Thanks for hopping over from Lycrawidow and welcome to my post for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt Day 1 The Start of My Journey sponsors today include Boobie Milk with a £50 voucher, Cherub Chews who are offering a breastfeeding necklace and Loveyush who are offering a breastfeeding scarf for our Grand Prize winner. Over £700 worth of goodies are up for grabs entries via the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
I had always hoped to breastfeed my children after studying childcare at school and then into further education. I had learnt all about the benefits for both mum and baby and knew it was the route I wanted to take or at least try.
However when I unexpectedly became pregnant, thinking it through I was not ready, nor was I confident enough to feed. I was still living at home with my parents and the thought of having to feed my baby in front of my father, let alone out in public put me off and I instantly decided to turn to bottle feeding. Jack drank a lot and I was always met with 'bet your glad your not breastfeeding' 'oh you would find breastfeeding hard all this feeding'. In fact they couldn't be further from the truth I was upset I was selfish and didn't give my baby a chance to breastfeed.
So, when I found out I was pregnant with my second child, I instantly knew I would breastfeed, no being selfish this time. I was living as a single parent so no issues in feeding in front of others around the home and if it didn't go to plan, I could always switch to formula. When pregnant I purchased some bottles, a breast pump and a nursing scarf, however I obviously still had some doubt as I refused to buy nursing clothing.
When Isla arrived, in recovery I was asked my intentions for feeding Isla and she was then placed on my breast. I had no idea at all when I was doing, I had no knowledge of breastfeeding or how to feed I attended no ante-natal as I was told I didn't need them. My only breastfeeding knowledge was that I learnt in education almost 10 years previous and that was just benefits. The midwife asked me how it felt and checked how Isla was and said we were fine and we continued at that.
Isla's initial latch was painful and honestly the whole feed was painful and I thought it was just that my body was learning something new, after all the midwife said she looked fine. On day 3 my nipples were incredibly sore, her initial latch on my one breast hurt but eased after a short while. Whilst my other breast it hurt for the entire feed and afterwards. I spoke with the midwife who came to see us at home and she agreed her latch may not be right and contacted the local feeding support team who arranged to come out and see us.
I was determined to not give up, the pain within my breasts was uncomfortable however I continued through. On day 5 a lady from the local breastfeeding buddy team came out to see us. She spoke with me about how I latch Isla on, how she feeds and how she comes off the breast and stayed with us until Isla was ready for a feed. It was lovely to have someone to talk to about feeding let alone have her show us and help us improve. When she woke for a feed, she helped latch Isla onto the breast - her latch had been wrong for the past five days. She then stayed until Isla had finished her feed to see how she unlatches.
As I had fed Isla with a terrible latch, that was what caused the pain within my nipples and blocked milk ducts. Also, because I continued to feed through this making my breasts more painful, told you I was determined to not give up it took a short while for the pain when feeding Isla to go away.
So our initial beginning of our feeding journey was not as simple as latch on and away we go. No-one said it would be easy, but no-one explained about latching either.
I've now been feeding Isla for just short of 5 weeks so we are both still incredibly new to the whole feeding. This past week we have had lots of cluster feeding during the daytime, again making my breasts painful but not as bad as those first initial days. I already love breastfeeding and intend to feed for as long as possible. Hopefully until Isla self-weans but I'm not setting any goals just taking each day as they come.
I know how hard it is for some ladies to breastfeed and for some who want to breastfeed but have to make a decision to formula feed. I’m not here to make those who formula feed feel guilty – I’ve been there. I’m just here to share my story and try and bring a positive outlook to breastfeeding again.
So lets not judge and be #positiveaboutBF
Following on from my journey, please do hop over to My Thoughts On Things to see how her journey began and be in with more chances to enter the grand prize draw. Remember you need to earn 50 points to be eligible, full details can be found on the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Site.