Breastfeeding Experience: Mum, Suchitra

Today, mum Suchitra shares her breastfeeding experience with us… "I’m Suchitra, a first time mum to baby boy Kumar. Our breastfeeding journey began in April 2015 and here’s our story":

The Decision to Breastfeed

I have been brought up on breastfeeding and it is generally known as the best food for newborns. All the women in our family have persevered to breastfeed and my cousins have all been brought up this way. You can say that it is a family tradition and it was no less than a dream! 

Research and Preparation

Since I had heard that initial days of breastfeeding would be very difficult, I wanted to gather as much information as possible before beginning our journey. We attended the breastfeeding seminar by One to One Midwives at the Baby and Toddler show. It was packed with information in a short amount of time and it was an eye opener. It gave me the knowledge that I would not have got otherwise. I have also written about breastfeeding tips based on my experiences. I attended parentcraft by NHS and NCT antenatal classes that had a module on breastfeeding. It involved videos of new mothers, showed more positions of breastfeeding and explained the difficulties in the initial days of feeding newborns with its solutions. I had also purchased breastfeeding clothes, breastfeeding cover and breastpads

Breastfeeding Diet

My mother had come from India when Kumar was born. She had gathered a lot of information from our older relatives about various galactogogues i.e. foods that increase a mother’s milk supply. 

Pain Relief in the Early Days

Breastfeeding is incredibly rewarding but also severely painful especially during early days until your milk supply establishes. I used MultiMam compresses, coconut oil massage, wet cloth, bruised savoy cabbage leaves etc for pain relief and comfort. 

How I stopped Breastfeeding?

When Kumar was 5 months old, I became unwell and had to take medication. The doctor advised me not to breastfeed while on it. My breasts were full and it was excruciatingly painful and I was told to express. But this tricks your mind into thinking that there is more demand and you produce more milk which makes it even more painful. As we know, breastfeeding works on a demand-supply cycle. I hand expressed for few days, but it was unbelievably hard. My family decided that it would be best for baby if I could take care of him with medication, even if I had to bottlefeed. It was a heart-breaking choice since I wanted to feed him for 2 years, but my feeding journey came to an unexpected, abrupt halt with no notice. 

Regrets

I had registered as a volunteer milk donor with North West Human Milk Bank and they had sent me a pack with an ARDO electric pump. But I became unwell and I sent the pack back before I could make a donation. I wish that I could have helped premature babies in need of breastmilk. 

Best Advice

I received advice from the seminar, workshops, my mother and my midwives and I’m thankful to all of them. The baby nursery nurse from North Manchester General Hospital showed me to hand express and helped feed on the first night by using syringes since baby was very mucous-y and didn’t know to latch on. My mother told me not to sleep with my hands above my head as it would make my milk leak and she also controlled my diet which led to having sufficient milk for baby! We gave ‘Thank You’ cards to the staff of Postnatal Ward and Baby Nursery at the hospital while bringing baby home. 

My Favourite Thing

When Kumar would feed and fall asleep, looking at his face brought me contentment and that’s my most favourite thing about breastfeeding! 

Thank you Medela, for giving me this opportunity to share our breastfeeding story!" 

A big thank you to mum, Suchitra, from ForMummyBaby 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 emily@bumppr.co.uk for further details. Thank you.