From the 1st to the 7th August is world breastfeeding week. As a member of Irish Parenting Bloggers group we discuss all things breastfeeding one of them. So we thought we would do a blog march to celebrate World Breastfeeding week, share our experiences and hopefully help other mama’s and mama’s to be
Breastfeeding symbol (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
My decision…When I was pregnant on my first I decided I was going to give breastfeeding a go as being a first time mum I read the pregnancy books cover to cover and learned that anything is better than nothing as the first few days after giving birth you produce colostrum and that is really good for baby. I was quite young (under 20 anyway) and so young mothers breastfeeding isn’t something I’d seen or heard a lot of. I remember telling people I was going to try breastfeeding and their faces would almost turn to disgust, and the confusion on some of their faces was priceless lol ‘Oh, why would you want to do that?” like as if I said I was going to feed the baby drugs when they were born? or ”Sure there’s formula now why would you bother?” Like what a question to ask? There is no right or wrong with whatever any woman’s decision is whether to breastfeed or formula feed, none is more strange or weird that the other. Also what surprised me was a lot of the women saying this were the older generation? Then there were other who looked like they wanted to hide at the mention of the word ‘breast’ lol! A lot of mixed reactions and mostly all not the one I was looking for! I wish bad attitudes towards breastfeeding would change.
I think we need more breast feeding ads just to encourage women to try or an ad to say there are breastfeeding support groups, I’ve never seen an ad to do with breastfeeding on t.v? Only ads for formula milk? It would just be nice for there to be an even positive balance in the media
Baby no.1 2007 I remember first getting my little girl to latch and just felt pain I could feel my womb contracting, again I knew it was normal from the books. Then a midwife came in one day and brought back in with about 3 other trainees to show what good latching looked like. I was chuffed to say the least and thought ”this is going great!” .
When home about 5 days later the problems started. The tiredness and soreness were in full swing. She seemed to constantly cry looking back now I think she had very bad colic.. I was exhausted and falling asleep while holding her which scared the crap outta me one night! By day 7 I had to stop as I was so tired living on just 3 hours sleep a night and my nipples were very raw and cracked even after I tried the creams and nipple shields etc.They also felt really heavy and full and I wasn’t used to that with my less than A cup boobs!
I was also going through one of the most stressful periods of my life. So there was a combination of things that just made going on to the bottle less stressful for me. After I stopped breastfeeding she slept a little longer between each feed but was still a crier :/
Baby no 2. 2011 I said I’d try again, the pain was very bad though from day one.Again I was told his latch was fine but I found the breastfeeding nurse in the hospital not very understanding, when I told her my pain and that Id like to give him a bottle she very helpfully told me to lie down put my little boy on my boob and said there look he’s fine. I knew he was but I wasn’t! By day 3 when I was home I was sitting crying while feeding him 🙁 every suck felt like a constant flow of needles piercing through my nipples and I felt bad for crying while feeding him, I just wanted to be happy and enjoy him. I gave him a bottle at his next feed and cried while giving him that, I felt so awful and hated my boobs I thought maybe if they were bigger they’d have worked better and it would have been as sore? I cried for a few days after I stopped, I felt so sad. I also have/had no family to help out when I needed a break or just needed a to get some housework done or to take the 4-year-old off my hands for a bit so that added to me in a way having to stop while my partner was at work.
So would I try again and why? Yep if I have another baby I’ll try again, I think the first few days when you have colostrum is very good for baby, it’s full of antibodies, protein, vitamins, minerals, and helps clear out baby’s system of meconium (them first few yucky poops from baba!) I feel then at least I can say I tried and if it works great! If it doesn’t well I’ll feel they got some benefit and I think it really help with bonding too. All I’ll say is I’d love every new mother to even just try it and not be scared or put off by other people, then if you don’t feel it’s for you that’s fine and perfectly normal too
Next time….I wonder if I could do anything different, maybe a breast pump would have helped? I never got one on either of mine as I was worried I wouldn’t keep it up and it would be a waste of money and wasn’t sure if they’d help ease the pain? Also I should have gone to a support group, I was nervous though I’m shy about my body especially my teeny tiny boobs! But everyone has said the groups are so helpful and not judgy at all like I thought. I do think though it would be harder when I have two other kids to take care of and a lot more housework to look after on my own with no one to give me a hand (a wee nap haha) during the day and with school runs etc.
I don’t want to put myself under pressure and not enjoy a new baby or my other children so all I can do is how things go when the time comes and listen to my body and mind it’s all any of us can do.
Each day, the Irish Parenting Bloggers Group will be bringing you posts from members of the Irish Parenting Bloggers community. Please join us as we highlight our varied experiences and opinions on breastfeeding.