Intro

All content of this blog is my own opinion only. It does not represent the views of any organisation or association I may work for, or be associated with. Nothing within this blog should be considered as medical advice and you should always consult your Doctor.

Struggling with breastfeeding? Have a hug from us

Today I wanted to send some inspirational words to a family I'm supporting who are having a tough time with breastfeeding.  Baby had an undiagnosed tongue tie and so the "technical" side is taking a little time to resolve. Emotionally and mentally though mum was finding things hard going, wondering if she should continue when it's so difficult and really needing to hear things will improve.

The replies I received on Facebook were so kind (did I mention just how cool some readers on my FB group are?), I thought it would be nice to pop them in a blog post.  Then should any other mum need a mental hug, it's here for all.



Krystie: Just take it one feed at a time. also the saying that helped me when i had really bad after pains with every feed for 3 days, "This too shall pass"

Sarah: If they are tiny all they want and need is cuddles, clean bum and boob, boob boob. our culture has made us think that is wrong and it is not. and do some research on cosleeping and baby wearing. get people to look after you, the mother needs to be mothered also.
Sarah S: ♥ that it will be ok! 
Emma:  The rewards are given by the baby themselves once they are able. Although I had a fairly smooth bf journey i did go through an awful biting phase that really made me question whether to continue and at 15 months we are still going strong with smiles, strokes and cuddles thrown in :) You are doing a great job xxxx
Arabella NN: No inspirational words, sorry, but do let her know that many will be thinking of her and her baby, willing her on and admiring her determination and love for her child.
Lynn: For me I needed to know when it would get better. We had latch and supply issues and it was a nightmare. I had a friend say to me "Hang on, around 12 weeks it gets soooooooo good.' And it did. And I did. ♥

Rachael: Go back to bed, and stay there, cuddled up with baby. Feed, sleep, change bum, get someone to feed you, feed, sleep, feed, sleep. Breast feeding is really difficult, I gave up after 12 weeks due to lack of support/information and have regretted it ever since. Its a learning curve for you and your baby, practice makes perfect. Your a breast feeding star, keep going, it DOES get easier x
Megan: ‎"This too shall pass" became my mantra too. I struggled with some things in the beginning but by the time son was older and it was easy, I can't even count the number of times I said "I'm so glad I'm still breastfeeding". For a variety of reasons.  My local LLL leader also told me that there are lots of moms all over that would be trying to feed their babies at the same time I was - I felt a lot of solidarity with women I didn't even know, especially in the middle of the night. :)
Tanya: The best thing anyone said to me was, "in the whole of their life, this is such a short time. It won't last forever and you'll even miss the toughest of days when it's gone" and I have to say after 27 months of feeding it's true :)
Luisa: Once all this is over you'll be so fricking glad that every feed is a piece of cake and you'll never have to worry about whether to take hot bottles cold bottle or how long you'll be should you take 3-or 4 and can you keep that many hot or warm..
Tracey: I agree with the one-feed-at-a-time mantra, it got me through a whole heap of pain from untold damage caused by a missed tongue-tie, and several blocked ducts. Oh and also I say get a sling. Once I had one I was like "OMG! Why didn't I do this earlier!!!"
Also let her know we're here for her, night or day ♥
Anna: She's doing great and what is best for her baby. I heard a lot of.... Its not you doing anything wrong its just you and baby need to learn the right technique so as with anything new it takes a while to perfect x
Hannah: It will get better and you will look back on this time as a short period in your breastfeeding journey. And tomorrow is another day - never make any decisions in the middle of the night. Hugs to her
Cassaundra: You ARE capable of doing this. women's bodies have been doing this for millions of years. an YES, you are in a society that isolates women and makes it as hard as it can possibly be. YES, the difficulty you are having IS real. but YOU are stronger and better than all that society can throw at you. you CAN do it!  That is the "one" message i would send.and blessings and hugs :)
Katy: It wont last forever and it will be so worth it the long run

Sarah Sc: The tough days at the beginning are eventually eclipsed by the lovely feedings where your baby helps you recharge your emotional batteries. Where baby strokes your cheek or holds your breast tenderly. I haven't forgotten the early days of tears, confusion and pain but those days have somehow made our successes greater, our bond stronger and my breastfeeding resolve reinforced.
Kate: Things do get easier......I clearly remember my lo was 8 weeks old when I finally thought....I can do this........8 weeks is a long time to think everyday I can't do this, every feed, but it gets easier & is the best thing in the world & you are doing amazingly well!!!!!
Also get yourself to some support groups. You will be so proud of yourself, don't give yourself a hard time at all........this phase will pass!!! Promise!
Don't give yourself any goals, just go with it as much as you can!
X
Melissa:  Whenever I think about breastfeeding, I think about the fact that I am not doing so for MY benefit. I am doing it to give my baby the best start in life that I can. Every little problem will just make me stronger, strengthen my resolve and make me more confident in myself because I was able to work through my problem and the tribulations.

Isolde: Only ever feed lying down until it all feels better. and watch out the expression on munchkin's boob-drunk face afterwards - that look of pure peace, contentment and slight inebriation is worthy it 100 times over.
‎(obviously I'm working on the premise that everything is better when lying down!)

Jen: That it will be so so so so worth these initial struggles...
Georgina:  Hold on in there, it is so easy to say that but a lot harder to do, i know because i have been there, but its the best feeling when its working out and you will be so so proud of yourself, big hugs to you, it will be OK and you can do it x x x
Samantha: My message would be that there is ALWAYS a way to get over whatever hurdle you've hit and that there is nothing like looking back and congratulating yourself for getting through it.  I had mastitis, thrush, cracked nipples, a baby that wouldn't gain weight (not all at the same time!) and every time I persevered, I was so proud of myself for getting through just one feed at a time. "This too shall pass" - great mantra!
Amber: Stick at it, every tough feed takes you a step nearer the easy ones, when you can just go out and feel secure that you can feed your baby anywhere, anytime. And think how much chocolate you can buy for the cost of one tin of formula. Then multiply it by the hundred or so tins you wont need :)
Hayley: I also went through a nightmare breastfeeding at the beginning, didn't know if i could continue but was emotional at the thought of stopping. nipples bled, got flu like mastitis, worried my son was dehydrated. Things that helped me were finding programmes that took my mind off the pain and saving them on sky+ to watch at feeding times, keep trying different latch/holding methods, someone else making nice comfort food meals for me. And eventually (feels like a few weeks in my memory but eternity at the time) it got better. I'm still feeding at nearly12 months and it was worth all the tears. x
Rachel C: My advice would be never be afraid to ask for support and advice. I have an amazing support from my online mummy friends (words can not describe how grateful I am for their patience and support), my partner and the breastfeeding supporters locally. I just wish I had the same support for my first two children ♥
Sally: I had really tough time and it hurt so much I didn't think I could keep it up... But it all seems so long forgotten, it seemed long ago even a week after getting it sorted. But I still remember how far off it seemed whilst still in the dark grim haze of pain and misery. But hope is just around the corner... I have been amazed by the strength and determination of women whilst have overcome impossibly huge obstacles, much greater than mine. Their example makes me feel confident that I could overcome ANY bf obstacle that presented itself.   I reckon now, that appropriate technical support is essential, first and foremost - but the magic that makes it all work and help overcome anything is determination. And get.thee to a good supportive group. My local LLL is where I have met all the inspirational bf mama that have spurred me on.
Clare: You can be really smug when your baby/toddler doesn't ever get ill when all the bottle fed babies are keeping their mums up at night (after they've bragged for months about them sleeping through whilst you were the walking dead) and your contented angel has passed all these early problems! We all feel distressed and overwhelmed, go to bed for the day, stay there with lots of naughty foods (and healthy ones) watch TV, sleep or whatever indulgence will make you feel better.
Shelley: We had a REALLY tough time too :( (all came down to a undiagnosed posterior tongue tie and bad dvice) 12 weeks of massive nipple trauma from a popped friction blister, mastitis, severe thrush which lasted 10 months and pumping for 8 weeks while blister healed and TT divided, things improved dramatically at 12 weeks. A very close friend of mine said " look back to this time last week not this time yesterday". I could always see an improvement even if it was a small one. This kept my spirits high at the darkest of days. I hope you can look a week or more and see that something has improved. My thoughts are with you and your family. You are strong to have gotten this far. Well done. Not long now:) xxx
Kaye: Once you get past the difficult first stage you will love every minute. There is nothing that can compare to it. I struggled at first, my nipples split and I cried at every feed. But I am so glad I was too lazy to get up in the night to prepare bottles! You are doing an amazing thing for your little one. As you are probably aware it will do wonders for your health as well as your baby's, it also protects against SIDS. You can get through this. Cuddle up with your baby, sleep when he/she does and have a relaxing bath. I'm sure I can speak for all of us here when I say if you need anything you can get a message to us and we will encourage and support you in any way possible.

5 comments:

  1. Wow! What a great list of really inspiring advice. I love the bit about not making decisions in the middle of the night. I also love the term "boob-drunk." That describes it perfectly!

    Jenna
    callherhappy.com

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  2. Wonderful! Linked in my weekly links post on Free Your Parenting today: http://freeyourparenting.com/2011/10/16/sharing-sunday-13/

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  3. Thank you so much ladies. I am the lady in question and this gave me such a morale boost. I'm still breastfeeding - yay! I just forwarded it on to a friend who is also struggling with a newborn and feeding issues. Re-reading the posts made me cry, (again!) in a nice way. So nice to hear some love and support from other mums. XX

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  4. My 3 week old DS thanks you for this post. I had just reached the point where I was almost ready to reach for the "handy formula sample"provided by the hospital... which after reading this post went out the door with my husband. I have been dealing with latch issues and while they are getting better I am still sore and incredibly frustrated... But THIS TO SHALL PASS. Thank you for putting all of these wonderful supportive quotes in one place... they will be bookmarked and probably read a few more times. definately a midnight feeding read :)

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