1. Why did you choose boob over bottle?
After seeing my sister law breastfeed when she was 17/18 years old made a lasting impression on me.At the age of 25 it was the first time I saw a woman breastfeed up close.
2. How long did you breastfeed or are you planning to breastfeed?
With Kip I wanted to do a year and try for another baby.But circumstances meant he breastfed until he was 10 and 1/2 months and had formula until he was 1.I did my first lot of breastfeeding peer support training when Cat was 7 months so I aimed to breastfeed until she was 2 as recommended by WHO and UNICEF.But due to her continuous slow weight gain I was forced to stop at 17 months by a doctor and dietitian on the same day.I wish I hadn’t as it was like months of mourning for both of us and wish I had gone for supportive advice online.After the initial hiccup with Mouse we reached the 2 year mark and then the 3 year mark.Last October I took it upon myself to wean her at 3 and 1/2 years old.For me she understood why and I didn’t have the pressure as with my older two.I’m very happy she fed for so long and would do it again if I was to be fortunate to have the chance.
3. What is the best thing about breastfeeding?
Convenience, the ability to stay in bed and pop them on the boob and go back to sleep, feeding in a sling, kinder to the environment and saving oodles of money.
4. Did you have to overcome challenges on your breastfeeding journey?
When I fell pregnant I never gave formula a thought until I heard the traumatic story from a close friend of my ex’s.I decided on having a can of formula ‘just in case’ in the cupboard.Although we had a very difficult start (I had a womb infection at 3 weeks post partum) the can of formula never got used.Breastfeeding my second baby was again very hard at the beginning as she was diagnosed with Laryngomalacia at 3 days old and I had shingles 6 weeks post partum.She had slow weight gain which was put down to her condition.I was then advised to express twice a day and it worked topping her up.But after a while her weight dropped again but I wasn’t able to express as much as I did when she was a newborn.So we tried her with a bottle of formula.But she didn’t take to the bottle, either because she just grown not to like the teat or didn’t like the taste of the formula.After 3 days of trying to get her to take it which was horrifically stressful and she was getting a rash around her mouth from the splashes of formula.So we weaned her onto solids at 5 and 1/2 months.When my youngest was born her older sister had chicken pox two weeks before and her older brother was rife with it when she arrived.It was very hard work but my youngest, who was a natural breech birth wasn’t latching for the first week. I was hand syringing, doing lots of skin to skin and co-sleeping from the start.She was giving a lot of concern for my health visitor about her weight.She was referred to a pediatrician and I was hoping it would around the 6 month mark so I could wean her onto solids and skip formula.But they had a cancellation and the pediatrician saw her at 4 and 1/2 months.We had hypoallergenic formula prescribed and I topped her up twice a day using a Doidy cup.She was combine fed until she was 7 and 1/2 months weaning onto solids at 6 months.
5. Who supported you the most with breastfeeding?
My mum never breastfed so it was my the ex and sister in law with my first.All the other mums in my post natal group stopped breastfeeding at 3/4 months.With the girls I have a different health visitor who encouraged me to go the local breastfeeding group and I trained 3 times to be a peer supporter.I wish I had that support from other mums too when I had Kip as I know I would of fed for longer.
6. How did you feel when you first breastfed in public?
I was fine breastfeeding in front of family and friends with my first but I think I only breastfed a handful of times in open public.I’m sad to say I would resign myself to feeding in Woolworth’s baby changing room.Sitting on a plastic chair not too dissimilar to those we had at school.The room had a movement sensitive light which would go off after 5 minutes.It meant I had to get up and fumble about in the dark to get the light to switch on whilst breastfeeding.And of course there was the smell of disgusting disposable nappies that were over flowing in the bin.I did the same with Cat until one day I could hear a baby screaming it’s lungs off outside whilst I fed her.I came out of the changing room and let the mum and baby in and I sat on the bench outside the baby changing room.I sat breastfeeding her waiting for someone to stare or say something but they didn’t. From then on I never went to that changing room or sat in a toilet to feed my girls. I’ve breastfed on a trains, buses, in a pubs and restaurants, in a NCT nearly new sale queue, numerous park benches, Avebury stone circle.Pretty much anywhere.
7. Have you been questioned for breastfeeding?
Not until they got past a year old and I never mentioned I had continued breastfeeding beyond 2 with Mouse.I’ve had numerous old ladies sit next to me on the bus saying how lucky I was.
8. Has breastfeeding made you feel different about your body?
Definitely more confident.Boobs droop due to pregnancy and NOT breastfeeding.
9. What do you wish you had known before making the decision to breastfeed your baby?
I wish I had read up more about breastfeeding whilst pregnant first time round and I also wished I went to the local breastfeeding group.I was invited when Kipwas 6 months old and thought he was too old.Of course he wasn’t and breastfeeding support groups are for sustained breastfeeders too.
I am not tagging anyone as I should of written this when I got the tag 10 days ago.Sorry Caroline of Mummy Alarm who tagged me.There’s a linky over at hers if you wish to read other Hooray For Boobies! -The Breastfeeding Meme.
Of course this shouldn’t stop you from filling this out yourself and linking back to me :).