Breastfeeding Ambassador - HeatherRead Heather's story and why she's become a breastfeeding amabassador
Above: Heather and daughter Alice
Meet Heather, one of our Breastfeeding Ambassadors.
“The thought of feeding in public petrified me”
I am currently breastfeeding my first baby who is now nearly 11 months old. I’m supporting this campaign because I really love breastfeeding and want people to understand the benefits of breastfeeding to both Mum and Baby. I love that I can do my best to help protect us both in the long term from things like diabetes and breast cancer, despite there being some difficulties during our breastfeeding journey.
We had the usual niggles at the start – issues with an uncomfortable latch and Alice was very sleepy at first so needed waking up to feed quite frequently. With help from the Midwife we had to express breastmilk and feed her via a syringe to stimulate her to feed in those first few days. After a few weeks though it all settled down and feeding became easy. Alice learned how to latch and we could both feed comfortably. There was no getting up to make bottles in the middle of the night and we could get out of the house really quickly as we didn’t have to pack any feeding equipment.
The thought of feeding in public petrified me, absolutely terrified me, and the first time I did I fed Alice underneath a blanket. Alice didn’t like the blanket over her and so I overcame my fear and from then on we fed without it, we feed anywhere and everywhere and so far I have not had a single negative comment from anybody.
The support of the breastfeeding team was invaluable and in fact they visited most days for the first week, they rang me daily until I was confident without them. Even now I still pop along to the breastfeeding meet ups for a chat.
When Alice was 8 weeks old she was diagnosed with a cow’s milk allergy as she was being sick very often. The biggest breastfeeding challenge was when I had to go completely dairy free. It was difficult at first, but her symptoms resolved really quickly and seeing how much it helped her helped me stick to the diet. We’ve been dairy free for almost 9 months now and still going strong.
I got lots of support from the other Mums at the breastfeeding support groups and from online communities of breastfeeding mothers.
I would say to anyone who asked that it all passes eventually, every difficulty will pass. The benefits make the difficulties worth it, not just in health but in day to day life. I can comfort Alice when she’s hurt or unwell, I feed her as part of our bedtime routine, I honestly don’t know how I would parent without breastfeeding! I’m planning on continuing breastfeeding for quite some time yet, every day I learn a new amazing fact about the benefits of it – it’s one of my favourite parts of being a mum.
Would you like to know more about our Infant Feeding Services and the work the team do in Halton?
Call 0300 029 0029 or visit our web page