I attempted to breastfeed moments after my son was born. My son locked eyes with me and my whole world was engulfed by a love I had never known. It was so quiet after he was born, apart from the happy sobs in the room, and he latched on with what seemed to be an innate ability to find his food source – despite me not really knowing what to do. That overwhelming love helped me find my way, feeding and pumping at all hours. A hot cup of tea, a picture of my baby and a breast-pump became my 4am ritual. I was curious how others found it, so I asked my friends what breastfeeding was like for them.
Jessica, 36, just finished years of breastfeeding:
“I breastfed Asher until he was nearly four-years-old. I never had any problems at all. I was very lucky.
Breastfeeding came naturally to both me and Asher and it was easy. I fed on-demand. I never got mastitis I think because I was in tune with our needs.
I really enjoyed it at the start and I was planning to do it for as long as he needed to but towards the end it did get a bit too much for me.
I am proud of myself for breastfeeding but no matter what you do it’s hard, whether you breastfeed or not. We’re all just doing the best we can.”
Christine, 36, has only been breastfeeding for 12 weeks:
“Emily is 12 weeks old and I’m feeding every four hours. It was a little bit difficult at the start, not knowing if I was doing it right and if she was getting enough milk but it’s good now – I’m comfortable now.
I would like to last six months if I can, but I’m already a little worried that she’s not gaining enough weight. I’m easy about it, if it’s not working for her then I’m happy to just substitute formula. I’m just going with whatever is good for her.”
"It was a little bit difficult at the start, not knowing if I was doing it right". Image: iStock.
Isabel, 33, is trying to wean her 22 month-old:
“I enjoyed breastfeeding because I could just lie there and sleep while they did it. I’m a lazy person – what can I say? You just lie on the bed and the baby is on you and you get a rest. It’s the only time where you are both allowed to sleep and not have to worry about anything. For that short period, it’s calm.
It was relaxing because it was a moment when they’re settled. The baby was settled, you’re settled and no one is crying.
Breastfeeding was more convenient for me, plus, apparently it's better for them.”
Dewi, 35, said she took a while to get the hang of it:
“I've been breastfeeding Dharma from the very beginning but I was pumping for two months before he latched on.
We had a single breast pump and Graham and I were playing tag team he was feeding and I was pumping. In a way, it was kind of nice because I could sleep and Graham was up most of the time.
Graham had to go away to London for some work it was just Dharma and me and I did the skin-to-skin. I had been reading a book that said to let him lie on my stomach and learn to crawl to the nipple, so we did that and he finally got it.”