As it is breastfeeding awareness week we thought we’d celebrate by sharing some of the stories and experiences of our lovely clients.
My breastfeeding journey started by expressing every 3 hours for my twin boys, born at 27 weeks. I continued expressing for 7 weeks when they were strong enough to feed from me and a bottle. We stopped at 7 months old.
I’m on my second journey with Jaxon. Find breastfeeding easy. Stopped feeding 1st at 2 1/2 years currently stilĺ feeding he’s just turned 2. I don’t struggle to feed i struggle to stop! I love the bond we have. I’ve never been a cover upper…my baby needs feeding I feed! I know ppl who have breastfed or tried i also know people that just wouldn’t try! I can’t understand why. Its free milk…. one day maybe I could be a breastfeeding helper in hospital or in the community! I’ve had pressure to stop from people this does bother me. Peopl ewill always have an opinion on my choices! I could go on x
I failed at feeding my first, which turned out was due to a dairy allergy. I was more prepared with my second. No dairy allergy but he had a tongue tie instead. I nearly gave up many a time due to the pain until we got his tongue tie cut at 3 months old. After going for some BF support we both learnt how to feed again. He fed well until around 11 months old when he started wearing himself. Well I wasn’t getting that far without making it to 1 while year! So I just managed to keep him going until his first birthday when he had his last feed off me. Currently on feeding No.3 and bar from a floppy larynx (meaning no lazy laid down feeds) it’s going pretty smoothly. She’s coming up 5 months old. My goal is again, to make it to 1 year at least!
I tried my hardest to breastfeed my son, he was too early and couldn’t latch so I tried expressing, I tried my hardest for 5 days and only managed a little colostrum to go in his NG tube and then ended up with abscesses in both breasts and had 2 minor surgeries once at 5 weeks, one at 5 months. He actually thrived better on premature baby milk and came home from neonatal much earlier than expected.
I’ve got 3 children, I didn’t ever put any pressure on myself to breastfeed was happy to just see how it went because I’d heard a lot of stories. With my first we only lasted 6 weeks, I didn’t know then about milk regulating at the 6-7week mark, I didn’t really know much and I still always say that having your first is the hardest transition! Anyway my second breastfed for 17 months and I presume she stopped because I was pregnant again, my third is now 20 months and still going strong. He had a tongue tie cut early on too.
I loved breastfeeding, I was really upset when because of stress in my personal life my milk dried up after 4 months . So with my second I was determined to go on for as long as I could. We found out when he was about 5 months old that he had a milk and egg allergy so I had to go dairy free to continue breastfeeding. It was a hard road but we lasted until 8 months where he eventually preferred having a full bottle of soy milk instead.
Still going at 2yrs.
Nursed my first for 2.5 years and will hit the 6 month mark with my second next week.
They’ve both been very different I suppose, I struggled at first with my son like most women do I think, but he would take a bottle, as long as he was fed he was happy I went to theatre not long after he was born for retained placenta so his second feed was bottle. He’d was mostly breastfed. I went back to work when he was a year old. He weaned quite happily, coincided with sleep training. I’d had enough and we were planning a second baby.
With my second it was much easier from the get go, none of the pain, milk came straight in despite being a c-section. We tried the odd bottle but she wouldn’t take it at all. I went back to work when she was 8 months. I tried expressing but she wouldn’t have that so there was no point. She ended up reverse cycling- co-sleeping and pretty much feeding all night long. We sleep trained at 11 months and it improved everything, she started feeding much better during the day and we got the all important sleep we cut down to 3 feeds a day by 12 months but when lockdown started it picked up again, being with me and wanting to provide any immunity I could. She’s 19 months now, we’ve cut it back down to one or two feeds a day, every morning – she’s not giving that one up very easily! And sometimes before bed. I don’t mind, we’re not having any more babies so I guess I’m holding onto it as much as she is. She’ll stop when she’s ready, she’s very independent and knows her own mind!
I wanted to share our story because I feel like it’s something that isn’t spoken about enough… I found out I was pregnant with Ava in 2017, it was such an exciting time! I found that before I could even let the news sink in I was already being asked “are you going to breastfeed?” “It’s the best thing for you and baby, and it’s economically better!” Immediately there was this huge weight of unjustified pressure. After thought, I decided I would give breastfeeding a go. I went to workshops, I spoke to midwives for advice and support on feeding. Every single professional person I spoke to had told me that it would be the best thing for me and baby, it’s the most natural thing, if one way of feeding doesn’t work then this way definitely will. This then created a very dangerous sense of confidence…
Fast forward to my little girl being born 5.52am, she was beautiful! 8lb5, super healthy! Soon after the birth, it was time to try and feed her… She wouldn’t latch. I was told that it wasn’t something to worry about, and she was probably just tired as she had been on such a long journey! So I thought – Great! We will try again later. Later came and still no feeding. I asked a midwife in the hospital for help, she grabbed my breast and squeezed it, milk left the breast so she said everything was fine and to give it a little more time, I was told to wait 24 hours before formula! We were sent home same day despite her not feeding. It got to 11pm that night, and still no feeding and I had a VERY upset baby girl… We had to give in and gave a little formula.
We tried the next day and she latched! I can’t explain the joy I felt! But unfortunately this was a moment that didn’t last for long. There just wasn’t enough milk. So we were told to combi-feed. Despite this, I was so desperate to breast feed, there was all this pressure! The midwives, health visitors and some family members, just constantly telling me to keep going. Not one person would listen. I spent hours crying at this tiny little being screaming at my breasts, pushing away. I never felt so useless! Never once did anyone tell me that it might just not work. I was told there was always a way. So after three months of trying, failing, supplements, research, crying, self-doubt, unrealistic expectations we stopped. It was a hard pill to swallow, I felt like I had failed my baby. Then after speaking to a GP about something unrelated, they told me sometimes, baby just can’t get the hang of it, or Mum doesn’t produce enough to keep baby satisfied.
I share this story because it is my personal belief that professionals are not always as mindful to mums as they perhaps should be when it comes to breastfeeding. When seeking advice, we should be told that sometimes it just doesn’t happen! It doesn’t make you a bad parent, you haven’t failed your child it’s just one of those things. The detriment this had on my mental health was catastrophic and hopefully me sharing my story may help another new mum!
The biggest thing for me is having support. My husband was amazing and my biggest advocate, he knew what it meant to me so on my worst days wouldn’t let me give up, gave me lots of encouragement and reminded me how far we’d come.
I made my family aware that it meant a lot for me to do this and to support me as they would with anything else I’ve ever chosen to do.
I found an amazing breastfeeding group where I met my mum friends, and they became a village for me. Always there, always supportive, always caring. I also received some online support too from various breastfeeding groups and theres always someone feeling the same or up at the same time you can talk to. It was comforting. I now help run one of our local breastfeeding groups online.
Someone once told me to “never give up on a bad day” and that with some stubbornness on my part me got me through.
And now we have been slowly stopping over the past year and are down to one feed a day at most. She’s not quite ready to drop it yet but I know it won’t be long.
I have three boys and I have Poland Syndrome which means I was born with only one breast. I gave up very early on with my first son as I convinced myself I would be unable to do it (I’ve spent my life beating myself up re. PS and had no support due to the rarity of the condition). However, I persevered with no. 2 and 3 and am still feeding Atticus my third now at 1 year 2 months. I fed Remy my middle son (PhotoBaby photographed him when he was a baby inside a plant pot and he’s now 6!) until 1 year and 3 months. From one breast only.