Thanks for visiting from Adventures of a Novice Mum 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.
The start of my breastfeeding journey was, as so many are, a rocky one. After a difficult and traumatic birth, with the masses of medical intervention that I had never wanted, my poor body was tired and battered already. Add into the mix a constantly hungry, velcro baby and some very very poor support and you have the recipe for a broken mama.
I had so desperately wanted to exclusively breastfeed my baby and, after I had (as I saw it) ‘failed’ to give birth, it was even more important to me to succeed with feeding: to try and make up for the drugs he’d received, the being ripped untimely from his mother’s womb, the fact I was a sobbing, miserable mess who struggled to attach to him. The hospital pushed me to use formula and, exhausted and fighting to the last, I eventually gave in, although I pumped and fed, fed and pumped as well – anything to escape the hospital and get back to my community midwives.
I was, however, one of the lucky ones. I had the most amazing support from my husband and mother, I found a good midwife at my local unit who helped me when I turned up in tears at 3am two weeks after giving birth, I also found a support group not too far away where gentle peer supporters listened to me endlessly rehash my birth and a trained midwife gave some decent advice on holding my baby so everything was more comfortable.
I was on my knees with exhaustion, traumatised, in pain, struggling to bond, but I gritted my teeth and kept right on going and gradually, after about six weeks, things began to improve. I couldn’t believe that something that was supposed to come naturally could cause so many difficulties and 10 months later, when the chance was offered for me to train to become a peer supporter myself, I jumped at the chance.
It’s been a long journey, from that first attempt to latch my baby on post c-section, dazed, exhausted, ignorant – to here. Now I support and advise other women and argued with ignorant HCPs when I began feeding my second baby and they tried to offer unwelcome and poor advice as I fed her in the Neonatal High Dependency Unit after, yet another, difficult birth.
Things are gradually changing. Between my two babies the hospital started to seek ‘Baby Friendly’ status and when I had my daughter they offered her donated breastmilk to supplement my milk. There is still bad information out there, though, bad advisors, ignorant HCPs who, despite being medical personnel, have received less training on the mechanics and biology of breastfeeding than I, as a volunteer, have.
My breastfeeding journey has been a bumpy one, but it’s promising to be a lifetime one that carries on long after my own children have ceased to feed from me as I support generation after generation of other mothers to feed their children as they truly wish to do, and what a blessing that is.
Following on from my journey, please do visit Just Motherhood 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.