Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Breast Feeding - Where to Turn

I've heard many of times about how difficult breast feeding can be. Many mothers struggle for days, weeks, even months in their quest to breast feed their babies. Unfortunately it may be too much of a struggle to continue. Sometimes it is not feasible for the mother to keep on breast feeding. Some may eventually exclusively pump, or go to formula to feed their babies. Some mothers don't choose to breast feed from the very beginning. Others want to breast feed more than anything, but just can't make it work because of a lack of support. 


I think it helps to know up front that it may be a challenge for a mother and baby to learn the ropes of breast feeding. I also think it helps to know ahead of time that it may be painful at times as well. I've heard stories from women that assumed it would be easy, and had no idea that it would ever hurt. These are the women that are sometimes stopped dead in their tracks when it becomes challenging or painful to breast feed. I feel bad speaking to women that didn't know about what they were getting into, and I hope that more women learn about breast feeding before they start.


My motto is usually "prepare for the worst, but hope for the best." I had heard numerous times that breast feeding was "easy" and "natural" and that I would have no problems. I also heard about difficulties. I figured I would hope it would be easy for myself and our baby, but I wanted to learn about what to do if it wasn't so easy for us. 


My husband and I went to a breast feeding class. It was informative, and helpful. I had heard that having your support system attend the class is helpful, so that they understand the difficulties later. I didn't want to be a sobbing mess over a crying baby and have my husband looking at me like I was insane. We heard lots of explanation about what my body will be going through when producing milk, and it really helped us understand. There were also plenty of printed materials for us to take home, and use in the future. I happily added those to our Baby Binder.


I would also recommend that struggling mothers speak to mothers that have gone through it. Mothers that have had a baby recently may be the most helpful for asking questions, as their memories might be a lot more fresh. If you don't have any women in your life that have experience with this, you could go online for help.  


Facebook has many breast feeding support groups that you can join, where women ask questions and offer support. These are women that you don't know in real life, so it may be easier for you to ask uncomfortable questions. It may also feel less awkward to ask those questions that you think are "stupid" questions, because you aren't face to face. You could also "like" Kelly Mom on Facebook, where links to articles will be posted and women will converse back and forth. 


The Kelly Mom website is my favorite. There are so many helpful articles to read through, you can really educate yourself well with this website. You may have heard of the La Leche League organization. The La Leche League website is also very helpful. There are many articles on this site, as well as a great forum where you can speak with other mothers to get advice. This site may also help you find a Lactation Consultant in your area. 


Working with a Lactation Consultant may be your best bet in the long run. You may even be lucky enough to have one work with you while you're still in the hospital. The earlier you work with a LC, the better off you may be. Having someone working with you in a hands-on manner can take a lot of the uncertainty out of your mind, and you know that they are an expert with breast feeding. What could be better? Check with your hospital about this ahead of time, so that you know what to expect. 


Overall, don't be afraid to ask for help! You are not alone. You are not the only woman struggling with this. Reach out. Both you and your baby will be better off. 




If you're interested in following my breast feeding journey, you can find me on Twitter @DawnMarieMcG and I look forward to seeing you online!

You have stumbled upon a blog post participating in the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt 2012! The more participating blog posts you read, the better your chances of winning the grand prize. If you're interested in reading blogs from parents who do have experience in breast feeding, please take a look! Here are a few you should peek at: Really RachelfipeacockCircus Queen, and The Secret Life of Kate. Also, check out School of BabywearingWe're a social enterprise promoting babywearing & running accredited babywearing training as well as publishing free resources.  We're very keen to promote babywearing as a way of supporting breastfeeding - both by keeping baby close & being able to see their feeding cues & by offering additional discretion/hands free support.




Thank you for taking the time to read my blog post.  Please complete the following Rafflecopter to enter the competition for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Grand Prize.


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18 comments:

  1. This may be a bit strange but it is my mother who is sadly no longer with me. She breastfed all 3 of her children and always instilled in me as I was growing up that breastfeeding was the best way to feed a baby. From since I was very young, I have never considered feeding my baby any other way. I know my mum would be very proud of me!

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    1. I'm glad you had such a great role model for breastfeeding. I'm sorry that she is no longer with you, but I'm glad you were able to carry that on with your own family. Congrats for that, and I'm sure she would be very proud! Thank you for reading :)

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  2. My best supporter is without question my husband, he is fantastic and knows that a dad's most important job in the early weeks and months is looking after the mother.

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    1. I'm so glad that your husband is such a great support for you! This is so important always, especially in the early days! Thanks for taking the time to read my blog post!

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  3. My husband has been the biggest help. Even though there's nothing he can do to stop it hurting, he'll stay by my side as I feed, bring me cups of tea, and endlessly pass me things. After 8 weeks of painful feeding, sometimes all you need is for someone to say "You've done incredibly well to keep going for so long". To know that he understands and appreciates that gives me the strength to carry on and keep looking for a solution!

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    1. You are very lucky to have such a supportive husband! Congrats on your little one and good luck with continuing with breastfeeding. Thank you for reading :)

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  4. My husband is amazing he offers so much support and helps in whatever way he can and i am truely blessed to have him and i know he will be the same when bump decides to arrive too. My mum was always on the phone or called round to see if i was okay and to offer any advice she could and i cant wait to do it all :) when our next little girlie arrives and im sure it will be twice as fun with a toddler to try keep occupied too lol x

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    1. You're so lucky to have a supportive husband AND mother :) Great for you, and your little ones. Good luck with the bump, can't wait to hear about her! Thanks again for reading!

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  5. My daugher (3) is a great supporter she tells everyone that her brother only drinks mummy milk, she attends the breast buddies group I run and knows everyone by name, fetches drinks for them. When at home she fetches stuff for me if I'm feeding.

    In the early days it was my partner, I had a difficult time first time around and a few times said "lets just try a bottle of formula" out of pure desperation and lack of knowledge. he would say "lets just take it a feed at a time, you can do this, you know its what you want to do" and that was enough to get me through the rough stages till I got some proper support and advice.

    Now my circle of mummy friends are my biggest support, its great to have people you can talk to open and honestly... peer support is a wonderful thing! My top tip all last week was to find your local support/peer supporters/breastfeeding group before baby is born so you can get to know them, this makes it much easier to contact them after baby is born; faces to names and voices. Its good to know you have support from people who you know and are familiar with and that you trust.

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    1. Your daughter sounds adorable! And so helpful! What a great child you are raising :) I'm glad your partner was so supportive and helped push you through each feeding. Sometimes that's all we need, to focus on one feeding at a time. Thank you for the tip on finding local women to speak with, it definitely sounds ideal for learning. Thank you also for reading, I appreciate it!

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  6. My mum is my best supporter and my husband is extremely encouraging too. It is so important to have someone to stand behind you particularly in the first few weeks!

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    1. I'm glad you have both a great husband and great mother to support you! It is so important with times like these. Thank you again for reading :)

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  7. Samantha HollowayJune 17, 2012 at 5:36 PM

    My mum and dad are my biggest supporters as my mum breast fed me and my 5 siblings, although I was 18 when I had my first I believe I breast fed as to me it was the normal thing to do as my 3 younger brother were born when I was in my teens so breast feeding was like a natural part of life for me whereas the bottle seemed strange.

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    1. It is great to have a good example to follow, especially with a challenging thing such as breastfeeding. I'm glad your parents are so supportive of you! Thank you for reading :)

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  8. My best supporter is my baby. Watching her feed for the first time I knew I could never do anything else, and so even when she went on to have problems and we ended up in hospital I just had to look at her to know it was worth perservering.

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    1. You are so right! Once you start, it's so hard to imagine giving it up. I'm glad that you were able to keep going with it, the rewards make it all worth it! Thank you for reading!

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  9. My husband has been an amazing support throughout.

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    1. Great! I'm glad that you have a supportive husband to help you through things like this! It really is key. Thanks again for reading!

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