Saturday 1 August 2015

Positive About Breastfeeding - The Grand Entrance

Keep Britain Breastfeeding Logo

Thanks for hopping over from My Mummy's World, and welcome to my post for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt Day 1: The Start of My Journey.

Sponsors today include  Boobie Milk with a £50 voucher, Cherub Chews who are offering a breastfeeding necklace and Loveyush who are offering a breastfeeding scarf for our Grand Prize winner. Over £700 worth of goodies are up for grabs; entries via the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.


If you have ever read about My First Year of Breastfeeding, then you will know that we had a really tough start first time around. B was tongue tied, I have insufficient glandular tissue (IGT), and the breastfeeding support at our hospital was appalling. In those first weeks there were no positives. I was in pain and B lost a great deal of weight; I was desperately unhappy and exhausted. I had done a great deal of research about breastfeeding while I was pregnant, and I had been certain it would be a breeze. I was unaware of tongue ties - as was my La Leche League trained mum - and I didn't believe Low Supply was a real thing. However, I'm a stubborn soul, and I was determined to keep breastfeeding. But why?
Why did I think it was important to breastfeed my baby, even though I had the perfect excuse to give up and bottle feed her formula? Back in 2012 I wrote a blogpost entitled Why I Breastfeed, in which I outlined some of my reasons, including the following list of benefits in brief:
  • Normal and natural, and perfectly designed for human babies
  • Antibacterial, Fungicidal, Antimicrobial, Antiparasitic
  • Kills salmonella, staphylococci and E. coli
  • Makes antibodies to order
  • Free and sterile
  • Cures all kinds of ailments
  • Enables development of nervous system, visual abilities, proper brain function, and repair and growth of skeletal muscle tissue
  • Makes your child more intelligent
  • Improves insulin sensitivity - protects against diabetes and obesity
  • Easily digested
  • Protects the intestines and prevents food allergies
  • Alive
  • Protects mum against breast and ovarian cancers
  • Produces oxytocin in mum
  • Aids baby's sleep
  • Natural painkiller for baby
Three years on, I can add myriad more reasons to that list. Not least, the ability to stop a tantrum in its tracks; soothe bumps and bruises; and calm an overtired toddler. I've witnessed my girls avoid sickness bugs going around. It was truly beautiful to watch B and M bond whilst feeding at the same time, and I'm certain that still being allowed to breastfeed when M was born enabled B to feel less jealous about her baby sister's place in our family. I've since discovered that not only does breastmilk protect mum and child against cancers, it can also kill cancer cells! To be perfectly honest, I can think of no reasons not to breastfeed, even if one's supply is low and the baby needs supplementing. The action of breastfeeding helps to develop jaw and ear muscles; and even if breastfeeding isn't physically possible, expressing, or acquiring donor breastmilk, can provide baby with the nutrients and life-boosting qualities they deserve.

In 2013 I wrote the following in a Scavenger Hunt post entitled Why I Continue to Breastfeed:
"So, to summarise, breastfeeding saves you money, energy and space; helps with weight loss; and protects your child from many illnesses and diseases. It also protects against mums suffering depression. It's an awesome parenting tool and creates a lasting bond between mum and child."

I've been breastfeeding for nearly 4 years now, without a break, and for about 16 months of that I tandem fed. When M was born, she latched much better than B did, and I was both more prepared and more confident. I had donor milk in the freezer ready for supplementing, and I was able to get her tongue tie separated early on. The paediatricians in the hospital didn't stand a chance against me!  

What's that? You think I should be feeding my 3 day old baby for 20 minutes every three hours?! Have you even read your hospital's Breastfeeding Policy, hmmm?!

My second first year of breastfeeding was a much more positive journey. I'm so glad I persisted. And I feel that, while I am still sad that I cannot exclusively breastfeed my babies, I have come to terms with my situation, and through acceptance I have found a sense of peace. The difficulties I've encountered have made me stronger and more knowledgeable, and given me a real desire to help other mothers to achieve their breastfeeding goals. I'm currently going through the application process to train as a Peer Supporter.

Now enter the competition using the Rafflecopter below:


Following on from my journey, please do hop over to Visit From The Stork to see how her journey began, and to be in with more chances to enter the grand prize draw. Remember you need to earn 50 points to be eligible; full details can be found on the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Site.

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