This week is National Breastfeeding Week, once again we focus this week on the wonderful benefits to health for babies who are successfully breastfed. However, it’s not always so simple for new mum’s. Not all mum’s, despite going into pregnancy wanting and expecting to breastfeed, are blessed with the experience.
We spoke with Brietta, a breastfeeding photoshoot client who happily discussed her personal breastfeeding journey after her photoshoot with Steph as well enlightening us to some of the difficulties she has witnessed amongst her motherhood friends. While Brietta was lucky enough to have a successful and enjoy her breastfeeding experience, she has friends who weren’t so fortunate.
“I feel this is such a loaded topic which is triggering for some women. Women who go into pregnancy wanting to breastfeed, who are ultimately faced with obstacle after obstacle. There are so many factors at play and we can’t always be purist and must not build the guilt for not being able to breastfeed, we must respect a Mother’s choice.” (Brietta)
Respecting a Mother’s Choice
Nature can serve some severe blows to some women. Horrendously difficult births and trauma which can contribute the the mother’s inability to breastfeed their newborn. In more recent times, during Covid, there wasn’t always the support available which would at other times be offered. Breastfeeding needs to happen quickly after the birth and without support on-hand, during Covid this wasn’t always possible. Lactation nurses weren’t easily engaged due to the various restrictions at play.
The move into motherhood, especially for first tie mum’s, is a dance between baby and mum. Breastfeeding can be so demanding and we must not forget, in order to be a good mum, the mum must first look after herself, and learn when to say no.
A fed and loved baby is still ultimately a healthy and happy baby versus an over stretched, stressed mum, the baby will feed off this negative energy.
Brietta was very gracious in sharing her person insights, some of which we share here.
“I was really lucky, I wanted to do it, but still engaged with a lactation consultant as I had trouble with my milk being a lot for him and his little tummy at the time. So I still had hurdles but it ended up being the easiest thing for me, mind you I have many friends who missed out on that opportunity.”
“The more I get into motherhood, rather than feeling inadequate, I have reached the understanding, fed is best.”
“It’s most important for the mum to look after herself and sometimes, for some mum’s that does mean not breastfeeding. This is not a selfish decision, rather one you make in order to be a good mum”
“I really enjoyed it until I’d had enough and didn’t wait for my baby to ween himself, I weened him at 18 months which I felt was a good start.”
“There were times when I felt, ‘I’m so lucky I can do this easily and he can have this from me’, others when I just needed physical space.”
“The best thing for your baby is to just love it, you do the right thing if you just love it”
It hasn’t been difficult to hear the emotion in Brietta’s voice and words throughout this interview. Her love for her baby and wanting to do whats right it overwhelming apparent. We thank her immensely for her candour in sharing her personal experience, the experiences she has witnessed in others, and her thoughts to share with others mum’s of newborns jsut entering into their breastfeeding experience.
One last comment from our interview:
“I think the main thing is, do you want to breastfeed? And do you have the tools to help you get there? If you have both, then breastfeeding is always the best option! If you don’t, then formulas feed the baby and love it and we all turn out fine with those two things! xx”
By Nicola Hazzell