Thanks for hopping over from Diary of an Unexpectant Mother and welcome to my post for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt Day 6 The People Behind The Breastfeeder; sponsors today include ARDO Breastpumps who are giving away a Calypso Single Breastpump, Breastvest who are offering an essential breastvest duo (1x black and 1x white) in your size and Mother Loves Cookies who are providing a box of delicious lactation cookies for our Grand Prize winner. Over £700 worth of goodies are up for grabs entries via the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
It takes a village to raise a child, and it takes support to breastfeed a baby.
Breastfeeding isn’t as easy as the books make out and without support and care from your family and friends you are much less likely to succeed.
This is a tribute to the people who helped me breastfeed
Papa Bear is incredibly supportive with everything I do and Breastfeeding was no different. He knew the benefits of breast milk for our baby and at the start could see me in pain, dreading each feed. He did everything he could to help me, as soon as we realised how painful it was he was out buying nipple creams, breast pads and an electric breast pump. He could assemble and disassemble said breast pump in under 30 seconds with military precision, in fact this became a bit of a game for him.
Expressing helped him feel part of the journey as he could feed our babies at the beginning as they learnt to latch on. But later on he never felt excluded, only proud that we were doing the best for our babies and for me.
He bought me scarves to wear and encouraged me to drink water and eat better as all my nutrients were going to my breast milk. I thank my husband for being so supportive, although he probably thanks me for always being the one getting up to do the night feeds.
My Mum breastfed me, she made breastfeeding normal for me, because of her attitude I always knew I would at least try. My Mum was my own personal cheerleader, although she found breastfeeding easy she supported my own struggle and helped in every way she could with positioning tips and cake.
My Mum was an invaluable support, not only for supporting me with breastfeeding but knowing me better than I knew myself. After being rushed back into hospital I couldn’t even look at my son, my beautiful baby I just wanted them to take him away. My Mum knew this wasn’t me and told me he needed me to breastfeed.
Of course he would have thrived on formula and been fine, what she meant, and I wasn’t in a position to hear, was that I needed to breastfeed. I needed to push through the pain and hold him, give him my milk and connect. He was 7 days old and needed me, I was on the verge of depression and needed him, I needed him close. Now breastfeeding isn’t the only way to get that bond but for me in those hours I needed to breastfeed and the only one who knew was my Mum.
The Breastfeeding Mum in my Post Natal Group
There is usually one mum in every post natal group who already has a child. She is the confident one, who has been there before, understands the baby isn’t going to break and accepts the tiredness with grace. I was lucky that one of those mums was a breastfeeder.
She had breastfed her first and still was before bed, but was also feeding her newborn. She made it look so easy, she knew everything (or it felt like she did) and she shared her knowledge as long as you asked. Without pushing her words onto everyone she would give me little tips when I asked, she was my go to person with questions about diet and sleep patterns.
The encouraging midwife
I had little support from the NHS, most of my midwives were older and very matter of fact, they saw me wincing in pain as my baby latched on and told me to suck it up. However one night in hospital a student midwife saw me and came to help, she had her own child and showed me a few new positions that really helped me get my first to latch on. I saw a few encouraging midwives and was lucky I had an amazing health visitor but the first time someone shows kindness and understanding and tries to help is a real boost.
Safe Drugs In Breastmilk Helpline
I suffered from depression throughout my pregnancies and whilst breastfeeding, I took antidepressants, I was lucky I was able to take breastfeeding safe anti depressants but other are not given these.
If you are given any medication and you are concerned that they are not safe for breastfeeding then the safe drugs in breastmilk helpline can help you. I wish I had known about them when I had a kidney infection and stopped with my son, as many GPs haven’t the extensive knowledge to help.
Who helped you succeed in breastfeeding, I’d love to know in the comments.
For more on the people behind the breastfeeder please hop on over to Musings from a Northern Village where you can also gain further entries into the grand prize draw. Full terms and conditions can be found on the Keeping Britain Breastfeeding w ebsite. UK residents only.