Vicky & Alice
"In the beginning, I really felt like I had sleepwalked into breastfeeding. We were told again and again about the benefits at our antenatal classes and shown the different feeding positions and diagrams of a good latch. Right at the very end of these discussions, like an afterthought, we were told it could be a bit tricky the first couple of weeks. So when I was asked if I was going to breastfeed, my answer was always yes and was feeling confident we knew what to do.
The first knock in our confidence was when at the very beginning. Alice latched on perfectly but was very sleepy after the caesarean and the midwives were getting worried. A lovely midwife showed me how to feed lying down to avoid putting pressure on my stomach and that was invaluable. Things improved and we were discharged.
The second knock in our confidence was when Alice started losing weight again. Everything was sore, the cluster feeding was exhausting, the night feeds were lonely and I started having doubts about whether I could do this.
Luckily we managed to find support at just the right time - a combination of advice from our antenatal group who were a couple of weeks ahead of us, our lovely midwife who spent hours checking and rechecking our latch, a Lactation consultant who suggested a few tweaks which made all the difference, a group of amazingly honest and supportive mums organised by our health visitor and attending a local breastfeeding group made me realise I wasn't alone in finding this hard. Things got easier, I embraced the cluster feeding sessions, thanks to box sets and my husband providing a steady stream of snacks, Alice started putting on weight and I started to relax and enjoy myself.
The ironic thing is, the moment I realised how far we had come and how much I loved breastfeeding was when it was almost taken away from us. One month in, I was hit by mastitis and continued to get recurrent bouts for the next three months. It was painful and exhausting but in my mind there was no question about stopping. Everything else was going so well, Alice was thriving and I loved the time we spent together and the milk drunk cuddles afterwards. More and more discussions about early weaning made me even more determined to continue and thankfully with the support of our doctor and health visitor, it cleared up.
I have to admit, in the beginning I was a reluctant breastfeeder but I have grown to love it over the past six months. Looking back on those early weeks, I realise just how lucky I was to have all support I had when I needed it the most."