Christie and Harri
"As I just start my breastfeeding journey with my second child it feels like a perfect time to tell you my story.
With my first child I decided quite early on in the pregnancy that I really wanted to try to breastfeed but I stayed quite relaxed about it all and told myself "don't put any pressure on myself, if I can do it great but if not there's always the bottle". No one else in the family had breastfed and this was grandchild number 8 so it all seemed quite alien to them, but I always liked to be different .
So I am not going to lie the first few weeks are tough, sore, cracked nipples and engorged breasts plus the pain from the milk being drawn from the ducts was difficult and as I have just got over this being 5 weeks in with number 2, I can honestly say again, it's worth it.
Breastfeeding gave me hassle free feeding and the freedom to go and do anything without thinking about hot water and sterilising and although I certainly did not see myself feeding my first child so long, I did 21 months exclusively. Eloise would not drink out of a bottle or any other drinking device, as I tried them all. No would she drink cows milk, so I continued to feed her morning and night even when back working full time. I did not express as quite frankly I hated expressing and once she was eating she didn't want as much milk.
Everyone would say to me, she will naturally stop soon but she didn't and at 21 months once her back teeth cut and her sucking action changed it became too painful and I had to stop. Initially I felt a relief and then within a week I felt quite emotional that our journey had ended.
That contact. That touch. That time with just you and your baby was priceless and I really cherished those moments.
So I have been asked recently by quite a few Mammys is number 2 different or easier. So my second child Harri is a little more greedy, being a boy, and not as gentle as Eloise but both are feeding every 3-4 hours around the clock. It's definitely easier as I am so much more relaxed about feeding in general, particularly when in public, but I guess you have to be as there is another child to think about and consume your time, but I'm loving it just the same and Eloise tells me as soon as Harri cries "He needs boobie milk Mammy!"
My advice to new expectant Mams thinking of breastfeeding would be to not put yourself under pressure and set yourself milestones and targets before you begin. The breastfeeding groups were not for me but there is alot of support and advice out there, so ask for it! I found the midwives in the hospital and the home really supportive but I was willing to ask for help when I needed it."
Mother Nurture is an ongoing portrait series created to celebrate breastfeeding Mothers. If you would like to take part drop me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org