My daughter, my first child was born in 2020. It was a strange year to be pregnant because of lockdown. One thing I was certain about though was that I was going to breastfeed. I read lots of information about breastfeeding during my pregnancy and can honestly say it never crossed my mind that I’d do anything any different.
I had an emergency c-section
My labour was very difficult and I experienced a lot of complications. She was born via category 1 emergency c-section and I had a major postpartum haemorrhage, losing 2.5L of blood and requiring a transfusion. I was rendered completely unable to care for my daughter independently in the first days of her life because of the birth. Due to lockdown rules, my husband was not able to stay to support me either.
I begged the midwives for help with breastfeeding but no one seemed to have the time. The evening my daughter was born a midwife told me I was “starving” her because I wouldn’t just give her a bottle there and then. It made me feel like the worst mother only hours in and I agreed to let the midwife give her formula in a cup.
I begged the midwives for help with breastfeeding but no one seemed to have the time.
In the hospital I was encouraged to give formula
From the next morning, I was encouraged to give formula and as a first time mum feeling really vulnerable, I just did what was asked of me. I was offered no more support with breastfeeding, despite staying in hospital for 5 days.
When she was 9 days old, I went to a breastfeeding support clinic but at that point, my daughter was very uninterested in breastfeeding and wouldn’t latch at all. Eventually, she was also diagnosed with a tongue tie also. It was at that point I had to acknowledge that my attempts of a breastfeeding journey had come to an end. I’d say I grieved the fact that I didn’t have the opportunity to breastfeed. It took a long time to get over it. I was envious of friends who’d had successful journeys. My daughter will be 3 in September and did thrive as a baby.
My second birth was much smoother
When I fell pregnant with my second baby, I knew that I’d be attempting breastfeeding again. My birth was much smoother with him and I was encouraged to breastfeed straight away. Immediately, I felt confident when the midwife told me he had a “great latch”.
Immediately, I felt confident when the midwife told me he had a “great latch”.
I had gone to a different hospital this time and the experience was like chalk and cheese. I was in again for longer, 4 days this time, and the midwives could not have been more supportive and keen to answer questions. They helped with positioning of baby, as well as checking the latch. After our stay, I felt that we’d got off to a great start in terms of breastfeeding.
I was breastfeeding my second child but expecting the worst
In the coming weeks, my son cluster fed of course and it felt so special to be able to breastfeed him. We had a really positive beginning to our journey. I didn’t experience any pain or cracked and bleeding nipples that I’d read so much about. It really was just so simple with him that I was waiting for it to all come crumbling down at any moment. I was successfully breastfeeding my second child but couldn’t quite believe it.
He’s 5 months old now and it didn’t. My son is still exclusively breastfed and has become a lovely, chunky little boy. I love the bond we have and every day I feel so grateful that I’m able to breastfeed him, having had no issues at all.
I’ll keep breastfeeding for as long as he wants
I intend to continue our breastfeeding journey as long as he wants to after he turns 1. As I type this, he’s woken from a cosy contact nap and is having a feed right now. I feel so lucky that I’ve been able to nourish my baby.
We feed anywhere and everywhere, including, most recently, on some baby friendly rides at Walt Disney World!
We feed anywhere and everywhere, including, most recently, on some baby friendly rides at Walt Disney World! I don’t let myself feel anxious about feeding in public because his needs come first.