When I accidentally fell pregnant with my first child, I panic bought all the “pregnancy essentials,” or at least what I believed to be a necessity such as dummies, bottles and formula milk.
Little did I know I was totally wasting my money but I had never seen anyone breastfeed in real-life so I just couldn’t imagine doing it.
Fast-forward to the labour and the midwives encouraged me to try get the baby to latch as soon as she was born.
It felt weird at first but sure enough my little baby started feeding from my breast. It definitely wasn’t as easy as the adverts made out.
Fortunately though, when at home I had the Little Angels, voluntary breast feeding peer supporters, visit and oh my gosh they were a God send.
They stayed with me and showed me all the different positions that I could hold my baby in, my favourite was holding her “like a rugby ball.”
Not only that they offered me 24 hour support through their helpline and also recommend bosom buddies groups I could go to.
They also told me about the FAB (Families and Babies) shop in Wakefield City Centre where you can take babies and children to feed them and play as well as the adult having a hot drink.
So with Little Angels, FAB shop and the breastfeeding group at my local Sure-start Children’s Centre I was able to establish feeding and continue with just breast milk.
Needless to say I gave away the formula to my friends when I eventually convinced myself I wouldn’t need it.
Suddenly I was investing in breastfeeding-friendly clothes and bras as well as hospital grade electric pump.
The support I received was vital to me starting and persevering with this journey.
And it appears I’m not alone as I asked bloggers from Blog Up North, a network of northern bloggers, which I run, what helped them with breastfeeding?
Melanie Cossins of Cossins Music School: “Support is so important for mums. I struggled with my first and although i was doing everything the health visitor was telling me I still had problems. My d seemed to suck away for 10mins fall asleep then 20mins later wake up screaming. I ended up with mastitis and that was the end. I felt like a failure. With my second i called Little Angels (a group of volunteers in Wakefield) who were amazing! I had so much better support and not so much pressure to breastfeed. They just helped me get it right. I definitely didnt find it easy and it took me a few weeks to feel confident. Second time around was more successful.”
Sarah Smith of Wharfedale Mumbler said: “Support is essential especially if you are a first time Mum! The support I received at the hospital was Amazing & helped me to successfully feed my son!”
Amy Downes of A Mum Full of Dreams said: “I always knew I planned to breastfeed, it was never something I really gave much thought to because it just seemed the right thing to do, for me. But there isn’t really anything that can prepare you for what it’s actually like, the late nights, the cluster feeds, the emotional pressure of having such a responsibility for your baby. The first time I was introduced to my health visitor she mentioned a breastfeeding group in Pudsey where I live and I have to say that being able to go to that group once I’d plucked up the courage to leave the house for the first time on my own with the baby really helped me on my breastfeeding journey no end. The biggest thing though was that they had a Facebook group and being able to speak to other Mums during the very dark moments, the times late at night where I felt like I just couldn’t go on, got me through because it helped me see I wasn’t alone. Having the right support gives you confidence to keep going in a world where breastfeeding is often seen as quite a negative thing. My little one didn’t sleep very well and some people blamed that on the fact I was breastfeeding… being able to talk to other Mums about their experiences helped me see that wasn’t true and renewed my resolve to keep going. You need a lot of resolve and stubbornness to breastfeed, support groups become like your cheerleaders! For me, where support also lacks is when you want to stop feeding. Our journey ended after six months, I was proud of myself for getting that far and knew it was the right time to stop… but I was shocked to see there was no support or advice on how to do this.”
Read Amy’s blog post here.
Sarah Jane Scholey of Bargain Mummas said: “Support is essential with my1st born I didn’t no my milk wouldn’t come in until day 3. I’m now on my 4th baby and feel like a pro.”
National Breastfeeding Celebration Week (NBCW) 2017 started on:
- 19th of June in Scotland, with the theme of changing the conversation around breastfeeding and culture.
- 26th June in England, with the theme of breastfeeding support
Join the conversation using the hashtag #bffriend17 @MamaMeiBlog