Mother Stories

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I was so in my own world with my baby

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Breastfeeding in the beginning was great - I watched the whole box season of breaking bad & spent a lot of time in bed eating chocolate :) Tully I swear was born shouting 'boob' he did the self wriggle and latch within minutes of being born and we didn't look back. I was fortunate not to have any problems but he was slow to put on weight at first & recover his birth weight despite being seemingly always attached- breastfeeding on demand took on a whole new meaning when a midwife demanded I breastfeed in front of her (as I must've been doing something wrong and would need to supplement with formula if I couldn't get him gaining faster) Fortunately she couldn't fault his latch and I stuck to my guns about exclusive breastfeeding.

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As time went by breastfeeding just became very normal

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Surprisingly easy. I say surprisingly because when I was pregnant I had a lot of people warning me that breastfeeding is horrendous, painful, impossible. In fact I found it to be calming, painless and easy. I had very peaceful home births with both my children, with midwifes and a doula who gave me the support, space and respite to be able to focus on feeding and recovering. Generally, I found being able to breastfeed was a huge confidence boost in the beginning. It made me feel strong, important, purposeful. And completely autonomous - as though it wouldn’t matter what situation we found ourselves in, so long as I had my breasts my babies would be fine. Then as time went by breastfeeding just became very normal. Nowadays, it inhabits a strange place in my world, sitting somewhere between being this potently significant achievement, and just a very normal everyday occurrence. 

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She knew what to do from the start

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I'm very fortunate that I had an easy pregnancy and  lovely home birth with my daughter, Leila, and that she knew what to do from the word go. So happily I had no problems with breastfeeding and I just found it all quite lovely. Although she was small she even put on weight in her first week and so I just felt rather in awe of the whole process and how amazing the body is to produce just what she needs whenever she needs it.

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It was really hard

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With my first boy, it was really hard. He was premature and after a tricky labour, ending in emergency Csection, I struggled to get him latched on. My milk took a long time to come in and he lost a lot of weight and the doctors prescribed formula in the hospital which really knocked my confidence. It was a difficult and painful experience, physically and emotionally.

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Breastfeeding was a Real Joy

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Vickie with Indy
Breastfeeding for me in the beginning was a real joy! I know that must make a lot of people feel frustrated but I just found it so natural. This is back when sawyer was a baby. Then I had Vienna and totally expected it to be a breeze again but that time, due to a bad latch moments after she was born, the whole of my left nipple ended up peeling off! Totally horrendous!

 

But even with all that happening I really didn't want to give up, the thought of using bottles actually seemed harder and like more work. I fed through gritted teeth and the nipple did recover but now it looks like it has a sad face!

 

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Giving it time

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I guess it always begins before birth. I wanted to breastfeed. I knew it might be difficult. My mum breastfeed me and my younger brother but nor my older brother, as she had a lot of pain, and difficulties, and no support. So I was aware that it might be hard. I had gone to my NCT classes, read about breastfeeding, but it felt like reading about running without ever having run. 

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Posterior Tongue Tie

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It's 7.15, Sunday, Mothers Day and I am finally breastfeeding. No expressing, no bottles, no formula, no steriliser. Just me, her and the open road. A slight ache in my left breast reminds me that this achievement is the culmination of many small battles, won quietly, furiously in the past three and a half months since my baby, Lily was born. Who would have thought it would take so long to get here? Not me. But then I really hadn't a clue about breastfeeding before she was born.

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