Yes, the breastfeeding was a challenge, let’s just say it was a challenge. Even though I’d been prepared for it being a challenge, the pain, just the not being able to do anything, you know, you just have to sit and lie back. And then that’s all you’re focusing on. So the pain probably isn’t as terrible as it sounds, except for the fact that you’re thinking about… When I was really struggling with the pain, and trying to see a doctor and I kind of feel like, you know, you have your your health visitor and even your midwife. It upsets me that they can’t prescribe. You know, when I thought it was thrush, and I had to see a GP and I remember phoning my GP in tears, and like just saying to them, I said, ‘I’m trying to breastfeed, and I can’t continue if this pain continues. I can’t wait’.
They wanted me to wait a week, I said, I will have stopped by then. And I just felt like really, there needs to be more support medically, faster as well. You know, I mean, you hear about people who’ve had a mastitis, I’ve luckily haven’t had that, but I’ve had blocked ducts and I’ve always been able to clear it on my own. But if I hadn’t, and I had a GP that was saying, wait a week, you know that for a lot of people would be throwing the towel in, because why would they continue if they’re in that much pain?
She’s she’s at a stage now, where she’s just not breastfeeding for very long. Like, she’s just too interested in everything. So, when you have the early stages of the difficult, early stages, you kind of think, ‘Oh, by, by seven months, it’s going to get easier’. And actually, there’s just more challenges. So like, she’s already now looking and like already, you know, not even had a minute and she’s like, ‘Yeah, what, what can I do now?’
My partner has been brilliant, actually, because of his culture, then yeah, breastfeeding. Like, I kind of in the early days almost felt a bit of pressure, because I thought, that’s what he will want and if I can’t do it… and actually, I’ve been really, yeah, he was very into breastfeeding, he thinks it’s the best, you know, wants me to do it. But along my journey, which has been quite difficult at times, he has completely supported, you know, if I wanted to stop, and then in the early days, for him to sort of be part of it, you know. I used to express into a bottle so he could feed. So he is more than happy if it didn’t work, and it wasn’t working to actually go to formula or express milk or… and that was really fantastic, actually, that I had that support either way, you know, especially on those days, when I was really struggling. He was just like, ‘Well, if it’s too much, you know, you’re not failing’. And I think that’s the problem with breastfeeding and with bottle feeding. And a lot of people feel this failure, you know, if they can’t keep it up, or they don’t last as long. I mean, I thought I’d breastfeed for six months, we’re now seven months, I’m not really ready to give it up, although I’m going back to school. So I’m going to have to try and manage that. It has been a challenge. And like the best thing that’s for me, has been speaking to other new mums. So we’ve got a group of new mums who all gave birth at the same time. And that has been such a great support, because people tell you that it’s difficult, but you’re never prepared.
Yeah, so I had her in March. So we were just coming out with it really. So I’ve been really lucky. She’s been to baby clubs, Tiny Tot all the different… I feel really blessed because I wasn’t in the height of it. And so even giving birth, my partner was allowed to be there for the whole time, he then had to leave and could only come and pick me up at the end. And I think with COVID I think breastfeeding feels even more important because obviously with all the germs and all the things that are going around, like, it’s so good for her immune system. But I think also mine as well. And I just think, you know, during this time, I kind of feel even better about the fact that I’m able to breastfeed.
So all the struggles in the early breastfeeding, and I had Raynaud’s as well. And so I got really uptight about going out in the early days, because it was the cold that would cause the pain and I’d been treating myself, got a doctor to treat me for thrush for through almost a month. And it obviously wasn’t clearing because it wasn’t thrush. And again, because of COVID, you weren’t really properly seeing a doctor so no one was giving you a proper diagnosis. They were just going off what you were telling them you’re suffering from. And it was only one morning, when I went to grab the paper from outside and I hadn’t fed her at that point that the pain came I thought, ‘Whoa, this isn’t from breastfeeding. This is…” So, and then I clicked, I looked it up and so I was able to get that treated.
So as soon as I got that treated, I was desperate to get out really and breastfeed because I’m not shy. And, you know, that’s the whole point of me wanting to breastfeed, is the ease, you know. I say to people ‘I’m a lazy bum’ because, you know, my sister did bottles and filling up bottles and I just… that just sent me over the edge, the thought of sterilising all those bottles and for me, I can just go out for a walk and only need to pack nappies and change clothes. And I can go straight out. I don’t need to worry about food. And now she’s seven months of weaning, I have to start thinking ‘Oh, hang on, what snacks can I get for’ and what, you know, if we’re out for a bit longer and she wants something a bit solid. But yeah, so I love going out, I’ve never had any issues. People just don’t really react. Which is great. You’re not failing if you stop or you don’t manage as long as you want because it’s everyone’s individual journey. And to me, I see myself as the lazy mum. Because I don’t have to prepare the bottles. I don’t have to sterilise the bottles. So you know, I don’t think there’s an easy option when it comes to feeding the baby. I think it’s a challenge however you feed your baby. But for me breastfeeding is very special and I’m really, really glad that I’m still doing it and that I’ve managed and you know, I just would recommend it to anyone to really try it.