Breastfeeding

Although this is a book about romance, love, it also delves into the consequences, which as we all know are kids, and to begin with all mums must contemplate breastfeeding conundrums, some of which I address in the novel.

Eden ponders her mammary glands …

How paradoxical, this natural process in the world of mammals has evolved into a nightmare for this particular mammal!

Breastfeeding experiences

Each time it’s a different story, but the same theme for all mums, individual experiences on breastfeeding are of interest.

My breastfeeding experience

by Laura Agar Wilson, Oct 22, 2014

Breastfeeding is something I’ve always wanted to do when I had children. I’m not snobbish about it though, as much as I love breastfeeding I know many of my friends that have chosen to bottle feed their babies, all of which have turned out to be healthy, happy little kiddies, so please don’t mistake my love of breast feeding as passing judgement on those that don’t. There seems to be a lot of pressure on mamas to breast feed and a big feeling of failure for those that want to and can’t. At the end of the day a happy mama is just as key to the wellbeing of her baby as how he or she is fed in my opinion. 

My breastfeeding experience (Link no longer exists)

My Breastfeeding Story: Kirsty’s Breastfeeding Experience

Kirsty shares her breastfeeding experience, and also tells us about her fellow mum Heidi, 23 November, 2016.

Even before conception, Heidi always knew she wanted to breastfeed. So when we finally fell pregnant, that was always the plan, to exclusively breastfeed for 4-6months until Heidi went back to full time work. Feeding always seems a controversial topic of conversation, you can never please everyone no matter how you decide to feed! It seemed like many people didn’t have a nice word for us, they just told us all the horror stories associated with breastfeeding. So we never bought anything associated with feeding when baby shopping. We knew if we didn’t have a bottle in the house at 4am when the baby is screaming, we’d have no option but to persevere with latching.

Kirsty, My Breastfeeding Story

Eden contemplates her boobs.

Being in a semi-permanent state of dozing away, when she couldn’t differentiate reality from her dream world, Eden found it difficult to remember which breast needed to be used, she had been advised that she should alternate, to avoid them getting lumps. However, her breasts were producing a lot more milk than Sylvia could consume, they were constantly swollen, especially in the morning when they felt particularly expanded, hard, like two balloons each filled with a round rock instead of air. Her nipples often developed cracks and were sometimes bleeding. For two weeks after the labour, each breastfeeding session was followed by contractions and gave her cramps at the bottom of her belly and back. When Sylvia was sucking on one of her breasts it always triggered the leaking process in both, so the other breast would be leaking as well and staining her blouses and dressing gowns.

While Ron was on leave, about a week before he returned to work, Eden had an episode of mastitis.

Another mum gives us her perspective …

mamaclog

This is mastitis.
After hitting the 1 year breastfeeding mark last Sunday I felt compelled to share my story.
Breastfeeding did NOT come easy for me.

mamaclogmamaclog

My Breastfeeding Experience – Mum

Another breastfeeding story …

Farwah, sharing her honest and inspiring experience of breastfeeding. – 12 September, 2017

“I had always wanted to gift my little bundle of the joy with the best start in life and was adamant on strictly breastfeeding her. However, when she arrived, it was not an easy journey for me. I am one lucky person to admit my birth went smooth and both me and baby were doing great.

But the situation changed when she would get up crying every hour and I could just not figure out what was happening. Back home, everyone insisted to bottle-feed her like they do.

There were many sleepless nights and teary as I never knew when she was full, plus I was all alone here in the UK.”

Farwah, My Breastfeeding Experience

Eden has a discussion with her best friend Marion about breastfeeding ...

Marion:
‘Even if I ever did give birth, which is definitely not going to happen, I wouldn’t breastfeed at all. The doctors in the UK brainwash women, saying how important it is for the babies. But, what about the poor women, the consequences they will suffer? I saw you winced when Sylvia started to suck!’
Eden:
‘Yes, it hurts! It is a really horrendous experience for me. Everything hurts! After the birth I had so much pain downstairs, similar to the labour pains. A nurse told me it was because my uterus was contracting. Did you know that if you are lactating and your baby is suckling, it produces the hormone oxytocin, which instructs your uterus to contract back to it’s original size, if there is no feeding the uterus will shrink but never to how it was before. By the way oxytocin is also responsible for women’s orgasms.’

UNICEF – Guest blog

It’s very common to expect that breastfeeding ‘just happens’, especially if you have come from a family and community where breastfeeding is how babies are fed and nurtured. The hormones of birth, especially when left uninterrupted by medication or other interventions, help prepare both the mum and baby for breastfeeding, and plenty of skin-to-skin contact with the baby has the same effect. In these circumstances the mum can be flooded with the ‘hormone of love’, oxytocin, and feel joyful, with the blissful exhilaration and overwhelming love for her new baby, as they lie skin-to-skin, feeding frequently. Partners too have an oxytocin quota and can feel deeply protective of their partner and the new baby. Mums are often overawed by the abilities of their bodies and their baby and take to breastfeeding like ducks to water.

“How long are you going to carry on?”

Mums who are breastfeeding at six weeks often feel that it is around this time that breastfeeding falls into place, if it hasn’t already (although for some mums it does take a little longer). The turning point is often feeling confident having a feed away from home and getting back having survived. At this stage breastfeeding often becomes truly enjoyable and mums greatly appreciate the calm restful moments and warm cuddles.

UNICEF – Guest blog: The emotional experience of breastfeeding

Pros and Cons

Eden postulates about breastfeeding ...

Breastfeeding … She had actually enjoyed it a lot. Even though it was like a nightmare to begin with, once she had found her own way to deal with it there were only benefits. At any time she could take her breast out and give it to her daughter, there was no need to think about preparing a mixture and cleaning and sterilizing bottles.

… and ponders ...

A lot of people in the UK react to women doing it in view of passers by, the most motherly of actions is so often deemed out of place, inappropriate. In fact the embarrassment, which mums are often made to feel, can affect the release of the hormone oxytocin and that may stop lactation.
Here in Alicante she had got used to breastfeeding in public, people have a very different approach to it. Most mums don’t try to go and hide somewhere when their baby is hungry, they certainly don’t feel guilty, they are proud to do it wherever. Eden definitely was.

Daily Mirror – Mums – Breastfeeding

Mum’s agonising breastfeeding experience proves how little new parents are taught about it

The pain goes away as soon as you and baby learn how to BF properly. It took me a few days with DS1, and I was never in pain with DS2. I think as long as you get the baby to feed as soon  as possible, and you ask the midwifes for support at the first sign of difficulty you will do great. Best of luck!

Only real con for me was being unable to have any time to myself. My son refused to take a bottle of expressed milk. He is now one year and two weeks and I stopped feeding him last Friday.
I’ve had a few terrible occurrences of mastitis which I can honestly say words can’t describe the pain.
There is zero advice for women to stop bf which I found ridiculous, I kept being told to let him self wean but it was making me ill what with being back to work and having maybe 3hrs sleep.

Breastfeeding is the best thing (aside from having my son) that I’ve ever done. Nothing in life has made me so proud so amazed as to have nourished my precious son from birth to one year one week of age. I can’t explain quite how special the feeling is try it, if you love it it’s worth fighting through the pains you may encounter. Trust me when you see your child laugh with relief at having booby or catch your eye and smile whilst feeding …

Daily Mirror – Mums, Breastfeeding

Breastfeeding while out and about

Marion and Eden chatting about breastfeeding in public …

Marion:
‘Oh God! Aren’t you embarrassed to breastfeed in public?’
Eden:
‘It’s much better just to get your breast out instead of buying artificial milk, with all that hassle of cleaning and preparing bottles.’

Featured snippets from the web

Breastfeeding in public is perfectly legal in the U.K..

In fact, it’s protected under the Equality Act 2010 for as long as you wish to breastfeed (there is no age restriction) and covers all public places from parks and leisure facilities, to public transport, shops, restaurants, hotels and cinemas.

5 tips for breastfeeding in public

But while breastfeeding is the most natural way to feed your baby, it’s not unusual to feel a bit nervous about nursing in public, particularly if you’ve never done it before. Whether you’re worried about other people’s reactions or really don’t care what they think, these tips will help you be prepared.

Medela Mums Blog, 5 tips for breastfeeding in public

Breastfeeding in public: what’s the UK law?

Expert legal advice on what you’re allowed to do when breastfeeding in public places, plus how to do it discreetly and great retorts to negative comments …

In a nutshell: 

In the UK, it’s unlawful for a business (such as a cafe or sports centre) to discriminate against a woman who is breastfeeding a child of any age, and you can breastfeed in any public space, such as a park.

MadeForMums, Breastfeeding in public: what’s the UK law?

Breastfeeding in public – what is the law and what rights do mothers have?

Knowing your rights could help to normalise breastfeeding in public – Lucy Devine – 12 Sep 2018.

… In fact, it’s illegal for anyone to ask a mother to leave a public place because she’s breastfeeding.

Discrimination includes refusing a service, providing a lower standard of service, or providing a service differently.

Maternity Action, Breastfeeding in public – what is the law and what rights do mothers have?

FREEDOM TO FEED

THE SUN, Freedom to Feed

02/11/2019