So I’m normally based in Indonesia, I’ve been working there for seven years…I just came back to have my baby and at some point we’ll go back I was fortunate, he latched on straight away…I produced a good quantity of milk.
The only issue was I needed some adjustment with the latch So I didn’t actually, with the support, in terms of the NHS, it was quite limited, what i needed So I was quite fortunate that my breastfeeding was quite smooth, other than the cluster feeds And the midwives I dealt with were very good.
My health visitor seemed quite knowledgeable (from what i know) but that’s one of the challenges I think of having a baby is we don’t know. I don’t know everything about babies, so when people tell you stuff, you assume it’s right because you just don’t know and one of my biggest stresses is:
What don’t I know? I should be reading more..I should be watching videos, I should be doing classes..there’s a wealth of information and I just don’t know.
And I think it’s just, as a mother, you rely on midwives, health care..’cause you just, like, I’d go to prenatal…when I was with the midwife, she was going through my birthplan..and she was like “Oh do you want vitamin K injections when you give birth and I was like, ” I don’t know what that is! I’ve literally no idea” and often they talk to you like you know and that is also a big challenge I think because often you’re just like,
“I have no idea what you’re talking about” but they talk in a sense of – you know what I’m talking about – and you’re like “I don’t know!”
Before I had a baby I was really carefree. I work in the rainforest. I would go to really dangerous places, I would go to forest fires…but now I’ve had a baby I feel really vulnerable. And even going to the park, I’m like: “Oh there’s people playing football, that football might hit us” or this person’s going past on a bike: “that bike might – he might go into the pram or something ” So I’m like, looking for dangers everywhere, cos I never had that before, just the nature of who I am and my job…but I think since I gave birth, that’s definitely been a big change for me
It’s been amazing, like I think..the NHS…I was determined to breastfeed and I did some courses online…the Baby Academy do online breastfeeding courses I read alot of books just because i was determined to do it so if I’m going to do it
I need to understand it cause I didn’t understand
So I kind of educated myself so to me the support was amazing. But I did hear stories where women say, “Oh I was pushed too hard” as in, “I couldn’t do it and they didn’t understand” you know, that kind of thing and I think I was, just like
I’m going to do it
So there wasn’t any kind of like, I didn’t even think about bottle-feeding.
So the support was amazing and also I used Koala they did a one to one breastfeeding consultation because he was cluster-feeding at night so
I was up every hour and that was like, painful, that was like, torture and they recommended co-sleeping which was a life-changer cos I’m still co sleeping now so
I didn’t have…you know…all the support I received was…oh and I did prenatal classes in Indonesia so I started kind of learning about breastfeeding then so it was kind of an easy decision for me and I educated myself and the support was there and also
I think with the education we don’t necessarily receive that from our families
which maybe we used to in the past, you know? But now it’s kind of maybe skipped a few generations so that’s why we then have to go out and seek educational opportunities to understand it…just going back to my mum…
I think one of the key things that has helped me is when I gave birth, she took care of me to be able to then I was able to breastfeed so she made food for me she brought me drinks, you know all these things took care of my physical needs
And she was cleaning, washing my clothes and all this kind of stuff, which allowed me then to focus on the breastfeeding which I know alot of women don’t have that.
When he was 9 or 10 weeks I was ready to then do things like baby groups and that was when everything reopened. So I don’t think I’ve kind of suffered the way other women did who were stuck at home. I didn’t feel like that And when I was pregnant I was in Indonesia until I was six months pregnant and then I flew back and then it was like winter and I was getting ready to give birth so I kind of went into hibernation anyway?
So I didn’t really feel like I was affected that much by the lock down
and after I gave birth it was kind of nice that you didn’t have the pressure from the people, you know we were just ourselves and we could just get used to things so I didn’t feel that affected by it, I know some women have, it’s been hard for alot of women, maybe I was lucky with my timings of things
I feel like in this country, rates are so low, it’s just something we don’t see
I’ve got really good friends in Barcelona and we work together in Borneo and my friend Joanna, she breastfed, she’s breastfed bother her kids and we were living together and every night she’d be breastfeeding and it just became a normal part of what I’d see and she said in Barcelona or in Spain? it’s unusual for women not to breastfeed, like the rates…I think it’s kind of a reverse, like here’s it’s more likely to (be) bottlefeeding whereas there it’s more likely to (be) breastfeeding
And I think in the UK we just need to be more exposed to it and not for it to be hidden away
in a room or, like, I was in the doctors and I’d had the appointment and I breastfed my son in the waiting room and I was in the corner, I was quite discreet, it was fine because I’m not really bothered about feeding outside, like whatever and two members of staff came up to me and were like, “Oh do you want to go into the room over there? We’ve got a private room if you want to feed him” and I was like, I know they were being nice because they were trying to consider that maybe I’d feel awkward but at the same time it was kind of like, hiding me away, that’s how it felt as well because I was like, “Oh no I’m totally fine” I must have looked relaxed because I’m always relaxed in that situation but it was almost like, ‘Oh you need to be hidden” and
I think we just need to see it
even things like, childrens’ books, you know? Not seeing bottle-fed babies – seeing breastfed babies Have you seen on cafes where it’s like “Breastfeeding Friendly”? I get it, I get it, I know what they’re trying to do but at the same time it’s like, you’re kind of saying there’s places that are unfriendly it’s like
shouldn’t every place be breastfeeding friendly?
For me I put it down to two main things: education, I was determined to do it and I did get the right support. The I always think, “What would I tell someone else who wants to breastfeed?” They would be the things: (1) Education. (2) You need to be quite determined because at times it’s quite tough.
Because sometimes you hear that “I’m going to try. I’m going to try and do it” But that’s not the same as
I’m going to do it