Mama moments my breastfeeding journey

This week is world breastfeeding week (incase you didn't know) and seeing lots of women sharing there breastfeeding pictures on social media got me thinking about my own breastfeeding journey.

Oddly my husband is very pro breastfeeding and always has been. I, on the other hand, took a while to come round to the idea. The thought of having another being feeding from my body seemed strange and I just wasn't sure I wanted to do it. As Lee was so keen on our son being breastfed I promised that I would give it my best shot and try. 

When Gray was born and the midwife plopped him on my bare chest for skin to skin and to latch on I was in a state of total shock. Obviously I was expecting to have a baby (being preggo for 9months will help you get there) but nothing prepares you for the enormity of this helpless little person. It also didn't help that I had really high blood pressure and was projectile vomiting right after the birth. Anyway I digress. I had no idea what to do to get him to latch on. My midwife gave me some pointers to get me started and my little gray latched on. In the moment I was so shell shocked that it all went over my head and to be honest I wasn't sure if I was doing it right. Pretty much from the start I had a lot of doubt not that I wanted to breast feed but was I doing it properly. I had no frame of reference so felt completely at sea with it all. 

I was pretty pro active in asking for help, as I was paranoid about my baby not being fed properly. However I often got conflicting advice from the various midwives, health care assistants and breast feeding specialists on the ward. Hold him this way, hold him that way. Use a syringe hand express. What was well meaning advice at the time was an overwhelming amount of contradictory information. The thing is, I felt strongly about wanting to give my baby the best and persevering was the only option. Like many women I found it difficult at first to get to grips with breastfeeding. Coupled with my paranoia that Gray wasn't feeding I opted to supplement with formula feeding. 

The hospital we were in were very pro breastfeeding. Which I have to say is a good thing. However the message was put across in a judgemental way. As I was combination feeding I received lots of disapproving looks and comments. Which made me feel uneasy. 

Once leaving hospital and feeling settled at home we got into our breast feeding groove. I'd put Gray to my breast he would latch on and feed we'd then top up with a few ounces of formula. We did this successfully for 3 months until my milk supply finished. I actually felt really sad when I realised that my body could no longer feed my baby. I felt a profound sense of loss. I missed the special moments that only the two of us shared. I'm incredibly proud of what my body has been able do. It not only grew and gave birth to a baby but then nourished and my child. Mama's, our bodies are awesome! Yes I do wish I was still breastfeeding but I'm now able to look back with gratitude that I was able to breastfeed Gray even if it was for a short time. 

I'm very aware that breast is best but I'm also a huge advocate for choice. It's important for women to have the necessary information to make an informed decision. Which ever way you chose to feed your child you should not be judged. The most important thing is that a baby is fed, loved and looked after. 

I hate seeing women being shamed for breastfeeding in public it really makes my blood boil. How can something so natural be vilified? I recently saw Sam Faiers from TOWIE receiving a hard time for sharing an image breastfeeding her son. Interesting that we don't have people getting their knickers in a twist about women wearing very low tops (and rightly so). The narrative was that it's okay to show breasts sexually but not nurturing which quite frankly is absurd. Equally it's so unfair for women who choose to formula feed to be made to feel guilty or like a bad mama. 

My tribute to #worldbreastfeeding week is all about not being judgemental. We live in a progressive world where we have the choice about how to feed our children. So let's not make mama's feel crappy about those choices lets cheer each other on! 

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