Baby Breastfeeding: Hannah’s Story

Lovely mum, Hannah has shared her story of breastfeeding her little one, Hugo…

“I always knew I wanted to breastfeed. I had never been so sure of anything before, what could be more natural?

My son Hugo was born via emergency Caesarean section and fed beautifully within the hour, it was a little uncomfortable but I put it down to not being used to the sensation. We went home when Hugo was 2 days old and continued breastfeeding, he lost a little weight on day 3 but was back to birthweight by day 10. All this time breastfeeding was getting more and more painful, my nipples were cracked but we had our latching on checked multiple times and it always seemed perfect so we continued.

I had amazing support from my hospital's breastfeeding specialist midwife - I would have given up very early on if it wasn't for her constant support but I just couldn't get a pain free or even tolerable latch. After a few weeks I was really struggling and beginning to dread feeds and eventually it came to a head 5 weeks in. I was refusing to pick Hugo up for a cuddle just in case he wanted to feed and was in tears most of the time. It felt like we'd tried everything from different positions, to nipple shields, to support from the hospital, I couldn't cope. One particularly painful feed that left me once again with bleeding nipples I broke down and said that I couldn't do it anymore. I felt awful, this was meant to be the most natural thing in the world. I know the incredible benefits of breastmilk from my training as a midwife so personally I didn't want to give my baby boy formula. The only other option to me was to express.

My wonderful mother in law dropped everything that day and drove me an hour and a half up to my local department store where I bought a Medela Swing Maxi breast pump. I got home and expressed 4oz of breastmilk (painlessly!). I cried the entire time I first fed Hugo with the bottle, it just wasn't how I envisaged my breastfeeding journey going. I felt like a complete failure, but, with the amazing unwavering support of my husband and best friend I continued to express and bottle feed. I also found some brilliant Facebook groups for "Exclusively Pumping" or "EPing" mums and got into a routine of pumping 8 times per day. Hugo took to bottle feeding with no problems and settled into a routine really quickly.

Now Hugo is 12 weeks old and I feel like a pro - I have expressed milk everywhere using my very portable Medela Swing Maxi, from bed at 4am to my local swimming pool, to the car and at a picnic in the New Forest! I am also blessed with an "oversupply" so have a deep freezer full of milk that I'll give to Hugo when I go back to work and I am also able to donate to my local milk bank and to families in need. I am proud to feed my baby my milk, Hugo may not be "breastfeeding" but he is breast fed.”

Our series of breastfeeding stories help to share positive, truthful and inspiring stories for breastfeeding and expressing – both the good moments and the more challenging ones! We couldn't do it without the help of you, our wonderful community of mums. If you'd like to share your experience, please email medelamums@gmail.com and a member of the team will get back to you.