"It didn’t work out," I find myself saying to a friend when she asks if we’re still breastfeeding.
"It didn’t work out," I offer to colleagues, acquaintances, medical professionals, the random lady in the airport who may or may not have looked in my direction while bottle-feeding my three-month-old daughter.
Such a casual phrase. It suggests, "Hey, we gave it a go, it just wasn’t to be." My audience nods once, smiles and veers the conversation in another direction, completely unaware of the true magnitude of feelings attached to that simple little phrase.
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I’ve done it myself on so many previous occasions, utterly unprepared to support new mums with the immense challenges of breastfeeding without ever having experienced them myself. “Oh fair enough, fed is best” I’d quip, sure it was the right thing to say and entirely immune to just how inadequate this can make new mothers feel.
“It didn’t work out” meant 12 weeks of agonising over every feed, every three hours, twenty-four hours a day.