It is national breastfeeding week this week and I want to put a shout out to all those mamas out there who have struggled/are struggling, those who have breast fed till baby self-weaned and those who stopped within days or weeks.
As you know I have four beautiful children (if I do say so myself) and I have only successfully breast fed my youngest two. I tired with my eldest who I struggled with and couldn’t get the hang of it and both of us were getting upset and stressed so I stopped trying and gave her a bottle the day after she was born. I found that the midwifes were not that helpful and didn’t give me the support I needed to breast feeding so I gave up. I think it was a lot to do with my age as I was only 19 and the stigma about younger mums that I was basically just left to it even after an emergency C-section and felt battered and bruised. I wasn’t even asked if I wanted to try when I was sent home into the community health care so I just carried on with bottle feeding my hungry hungry baby.
When i had my second 18 months later I didn’t even bother trying to breast feed him my experience before with his sister had put me off and was easier to bottle feed and go home a couple of days after my C-section.
At 22 I had my third and i had decided to give breast feeding one last go and was determined not to give up. I had him in the morning by C-section and in the ward after it was like a completely different place. The midwives helped and supported me feeding him and kept coming back to make sure we were getting on fine and the latch was ok. It shocked me completely as I was treated as an adult not a child by the midwives and was a much more relaxing experience than either of my other babies. We did great and I managed to breast feed him till he was 3 and a half and he happily self-weaned.
I had my youngest at 28 and found that the older i got the more help and respect I got from those caring for us. I struggled to feed her and ended up with sore cracked nipples and blocked ducts the lot but most of that was due to her having tongue tie. I carried on going through the pain and the tears and made it till she was 18 months and I had to wean her off as she stopped eating food and after talks with the health visitors it was decided it was for the best.
I take my hat off to any mama who carries on breast feeding with all that can make it hard as we are superheros and need recognition for what we put our bodies through and those who are breast feeding for years have a lot of guts as blocked ducts and mastitis are horrible.
But we need to remember no matter how you feed your baby you are doing a perfect job that is right for you and your baby and we all deserve a glass of wine at the end.