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Breastfeeding in General
Member Name: denise40
Breastfeeding in General
Date: 24/08/10, updated on 24/08/10 (68 review reads)
Advantages: close bond with your child
Disadvantages: can be hard to get over the embarassment in public
When I was pregnant I had just thought I would definitely not try to breastfeed my daughter. Someone I knew had breastfeed her son everywhere (in restaurants and all while other members where eating) and I admired her for this but at the same time I was incredibly embarrassed by the whole situation. It completely put me off the idea and I decided that I was going to bottle feed my daughter.
While I was pregnant I was bombarded with leaflets and people coming out to me from community groups giving me information on breastfeeding and I humoured them but still thought not I am not going to breastfeed its too embarrassing.
My daughter was born and I told the nurses that I wanted to bottle feed her. I had an epidural so I had no feeling in my legs and was so knackered I just wanted to rest. So the nurse took my daughter and fed her for me. Once the feeling was back in my legs the next day I was curious about what it would be like to feed my daughter myself but again I was too embarrassed and couldn't cope with the whole thing. Another mother was breastfeeding her child and it had cried all night and my daughter was content so I thought don't annoy myself and pushed it all to the back of my mind.
Once I left the hospital my milk came in and a friend of mind had told me to make me feel better express some of my milk for my daughter so I did this. I ended up taking an infection and could hardly walk never mind feed my daughter and I felt so annoyed about this so I continued expressing. It was making me feel that I was doing something for my daughter instead of feeling useless. My infection was finally sorted and I could lift my daughter again and I decided to try and breastfeed her myself and she latched on first time very easily.
Now as she did latch on I found it very easy to try to breastfeed however what people don't tell you that it can be sore when breastfeeding. My advice is that if this happens just check that your child is latched on properly. There are lots of support groups to help you if you are having difficulties with this. Also your midwife can help you with this. You know if your child is getting milk and are latched on properly if their cheeks are puffed out and also you will hear them swallowing. When I was sore I just expressed my milk until my daughter got the hang of it. Three months down the line I am not sore anymore and my daughter doesn't bite me anymore thankfully!
My problem was that I am the first person in my family to breastfeed so I still had the problem of being embarrassed. In fact I haven't actually told anyone that I do breastfeed apart from my mum, my sisters and my close friends. I know this is silly on my part but I feel that everyone has an opinion on it and a lot of people advised me not to breastfeed as it was giving me hassle so I decided just to keep it to myself.
I am not one of these people who would ever feed my daughter in front of anyone so this can be hard when I am out and about. There are mother and baby changing rooms but quite often there is no seat for me to feed my daughter. So I find I am having to feed my daughter by bottle. This then has led to a drop in my milk supply as I can't get expressing every four hours. So I have only ever been able to feed my daughter half of her feeds. This then means I have to substitute the rest of her feeds with powder milk.
Personally I enjoy feeding my daughter myself and I know that it can give your child lots of benefits. I don't see any difference in children that have been breastfeed as babies to those who have been bottle fed. While I am feeding my daughter I feel more relaxed and it really helps with bonding with your child. This can be done in other ways as well. Another good thing is that you don't have to get out of bed in the middle of the night to go downstairs to make a bottle when you need to feed your child.
There are lots of benefits to breastfeeding like the health benefits. It helps the child to have less skin conditions, better immune systems, its easier to digest the milk. It also helps the mother as it means your uterus contracts quicker so your tummy goes down faster (I have to agree with this one). It can help with weight loss. Personally it only helped me lose a bit of weight but then I wasn't exclusively feeding my daughter. It can help prevent against some cancers. Another good point is that it is free.
Where all these benefits sound good I have found it hard to exclusively feed my daughter. I would love to be able to do this but it just isn't possible for me without a lot of hard work. As I won't feed my daughter in public it means I can not always find a suitable place to feed my daughter when I am out. I express my milk but you have to get well established before you can do this or you won't produce enough milk and this is my problem.
Some people judge you if you bottle feed your child but a lot of people don't realise the hurdles you come across if you are reserved and shy with breastfeeding. It is being very much promoted in the hospitals and by the midwives however it is seen as a bad thing to do in society in public or in front of anyone. I wish we lived in a society where it is the normal thing to do then I wouldn't feel embarrassed. This isn't the case though which is shame.
Since having my daughter my opinion has changed a lot about breastfeeding and I wouldn't be embarrassed if someone fed their child in front of me anymore. I go to a baby massage class and some of the mothers breastfeed in the group and I am not embarrassed that they are feeding in front of me anymore as I have got used to it and they do it very discreetly. You can wear breastfeeding tops so you can't see the breast and you think the person is only cuddling their child. Also you can wear two tops this also makes it easier and more discreet. I still haven't got the courage to feed my own daughter myself though.
My opinion is that when you have a child it is a very personal thing if you want to breastfeed or not. I feel that no-one should judge you if you do or not. I think its best to do what suits you and what works for you. If it's not working out then don't stress yourself as then you wont be able to enjoy your child and they do grow up so quickly.
Summary: worth while trying but don't feel bad if you can't
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