Thank you to mum, Kimberley, who has kindly shared her breastfeeding experience with us today.
"Before my son was born I knew I wanted to breastfeed. I thought it would be so simple.
When he was born, I didn't take long to realise that he wouldn't latch on, even with two midwives pushing my boob into his mouth, he just wouldn't do it. It was as if my boob was to big for his mouth (I'm a size 34KK.) In the end, he had to have a bottle but to our surprise he didn't take to that very well either. It would take him 1 hour to get him to take just 2oz. This was also upsetting. When I was leaving hospital the doctor told me my little boy had tongue tie. I'd never heard of tongue tie before but they explained that this is why he couldn't breastfeed or suck a bottle properly.
Following this, we decided to pay £150 privately the day we left hospital to go and get it snipped – all in all a 3 hour round trip. The lady was extremely helpful and advised me to get a Medela Swing Breastpump and begin expressing frequently. So, that's what I did, I expressed breastmilk and bottled it to feed him. I expressed every 3 hours.
Unfortunately, having his tongue tie snipped didn't help as much as we thought, I was so low and I just couldn't get him to latch on. A midwife came by one day and advised me to try some nipple shields and again, she recommended Medela. I sent my husband to the shop straight away. After a few hours of practice it worked, he latched on to the shield which meant no more expressing in bottles. It took a while for him to get the hang of it though and feeds took longer, however as a first time breastfeeding mum, I knew no difference.
Then came the cluster feeding, every evening from 4.30pm until about 11pm but I loved it, being able to relax, feed my little one and enjoy the special moments.
By 3 months we were doing great, then one evening he latched on without the nipple shields! I couldn't believe it, happy doesn't come close. Suddenly it all got so much easier. I'm so proud of myself, I have listened to all the negative comments from friends and family about my choice to breastfeed and it has upset me in the past but now I just laugh as we have achieved so much. My husband has been so supportive and the breastfeeding support group I attend weekly also helps.
We are still going strong at 10 months, no bottles involved. I started work 2 weeks ago, this was a worry with him still not taking to a bottle. I express once in the middle of the day at work and feed him morning and night. He just has solids and water in the day and doesn't moan until I walk in and then we cuddle up to feed. I love breastfeeding it's the hardest but best thing I've ever done and my plan is to let him self wean."
Our series of breastfeeding stories help to share positive, truthful and inspiring stories for breastfeeding and expressing – both the good moments and the more challenging ones! We couldn't do it without the help of you, our wonderful community of mums. If you'd like to share your experience, please email email@example.com and a member of the team will get back to you.