BY KIERA (GUEST WRITER)
I had always wanted to at least try and breastfeed, I had told myself that I wouldn’t get upset if I couldn’t do it. Looking back I think I probably would have but I had bought myself bottles and a steriliser just to make sure. I had also bought a few different types of breast pumps too. When Thea was born I was amazed how quickly she latched on, It came so natural and it was just so comfortable. I think Danny will agree with me that we were both in awe. That being said, I thought I would share my breastfeeding journey, the benefits & any tips I have!
I think I had it quite easy compared to other mums who really struggled. I remember about three days in and my nipples were so sore and painful. I never had any bleeding but for the first 2-3 weeks Lanisnoh was my best friend! I can remember the searing pain every time she would latch on that would last for about 10 seconds but it was the kind of toe curling pain that I had to brace myself for. Even though it was painful I loved breastfeeding and still do. The bonding that it gives you is just incredible.
My first outing where I had to breastfeed in public was at a garden centre with my dad. I had a big muslin cloth and I remember trying to pull my top up and bra down whilst holding a new born and feeling a bit overwhelmed and like everyone was staring at me, my dad bless him was so supportive and helped cover me up. I felt so embarrassed, I really don’t know why I felt like this because I honestly didn’t care what people thought. I was feeding my baby and that was that. I feel more comfortable around certain friends and family than others, although my cousin doesn’t bat an eyelid when I just whip it out around her haha! I am more confident now then ever, I am quite discreet about it in public but If people don’t like to see it they should look away.
I have been breastfeeding for nearly 18 months and so so SO many people ask me when am I going to stop…. well I don’t know? Am I ready to stop my breastfeeding journey? Thea has dropped quite a lot of her feeds now because she drinks cows milk at nursery and has a cup at home but every morning and night all she wants is booby. She will only drink from my left side now, she wants nothing to do with my right side and I have no idea why haha!
I did find that even though I tried 3 different breast pumps it was never the same as the real deal, I know some mums that exclusively pumped and gave breast milk to their baby which is amazing. I just never got a lot and would still feel full afterwards. Its something to give a go if breastfeeding doesn’t work.
The one downside I ever had was when I got to around 13 months of breastfeeding I had my first experience of mastitis. I was out with my cousin and her bridesmaids when I started feeling really unwell, I felt faint and sick. The girls were super helpful and when I got home I realised that my left breast had a solid mass, it progressively got worse and I ended up on antibiotics for 2 weeks. I had a few hospital appointments to double check everything and I got very mixed advice. One Doctor told me that I should stop breastfeeding altogether. I was super shocked and I actually called my health visitor who was disgusted with the advice, I actually felt a lot better when I did breastfeed as the milk was draining instead of building up. It just shows you how many misinformed people there are.
This post isn’t bashing formula feeding at all, I am all for feeding your baby. Whichever method you use. this is just my experience with breastfeeding and a few facts about it if you are thinking about giving it a go!
Its actually not that hard to find on the internet some of the benefits breastfeeding gives you and your baby. I had a look and this is some information that I got from the NHS website.
I didn’t realise but in the UK, more than 73% of mothers start breastfeeding. I honestly thought that it was much lower, but The UK has one of the lowest rates in the world for breastfeeding after one year at 0.5%!
Here are just some of the reasons why breastfeeding is so good:
- your breast milk is perfectly designed for your baby
- breast milk protects your baby from infections and diseases
- breastfeeding provides health benefits for you
- breast milk is available for your baby whenever your baby needs it
- breastfeeding can build a strong emotional bond between you and your baby
Any amount of breast milk has a positive effect. The longer you breastfeed, the longer the protection lasts and the greater the benefits.
Breastfeeding reduces your baby’s risk of:
- infections, with fewer visits to hospital as a result
- diarrhoea and vomiting, with fewer visits to hospital as a result
- sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS)
- childhood leukaemia
- cardiovascular disease in adulthood
It is recommended to give nothing but breast milk for about the first 6 months (26 weeks) of your baby’s life.
Breastfeeding and making breast milk also has health benefits for you. The more you breastfeed, the greater the benefits.
Breastfeeding lowers your risk of:
- breast cancer
- ovarian cancer
- osteoporosis (weak bones)
- cardiovascular disease
The other great thing is that it is completely FREE! Winner Winner.
Before I finish I just wanted to note that if you are breastfeeding in public you are protected under the Equality Act 2010 for as long as you wish to breastfeed and covers all public places from parks and leisure facilities, to public transport, shops, restaurants, hotels and cinemas.
I hope you enjoyed reading all about my breastfeeding journey? Did you breastfeed?