I have 2 beautiful daughters: Rayne, two and a half, and Maia almost 12 months. My journey starts with Rayne. When I was pregnant with Rayne I knew I wanted to give Breastfeeding a go but I wasn’t sure about it and how I would feel breastfeeding (I was molested as a child) and I’d also heard larger chested women had more struggles. I was silly and didn’t educate myself on breastfeeding at that time though, I just thought I’d give it a go and see what happened.
Well it all went pear shaped on day four. I’d had a difficult birth, slightly traumatic in parts and ending with forceps and a 3rd degree tear. I was feeling fine to go home, Panadol was managing any pain, so they sent me home on day three. On the morning of day four I’d gotten up to feed her, couldn’t remember the last time I’d had any Panadol so decided not to risk doubling up and went back to bed without taking any. BIG mistake!
When she woke for her next feed I felt like I’d been in a Car Accident and my milk had vanished! (I know now that it didn’t, but at the time I really thought it had). I couldn’t get her latched, my nipples had inverted and she was extremely fussy at the breast. I rang ABA, made it worse as by this time it was getting on to 5/6 hours since her last feed and I was panicking, so Formula was bought. I spent the next 24 hours pumping like a crazy woman, didn’t get a drop. As always, hindsight is a wonderful thing and I now know pumping isn’t an indication of supply. After all that I was traumatised and petrified that even if I could get her latched it would happen again, so that was that and she was Formula Fed.
Rather than feel ashamed or any other negative emotions, I am thankful for that experience no matter how traumatic it was at the time. I am thankful because it spurred me to succeed with my next baby and I spent the next 18 months researching my bum off. I learnt everything I could and read everything I could get my hands on so that I could successfully breast feed my next baby. While pregnant with her, I talked to her all the time telling her she will be breastfed, no dummies (I have nothing against them, Rayne still has one, I was just scared it would interfere with our beastfeeding) and that she would breastfeed long term.
Well it worked – we have now been on our breastfeeding journey for almost 12 months! She was a born breast-feeder. Never, not once did she hurt me and aside from initially having a low supply and supplementing for 2 weeks (as soon as she started gaining I got her off the supplements) we have had no issues (well, a brush with the incredibly painful Thrush and some biting while cutting teeth), it has been a dream.
I LOVE Breastfeeding her, it is the most wonderful rewarding experience ever. I love how cheeky she has become with it. I love how she lights up at the words “would you like some Boobie?” I love how excited she gets when I get the Boob out, complete with clapping and laughing, I love how she’s so eager she practically pounces on it, I love bed-sharing and feeding her on demand, I love her, and I love the knowledge that I gained so that I could push through the little blips we had and that I can help others who are struggling.
Almost 12 months into it, I hope she continues for a long time yet, It’s completely up to her. Pretty sure she’ll be my Boobie Monster for a while yet.
Kellie Castle is an Adelaide mum.