is a feeling I can’t put into words. In the end, it turned out that Evelyn was intolerant to dairy so normal formula wouldn’t have been an option anyway so I was glad that I was able to alter my diet and still provide everything that Evelyn needed.
My advice to new mums:
I always thought that breastfeeding was the most natural thing in the world. And it is. But natural doesn’t mean easy. Breastfeeding is one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. Positioning is key – get all the help you can with this before you leave the hospital to make sure the latch is right.
Funding in my area was lost so I had to rely on YouTube videos and the support of a lactation consultant (littlepeachlondon) who was amazing.
But if you’re struggling reach out – see if there are any breastfeeding groups or cafes in your area to help you. Practically, buy a water bottle with a straw that’s not going to leak when you knock it over for the 15th time at 3am and keep it with you at all times because the thirst is reeeeal!
I also found that nipple shields were my saviour in the first few weeks due to Evelyn’s poor latch too. Buy some sort of nipple cream to help with the sensitivity and use it all day everyday. But most importantly, don’t compare yourself to others. Evelyn was a nightmare feeder compared to some of my friend’s children and I longed to have a baby that latched so easily but every baby is different. Don’t be too hard on yourself. However long you choose to breastfeed for is amazing for both you and your baby.
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I’m a primary school teacher and I’m a mum to a beautiful, bright and bubbly six-year-old. I witness the ups and downs of wellbeing in children every day. Every parent faces the same dilemma – how to ensure the wellbeing of our children – particularly from a mental health perspective in a world that is more pressured than ever in more ways than one.
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