I had my little boy Jonah just before lockdown hit in the UK. We’ve had ups and downs along the way, and times where I’ve felt like a failure, but never once did I want to give up on breastfeeding. It’s created such a strong bond between us. Now that he is 12 months old I have reached my one year breastfeeding milestone and can officially say I have golden boobs! If you’re not quite sure what I mean by that then read on…
The first feed was magical
I was fortunate that Jonah arrived just before Covid meant lockdown was enforced in the UK. Thankfully my partner was with me throughout the labour and his support was immeasurable.
I was in labour for 24 hours before Jonah arrived via an emergency c-section. It wasn’t long before the midwife put him on me for skin to skin and he latched immediately. My partner said it was magical to watch.
Afterwards, on the postnatal ward I had a wealth of women checking my latch, counting feeds or wet nappies. My breastfeeding journey was supported from the outset and all was seemingly going well.
My breastfeeding journey was supported from the outset and all was seemingly going well.Charlotte
Unfortunately, on the third day in hospital, Jonah turned a tinge of yellow and developed jaundice. I was up all night nursing him and expressing colostrum to give to him via a syringe. My hard work paid off and the very next day the bilirubin score reduced from an 8 to a 3 and after one more night we were ready to go home. My milk came in another two days later, day 7 when I woke up engorged.
I’ve had reoccurring milk blebs and mastitis
Throughout my breastfeeding journey, I’ve had milk blebs and mastitis, and I’ve been engorged numerous times. I even relieved a milk bleb myself with a needle when I couldn’t get an appointment due to the pandemic. No matter how often Jonah would feed off the affected boob, the milk bleb wouldn’t go on its own.
I even relieved a milk bleb myself with a needle when I couldn’t get an appointment due to the pandemic.Charlotte
Due to lockdown I never needed to pump milk and I worried if that would be detrimental
During the lockdown, it had been difficult trying to understand where my journey was going; worrying if never giving my baby a bottle would be detrimental for the odd day I’ve needed to be away. Exclusively breastfeeding on the boob, I never pumped, so when I finally needed to, I got one measely ounce which dad gave him in a free-flow cup.
There have been times where I’ve felt like a failure but I’ve never wanted to stop breastfeeding, that much I was certain of. I knew I was lucky that I could breastfeed and I knew my baby was getting everything he needed from me. I felt immense pride when I looked at my six-month-old baby, pre-weaning, knowing every roll and chunk came from my milk; what a lovely thought.
There have been times where I’ve felt like a failure but I’ve never wanted to stop breastfeeding, that much I was certain of.Charlotte
I’ve reached my one year breastfeeding milestone
Having reached my personal goal of 12 months, I am amazed and so proud of my breastfeeding journey. I am thankful to my body, enabling me to nourish my baby and in awe at the bond I have with my baby boy. My partner has remarked that our son doesn’t have a comforter or a teddy he can’t be without and I’m like, “hello, it’s me. I’m it.” I’m the comforter and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
What I’ve enjoyed is experiencing the journey constantly evolve. I had a newborn baby, cradling him in my arms, nursing him to sleep and now I have a one-year-old, who bounds towards me, lifting up my top, feeding upright during playtime. In fact, he hates being cradled now, and I must admit, I miss the days he would fall asleep in my arms.
Now I have a one-year-old, who bounds towards me, lifting up my top, feeding upright during playtime.Charlotte
I think back to that first latch like it was yesterday. So primitive, a baby’s desire to feed and so special for a mama, in those first few moments of meeting your baby. Everything just felt so right, in that moment. Every part of my journey, however tough, has been so worth it and long may it continue. And now I can say I have golden boobs – the award given to when you reach one year breastfeeding milestone.
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