Thursday, 8 November 2012

The joys of breastfeeding....

My personal journey with breastfeeding has been some what a rollercoaster, but its something I feel very strongly about, something I absolutely adore & love.

When I was expecting my first little baby, I never knew much about it, it wasnt something I was spoken to about really until my cousin and sister-in-law mentioned it to me. So fast-forward to the evening I gave birth - and tried to feed our precious little baby for the very first time - doing something that I almost felt alien to.
Once I saw her feeding - I realised that THAT was her instinct, and it was also mine to reach the needs of this tiny little baby with something that was actually very "normal".

For the next TEN weeks I was in the most horrendous pain. (something I would describe as razor blade sharpness EVERYTIME I fed her.) But something inside me had a burning desire to persevere with it - however painful it was every few hours. no matter how much I dreaded that immense pain - I knew I wanted to stick at it. My cousin saw me once a week, and with each week there was something happening, whether this was mastitis, thrush, open wounds from bad latches - you name it) and her words were SO encouraging. (she's breast-fed her two children) and she use to keep saying to me "oh I just wish I could show you how good it will get, I PROMISE you it will get better, and once you reach that point, there's no going back, and it is amazing." - and she couldnt have been more right. by week 10 - I was pain-free and actually really enjoying feeding my little gem. I was yet to overcome the feeding in public part but this came around month 4. Where I was in Starbucks, baby needed feeding and was chomping her fists. So I found myself a quiet spot, and just fed her in the most discreet way without a soul noticing. but to me it was a HUGE step in our journey together. I was so pleased with my daughter & I. afterall - she is the one who taught me to do this miraculous job.

I went on to feed her until 13.5months, attending Baby cafe (LLL) and i am so pleased that i had the strength to carry on. She self-weaned at this time as I think my milk started to taste funny as i was 3 months pregnant with our 2nd baby!

Our 2nd little girl is now 23 weeks old, and breastfeeding her is an absolute dream too, i feel so lucky to have had only ONE weeks worth of tenderness this time around. no infections or anything! and feeding gin public is something I am more than proud to do. I love the little habits both of them had/have whilst feeding. (YM - tucking her hand into my top and twiddling or play with my hair, H loves to play with her ear, or my hair.) H is still feeding on demand :-)

All of this information is based on my personal experience, everyone has different situations & personal preferences. I completely understand that some people also find it hard, and choose to switch to other sources of milk - each to their own. I just thought i'd express and document my story of our breastfeeding journey. I've done lots of reading on breastfeeding too, and have also been asked to become a volunteer as a breastfeeding support peer by my local Baby Cafe (via LLLeague)

Great pages for information are:

www.kellymom.com
www.thefoodoflove.org
http://www.laleche.org.uk/

Great books:
The Food Of Love by Kate Evans
The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding
The politics of Breastfeeding

Thank you to my beautiful girls for introducing this wonderful thing to me, and how its made me open up my eyes to how I want my babies to be nourished. :) x



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