Why I want to try and succeed at breastfeeding

Sunday, 6 July 2014

In all honesty, whilst pregnant with Gracie and Zach I never even considered breast feeding. To me it was strange, I didn't know anyone who had breastfed and so going out to buy bottles and a steriliser was one of the first things I did. I would be questioned 'what formula are you going to use?' 'What bottles will you choose?'. Not one person asked if I would be breastfeeding and neither did I think of it.


It wasn't until Zach was a few months old and I started blogging and following other bloggers as well as meeting all these new friends, that I started to notice new mums around me were choosing to breastfeed. I met new friends outside of blogging thanks to my new found confidence in meeting people and found that lots of them also did it. It was only then that I started to wish that I had known about this option. Silly I know as breastfeeding has been around longer than any of us but when you are young and all the people surrounding you do things one way, you tend to just see that as the norm. My mum bottle fed, my Grandma used to tell me stories about the old glass bottles and how she had to make one out of an old sauce bottle when her only bottle broke and she couldn't afford to replace it. In my family bottles were the done thing.

I don't think I feel guilty about not breastfeeding as it was a choice I made at the time even if it was an uneducated one on my part. I do feel like I want to give it a shot this time round though. Now that I know I feel this way I think I would regret never at least trying with my last baby. 

There is a big part of me that is scared though. I find it hard to admit so publicly but I am scared for a number of reasons. The biggest being I have been very insecure of my breasts all my life. I worry they are way too small which I know won't affect my milk (so I'm told) but I know I will be embarassed to feed in front of people for that reason alone. I'm also scared of failing, I want to do what's best for my baby and make things easier for us. It's not going to be easy having three under four so if I can avoid washing/sterilising/preparing bottles and having to remember to take them everywhere with us that would be great. That way I will have more time to do things with the kids all together. I'm scared of the effect failing at it might have on me afterwards, I can easily say 'well at least I tried' but will it always be in the back of my mind that I obviously didn't try hard enough? 

I guess I will just have to wait and see and hope that when it comes to it I will have full support of everyone around me. I really feel like a new parent again walking into the unknown. 

Now obviously I know what I need to prepare for baby when it comes to bottle feeding but I am quite clueless when it comes to breastfeeding. What do I need to have? (aside from a pair of boobs!). I'll be having a c-section too, so is there anything to help make things more comfortable for feeding positions etc. at the start? Would appreciate a few tips if you have any!

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15 comments

  1. Oh hun! Breastfeeding is a strange old subject... I'm among the 2-3% of women who physically cannot exclusively breastfeed. Being completely unable to breastfeed successfully is rare. Many women stop breastfeeding because they worry that their baby isn't getting enough milk, others because (as you say) feel uncomfortable breastfeeding in public.

    However, although I am unable to exclusively breastfeed and I am no expert, I have read so much since Comma was born 4 months ago trying to understand what went wrong and would be more than happy to chat with you about it. :)

    (Hugs)

    Beth @MusingHousewife.co.uk

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    1. Thank you so much for your comments I may well take you up on that offer when the time comes x

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  2. Hi! I breastfed my little one for 3 months and just in the last couple of weeks we've started mixed feeding as I've a very hungry baby and was exhausted! I don't claim to be an expert, but I'm told the rugby ball hold (where you have baby under your armpit) is good for if you have a c-section because they don't lie across your scar.
    Something I was told that helped me was that your nipple should be facing forward - if it's pulled to one side that's when it can become painful. This can often happen because of the natural way you cradle a baby with it's head to one side, so you should pull the baby around to the front of you. (I've no idea if what I just said made any sense whatsoever?! Sorry, I'm crap at explaining things!).
    Also, I wouldn't be without my electric breast pump, but it was expensive and if you want to avoid bottles altogether, then probably not necessary. Good luck! x

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    1. Haha don't worry it makes perfect sense and I do have a few bottles just incase I need to express etc so may need to invest in a pump. Thanks for taking the time to cinema I really appreciate it x

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  3. The best thing that helped me was a face to face support group. Go along now if you can, watch women breastfeeding if possible and ask questions. It's not easy but it is likely you will be able to esp if you are determined and you get some good support. Let your baby lead the way (see Gill Rapley's Baby Led breastfeeding) and check out biological nurturing too.

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    1. I might have to do that as soon as my maternity leave starts I know there is one on a Thursday which is usually a day I work but could definitely give it a go in a few weeks time. Thanks for commenting x

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  4. I breastfed for 18 months. I'm not some earth-mother type, I'm just incredibly lazy, and the thought of sterilising bottles in the middle of the night scared me into it.

    Seek out your local breastfeeding support group, they will show you how to hold your baby, give you support if you're struggling and make you a decent cup of coffee!

    It can be tricky and there were times in those first months I thought about giving up, but if I can do it, anyone can. Just take it one day at a time and before you know it, you'll be blubbing because your little one has decided it's time to stop.

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    1. Thank you I'm sure I'm definitely over thinking it all and I'll be fine I'm just really nervous!!

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  5. It sounds like you're making a really brave decision... To move away from your comfort zone, and that of your family. It's not easy...
    A lot of mums find their local breast feeding groups can be a lifeline. Especially if you start going while still pregnant. You build up a support team who know what you're trying to do... and you get to see what breastfeeding looks like, the good and the bad!
    Also find out if you have local la leche leaders or local NCT BFCs and get in touch and give them your background. Then you know exactly who you'll be talking to in the early days if you need a bit of encouragement, or if you have what you think is a silly question (I guarantee its not, we've heard them all before!)

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  6. And I should have said... I am an NCT Breastfeeding Counsellor. If it would be useful feel free to get in touch...
    El.molloy79 @gmail.com (no spaces)
    Myself and my colleague also have a Facebook page at www.Facebook.com/simplySupportingBreastfeedingCoventry

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    1. This is really strange but you are actually my local breastfeeding counsellor! I will definitely be emailing for some advice very soon! Thank you x

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    2. Small world!!!
      Do get in touch if you want to. I'm usually around on Facebook messenger at least once overnight too (babies hey?!) ;)

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  7. I've been breastfeeding for 30 months now, but at the start it felt like I wouldn't last 30 days! I wish so much that I'd gone to a breastfeeding support group in those early weeks, perhaps even before my baby was born, so I could have known how completely normal it is to struggle at first. Most women are able to breastfeed physically, but a lot aren't given the knowledge and support they need to succeed, which is so sad. Find your local support group, read up on it (I've heard good things about 'Breastfeeding Made Easy' and 'The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding') and just remember this phrase: It does get easier!

    Also, I'm a smaller lady myself and you'll probably find that helps with feeding in public - you can be much more discreet. Although I should point out that discretion is not necessary, all you're doing is feeding a child and most people don't bat an eyelid! Oh and the thing about breast size not affecting supply is absolutely true - I actually had issues with oversupply!!

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    1. Glad to hear it never affected your supply and glad to hear it helps with discreetness as I think that will be important to me the first few times I go out and need to feed. Hopefully I'll build more confidence as I go along. I'm definitely going to start attending our local breastfeeding group as soon as I can as it looks like something everyone is recommending. Hope I manage to do as well as you! Thanks for your comment x

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  8. I've had two experiences if breastfeeding, the first ended prematurely and I did feel guilt, but second time round I fed my daughter for 23 months which I'm really proud of. The main difference between the two experiences in my eyes was support. Not from health professions but from friends (and strangers) both on and off line. If you're struggling it have problems just ask and I can guarantee that someone else will have experienced the same thing and have some answers! You know where I am if you need anything!

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