I am a second time mom. But I have three children in that my stepdaughter lives with us as well. So I’ve got a 21 year old 12 year old, and now the baby as well.
And so first baby was in 20s second baby in 40s.
So that a bit different.
I’d say it’s easier than in my 20s. I don’t know if that’s because it’s the second baby, or I think you cope. Well, no one copes with sleep deprivation, but I feel I can cope and better in my 40s than I was in my 20s. With the with the lack of sleep.
And I don’t know whether you just accept it more.
Whereas in your 20s you like, Oh, for God’s sake, just go to sleep. Whereas in your 40s you think, it’s a baby, they don’t sleep and just kind of suck it up. It’s nice.
And I just think, probably a bit more confidence to ask questions. And to challenge things when they come. You know, when a professional says something, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s right. Or it’s right for your baby anyway, so yeah, it just it just feels quite different.
And the first time round, I decided that I wanted to breastfeed, and no one in my family had ever breastfed, so I’d never seen anyone breastfeed. And so I decided I wanted to do it. I just thought that you just kind of put them on and then it would just work but I went into hospital had quite a traumatic labour.
Emily was, I was induced with Emily. And she just wasn’t ready to be born. When they looked at me, she would have been late. If she’d been left to her own devices, she wouldn’t have even come at 40 weeks, it probably would have been a 42 week, kind of then induced so but she was born at 37 weeks.
So she was kind of five weeks earlier than she probably would have been.
So wasn’t ready to come out. And then and then when I breastfed her, it didn’t work. Just work. Put her on couldn’t latch at all.
And in those days, the nurses just kind of grabbed your breast, grabbed the baby’s head and tried to shove the two together. And the baby was screaming, and I was crying. It was just horrible.
And then the nurse just said, Oh, for God’s sake, just put her on formula.
So I was like, Okay, so she brought a little, they had little bottles with teats, and so she just brought them she said, there you go, just give her these. And so gave her those and then went home and I just lost, I just lost all confidence with it, but still decided I wanted to, to feed her.
So I started expressing so as I was expressing all of the time, and which was really tiring, you know, hats off to women who do it, who are kind of expressing them feeding them, sterilizing all the bottles, they are just wonder women doing doing all of that I don’t know where they get time to do anything else.
And so I did that, and I did it for I can’t remember exactly, but I reckon probably about two months, something like that, maybe a bit longer. And then I put her on to formula.
And when she went on to formula, she became really constipated horrendously constipated where she was bleeding from her behind and it was horrible.
But then it was too late. She was on formula.
So we just had to kind of swap the formula over and try and try and make the best of it. And eventually, she got sorted. I had to wean her early, because she was so skinny.
She was vomiting all the time. It was awful.
So this time when I had Nancy, I just thought, I’m determined to breastfeed.
So I got books, I watched videos, I went to classes before I went and saw, I don’t know whether I’m the only person to ever do it, but I went to go and see the lactation consultant before she was even born to just have a conversation about what had happened last time.
And just felt better prepared.
Than the first time and and I suppose more prepared for the fact it wasn’t just going to I wasn’t just going to go like that and she wasn’t just going to feed and it’d be magic.
It might work for some people like that. But the more people I speak to, I don’t think there are many people that that happens for.
So and nurses were coming in and trying to give advice but it just you know, some of them, without being awful, were student nurses and hadn’t breastfed themselves. So they were trying to be…. they must have been on a course. And we’re trying to recount what the course had said. And I was like,
I’ve probably read more than you’ve read about it and been on more online courses.
And I’ve also tried to breastfeed and, and then, yeah, so it was just, there was nobody there. And an older nurse came in. And she just said, can I put my hands on you, she said, Because we’re not supposed to touch you anymore. And I said, Yeah, that’s fine. And so she, she, she tried to get her latched on and did manage. And, but it was just, it’s not a natural environment.
There was no support there.
So our next door neighbour messaged my partner, and said, Okay, congratulations on the baby, if you need any support when you come out.
I’m a volunteer with Koala who are the breastfeeding support people on Wirral, I think Liverpool as well.
And so I came home I just charged myself because I thought I’m not having, I wasn’t having any drugs anymore in hospital because I’d had a section. There was no breastfeeding support. So I just thought
I’ll just go home, it’s easier.
And then she came around and just being at home and calmer just helped me and I used shields. So I used shields. I’ve used them for probably about the first three months.
It’s probably over the past maybe two or three weeks that she’s latching on fine without shields, which makes life a bit easier because not covered in milk all the time when I pull them off.
Yoga yesterday, and there’s eight of us there and seven of us breastfeed, which is really nice. Yeah, so we all went out for lunch yesterday. So there was seven of us all breastfeeding in the restaurant which I think the staff they were kind of didn’t know where to look when they were bringing our food. But it just,
when you’re doing it like that, in a group of women like that you just feel so much better than doing it on your own.
I do do it when I’m on my own. But I think you’re more conscious of whether you’re covered or whether anyone can see, or I certainly am. Whereas yesterday no one cared. They were like, Where do you want to look? There’s seven of us you can have a look at.
And no one was looking anyway. No one cared.
One of the things that I read was about a, I can’t remember what type of ape it was, whether it was a gorilla or a chimpanzee, I’m not sure. And it then, it was a mother, it had been in captivity and it had given birth to the first baby raised in captivity, didn’t breastfeed and just struggled.
Didn’t know really what to do.
Pregnant with next one. And the local breastfeeding group went and breastfed in front of the glass. The ape or chimpanzee whatever it was, had its baby. It breastfed because it had seen all the women breastfeeding and so it knew what it needed to do.
We are apes aren’t we?
Just seeing other women do it might give women confidence to do it.
I’ve found that people are really supportive, so I’ll just breastfeed anywhere. So I breastfed in the park outside St. George’s Hall, I sat on a bench there in the shade and breastfed there. And this is the day when I was out with my parents. And then they were walking around the museum, the Liverpool museum so I just went and asked the staff, I said is there somewhere where I can just sit and feed and they took me into kind of a big room that was there and they just sat me down and I think, I think if you ask people now, if you’re going ask if you’re at somewhere, they will they will find somewhere for you to feed.
I don’t think they will go “NO!”