In honor of National Breastfeeding Month, we’ve been asking all you mamas out there to share your #BreastBeReal stories with us, so we thought we'd share a few breastfeeding journeys of our own.
From the mouths of absolute babes (and super-moms) here at Elvie, these ladies share the peaks, troughs, and projectile vomiting from their own breastfeeding experiences.
Caroline, Head of Marketing UK & Europe:
“Someone should have warned me how difficult breastfeeding would be!
Just one out of the eight NCT classes was about breastfeeding, and frankly, it made it sound like it was going to be a natural process. Then day three: the chapped nipples hit, and as my partner would bring the hungry-milk-vampire towards me, I’d visibly recoil, and as she’d latch the tears would flow.
He [my partner], remembers it as the hardest part of the early days of parenting – to how hard it was, especially when she’d drop the latch again and again. Then, I found nipple shields. Not recommended, I know, but frankly it was the only thing that came between me and giving up entirely within the first fortnight. Luckily, little one was adaptable and could handle the changes between nipple, shield and back again.
Only recently did I find out that it’s not supposed to hurt! There was something wrong, but I’d just assumed that was how it was supposed to be. Did you know that a baby's cry for wind sounds just like the cry for more food? I’m guessing the answer is probably yes. But we didn’t, and with some fairly explosive consequences. My baby, A, came out so small, so she was a little food monster who needed what felt like constant feeding.
And sometimes, I’ll admit, I read it wrong – thinking she was asking for more food when all she wanted was a good, old-fashioned belch. The consequential projectile vomiting was of Exorcist proportions! You wouldn’t believe that a 7lb baby could hurl a range of 3ft, but alas, they can. Consider yourselves warned!”
Amy, UX/Service Designer:
“Breastfeeding is hands-down one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I thought it would be something that just happened naturally.
I didn’t realize how different each woman’s experience could be. I nearly gave up in the first week with my eldest. If it hadn’t been for the support of some really incredible women (both in-person and online), I wouldn’t have made it. Despite multiple issues during both of my children’s breastfeeding journeys, I ended up feeding them both to two years.
They say that it takes a village to raise a child, and it’s just so true. It just so happens that nowadays, the village is made up from people you may never have met before.”
Louisa, Social Media Manager:
"I feel quite fortunate in a way that as my son and I were kept in hospital for a week after his birth, I had access to a lot of professional help. Without this help in that first week postpartum I doubt my breastfeeding journey would have been the success it has been. During that week the midwives and breastfeeding specialists helped me perfect my latch and taught me different feeding positions. I think I had them check my baby's latch at least 5 times. This would have been impossible if I were not in hospital. I also had a lovely nurse who I became friends with who gave me a lot of advice and was helping me through the night.
Don't get me wrong though it hasn't all been a walk in the park and once out of hospital it was down to me. I made the most of the resources available to me and used the National Breastfeeding Helpline (UK), they even called to check on me a few times. They were amazing and the helpline is run by trained volunteers who are all moms who have breastfed - I highly recommend it!
Although breastfeeding has had its difficult moments, I have loved it. I've loved spending so much time cuddling him and love how much comfort it brings him."
National Breastfeeding Helpline (UK): phone and web chat available every day of the week.
NCT helpline (UK): phone line open every day also help connect to lactation consultants and meet-ups.
Get Boober (US): lactation support service, helping connect you to local lactation consultants.
La Leche League: have endless resources and blog information and can help you find local breastfeeding groups, facebook pages and meetings in your area.