My breastfeeding journey began 3 years ago following the birth of my baby girl. Although it was always my intention to breastfeed I didn’t feel very well equipped when I started. I had a pretty traumatic birth, which started with 15 hours of labour and ended in an emergency C Section. After being stitched, my baby was put onto me and we began feeding. I remember this being the most amazing feeling and immediately bonded with my baby. But when we got home it didn’t continue as naturally for me and I struggled when feeding in public.
I expressed so that my partner could help with feeding but I ended up with an oversupply and mastitis at 7 weeks which later developed into an abscess in my left boob. The pain was incredible and I had to fight to be treated properly. I was in and out of hospital and narrowly avoided surgery. I was separated from my baby while I was in hospital, which was just awful. So after 9 weeks, I ended up combi feeding. We continued this arrangement until she was 4 months when I fully transferred to formula milk. I remember feeling disappointed that our breastfeeding journey had come to an end but because I was mentally and physically exhausted I finally accepted that this was the right thing to do for the both of us at the time.
Forward on two and a half years and my current journey couldn’t be any more different!! I have loved almost all of my experience with my baby boy who is now 9 months and still a boob monster. I have never felt weird about feeding. I am much more confident and much happier to feed in public. I find it the most natural thing in the world. What changed?! A few things…I didn’t put as much pressure on myself that I had to breastfeed! I joined Breastfeeding in Northern Ireland and although I never posted, that group helped me through every single part of my journey! I read and learned so much more about breastfeeding and I practiced different feeding positions in the house, before trying them out and about. My advice would be to do your research and don’t be afraid to ask for help! Those early days are vital for getting the latch right. It doesn’t come easy for everyone but is such an amazing experience for you and baby, when it is right.