The World of Breastfeeding!

I have spent a few hours this afternoon with a lovely mum and her 15 day old baby, supporting and advising her on breastfeeding.  I love being able to give mums my undivided attention and make sure they get to ask all their questions.  Breastfeeding is such an amazing experience once it is established, but for many the first few weeks can be challenging.  This is why the drop off rate for breastfeeding is so high.  It is a new skill to learn for many mums and the babies are learning too.  It is the most natural thing in the world, but most will need some support to get there.  I have a real passion to help mums achieve this and know from my personal and my professional experience how essential this support is.

When I had my daughter, I was working full time as a midiwife in a wonderful birthing unit, Wantage Maternity Unit.  I always knew I would breastfeed and I also knew the challenges that you could face.  But I was determined and really didn't think I would have any problems as I knew what I was doing!  Unfortunately, sometimes that doesn't matter!  I could position and attach my beautiful baby girl perfectly, thanks to years of helping other mums.  But what I didn't see coming was that my milk supply just wasn't enough for my baby and she was losing weight rather than gaining. For any parents that have experienced this, it is devastating! I found out a few days down the road that I was severly anaemic and this was probably having an impact.  So out came the iron tablets and the wonderful Medela Swing Breastpump!  They became my best friends over the next four weeks!  Infact I was almost permanently attached to either my breast pump or my baby and often both at the same time!  It was tough going, but I luckily had a fabulous and supportive hubby, who took great care of me!

It really was all worth it in the end! I didn't have to express forever, and I had a thriving baby girl who fed beautifully and I breastfeed her until she was six and a half months old.  This was one of the best achievements of my life and I am so glad I stuck to it.  And as I said to the mum I saw today, it does get easier and it really is worth it if you can overcome the initial hurdles.  One of the main things that helps in all of this, is empathetic, knowledgable and consistent professionals supporting you.

Have you got a breastfeeding story you would like to share? We would love to hear from you. Or are you struggling with feeding and need some support? If so please get in contact for a chat.