Leanne’s Breastfeeding Story by guest blogger Leanne

dafgMy name is Leanne. I’m from Berkshire in the UK.

My beautiful daughter was born 04/03/13, I didn’t find out until 34 weeks I was expecting, but decided I wanted to breast feed. I had already decided if I was going to be blessed with child I would breast feed.

My story begins with my waters breaking on the 02/03/13 I had no contractions so went in to be checked they said I was in active labour and to go home and come back the next day if things didn’t progress, things didn’t so I went back in the next day and was induced things didn’t move very quickly and by 3 am I was struggling and so was my daughter I opted for an emergency c- section luckily my night nurse new how much I wanted to breastfeed. When my daughter was born I experienced the best feeling ever I broke down and cried. Then I had excruciating chest pain they put me under anesthetic. Luckily my mum was there and she reinforced my wish to breastfeed and made sure no formula was given when I came out of recovery about 1hr later my nurse attached my daughter for her first feed, I don’t remember this, just her latching.

Then I continued to feed lying down they decided to sit me up and a new nurse came on shift she told me to feed using the rugby hold ( baby’s legs through and under arm) this was unsuccessful I was in tears wondering why it wasn’t working. I had 4-5 nurses come and tell me how to latch and get her on I struggled every time they then suggested I hand express and fed from cup of which I decided against it had to be from me on me. I then went against all advice and held her against me to feed it worked!!!! I cried with relief and felt a rush of emotion. I was so sore I had to use shields of which my daughter refused I guess looking back now I sunk into post natal depression here, but would never admit it. I gave her formula, I cried and felt like such a failure, but I still continued putting her on my breast and trying. They kept saying maybe you have a low milk supply and this was due to not eating looking back now I know why. When we left hospital we were breast and formula feeding. My health visitor came to my house few days later and said to me, “if you want to breast feed still drop the formula,” and I kept worrying about her going hungry. She kept saying “she won’t, she is only 2 weeks old.”(We spent 1 week in hospital) I did it; I dropped the formula.

wetyThe next step was a struggle, I cried, I got angry at myself, I bled, I came to the verge of giving up. My daughter, even though latched properly (confirmed by lactation support), was making me so sore I bled. I was in tears every time she fed and dreaded the next feed. People told me to give up I was doing the best I could, but it was no good for her getting upset. I didn’t listen and persevered. It took 6 weeks to get through the pain, the tears, and the anger at myself and all of a sudden my bond dropped. I wouldn’t admit it to anyone (mainly because of the fear of her being taken away which I know is silly now but it was still there). I continued to hold, feed, kiss, and tell her I loved her to try to get it back to no avail but I never gave up.

My daughter slept in my bed from day 2 due to not sleeping when she was in cot due to fear of SIDS (I worked in a nursery as a manager and met parents who this was a reality and it scared me.)

Now looking back she is 10 months old breastfed and still co sleeping the bond is back, but I still every now and again feel myself slipping but I stop myself for her my world my life.

She would prefer her milk to food and has learnt to help herself.

Here in the UK there is hardly any support for breastfeeding and it is frowned upon but I don’t care if she needs a feed, I do it, and I dare anyone to ask me to leave or even cover up. The law is on my side for now.

My struggle happened because I was put under anesthetic. I missed the skin to skin bonding of that first feed and taking it back I would go through the pain to see those moments, but I can’t look back now I’m looking forward and here’s to not giving up any time soon.

Leanne

About Abby Theuring

The Badass Breastfeeder is a mother, writer, social worker, attachment parent, proud breastfeeder and advocate. Her career as a social worker has shown her that gentle and connected parenting is vital for life-long emotional health. You can find her blog at www.thebadassbreastfeeder.com and Facebook page at www.facebook.com/TheBadassBreastfeeder.

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