The journey of a lifetime – feeding my babies

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.

Feeding my daughter

Feeding my daughter

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.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Keep Britain breastfeeding scavenger hunt 2015

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14 thoughts on “The journey of a lifetime – feeding my babies

  1. Helen McG says:

    I really enjoyed reading this. Well done for training as a peer supporter. I really enjoyed training. It’s great to be able to pass on our experience and help others to succeed at their breastfeeding goals, no matter what they are. 🙂

    Like

    • Milla says:

      Thank you. It’s a fascinating course to do, isn’t it? I found the biology of it all so interesting, especially when it came to things like relactating and stimulating lactation for mums who were adopting or had used a surrogate.

      Like

  2. Adventures of a Novice Mum says:

    Awwww … indeed, how can something so natural bring about such pain? My HV said she had been told during a training that breastfeeding, whilst natural, doesn’t come naturally. So true, isn’t it. It doesn’t seem to have come naturally for many that I’ve met.

    So wonderful that you had quality support amidst poor help. Not only did you make it through, now you support many on their journey. Superb in everyway! #PositiveAboutBF

    Like

    • Milla says:

      Thanks Novice – you don’t sound like a novice any more 😉
      It depends so much on circumstances whether it comes naturally or not – my daughter was born being able to feed with no problems and, because of my previous experience and my training, I didn’t get in the way of that, but some babies find it harder initially. It really is the advice and support that makes the difference.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. gemma clark says:

    Not much I can wear to impress at the moment, all that fits is my maternity clothes! Looking forward to starting my breastfeeding journey 🙂

    Like

    • Milla says:

      I always loved my maternity clothes – finally an excuse to be proud of my belly instead of trying to hide it! The last few weeks are the pits, though. Sympathy! Wish you all the best with your breastfeeding – look up some groups now so you have the support in place already just in case. Plus you get to meet other new mums going through the same stuff x

      Like

    • Milla says:

      Thanks Shoshanah. I haven’t written on this topic, but on occasion we do need to dress up and, if not impress, at least blend in. I was just at a wedding with my very hungry 4 month old and couldn’t exactly turn up in jogging bottoms and an old maternity top, however much more comfortable it would have been! Thank god for the stretchy jersey dress 🙂

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    • Milla says:

      Thanks Jenni – it’s sad that HCPs are still given only a couple of hours of training in bf, but sadder still that most of them don’t realise their limitations. They would do less damage if they could only admit to struggling mums that they don’t know and perhaps a lactation consultant or support group would be better placed to advise them!

      Like

  4. Maria Hackett says:

    Lovely article! expecting twins and so would love to win this prize!

    I love wearing dresses as I find them easy to style, comfy and elegant. x

    Like

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