Tuesday, 25 June 2013

Breastfeeding Support

When I was pregnant with Dylan, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed. I can't tell you why or what contributed to the decision but my goal was always 6 weeks of exclusive breastfeeding.  I was incredibly lucky that it seemed to come naturally to both of us and six weeks into our journey I could see no reason on earth why I would want to stop.

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.







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35 comments:

  1. Yay for Mummy milk, there were certainly enough gorgeous babies with their mummies at Britmums, including your lovely little boy, to advocate breast feeding! For me it's been a favourite part of parenting, I nursed Kitty until she weaned at 24 months and Elma and I are still going strong at 6 months!

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  2. Thanks for this post. I didn't breast feed my first son - i did try, I cried, I felt like a failure - the lot!! I did however express for 6 weeks and mix fed my son to ensure I tried all that I possibly could. I am now pregnant with my second son, And I know I would like to try and start bf him. I already scared and nervous about this. and i'm not due until October.

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  3. I love how you just knew you wanted to breastfeed - I was the same and still going nearly 13 months later :)

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  4. the best support i had was from my mil

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  5. My breastfeeding supporter is my baby daughter who is quite helpful at keeping my milk supply going at ALL hours of night and day ;)
    Liz Hamblin x

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  6. My breastfeeding supporter was the pink ladies they done home visits and phone calls to make sure i was doing fine. Now my 13 week old is my supporter giving me smiles and plenty of wet and dirty nappies!!

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  7. charlotte louise25 June 2013 20:24

    except for the midwife and health visitor I had no support so I trained to be a peer supporter for other mums in my area

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  8. Great post, we are still breastfeeding too at 14 months and hope to breastfeed with next one as well :)

    x

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  9. lovely post. absolutey agree its all about pro choice and if support gives you that choice its a good thing right :) x

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  10. Great post, pro choice all the way, only got the hang of bf on my 3rd, my support is my hubby x

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  11. My husband who always says I am doing a great job. It really does help. @lorrainesaeed

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  12. A great post, its good to know that you found a great group of women who have been there for you.
    my biggest supporter is my OH who saw me through the early nights with baby no 1 when we struggled with latch issues, and ended up referred back to the hospital for a feeding plan which involved a very difficult schedule of expressing and topping up. he also understands how important breastfeeding is for both mine and our childrens health.
    But I also have a community of women friends who have breastfed/are breastfeeding and its their support that gets me through the ups and downs.

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  13. I had great support from my Mum, she was there every step of the way x

    http://www.mummytothemax.co.uk/

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  14. It's so important to have the support of immediate family (I.e. partner and other children)

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  15. My lovely hubbie, plus there are several local groups I can pop along to if I need some help or advice

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  16. The lactation consultant who diagnosed my daughter's tongue tie.

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  17. my husband. he's very caring and supportive

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  18. My midwife has been super supportive and I also attend my local group 'breast mates' at our local sure start center

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  19. My husband is my greatest supporter, along with my mum and my best friend.

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  20. My supporters are my lovely friends at B.E.A.R.S Amber Valley.

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  21. My partner is always my best supporter

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  22. My Mum has always been amazingly supportive with each of my children when ive breastfed , and im sure she'll be the same with our 3rd baby due in september :) @chanson2010

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  23. My husband and my Mum

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  24. My husband, he's always at hand with drinks and snacks

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  25. My husband, he is more outspoken about the benefits than me!!

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  26. Elizabeth Williams4 July 2013 23:06

    my partner

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