Thanks for hopping over from Dads Thoughts and welcome to my post for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt Day 6 The People Behind The Breastfeeder. Sponsors today include ARDO Breastpumps who are giving away a Calypso Single Breastpump, Breastvest who are offering an essential breastvest duo (1x black and 1x white) in your size and Mother Loves Cookies who are providing a box of delicious lactation cookies for our Grand Prize winner. Over £700 worth of goodies are up for grabs entries via the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
I’ve had quite a lot of support from other people on my breastfeeding journeys. Infinitely more so with my first baby. With my first baby, we struggled quite a bit and needed help to get us going. With my second baby, it was plain sailing from his birth. Here are some of the people that have supported me along the way.
My partner, Ian
During my first pregnancy, he had his reservations about breastfeeding because of the previous negative experiences with his older two children (my stepchildren). But when crunch-time came, he was my rock. It was he who gently suggested that I tried expressing some colostrum when Little N was in SCBU, after the nurses told him it would help. He brought snacks and drinks to me to keep me going through the night feeds. He proudly tells anyone that listens that our babies were/are breastfed.
Infant Feeding Coordinators
These lovely ladies taught me how to hand express after my first baby was born and then patiently held tiny 1ml syringes to my nipples while I tried to harvest colostrum. They showed me how to use the hospital breast pump. They explained how to safely store my milk and how frequently I should express. I would never have managed to breastfeed without this help.
N had scheduled feeds when he was on SCBU but upon learning that I wanted to breastfeed the Nurses did their best to help. They helped me try to latch N on first and when he wouldn’t, they made sure he had my expressed milk before he had any formula. One of the nurses told me not to get stressed and it was one of the best pieces of breastfeeding advice I’ve ever been given.
I don’t have a relationship with my own mother, so my lovely Nanna filled that role. She bought me cans of Murphy’s Irish Stout because of an old wives tale (I’m not sure if science backs this one up!) and cartons of oat milk because I was worried about my milk supply dwindling and oats are a galactagogue. She listened to me when I was anxious or upset and encouraged me by telling me how proud she was.
My birth forum friends
It was my birth forum friends that were there during the night feeds, that explained to me about cluster feeding, that told me about the healing powers of Lansinoh, that discussed the pros and cons of reusable vs disposable breastpads, that told me to put my baby down and “go and get a drink and some food right now” on a particularly stressful day when I had completely forgotten to look after myself.
With my second baby, breastfeeding was straightforward. I didn’t really need any support at all. However, a couple of those birth forum friends mentioned above became some of my closest friends and after the birth of my second son they sent me the best presents ever: food! Abel & Cole and Graze deliveries, to feed me so I could feed my baby.
The breastfeeding support I had was invaluable, particularly with my first baby. I wouldn't have breastfed at all without it as I just thought there was something wrong with me! And now I get to pay the help forward: I trained as a breastfeeding peer supporter and help other mothers feed their babies too.
For more on the people behind the breastfeeder please hop on over Lycrawidow where you can also gain further entries into the grand prize draw. Full terms and conditions can be found on the Keeping Britain Breastfeeding w ebsite. UK residents only.