**Before I begin I would like to say this isn't me stating that breast is best and all babies should be breastfed! I stand by the belief of a happy baby is a fed baby be it breast, formula, tube or how ever that baby is needing to be fed.**
My breastfeeding journey, like so many I imagine, has been one of tears, tantrums, from both Mummy and Harper, excitement, joy and many smiles.
I decided whilst I was pregnant I wanted, if nature allowed, to breastfeed. Like labour, I had heard so many negative stories around breastfeeding, I decided that I would try my hardest for Harper to be just breastfed but I wouldn’t let myself, or others, put unnecessary pressure on me. I didn’t really decide how long I wanted to breastfeed for but if I could feed for 2 entire weeks I would be happy!
Once Harper was delivered I needed a few checks due to blood loss so Harper was passed to dad for her initial skin to skin. Once I was all in the clear Harper was put on my chest and from there my breastfeeding journey began. It did not come easy! To those who say it did, I am slightly jealous! We tried and failed and tried and failed but finally after many a midwife squeezed and manipulated my boobs into all sorts of shapes, Harper began to get the grip of it. I must say I found it easier to get her latched on when I didn’t have, what I felt were very judgemental eyes gazing down at me! When my partner and I were laid staring down at our new little bundle of joy I and the atmosphere was very peaceful, that’s when I found it the easiest! Even though I was blessed to have a normal and straight forward labour I was so tired; when she had her very first feed from me it was a feeling of complete bliss, painful bliss, but bliss all the same.
We continued the battle of breastfeeding and proved enough that we were ready to come home and so, that’s what we did. The first night or so, weren’t to bad. I believe it was the third or fourth night which pushed my want to breastfeed to the limit. Now, you are warned about this night. This is the night when emotions are high, hormones are crazy and your milk is just coming in. The truth be told, without my partner I wouldn’t have got through this night! He sat up with me, repeated all the advice he could remember and we got there, we made it through, after many tears and feelings of doubts we did it! I feel like getting over this night was our biggest hurdle to overcome.
I won’t go into day by day, or we will be here for ever, so I will make sure to keep it short.
The first 2-3 weeks are hard, I found painful nipples and emotions got the better of me some days but I kept going due to my amazing support system to who I owe the whole journey to, for without them I wouldn’t have made it this far. I rang and messaged them when ever I had doubt and they were AMAZING and kept me going!
At the 2-week mark I was struggling! I mean, really struggling! I felt that I wasn’t producing enough milk for this little baby who looked at me so longingly. I had to remind myself that my body was made to do this, I had to trust that it would do its job. I ended up going and purchasing some formula for just in case. I don’t know if it was some sort of conscious thing but after I did this I found everything so much more straight forward.
From about 3 weeks onwards my nipple pain eased and everything just started to click into place. I have always made A LOT of milk, so I have had to wear breast pads throughout but that isn’t the end of the world cause a lot is far better than not a lot.
I am saddened at just under 5 months my breastfeeding journey came to an end due to a horse-riding accident. With medical reasons and my own personal reasons – which I am sure I will shed some light in the future, my partner and I decided that it was time for Harper to go onto formula!
I have loved breastfeeding. Yes, it is so demanding and restricting at times but I must secretly admit I loved that Harper could only feed from me and I felt like this was our own private mummy baby time. Through all the hard and tough times, we got there and for that I am so proud of us both!
What was your highlight from breast feeding?