Breastfeeding Ambassador - EmmaRead Emma's story and why she's become a breastfeeding amabassador
Above: Emma and daughter Lily May
Meet Emma, one of our Breastfeeding Ambassadors.
“My baby refused to feed from one breast”
I have a daughter 5 months. When I was pregnant I hadn’t really thought about whether I would breastfeed or bottle feed. No one in my family had managed to breastfeed successfully so that made me want to try it. I went to a breastfeeding course at the Liverpool Women’s Hospital which I thought was brilliant and when I found out so few women successfully manage to breastfeed it made me all the more determined to try it. I’m naturally quite competitive and so when I see a challenge I like to hit it head on.
Right from the start I had pressure to bottle feed, and had comments like ‘why don’t you just give her formula’ and this made me want to succeed all the more. It also made me do more reading up about breastfeeding. I don’t think there is enough information out there about how hard it is and in particular about cluster feeding.
When Lily-May was born she latched very quickly and I was over the moon. I naively didn’t realise how long she would feed for and that she would feed on and off all day and night. I had help from the Bambi team in hospital and ended up staying a number of days to help establish breastfeeding. I really wanted to persevere even though I found it really hard. In the first week I couldn’t feed without being in pain, I developed mastitis and for a while she refused to feed from one breast. Halton’s Infant Feeding Team supported me to learn how to express and make sure she fed from both sides using different holds and positions.
If I had been left on my own I would not have continued through the first weekend. I would have given up most definitely. I had some brilliant support from the Halton Infant Feeding Team and they helped me carry on. I can completely understand why a lot of women don’t continue to breastfeed. It’s extremely hard and you think it’s only you that is finding it hard.
I still get comments to give up and offer formula and I’ve experienced comments when out and about feeding, mainly from people in restaurants. They move away or mutter comments which can make you feel very self-conscious. On the whole though, people have been very supportive.
My advice for others – Be aware, find out more about breastfeeding, in particular about cluster feeding and 100% get to a breastfeeding support group. I’ve been attending a weekly breastfeeding support group and that has been invaluable. We’ve now become good friends and we keep in touch. Odds on, if you’re feeding at 2am and having a problem, someone else will be also that you can talk to. Now I think it’s the best thing ever. It’s amazing.
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