My breastfeeding journey, this time round, has been challenging. Having a 2-year-old to look after whilst breastfeeding makes it a completely different experience. With my first I used to sit down and make sure to be looking into Forest's eyes which is laughable now as I barely get a chance to do that... I’m doing 2 things at once whilst feeding. Initially, I was super excited to breastfeed. I felt very strongly that it was what I wanted to do, and I feel lucky I am able to do so.
The first latch was painful, I remember having nightmares about the baby not being able to latch. It was traumatic, I remember rocking back and forth thinking I can’t do this. But wanting to breastfeed so bad, I carried on. Luckily, the team sent breastfeeding support round and it turned out the latch was incorrect. It was ok after that, but I can imagine people think the pain is normal. I had no expectations of how easy or hard it would be, I just knew I wanted to stick with it. I found that stopping the hardest part of my whole journey, which no one tells you how difficult it is. I stopped when Forest was 18 months, but it took a while to wean the feeds down.
I take my hat off to mums that express. I gave in so easily as I feel it’s too easy to breastfeed - this has led to both my babies refusing the bottle though which isn’t ideal for ‘me time’. I feel absolutely normal when breastfeeding in public, I feel proud that I can feed my child in a way that suits us both. With my first, I remember using the muslin cloth but that didn’t last, now I just whip it out any and everywhere.
One thing I am struggling with big time, is self-care. I have my husband to help out and my parents are close to come and take my 2-year-old. Normally, he most I do is watch a TV program to myself on Netflix. I’d say, the advice I would give myself is to get the baby on a bottle with the last baby, but I didn’t listen to my own advice so here we are. I would probably say just do what you want and don’t be swayed by other people's opinions. If you want to breastfeed then just do it and (I know I shouldn’t say this) but perseverance is important - get support and ask for help. The best support I’ve had has been from other mums - they’ve given me tips on stopping and comparing what our kids are doing.
I think people are afraid to ask for advice and when they do ask, they’re given the option to give in and switch to bottle. I think it’s important that all mothers know the health benefits and many many other benefits to breastfeeding. I’d say to stick at it, it’s such a beautiful and an amazing thing to do for your baby.
The female body is amazing.