Lauren's Breastfeeding Story
When I was pregnant with my first daughter I wasn’t sure if I was definitely going to breastfeed but I knew I really wanted to try. When she was born she bobbed towards my boob and I remember being amazed at how a newborn, only a few seconds old, can hunt out milk! But even though I was amazed and felt that it was such a natural thing and something I wanted to do, I didn’t realise how hard it would be in the first few weeks.
I struggled with getting the correct latch which led to very sore nipples, I had engorged boobs and also then developed mastitis. The thing that really helped and got me through those first few weeks was going to breastfeeding support groups. I went to every one I could find! At first it was a little weird having a stranger show me what to do with my nipples to get the latch right, but you realise they do this every day and they’re there to help and soon any inhibitions go away. Getting the latch right didn’t happen quickly or easily for me, it took a few weeks and I would say it wasn’t until around 6 weeks that I felt me and my baby girl Sophia had got the hang of things! With the engorged boobs I was advised to try cold lettuce leaves and they worked wonders! They also helped with mastitis and if you are suffering with that, don’t suffer in silence, make sure you speak to your health visitor or doctor.
I also did struggle a bit at first with breastfeeding in public and felt a bit self conscious. This was not helped by my first experience of public breastfeeding when I went to a cafe in a summer dress which was certainly not designed for breastfeeding! I just had to pull it down and get my boob out - spraying milk all over the place as I did! I remember being very embarrassed and just wanting to leave. I think that’s why I then decided to design Milky Tees as I became much more aware of the importance of wearing clothes which had easy breastfeeding access.
Despite struggling at the beginning, I really did want to keep trying with breastfeeding and after around 5 or 6 weeks things just finally clicked and breastfeeding became much easier and any pain had gone. I then continued to breastfeed until my first daughter was around 14 months old, although I did introduce a bottle after a couple of months (after breastfeeding had been properly established) and for me combination feeding worked well and meant my husband could help out too (and I could get a break sometimes!).
With my second daughter things were much easier and breastfeeding was established quite quickly. She refused a bottle so was exclusively breastfed for the first five or so months (and was pretty much permanently attached to my boobs!). She is still a very attached child - but I’m not complaining about that as she’s very loving! She did eventually take a bottle but then went to solids quickly. I continued to breastfeed as well until she was around 10 months, when she just didn’t seem bothered with it anymore! I remember being sad when my breastfeeding journey ended but it’s something for me I’m glad I did and I feel lucky I got the support I needed at the beginning as without that I feel my journey could have been very different!
We’d love to hear your breastfeeding stories so please feel free to share them by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org