It was at this six week mark where the novelty of a new baby was starting to wear off for family and friends and I was ready to get into our own little routine and meet some other mamas. I nervously turned up to the local children's centre for the Breastfeeding support group one Tuesday morning in the hope of finding some new friendships and I am so glad I did.. (Looking back, it seems silly to have waited the six weeks - getting support right from the beginning is so important and I didn't wait so long with baby number two).
I met mothers of all ages and backgrounds, feeding newborns, feeding babies and feeding toddlers. They were friendly, accepting and encouraging and are the friends I still drink coffee with every week, nearly two years later. At the group I learnt it was OK to breastfeed for 6 days, 6 weeks, 6 months or even 6 years if it is the right thing for you and your family, and that having the right information and support makes the world of difference.
I had support in the early days, through the growth spurts, through weaning and even when I decided that my breastfeeding journey was over. The women I met stopped me questioning myself and helped me realise what a wonderful thing I was doing for my baby. I believe that every mother should have the right to feed her baby however she would like to, and if that is with breast milk then she should have the support to make sure she can.
Since having my second son I have continued to attend the same group and have seen mothers come and go, some dropping in just for advice and some making life long friends like I have. I am not a peer supporter but I can tell my story and my children are there as great examples of how happy, healthy (and chunky) breastfed babies can be.
The support I got helped me breastfeed far longer than the 6 weeks I had originally envisaged and Dylan was nearly 9 months when I decided that it was the right time for us to stop. Archie is now 4 months old and we are still going strong. I have the support and the knowledge now to continue for as long as it is right for both of us and I don't see an end any time soon.
I am firmly pro-choice when it comes to parenting, but the benefits of breastfeeding are undeniable for both mother and baby. This week is Britain's National Breastfeeding Week and hopefully it will be providing the support for mums who need it. There are lots of bloggers writing about their breastfeeding journeys and I recommend you check out the lovely Faded Seaside Mama , Circus Queen, Pobbing Along, The Brick Castle and Mum2BabyInsomniac. I have another post coming up later this week where you can win a fantastic nursing bra set from Mumba on top of this fantastic giveaway of thousands of pounds worth of breastfeeding goodies.
a Rafflecopter giveaway