loopyloulaura

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World Breastfeeding Week 1-8 August 2017

 

I have written before about my own breastfeeding journey with my three children and I don’t intend to repeat it here but I do want to reflect on the importance of breastfeeding as well as the alternatives.
This photo was taken when Zach was 2 weeks old. He looks happy and content. Blissfully asleep.
I was in agony. I had mastitis 🙁 I was in tears at every feed and was also using a breast pump every few hours.
Breastfeeding is hard.
Just because it is natural does not make it easy.
Giving birth is hard and sometimes we need a little help. Ask anyone with constipation if pooing is easy! Think about walking when you have intense back or leg pain, again not easy. Try telling an insomniac to just go to sleep.
I felt like a traitor ‘giving’ in and feeding my children formula. But I’m not. I am a mum doing her best like so many other mums all around the world.
Breastfeeding is an incredibly important opportunity to bond with your child, as well as give them the nutrients and immunity they need. But that doesn’t make you a bad mum if it is hard, if you need a little help, if you seek alternatives.
My dad was born premature back in the 1950s and wouldn’t be alive if formula hadn’t been available. If I had not met the most wonderful A&E nurse when Matthew vomited blood then I would have listened to the midwife and ignored doctor advice with potentially damaging effects to me and my son which could have ruined future breastfeeding for Anya and Zach.
Dads this is about you too! You can feed your baby with expressed milk or just be there for mum while she breastfeeds. For me is was wonderful having someone there to help out with the other children, for example when we were on holiday last year and I had to sit down for half an hour in a museum and Chris took the kids off so they didn’t get grumpy.
My heart aches that my breastfeeding days are behind me, mastitis and all! I will never judge a mum for breastfeeding or not, make assumptions about her choices or give unreasonable advice. I feel honoured and blessed that I was able all three children for over a year each until they were ready to stop all by themselves, I am also proud that I made an informed choice to supplement with formula milk due to my allergy dietary restrictions.
This week for World Breastfeeding Week let’s be honest and acknowledge breast isn’t best if it has implications for maternal mental and physical health which will in turn led to problems for baby. Let’s be open about the challenges that breastfeeding mums face, from disapproving glances in public to pressure and unreasonable expectations in private.
Happy World Breastfeeding Week to babies, mums and dads everywhere!

23 comments

  1. Ky

    I agree – I found breastfeeding incredibly hard. Everyone was telling me it should be easy, but it really wasn’t at the beginning. x #dreamteam

  2. Very well said. We must do what Is right in our own very individual situations. I’m hoping I can breast feed. But the pain is likely to be hard for me to cope with. Fingers crossed #dreamteam

  3. I could not do it properly and did not have any support with it so gave up after 2 weeks.
    Having said that I do think breast milk is best if you can do it and wish I had with all 3 of my children but they are OK all the same

  4. I abandoned my breastfeeding endeavours after a week. For various reasons. That said, I’ve always said in the unlikely event I were to have a second child, I’d definitely give it a go again. #stayclassymama

  5. I agree with everything you’ve said- it’s so important to acknowledge the trials and tribulations in the breastfeeding journey and that it doesn’t suit everyone for many different reasons. Do what is best for mummy and baby #familyfun

  6. That’s the 2nd time I’ve heard the just because it’s natural doesn’t make it easy quote. It’s so true, it’s a definite journey and I love it through all the bad the good comes good. No mum should ever be judged on anything!! ‪Thank you for linking up to the #familyfunlinky‬

  7. Great post Laura. Breast isn’t always best for mum or baby and fed is best is definitely the new moto. Well done for feeding your children beyond a year. I lasted 8 months and wish I’d carried on. I too supplemented with one formula feed a day for my own sanity. It did mean hubby could help more and give me a break in the evenings. Whatever works for your family is best in my opinion!

  8. This is such a rounded post. Breast isn’t always best and that goes for bottle feeding too. Mine were both bottle fed from early on, but I so admire those who managed to feed for longer! Thanks so much for sharing with #Blogstravaganza xx

  9. I couldn’t agree more! We all know the benefits of breastfeeding but it doesn’t mean it is best, there are other factors to consider and a fed baby is best. I did breastfeed both of mine until about 5 months old and had two very different experiences. I don’t give opinions on feeding, I share my experiences and I’ll support anyone with whatever they decide. #Blogstravaganza

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  11. Rhi

    I’ve had all situations, I stopped breastfeeding my eldest completely early on, it wasn’t working. I breastfed my daughter until 12 months but with a lot of bottle top ups in the beginning, and my now 4 month old is exclusively fed, only having had a bottle once. Guess what? They’re all as healthy as each other. I just wish every Mum had access to support and got supported making whatever decision is best for her. #blogstravaganza

  12. I never breastfed but I take my hat off to anyone that does. Thanks so much for linking up to #TriumphantTales – hope to see you again on Tuesday!

  13. Totally on the same page, breastfeeding is very hard and we should acknowledge that so new mums don’t feel bad when they’re in those early stages and beyond. Thanks for sharing with #StayClassyMama!

  14. I think there needs to much more knowledge around breastfeeding difficulties. When you’re pregnant the midwife never goes through problems you may encounter and how to overcome them. #fortheloveofBLOG

  15. I completely agree with this. Breastfeeding is really hard, and there is nothing wrong with formula at all. In my mind it’s better for the baby to be fed. I think no one really understands how hard and how lonely breastfeeding can be until you are at the end of another night shift having not been to sleep. But still it’s so worth it,. and I would never judge anyone for how they feed their baby. Thanks so much for linking up at #fortheloveofBLOG. Claire x

  16. Great post! It is bloody hard. And people just don’t realise how hard then they feel shit and like a failure when it’s hard! And very true about not always best if maternal mental health is at risk. Still believe there should be more support to help with this though. X #FamilyFun

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