This tiny, squishy ball of perfection is relying on you. You feel a love so strong and encompassing that it makes everything else disappear into dust. Everything is suddenly very primal and you know you could fight off wild animals to protect your young.
You’re also tired. Like, really tired. You haven’t had a good night’s sleep for at least six months, and since the baby arrived things have gotten worse. You only manage about two hours at a time and then you are woken by the hungry screams of your newborn, again.
You really wanted to breastfeed. It sounded so natural and lovely, and you know it’s the better option. But it’s hard to remember that at 4am when you’re sat up in bed, a starving urchin clamped onto your sore nipples, while your partner snores loudly next to you.
If you’re finding breastfeeding difficult, please seek support. All of those problems - mastitis, improper latch, exhaustion and oversupply - are easily solved when you know how. Don’t try to suffer through alone, or give up at the first hurdle. Don’t feel that you are alone, because you’re not. There is a whole network of breastfeeding support available to you, you just need to find it.
Your local area should have a breastfeeding support group - contact your Health Visitor to find out the details. These are drop-in sessions run by trained breastfeeding support workers who are present to answer any questions you might have. The drop-in sessions are attended by all kinds of different women, and many new mums make friends at the groups.
It’s nice to find other women who are suffering from the same tiredness as you - and that’s why breastfeeding groups are so great. You have access to professional support, but you also have access to peer support in the form of the other breastfeeding mums. Whoever you feel comfortable talking to, you’ll be able to find support at these groups.
Did you attend a breastfeeding group, and if so did you find it useful? Please share your experiences in the comments below.
Contact your Health Visitor (or midwife team if you have not yet been discharged) to find out the details of the local group.
To find out more about the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt, click here.