Mum, Zoe’s Breastfeeding Story
My breastfeeding journey started when I was 36 weeks pregnant and I started hand expressing. I had been booked for a C-section and wanted to have some ready in case it was too painful and avoid giving formula. My son fed all night and the expressed milk gave me an hours rest.
The first few days were uncomfortable but manageable, a few nipple blisters and increasing four cup sizes were the worst I endured. The couple of weeks that followed were the hardest for me. I wasn’t eating and drinking enough and with sleep deprivation I struggled. I couldn’t deal with feeling soggy all the time and resorted to nappies in my bra to keep me dry. Then the first growth spurt hit along with a bout of man flu for me. I spent 36 hours with a hungry little boy hanging from my nipple. This is when I considered stopping but I felt I had come so far that I didn’t want to quit.
I realised soon that the worst was over, it no longer felt like my nipple was being trapped in a door with every suck and I was enjoying it. I was advised by everyone to eat and drink whatever I wanted so at 2am every night when I finally had an appetite, my husband provided builder’s tea and buttery toast. I started expressing at about 3 weeks and giving some in a bottle. I purchased the Medela swing which has been my best purchase of all. So quick and efficient I can fill a bottle in 15 minutes. This gave me a little freedom to have a few hours alone or a rare night off which without feeling guilty is such a god send and makes the world of difference. I now have a small bank of frozen milk ready for eventualities.
Breastfeeding wasn’t something I always wanted to do but when I fell pregnant it was the one thing I was adamant I was going to do. I found a whole community of breast feeders out there. Social network groups on high street clothes that allow for feeding, advice groups on everything to do with nursing and product reviews for everything. These all helped with the first public feeds. I have fed everywhere from changing rooms to chapels, restaurants to festivals and have never had a negative comment.
My son is now 7 1/2 months old and has 4 teeth, there have been bad days, when I have been bitten (thankfully only twice), growth spurts and engorgement. But there have been amazing days where you sit back and are proud of sustaining this little miracle, when you can console your baby with ease and knowing that you are giving them the most powerful substance in the world in the most natural way. For me breastfeeding is almost addictive, I cried when he reduced the frequency due to solids being introduced and the thought of stopping is not something I like to think about. I love breastfeeding, and every feed we have together is so special. It’s not easy but it’s so worth it.
A huge thank you to Zoe Gentry for sharing her Breastfeeding Story with us. If you would like to share your experience of breastfeeding on our blog please email our PR team on email@example.com for further details. Thank you.