As it is National Breastfeeding Week, I thought it only right to write a quick blog post.
I initially said that I would breastfeed for as long as I could, thinking that we would only last a month or two. Five months and three weeks later, here we are, still at it!
I can't pin point the exact reason why we managed to continue beyond my expectations. I feel it may be a combination of the following:
1: Not listening to my Health Visitor.
She is nice, bless her, but everything is done by the book. Samantha is still very light for her age, and according to the centile chart, she is on the 9th centile. For a while the health visitor harked on and on about giving Samantha "top up" feeds of formula, and then eventually suggested full time formula, to increase her weight. But my baby was happy, alert, bright and by no means still hungry when she came off the breast. I was not happy to switch to formula just because she wasn't a wee chubby thing. She never lost any weight, but has steadily gained one or two ounces, albeit very slowly. So, I now politely nod and smile at the health visitor but ignore what I know is wrong for my baby.
2: Samantha's refusal to take a bottle.
Trying to go out on my own is a nightmare as Samantha just knows that the bottle is not me, and point blank refuses to take it. Even thoughts expressed milk, she just won't drink from a bottle. She'll take a little bit from a sippy cup, but after a while she realises and refuses it. This has definitely helped us continue the breastfeeding, but has not helped my freedom!
3: Attending the breastfeeding support group.
The girls at the group really are lovely, and so helpful too. There isn't a problem too big or embarrassing that someone else who attends hasn't experienced, and they are an absolute mine of information. I genuinely look forward to the group on a Friday, not just because there's people there to watch the babies while we have a coffee, but because it's a relief to be around people who know exactly what you're going through. Whether its just to get their opinion on what's happening with you and your baby, to venting about someone's bad attitude to you breastfeeding in public (grr) they are always there to lend an ear. It always surprises me that in a town as big as ours, there are so few of us at the group. There can't only be 15-20 of us breastfeeding in this town!!
So happy National Breastfeeding Week everyone. I hope you are all following @keepbritainbf and the hash tag #nationalbreastfeedingweek on twitter for some really inspiring posts to help you carry on breastfeeding!