by Orla Colhoun
When my firstborn passed away shortly after he was born, my feelings of grief were immense. I yearned for another baby and one of the things that kept me going in those early days after loss was learning about breastfeeding. I knew it was something I wanted to do for my future babies and I channelled a lot of my energy into finding out all about breastfeeding.
My pregnancy was very challenging and we knew our outcome wasn’t going to be what we wanted
My firstborn Ben passed away shortly after he was born. It was a very challenging pregnancy and we knew our outcome wasn’t going to be what we wanted. My grief journey was immense, and the phrase “empty arms” was felt very strongly.
I yearned for another baby, not one to replace Ben, not one of my friends’ babies, just another little human to love, nurture, and hold close. And so came about the beginning of my breastfeeding journey.
I yearned for another baby, not one to replace Ben, not one of my friends’ babies, just another little human to love, nurture, and hold close.
Learning about breastfeeding helped me through
Before I even had become pregnant again I spent a lot of time learning about breastfeeding, I KNEW this was something I was going to do!!!
I look back now and think how much of my sadness I channeled into learning what breastfeeding was all about and how truly amazing a substance it was going to be for our future babies.
When Lucy arrived, I was able to finally breastfeed
Not too long later, along came Lucy!! My husband revelled in all my chats and stories and entertained me every time I said “let me read u this article” “wait til you hear this”. He was fully on board!!
I fed Lucy until she decided to end it, just a few days after her 2nd birthday. I will forever say it has been my greatest achievement in life!! She is as strong as an ox, fit healthy & well and most days I look at her and simply marvel at what my body gave her and the magnificent little person she is becoming because of my milk.
I fed Lucy until she decided to end it, just a few days after her 2nd birthday.
Breastfeeding after grief helped me heal
I’m now 11 weeks my new breastfeeding journey with new baby Tom. He is a guzzler, a very happy little one, whose needs are met in an instant each and every time with the power of breastfeeding.
Grief had a huge part to play in my decision to breastfeed, alongside simply wanting to give our babies the absolute best thing I could. I absolutely love it. I love what it gives us as a family, love every time I feed in public, love the amazing start it is giving our babies for their lifelong health and well-being. Finally, I love how it went a huge way to healing my body and soul from loss.
Grief had a huge part to play in my decision to breastfeed, alongside simply wanting to give our babies the absolute best thing I could.
Now to creep into bed beside this tiny squish, and snuggle down for another night close together.
Baby Loss Awareness Week, 9-15 October
Baby Loss Awareness Week takes place 9-15 October every year and helps raise awareness of pregnancy and loss in the UK. Throughout the week, bereaved parents, and their families and friends, unite with others across the world to commemorate the lives of babies who died during pregnancy, at or soon after birth, and in infancy. You can find out more about Baby Loss Awareness Week from Sands.co.uk