Breastfeeding: Mama's perspective- Part 1
To honour World breastfeeding week we have collated some experiences from fellow mama's that highlight the reality of breastfeeding. Breastfeeding is a choice and there is so much more to breastfeeding then making sure your baby has a full tummy. There were so many things that I didn't know when starting my journey with my little one that you just wouldn't as a new breastfeeding mama. Everyone's breastfeeding journeys are different, however its good to hear all about different experiences from other mums. Our latest blog features an insight in their own words from fellow breastfeeding mums of the struggles they faced as well as the joys breastfeeding brings.
Breastfeeding is so beautiful and rewarding however it can also be one of the toughest at times for many reasons.
Part 1 of 3...
Heather, Mummy to Ellis 2 years 8 Months
I gave birth with an open mind about breastfeeding. My preference was to breastfeed however if for whatever reason if it wasn’t meant to be that would be perfectly fine too. I had heard stories from too many mothers that had decided against or experienced problems breastfeeding and were as a result carrying negative feelings.
I often say my son Ellis was ‘born to breastfeed’, he led the way and made it so easy for me. Within minutes of being born he was suckling on the towel he was wrapped in and had no issues latching on, Ellis is now 2.5 years old and hasn’t been breastfed for a year but he will still reach for my “boobies” at any opportunity!
I enjoyed breastfeeding and have absolutely no regrets however at first its hard work! After Ellis was born I stayed in the hospital for 3 days, I remember saying to the midwife on day 2 “I don’t think he’s getting enough milk, he’s feeding all the time” to which she replied “ yes, he will” and I responded ‘”NO, you don’t understand, he’s feeding ALL the time!”and I couldn’t believe that this was normal!... it was! Through shear exhaustion, I would have done mix feeding after being discharged from the hospital, however I was advised by my midwife to wait 6 weeks or there was a risk Ellis wouldn’t latch back on to me after experiencing a bottle so I decided against this. In hindsight I am certain my boob obsessed little baby would have gladly latched back on and it was the bottle that would have been at risk of desertion! I’m glad I stuck with it as it got a lot easier and less demanding after a couple of months when his stomach grew and so he fed less often. I continued until Ellis was 20 months as I felt Ellis was ready at this point and I was too.
In the beginning I was laughably awkward at arranging Ellis and myself so as not to flash any bust, even sending any male relatives out of the room while I got him latched on and my clothes suitably positioned, after a few weeks I was a ninja pro and could ‘pop’ Ellis on anywhere! I never felt awkward breastfeeding Ellis in public, my view was if anyone had a problem with it, it was their problem and not mine!
Breastfeeding definitely created a bond between Ellis and I, I was not only providing his food but I was his comfort too. There were countless moments when he was feeding and we would get lost in each others gaze cementing our mother and son bond. Once he could smile he would often look up and smile back at me and even burst into laughter whilst latched on, clearly in his ‘happy place’ lol, ill never forget those priceless moments.
I cannot exclude a shout out to my husband, being positively supportive throughout our breastfeeding journey.
I think we were both conscious in the earlier days of his limited time to bond with Ellis due to our decision to exclusively breastfeed and Ellis initially being latched on more than off. Understandably this must be a common worry for most fathers in the same position, though honestly this has had no bearing on their relationship and their bond is just as strong!
Lastly, I just wanted to mention although I was lucky to have a seamless and enjoyable experience, every mother and baby are different. Try not to let others sway your decision and definitely do what feels right for you. A happy mother makes for a happy baby, whatever path you take!