With it being National Breast Feeding Week and Instagram being full of proud mummy’s baring their boobs and feeding their beautiful children I wanted to write an honest blog about my own experience of feeding my children.
So yes, I breastfeed both my children. Harry for 10 weeks and Charley for 5 months.I also bottle fed my children along side breastfeeding, Harry from 5 days old and Charley from 2 weeks. My aim when I gave birth to Harry was to breastfeed exclusively for at least 6 months but like most things, in life, it didn’t turnout that way.My 1st night in the hospital was in every sense of the world uncomfortable. I was sore from being stitched, tired from a long labour and scared as I hadn’t a clue how to breastfeed. Read as many books as you like but you can’t practice breastfeeding! The breastfeeding nurse had done her duty and been to see me, latching Harry onto me ( 6th attempt ) and then disappearing. He would latch on for 2 minutes then come back off. This pretty much went on all night. If I was feeling sorry for myself the poor girl next to me had it worse. She was being woken every 3 hours by the nurses to express milk and then her baby was being cup fed. She was tired but just like me but the echo’s of “breast is best ” kept us trying.
The pain was excruciating, the constant latching on & off was tiresome and I felt trapped indoors from the need to get a boob out every 20minutes.By day 5 the decision was taken out of my hands and I was sent off for a bath while my husband gave Harry a bottle of formula. I cried my eyes out that I had failed my goal but I also cried tears of joy that the pressure had been taken off me to exclusively BF. I carried on combine feeding for another 9 weeks but it came to a natural end at 10 weeks when Harry decided he liked the bottle better than my boob. This was fine for me, I had had enough!
When I was planning for Charley’s birth I put myself under no pressure and packed formula in my hospital bag.I would decide on the day how I would feed her. Charley took 3 long days to come out and when eventually she popped out I had decided in my head to bottle feed her but Charley had other ideas and latched on without me even trying. Simple as that, she latched on, fed & went to sleep. I had no excuse with Charley not to exclusively breastfeed but I didn’t.I didn’t want to !! I decided that I wanted to have a small part of my life back and for Charley not to be reliant on me 24/7. Every mum is allowed a night off !!!
When I meet other mums for the 1st time, sometimes before I have even had a chance to say my name I am asked if I have breastfed. My answer is yes but you may as well ask what i voted in the Referendum. The answer doesn’t matter.My children are healthy & Happy and that’s all that matters.
So congratulations to the yummy mummy breastfeeders on Instagram. Your pictures are beautiful and you have the right to breastfeed your babies wherever and whenever you want. But also congratulations to the fabulous formula feeding mummies. Be proud that you too created the miracle of life and you have the right to produce a bottle of formula from your nappy bag without the fear of prejudice or need for explanations.