Breastfeeding: your stories

Here is Colette’s breastfeeding story. You can find her over at We’re Going on an Adventure. This has been adapted from an original post which was first published on her blog.

Breastfeeding is a very emotive subject.  Most mums will have a story to tell you be it of success, frustration, pain or disinterest.  Before I became pregnant with my son I didn’t know that much about breastfeeding but I didn’t think I was bothered about trying it, I didn’t really like the idea of it somehow.  Once I was pregnant all this changed, suddenly I felt I wanted to give breastfeeding a try.  Having heard lots of horror stories of people struggling to do it and making themselves really miserable in the process,  I decided it was really important to maintain the attitude that I would do my best but that if it didn’t work for us I wouldn’t beat myself up about it.  Four and a half years later and I’m currently successfully breastfeeding my third baby.  Having started off thinking we’d just “give it a go” and “get through it” I soon came to love feeding my babies and have always been really sad when the time has come to stop!

I remember sitting in an antenatal class watching this idealistic video of a newborn baby being delivered onto its mother’s stomach and after some skin to skin this tiny baby just miraculously inched its way up to the breast and latched on . . . cut to me in the recovery room shortly after Ben’s birth, immobile from the chest down with a midwife grabbing a good handful of breast and literally shoving his head onto it – not quite what we’d been led to expect! Once he had latched on he fed for a good 45 minutes and was off to a roaring start.

Over the next few days we had good feeds and not so good.  When my milk came in my breasts were quite frankly enormous and so hard that he couldn’t get his little mouth round the nipple – this led to quite a comical scene where Dave was hand expressing milk onto some tissue for me just to soften them up a bit when a midwife popped her head round the curtain. Embarrassed much?  Dave was a complete god send with feeding – he used to help me express, get Ben into a good position and latched on etc.

A few days after Ben was born I found myself sat on a bean bag on the living room floor crying whilst feeding him because my nipples were so cracked and sore. At that point I could have given up – but we intentionally had no bottles or formula in the house, I wanted to make sure I gave it my best shot.  A friend recommended Lansinoh but it was a Saturday night and everywhere was shut. Luckily we got some the next morning and it was a complete miracle product. I’m so glad I didn’t have any bottles in the house that night and that I powered through.

When Ben was a couple of months old I got mastitis – the symptoms kicked in the middle of the night and, somewhat irrationally, I thought I was dying from swine flu! (I had all sorts of crazy thoughts about dying and leaving Dave to cope with this tiny baby)  Thankfully not and a quick course of antibiotics sorted me right out.

Chloe didn’t get off to quite such a flying start and was pretty lazy with her breastfeeding in hospital, she just couldn’t be bothered to latch on properly.  In the end we (Dave!) had to hand express and cup feed her to get her started.  Once she had a taste for it though she was away – to the point that we struggled to get her to take a bottle when we needed to!

Amy has had her breastfeeding sussed right from that start and has been a great little feeder so far – although she is occasionally a bit lazy with her latch and needs taking off to try again. I fed Ben and Chloe to about 8 months each and will most likely do the same again with Amy – Ben pretty much stopped himself, I think Chloe would have liked to carry on for a while but I was going back to work and it really wasn’t feasible, Amy will have a bit more say in the matter I guess!

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