My name is Emily. I am a 20-year-old woman with a 9-month-old little boy named Ethan. I am breastfeeding still to this day. You hear that there are plenty of reasons to breastfeed, such as having an unbreakable bond, helping to fight obesity, eczema and more – they were only some of the reasons why I chose to breastfeed. You always hear that “breast is best”, but knowing I’ve given my little man the best start in life is incredible and unbelievable.
I knew about the benefits of breastfeeding and how much It helped the baby, but deep down that wasn’t enough, because I was the one that was going to have to feed him all the time. I was scared of the criticism that I was going to face in public because all the people I knew bottle-fed. It took me a while to actually to tell my partner I wanted to breastfeed who, to my surprise, actually wanted me to breastfeed in the first place! It was daunting knowing that my little one depended on me for everything and that I was the only one who could feed him. After all that worry, I’m so glad I stuck to my word and breastfed – it is honestly the best thing that I could do and knowing he’s growing up well all because of me is quite amazing!
I’m so glad that my partner has been beside me the whole way because it helps having someone there to support you through it. We have both learnt so much about breastfeeding and that’s all since I decided to do it. I’m glad no one has actually said anything negative about it – I think that was the most worrying thing for me. Everyone has been so supportive and I’ve even been able to convince them to breastfeed when they have children!
At the beginning when I started breastfeeding I fount it difficult because I was in hospital over night and all Ethan wanted to do was feed – it was draining. I also had sore nipples from taking him off the breast with him still sucking. After my milk came through it made my life 100 times easier. It really doesn’t hurt like most people think.
I think that breastfeeding has had some amazing benefits for me – I have an unbreakable bond with my little boy and best of all, he isn’t becoming ill very often, I’m not worrying about his weight and he is growing up beautifully. I do believe that breastfeeding is the fourth stage of pregnancy and if you can do it, you should. The reasons I choose breast over bottle is because I couldn’t be doing with sterilizing bottles all the time, warming milk up in the night and hearing my baby cry at the same time. There are so many different things in formula that I didn’t know about, also breast milk is there when needed and at
the right temperature which is so much easier for me!
Breast feeding in public places must be one of the bravest things I’ve done, but I did it because why should I sit on a toilet seat feeding my baby when I can do it in a cafe have a cup of tea and feed my baby? I was shaking the whole time I did it but after the first time, I realised no one actually cared or even looked, my confidence grew after a few times and still to this day I have not had one complaint, if a baby is fed with a bottle and not been given a second look, it should be the same for breast fed babies!
When feeding out in Nottingham there has only been a few places I’ve fed my little one, only because all the feeding rooms are in places I never go such as Debenhams or House of Frazer. I have only learnt about these recently, I usually just feed in cafes because I can sit and have a drink and some cake. There are cubical things in the Victoria Centre, which I don’t really like because it makes me feel kind of isolated and uncomfortable.
I know how it is being a young mum, and having to make hard decisions. Breastfeeding is hard but worth it just like being a mummy. I have had an unbelievable experience and I’m definitely going to do it with any more children I have. I’m sad that Ethan’s feeds are going down but I know that I’ve done my best and given him the very best start I could have ever done.