I would like to share my story in the hope it gives anyone who is struggling with breastfeeding encouragement to keep going.
When I had my first daughter breastfeeding seemed to come easily while I stayed in hospital for the first few days after her birth.
Once I got home, however, and my milk came in, I began to have serious breastfeeding problems latching her on. She was a relatively small baby and sometimes I would be trying for over an hour to latch her on, we would both be incredibly upset and I began to think I may not be cut out for breastfeeding. I remember, one particularly bad night, my husband actually ended up driving us 15 miles, at midnight, to our nearest hospital so the midwives could give us some breastfeeding help with latching her on for a much needed feed. I have to say the midwives were fabulous and made sure we were both happier before we left to go home.
Our breastfeeding problems didn’t go away over night but with perseverance and A LOT of support and breastfeeding help from various sources (my husband, friends, midwives and La Leche League) I managed to keep breastfeeding my daughter and it became so easy and natural I didn’t want to stop!
I am currently breastfeeding my second daughter and things have gone so much smoother this time around, so if you haven’t managed to feed one of your children before don’t let it put you off trying again. I am thrilled I have given my children the best start to life and feel really proud of myself!
Thanks Claire for sharing your story. Many mums experience these early breastfeeding problems. It can be difficult learning something completely new when you’re already so tired from the pregnancy and birth and so worried about your baby. Claire’s story highlights a key to successful breastfeeding: ask for help. Don’t hesitate to contact your midwife, your local Leche League, Breastfeeding network and all the breastfeeding support charities. Most places now have breastfeeding support group. You can visit them while you’re pregnant so you can find some breastfeeding advice before your baby is born.
It also highlights how important the role of partners and fathers are. Their support is key to successful breastfeeding.