One of the most popular posts on this blog is this one, where I talk about my own experience with (attempting) breastfeeding and formula feeding Dear Boy. Quite a few of the ladies who find their way here seem to come via a search for a baby-feeding story that resonates with their own experience. With this Breasts and Bottles series, I'm keen to share some of those other stories. I've asked friends and family and strangers to send me the story of their own experience with feeding their babies. Because if a first-time pregnant lady asks me about my breastfeeding experience, I want to be able to offer something other than just my own rawness. I would have loved to know, back then, that there's no one right way to do this (I would have also liked to know that formula-feeding wasn't a bad choice, it's just a choice - although I deal with that in my own post).
This week I have several stories from women who weren't sure they could be a part of this series. 'I didn't have any problems,' they emailed or messaged me. They breastfed their babies and it was easy. This series was never about being anti-feeding or anti-happy stories or anti-anything. It's my way of sharing that there are many ways people feed their babies. For quite a few women, breastfeeding happens without a hitch. Here are some of their stories:
Hi, I just wanted to share that I breastfed my two babies and never had any issues. I had both of them in a midwife-run birth centre and got a lot of support from them to breastfeed. With my oldest (now 5), I had more help with holds and positions and making sure the latch was good but with my youngest (now 2) I already knew what I was doing and took her home about 12 hours after she was born. I demand-fed the first time around, so it was sometimes every hour overnight (not fun), but I really liked the time we spent together. I had a bit more of a routine the second time because I had my oldest to look after as well. I really loved breastfeeding. (AM)
***My breastfeeding story is pretty boring. I have one baby and she's been breastfed since day one. We haven't had any issues at all, apart from one case of mastitis when she was eight weeks old. I'm starting to think about weaning now that she's almost one but I think if she wants to keep going, I'll keep going for a bit longer. (NM)
***I liked breastfeeding so much I started volunteering at the ABA [Australian Breastfeeding Association]. (T)***I don't want to sound like I'm bragging but I really had it so easy with my lot. I don't think it even occurred to me that I could have problems with breastfeeding. Like you said in your post, I just assumed it'd be easy and natural and that it'd work. I know it doesn't turn out that way for everyone, but it did for me. (BW)
Thanks to everyone who has shared their stories with me. If you have your own story to tell about how you fed your babies, please email me at lilybett[at]gmail[dot]com.