I always knew I wanted to breastfeed or at least try.

People told me it would be hard, and that it would hurt; and that the first two weeks were the hardest. I also was told by my midwife that both you and your baby are learning together, which stuck in my mind.

When my first little girl was born, we had skin to skin straight away and she latched. I hadn’t done any research but knew about colostrum, which was all that was needed to feed a full term baby in the first few days.

We spent the next few weeks indoors establishing breastfeeding (I limited visitors). On day five I had a very helpful midwife come out to see me. She taught me about feeding cues, and that every time she made a peep to try feeding her. As soon as I fed her, I would check her nappy to see if she had a wee, so I knew she was getting enough.

I did have some pain in my left breast and a small graze in the early weeks. I found Beside You which gave me some tips to help manage the pain. When I was home, I would air my nipples and rub breastmilk on them which was a life saver. Once the graze was healed, I felt like a new women.

At ten weeks old I visited our local infant feeding clinic to basically check I was doing everything right, and I will be honest I did have a massive cry as I think it was all so overwhelming. I felt a lot better after speaking to someone. They checked her tongue and recommended an osteopath which worked wonders on her neck. I just didn’t want to give up.

My cousin said it will get easier and that helped me to carry on. My mantras were don’t give up on a bad day, you’ll be pleased you didn’t, and if in doubt whip it out.

Breastmilk is so much more than just food, so it doesn’t matter why they are asking for another breastfeed just feed your baby. Watch the baby not the clock.

Beside You always put up very informative posts on Facebook. These helped me on my feeding journey and normalised what was normal.

One day it just clicked, and we went with it, and I fed my daughter until she was nearly 4 years old. I fell pregnant when she was 3 and I fed her throughout my pregnancy.

I fed her to sleep for 3 and a half years and I never thought I would see the day when she stopped feeding to sleep or even stopped breastfeeding.

I knew I would breastfeed my second baby, and knowing more the second time around I got support straight away. I was learning to feed a new born for the second time. I took it a day at a time and went with the flow. I knew no two breastfeeding journeys are the same. I am now 14 months into my second feeding journey and I cannot see us stopping anytime soon.

We have had bad days but the good days have far outweighed the bad. When their little face looks up at you and they smile you know it’s all worthwhile. When they are putting on weight I think I have done that – go boobies!

It works for us and our family, I don’t have to sterilise and make bottles, I can go out all day and not have to worry and I can get rest at night without having to get out of bed.

I have recently trained to become a breastfeeding peer supporter to support other mums along their breastfeeding journeys too.

Beside You

12th October 2023