This week August 1- 7 is World Breastfeeding Week, it got me thinking that when you’re pregnant with your first child, all you really focus on is their health, their birth and how glorious it will be meeting your bundle of joy.
Although breastfeeding may cross your mind, it isn’t something you give too much thought to, at least I didn’t.
I felt like it would just happen, it’s a natural process after all right? Well, it wasn’t for me. My baby came early, almost 7 weeks early which meant that my breasts weren’t quite milk-ready and I didn’t have much of a milk supply.
I tried my hardest, there were tears, both from myself and my baby. Due to having to leave my bub in the Special Care Nursery, he was mix-fed. After being discharged, he remained in hospital and I simply couldn’t be there for every one of his feeds.
My daughter was a different ball game, I was able to breastfeed her and really enjoyed it. Although I did get help, a Mothercraft Midwife on the maternity ward pretty much taught me how to breastfeed. I am so grateful for her help.
Now that’s just my experience, Sally* a mum of three, felt that breastfeeding was hard and breastfed for 6 months.
“With my first, I struggled, it was hard, my son wasn’t taking it to it and I later found out it was because he had tongue tie,’ she explains.
“That’s another term I had never heard of! With my second, I was determined, I was going to breastfeed. I was more confident this time, perhaps that’s what helped but my baby took to breastfeeding like a fish to water, my third was the same.’
Mary Cambria a first time mum felt like breastfeeding was something that wasn’t explained to her. It was just something that had to be done.
“I guess cave women didn’t have lactation consultants, but when I was handed my baby I didn’t know what to do. I was lucky that my midwives were so supportive and patient with me,” she says.
Talking to women has truly shown me that no two breastfeeding experiences are the same. Some women are born to breastfeed, others require some assistance and others may decide it’s not for them at all. It’s totally okay any which way you choose to do it as long as your baby has a full belly, you are doing good mama.
Something I wish I had been told on my breastfeeding journey is this:
-Every journey is different
– There’s no harm in asking for help, see a lactation consultant
– Don’t let anyone belittle your choices, they’re yours
This year’s World Breastfeeding Week slogan is “Empower Parents, Enable Breastfeeding”. To find out more about World Breastfeeding week click here. For more breastfeeding tips and hints click here.
*name has been changed at the request of interviewee