Jane & Astrid (15 months)
My first memory of breastfeeding is of my mothers purple knit jumper and feeling loved and safe. I didnt get to engage with breastfeeding as an act of love and nurturing again until i became a mother myself. This was because breastfeeding, whilst seen as a vital and superior act by those around me, wasnt something to be done in public. It was done in secret, under the cover of a blanket or scarf, it was something that you werent supposed to draw attention to.
When my first child was born i had prepared for everything i could except for breastfeeding. ’They're attached to my body, how hard can it be?’ i thought. I knew absolutely nothing. Despite three different breastfeeding ”experts” we all failed to diagnose a tongue tie. Having no connection with my mothers intuition, i abandoned the idea of breastfeeding in the first week. I believed it had to be perfect from the very start. I thought that my baby would starve if it wasnt all to plan and that combi feeding (an idea i initially entertained) meant that i might as well throw in the towel from the start. Even if it was for one feed here and there I believed it was a guaranteed fail. I didnt know what galactagogues were, what a let down felt like or how to establish my own supply. I felt i had failed so miserably that it wasnt even worth my time calling one of the relevant organisations for help. If only i had known all that i know now. I would have pushed for help. I wouldnt have given up. I would have been far less stressed about my baby looking out.
I cried for three days straight. I felt like an utter failure. The only thing i was left with from my breastfeeding journey were the two wilted cabbage leaves in my bra cups and I never thought i would get another chance to breastfeed again. There’s nothing wrong with bottle feeding but I wanted to breastfeed! He’s ten years old now and it didn’t do him any harm. We were convinced for the longest time that we should be a one-child family. And then, one day, we decided differently and what a good decision we made!
My secon child was born in 2019. And I was determined to feed her naturally. I began with visualising how special it might be to feed her and connect with her in that way. I would daydream about it and smile all throughout my pregnancy. This time i wasnt going to give up so soon! When she was born, i had her on my stomach, nursing, before the cord was cut. I remember being delighted at how adorable her little face was, wondering if she would be able to manage a feed! Breastfeeding wasn’t easy to start with. There were tears and various creams and hot showers but we always come back to that precious moment of connection. I adore her. I adore feeding her and I Feel as though it’s breastfeeding that’s helped me to avoid post natal depression this time around. Whatever happens, we have a boobie bubble that rights all wrongs. She is nearly a year and a half old and I intend to feed her for as long as I feel she can benefit from that.