Friday, 22 June 2012

Hugs required

I am taking part in the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt. The Goal of the hunt is to add a little bit of fun and to raise awareness of breastfeeding

Read my first two blogs of the series Hold me close and Sharing to hear all about why I chose  breastfeeding and how it is great for mums to support each other. 

This post is all about SUPPORT, something which is welcomed by most new parents and is vital for all breastfeeding mums, in one way or another. In my last post, I explained that overall my breastfeeding experience has been very positive and that I have not really required much support in a physical sense. It is great that I have been so lucky with my breastfeeding as I honestly haven't had any issues large enough for me to deem them a problem as such. However I am not naive and understand that I can run into difficult periods at any stage, which is why I took time to meet breastfeeding counsellors at the hospital and have met the support team at my local children's centre, something I would urge those thinking of breastfeeding to do, so that you are prepared when a challenge may arise. I am also very lucky that my mother in law is a midwife and she has been a great source of advice, that has not been overwhelming or intrusive. The support I have needed most is of the emotional variety, with the majority of that coming from my wonderful husband. My friends and family that are considerate towards my breastfeeding but not many of them have had first hand experience, so at times I feel they never fully understand what I may be going through, but that does not mean that they do not want to help. Sometimes just somebody bringing me a glass of water or holding Sofia whilst I read the paper is massive help after a marathon feeding session. For those I know who are breastfeeding, or who have breastfed in the past, it is great to share hints and tips and I get a real confidence boost when I can help others via my own experience.

As well as a little bit of luck, I think the fact that I am generally a (quietly) confident person has helped me along my breastfeeding journey. My confidence can let me down at times though as I can often hide my emotions when I am not in the mood for sharing and not a lot of people will notice when I am not myself. That is apart from my husband, Matthew, who is an unbelievable support and has really helped me through the past 8 months. Like I said, sometimes just bringing me food is enough help but at other times all I need is a hug and cuddle, whether I know it or not. Sofia is generally very good and only really gets upset when she is tired or teething, which means I tend to get as much as I can done in the house whilst Matthew is at work but there is never any pressure for things to be perfect and he will know if a takeaway is in order if it looks like I have had a rough day. These things can seem so silly to write about but it really is the simple things that I miss sometimes, when breastfeeding restricts the amount of freedom I have day to day. I absolutely love breastfeeding but I am human and I can feel down some days , especially during the clingy periods when I feel like all I have done is feed. Being able to talk openly with Matthew is a great way of keeping my emotions under control, which can include having a good cry at times! As a counsellor I know how important it is to have somebody to talk to and I am very lucky that I have a special somebody to talk to very day. 

Support within our relationship is a two way thing and I know that we need to work together and share our experiences of parenthood. Due to me breastfeeding and still on maternity leave I try as much as possible to see to Sofia when she wakes at night, which I know Matthew feels bad about sometimes. He will help if I asked or will instinctively help if I am looking like I need support but I get a bit stressed if I feel he is not getting enough sleep before a long day at work. So these are the types of things we really need to keep on top of so that he does not feel too guilty, or left out during the clingy periods, and I am not doing too much to try and keep everybody happy. I make sure that Matt and Sofia have quality time together when I am not feeding her (and I get a lovely soak in the bath) plus we all have family time together as much as possible. Understanding when you need to come together and when a break is needed vital and having somebody to help with that break is a godsend.

If you have enjoyed reading my breastfeeding series, then take a look at some of the other bloggers taking part in the scavenger hunt. 

Life Happens So Smile                                Pobbing Along                                          Smilernpb               

                Ponderings of a Doula                                                Tales from a Cornish Blonde

Before you go why not add a comment and enter into the grand scavenger hunt prize below, which includes a great prize from BoobieMilk.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. my health visitor ruth has been so supportive. I owe her a lot!

  2. Like you my best supporter i my husband he truely is amazing he always knows just what to say to me and offers help in anyway he can through feeding my little girl and all through this pregnancy. I feel very blessed to have him and i know he will be an amazing support once again when bump decides to arrive :)

  3. My mum has been a great support to me and so encouraging. I like you have had quite an easy breastfeeding experience but despite that it's lovely when you feel encouraged and it's so important to continuing!

  4. My husband, he became very pro breastfeeding after a session of NHS antenatal classes and is very supportive on whats best for our son and me.