It’s story time…

Parents: Did you or your partner choose to breastfeed? Did you decide not to? Or did something get in the way of that choice? What do you wish you had known before you started out?  What advice or attitudes made you want to roll your eyes the hardest?  What would you change if you did it again?

This site has been set up for parents to share their stories of breastfeeding, not-breastfeeding and everything in between. All stories are welcome. Advice, opinions and ideas are welcome too. Just keep it (relatively) clean.

To send in your story – just go to submit your story, email info@thebreastfeedingproject.com or send a tweet.

 

Come out come out wherever you are

After a trickle of really wonderful breastfeeding stories, the well seems to have run dry for now… I know there are lots more stories out there and people keen to share, but while we’re trying to entice them to the site i’ll keep sharing news and other interesting bits of info as well as a few personal stories of breastfeeding. So here goes with the first anecdote…

One of my low points of breastfeeding was about 5 months in. My daughter had gotten so big she needed a lot of milk and feeds were becoming exhausting. And yet, despite transferring what felt like all my energy to her and being starving all of the time,  I hadn’t lost more than a couple of lbs of weight. Although I hadn’t worried too much about my size I felt like a milk machine and that i’d never get back to just being me. I started introducing a formula feed a couple of months after this and it made a massive difference in helping me reclaim some energy and get back to more regular eating habits (I.e not cracking open the fridge at midnight). I’m a big advocate of breastfeeding but formula has also saved me at times- i’m glad I turned to it when I did as it definitely helped me to stay sane and probably helped me to keep breastfeeding a few months longer.

 

Breastfeeding in public

I always found breastfeeding in public OK. No one ever said anything to me, wherever I fed my daughter, and people never seemed to stare either. I live in London though so no one bats an eyelid and anything… I’ve heard from friends and other mums though that they feel too self conscious to even try breastfeeding in public, regardless of whether they’ve had a reaction from someone. I think it helps if you can see another mum feeding nearby, so I thought it would be good if there were more breastfeeding areas in cafes and museums etc to help people feel comfortable and know there is a space to go when they’re out.

Kirsty – 28

Second Time Breastfeeding for Longer

I breastfed my first child for about 3 months, and even though I was convinced it was the best thing fr, I didn’t particularly enjoyed it. I started combination feeding her from her 2 month birthday and was quite relieved when I finally stopped giving her the breast, at 3 months. When I became pregnant with my second child, I assumed I would give breastfeeding a go again but that I was unlikely to enjoy it more than the first time. I gave myself permission from the get-go to stop at 6 weeks if I didn’t enjoy it. Long story short, my second daughter is now 5 months and I am still breastfeeding her, with no intention to stop. The experience has been completely different, partly because she took to breastfeeding more easily and breastfed efficiently from the start, and partly because I enjoy those little breaks of peace that are just her and me. With a toddler running around and a full-time job, it is easy sometimes to forget about the sweet baby who is just being so quiet. Breastfeeding her means that she gets some one on one Mummy time everyday. I am even expressing at work ! Something I told everyone I would never do… What I learnt from this : every child and every breastfeeding journey is different. If you feel like giving it a go, even if it didn’t work for you before, do it ! You might get a good surprise 🙂

Fairy -31

Family attitudes to breastfeeding

Most of the women in my family and my partner’s family didn’t breastfeed for very long, including my mum – just for the first couple of weeks or a couple of months at most before switching to formula. Everyone seemed a bit freaked out that I breastfed for so long, even though it was only 6 months. I almost felt pressure from some people not to breastfeed. I don’t know if it was them feeling insecure about what they chose to do or if they just didn’t really see the point in it. it was hard in a way as i didn’t have many people to turn to for advice at the start and they all made it sound like this terrible struggle for them, when for me it was fine after the first couple of weeks. They never minded me breastfeeding around them though which helped, so i’m grateful for that. I think I just got branded a bit of a hippy!

Anon – 28

I couldn’t breastfeed because of tongue tie

I couldn’t breastfeed my son in the end because he was born with a tongue tie and just couldn’t latch. Even though they diagnosed it within a few days of him being born I had to wait for 2 weeks to get his tongue tie snipped and by that point I had given up trying to breastfeed and had gone on to the bottle. I felt horrible that I couldn’t breastfeed and was upset for months after. I still think about it a lot now. I don’t understand why they can’t just check for tongue tie at birth or in the first week when the midwife comes round to your house? and it seems like they will do the operation at some hospitals but not at others.  I know it’s possible to pay someone to do it privately but not everyone can afford that.

Ange – 29

Expressing milk helped me to breastfeed

I really struggled with breastfeeding for the first month – my son wouldn’t latch on properly and my nipples became really sore from the bad latch. The NCT breastfeeding class I went to said i shouldn’t introduce a bottle until my baby was at least 6 weeks old, but i found the only way i could continue breastfeeding was to express milk using a breast pump and bottle feed every other feed. It gave my breasts a chance to heal and after about 3 weeks i was able to breastfeed full time. I went to some breastfeeding drop ins in my local area too and every person i saw told me to do something differently, which made the whole thing a bit confusing. They did help me get into a good feeding position though and i’m glad that resource was available. I would just warn anyone to be careful to get advice from just one person about breastfeeding. Everyone has different tips and techniques and you need to find your own mix of things to get going with breast feeding.

C – 34

People looked down on me for stopping breastfeeding

I live in a wealthy area and all the mums in my NCT group breast feed their babies. I just stopped breastfeeding my daughter at nine months old ( i started introducing formula from 7 months) and the women in my NCT group were visibly shocked by my decision.  I hated how they made me feel as I was proud I managed to keep breast feeding for more than 6 months and I hated breastfeeding for the last couple of months too. I would never judge someone for breastfeeding for less time than me, we all struggle with it in different ways. I think people being snobby about breast feeding over bottle feeding doesn’t help more people take it up!

Anon – 35

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