Thanks for hopping over from Life with Baby Kicks and welcome to my post for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt Day 6 The People Behind The Breastfeeder; sponsors today include ARDO Breastpumps who are giving away a Calypso Single Breastpump, Breastvest who are offering an essential breastvest duo (1x black and 1x white) in your size and Mother Loves Cookies who are providing a box of delicious lactation cookies for our Grand Prize winner. Over £700 worth of goodies are up for grabs entries via the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
Breastfeeding support starts before the baby is even here. R and I talked about it a lot. We talked about it with his mum too. R was born 8 weeks early and his mum also had over supply & donated her milk – she’d hold a container under the opposite breast from the one she was feeding from. I love how normal breastfeeding is in their family, whereas my family are all really awkward about it. R still squirms a little, mainly when his parents talk about breastmilk shooting across the room, but he’s mainly comfortable with it, although his sister being born just before his 10th birthday probably helped that.
The moment that Oliver was born the midwife was on hand to help me position Oliver and get him to latch. She was fab and literally put him on my breast – although that didn’t really teach me what I should do, it meant that he got colostrum shortly after he was born. Later on the ward more midwives helped and there was a breastfeeding supporter, although she was overstretched even more than the midwives.
Once home and struggling with the pain the health visitors etc told me I just needed my nipples to ‘toughen up’, I then went to my local ante natal clinic where I knew there were NCT volunteers, they helped me with better positioning and taught me about the ‘nose to nipple’ routine. It sort of helped, but the biggest help was the online community of breastfeeding mums. They weren’t overstretched and under paid tired workers and there were so many people that someone always knew the answer or could reassure you.
R was amazing too – he read about breastfeeding. He supported every choice I made. He changed nappies, cooked dinners, cleaned the flat, brought me everything I wanted and even cleaned my breast pump! He let me rest at every opportunity. He even got up in the night just to pick Oliver up and pass him to me, even though he was virtually next to me. When I was exhausted he was always there to tell me how amazing I was or to take Oliver for an hour or two so that I could sleep. He was so amazing that I really wondered how I’d cope without him when he was back at work. And now I am worried about having another baby because he works away so much and I know how much I needed him then, so would definitely need him with a toddler in tow!
Once he was back at work he came home with some (well meaning) bad advice from a coworker but his boss’s (now) wife was a trainee midwife in her final year and gave him all the right information about night feeding, supply, positioning, literally anything! I’ve no doubt that the ladies who give birth with her around are in great hands!
Then there’s Wendy at the Breastfeeding Network. She dedicates her time to educating professionals on the safe use of medications, helping mums carry on breastfeeding when they’ve been given bad advice or being able to suggest alternative medications. Without her we would have heartbreakingly forced to give up at 10 months, but we were able to go to self weaning. For that I will always be eternally grateful.
Support is everything when it comes to breastfeeding, from the smallest things like someone passing the remote and letting you watch endless reruns of friends to the big things like getting the latch right, learning about breast milk supply and problems we didn’t encounter like tongue tie/lip tie. I only wish funding were better so that more people can achieve their breastfeeding goals.
During my breastfeeding journey I count myself lucky, while asking for help I read more about breastfeeding and learned about different issues that many people face. As a result, I now know a lot more about breastfeeding and I use that knowledge to help others where possible; one day I hope to become a peer supporter, perhaps after finishing having children and I have more time to be able to volunteer. In the meantime, whenever I meet someone who needs any help I will do everything in my power to get the information that they need, even if that person has already moved on to bottle feeding because of their difficulties but still wants information.
For more on the people behind the breastfeeder please hop on over Fit for parenting where you can also gain further entries into the grand prize draw. Full terms and conditions can be found on the Keeping Britain Breastfeeding website. UK residents only.