My journey with breastfeeding was quite simply one of the most incredible experiences I have ever had. This is remarkable when I consider that I had actually never intended to do it. I bought the perfect prep machine and all the bottles, the steriliser etc. well in advance of my daughter being born. I spent my last weeks of pregnancy researching which formula was the best for my baby and getting frustrated with the NCT lady who couldn’t offer much advice as their policy was to encourage breastfeeding.
Now I recognise how lucky I was to be able to breastfeed my daughter and I recognise that others try and are unable to. I also recognise that for some it isn’t right for them and there are many valid reasons for this. I support and truly believe that fed is best and this article is not designed to make anyone feel bad whatsoever, I just wanted to share my story as it was for me quite life changing and there are some things I certainly would change if I could turn back time.
I had taken the pre-made bottles to the hospital and not given a second thought to breastfeeding. This will no doubt seem odd to many of you but I will admit that before my daughter was born, I was only thinking about how I wanted my life to carry on with minimal disruption. You might think I was totally selfish, and I can understand why you would think this. I planned to go back to work asap, and didn’t give much thought to how I might change after this amazing little person came into my life.
Well this little lady from the day she decided it was time she wanted to enter this world decided she had other plans. My plans for a natural birth, in a birth centre with just gas and air to get me through didn’t even go according to plan when she decided she was going to be a little bit awkward coming out and we ended up needing some help to get her here.
When she was born (after a lovely long cuddle with her daddy) she was ready for some dinner and she was given to me. She was such a natural, she latched on, and words can’t even describe how this felt. It was simply beautiful.
Of course, the first 2 weeks were really hard. Feeding around the clock, trying to ensure she was putting on weight. Going back and forward to the hospital to get her weighed and feeding her as much as I possibly could to combat some jaundice – something which I now know is extremely common but was very worrying at the time.
The midwives were absolutely brilliant. They watched me feed, over and over until I felt confident my daughter was getting enough milk.