I’m on my holidays in Tenerife. Lots of topless sunbathers so I’m surrounded by boobs! And how appropriate is that given that this past week (1st to 7th August) has been World Breast feeding week?!
The great group of Irish Parenting Bloggers have arranged to mark the week with a blog march.
Of course I had fully intended to be offline for my 2 week break but I couldn’t resist the opportunity to partake! Not even the lack of wifi in my hotel will stop me!
It is great to have the opportunity to promote breast feeding. I have three kids each of whom have gotten at least a little breast milk from me after they were born. Although I cannot claim any prizes for breast feeding doesn’t god love a trier? I guess that’s me. The breast feeding trier!
My first was born suddenly and very unexpectedly by section. In preparing for her birth I just assumed I would breast feed her – breast is best right? Saves on the washing and sterilising and on the pocket. I couldn’t find a negative!
I had planned to just pop her on my boob and feed away! Unfortunately for me it didn’t go quite as expected. My new little lady just would not suck. I would get her latched on, two sucks and she would fall asleep! I had every nurse in the hospital trying to get her to feed; it seemed a different nurse every feed had a piece of advice – sometimes conflicting with the last. She lost quite a bit of weight. Normal I know but as a first time mum I was anxious. Three days later she still wasn’t sucking. I was still trying, I started expressing too and was syringe feeding her as well as eventually topping her up with formula. I couldn’t even avail of the hospitals resident lactation consultant as my daughter was born 3 days before Christmas and with my 5 day post section hospital stay I was in over Christmas but the consultant was off. By the time I got out of hospital I had gotten myself into a frenzy and was all over the place. I got my husband to rush out for some formula and my breast feeding was over within the week. I felt an utter failure. I couldn’t deliver OR feed my baby naturally. At my six week check up my consultant congratulated me on my breastfeeding efforts. He assured me that even though I had packed it in very few even try and the bit of breast milk she did get would be of benefit. Well done me! I did some good!
Roll on the birth of my son I was determined to try harder. Knowing even the first few days could make a difference I wasn’t going to let my previous experience turn me off. The least I could do was try again. What is the worst that can happen if you attempt to breast feed? Of course my failed Vaginal birth after cesearen meant I had a repeat section and was in hospital for another 5 day stint. Day 1 went great. My boy was a great feeder. Latched like a dream. I was so happy. Ok, I couldn’t deliver my babies naturally but I could feed this one! The one fly in the ointment was psoriasis. I am a sufferer and at this time I had a flare. It was all around my nipples. I’m not sure if my latch was great either as within 3 days I was in agony. My nipples poured with blood and the skin around them was sore and cracked. I asked to see the lactation consultant but was told that they (the nurses) were trained to deal with breast feeding issues. The tears pored down my cheeks with every feed. I thought this is not enjoyable. I eased off on the breast and added some formula feeds. I felt happier. I kept this going for about 2 weeks before the formula feeds became the norm and any breast milk my boy was getting petered out. I had tried again. At least I got some good stuff into him!
My final experience was (a small bit) more successful. Determined to start afresh again, I went for it again. My third child, a second girl was born by section. I had desperately wanted a normal delivery but it wasn’t meant to be. With about 24 hours notice of my section I set about ensuring things would be as best they could. Before the surgery I had requested skin to skin contact and to be allowed breast feed in recovery as well as a visit from the lactation consultant. I set to work feeding my new daughter in the recovery room. All was going brilliantly for the first few days when my nipples began to hurt like hell but I fed through it. I did add some formula occasionally but she was definitely more breast fed. I continued for 7 weeks. The pain had eased after 2 weeks. I made the decision myself to ease off as I was unable to administer certain medications for my psoriasis while breast feeding and wanted to balance looking after myself as well as baby. A few more weeks would have been great but third time around I definitely felt more in control. I never did get to see that lactation consultant in the hospital.
It is a shame there is not more support, particularly in hospitals. We mums need to support each other. I hope this blog march will help to highlight this. I would encourage (not pressurise) every mum to be to read the posts on this blog march
(all links below) and give breastfeeding a try. If you have had a negative experience on your first and you are due a second seek some support before your second comes along. It is easy to think it might go wrong again and not bother but it just might go right! You never know unless you try! So whether its child number 1 or 5 it’s never too late to try – find a support group, find other mums, find all the support you need and get those boobs out for as long as you can or want.
Wholesome Ireland with World Breastfeeding Week
The Happy Womb with The Power of Breasts
Awfully Chipper with The Accidental Extender
Office Mum with Breastfeeding Support: Change the Focus
Wonderful Wagon with Hippy Hippy Milkshake
It Begins With a Verse with World Breastfeeding Week
Glitter Mama Wishes with World Breastfeeding Week – Blog March – My Experiences
Ouch My Fanny Hurts with Let’s Talk About Boobs Baby
Debalicious with So you want to breastfeed in Ireland?
Bumbles of Rice with Breastfeeding in the Middle Ground
Mind the Baby with What’s wrong with this picture?
My Internal World with Breastfeeding in Ireland: Support on Paper but not in Practice
Musings and Chatterings with Lumps, Bumps, and Grumps – Things I never knew about breastfeeding
Mama Courage with Hey you! Be a BFF to your BFF (Breast Feeding Friends)
The Nest with World Breastfeeding Week
Mama.ie with Breast Buddies
At The Clothesline with Close to my heart
My Life as a Mum with Mummy I need your pookie
Learner Mama with The Breastfeeding Trier