So, I have roughly been breastfeeding my babies for 940 days....that’s a lot of days. Not going to lie, some of those days have been more enjoyable than others (teething days have a lot to answer for). But that’s a long time!
The UK has one of the lowest rates of breastfeeding and I think it’s because of the misinformation and the lack of support that new mothers get given.
I was extremely lucky with my eldest. She was a dream to feed. We fed until she was roughly 20 months and stopped of her own accord, I was around 24 weeks pregnant and I think she was dry nursing at this stage so I wasn’t heartbroken to stop. Though the oxytocin withdrawal and pregnancy hormones meant I may have spent a few evenings crying. But I was relieved to have a bit of a break before littlest arrived.
Now I presumed (rather naively) that feeding number 2 baby was going to be just as easy as my first. I knew my nipples would hurt (what people forget to tell you, it’s normal to have *some* nipple pain but they do adapt very quickly if you’ve got the right latch) and I knew I’d be engorged (boobs getting used to the babies needs). But I forgot to account for the tiny human being completely different to my bigger (but still small) human.
Baby number 2 was a tongue tied baby. My nipples did not adapt. I was finding it hard and struggling with knowing why. It was my mum who noticed her tie and my amazing health visitor confirmed it and then supported me to get it snipped.
I was lucky that she didn’t loose weight and didn’t really get affected other than gassy tummies but I struggled. She got it snipped and we had a blissful week of pain free feeding. But my baby it turns out is a lazy feeder so we have had a bit of a rollercoaster ride of feeding. But we have persevered and fed through my PND and teething and she’s still going and there are some times when I’m tired and touched out but overall im proud of myself and impressed we have made it this far. My friends and husband are a *huge* part of this. They have supported me, told me (through crazy mum guilt and PND hormones) that it’s ok if I wanted to wean my baby but to never give up on our worst day. The amazing women I’m surrounded by have had their own incredible journeys, one had exclusively pumped and bottle fed, one formula fed and another could only feed on one side but what we’ve never done is judge each other.
One of my future aims I think is to become a feeding peer supporter. I want to help people who’ve had difficulties and who want to carry on feeding. I want to become part of the support network that I struggled to find when I needed it. But overall I want to celebrate how amazing our bodies are and what they can do.
Author: Jemima, go check her out on Instagram @mummy_duck_.