Happy World Breastfeeding Week
Happy World Breastfeeding Week! To celebrate this special week, I wanted to share my own breastfeeding journey with you. It was sometimes painful, often awkward but ultimately so beautiful.
I have been lucky enough to be able to breastfeed both of my girls. I've loved having those quiet, peaceful moments with them, be able to sooth them and comfort them easily and nourish them with my own body. However, my breastfeeding journey hasn't always been smooth sailing! There have been plenty of awkward moments, a painful beginning, mastitis and nipple biting! Ouch! Nobody warned me about all this!
Breastfeeding certainly didn't go as smoothly for me as I thought it would. I always thought of breastfeeding as a natural thing that I would simply be able to do. Boy was I wrong! My first-born took to breastfeeding really well, almost too well. She wanted to be fed constantly! We nicknamed her the Booby Monster. I was told that it might be a little painful, which it was, so I just assumed the pain I was experiencing was normal. It got worse, much worse. My nipples were so sore that they began cracking and bleeding and I would cry every time I knew it was time for a feed.
It took me a few weeks to seek help. I think I was afraid to reach out, and perhaps too proud. I found out there was a breastfeeding drop-in session nearby, run by a lactation consultant. I went along with my mum in tow for support, and I was so happy I did. The lactation consultant was brilliant. She watched me feed and suggested something new that nobody else had told me about…baby-led attachment. See the link below for more information. Basically you sit in a semi-reclined position and help guide baby up to your nipple. Baby will kind of bounce around and follow the smell of your milk, quite funny to see, and also quite amazing, and then they can pretty much latch on by themselves. This was a life changing moment for me ladies! She finally was attached correctly and my breasts were able to heal and we continued breastfeeding for over two years.
The moral of my story is please don’t be afraid or too proud to seek help! There is help out there and what works for one mum may not work for you. Before my own experiences with breastfeeding I never really knew how common it was to struggle with something that I assumed would come naturally to me. I have many mummy friends who also struggled, some with latching on, some with supply and some with medical conditions preventing them from breastfeeding and needed to go to Plan B, please don’t feel like a failure, you are not alone. So I’d like to shout out all you wonderful mums who are doing their best….and I know that you truly are! Whether you’re breastfeeding, expressing and bottle feeding or formula feeding, I know you’re doing the best you can for your baby…you are enough, you are amazing!
Baby led attachment video:
Australian Breastfeeding Association
Check with your local council for breastfeeding support in your local area.
City of Kingston Lactation Consultant