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Love/hate relationship to breastfeeding

It’s time for a breastfeeding story! This week are honored to share @josefinwoodbridge thoughts of nursing her daughter Flora. Read more below to find out why there were needles involved….⁠

Tell us about your experience of breastfeeding? ⁠
For me it was a love/hate relationship. I thought the breastfeeding itself was cozy and it was convenient to always have the food with me rather than the hassle of bringing bottles, formula and water. However, I disliked the pressure it put on me as a mother. I was the only one who could feed my child. It overwhelmed me at times. ⁠

How did it make you feel? ⁠
It was a great feeling that I was providing my daughter with the nutrition she needed, closeness and security through breastfeeding. But it also gave me anxiety, especially towards the end. I was so tired of never being able to take a real break. ⁠

How long did you breastfeed for? ⁠
Exclusively for 4 months. Then I decreased for two weeks and stopped completely after 5 months. She then continued with formula and loved eating food. ⁠

Did you prepare for breastfeeding in any way? ⁠
Not really. Apart from all the info you normally get through Instagram, blogs, podcasts etc, when you’re pregnant. ⁠

How were the nights? ⁠
Flora slept in her own bed from the start, except for the first 1-2 weeks. So, I basically always nursed her sitting in bed and then put her back in the crib. I wrote down which breast and time I nursed her on.. ⁠

What different places have you breastfed in? ⁠
I would say everywhere; at home, outdoors, in restaurants, in the car, on airplanes etc. ⁠

What did you do during breastfeeding? ⁠
I looked a lot on my phone or was in a call with someone. But I tried to be present as well, especially when Flora got bigger and I noticed that she reacted if I did something else in the meantime. ⁠

Did you supplement with any formula? ⁠
We tried as the plan from the beginning was to give 50/50. However, Flora turned out to be allergic to milk protein so that made things more complicated. I sometimes pumped so my husband could give the bottle, but I must admit it was so depressing to pump. I really did not enjoy it. ⁠

Any weird or funny situations?
Well, I made the mistake of being the first one to board a flight once and Flora was screaming. So, as everyone else was boarding I sat there with my breast out in the open trying to calm her down. My seat was of course right in the isle, so you can picture the scene. At that time, it would have been nice with some more privacy to calm her down.

Did you get any help / support?
Yes, I got help from a breastfeeding clinic in the beginning but was also lucky, Flora had a good grip right from the start, so I only had to make small tweaks. I often nursed her while sitting up and mostly in our sofa. But I also nursed her sometimes while laying down as well.

What did you think was the biggest challenge with breastfeeding?
That all the responsibility of feeding her was on me, both day and night. And to never be able to leave her without having to think about when it was time to feed her again. I was also extremely unlucky and got breast abscess after about 2 months. It’s very unusual and it hurt a lot! In the end the doctor had to suck out the pus from my boob with a syringe and it was not a pleasant experience. However, after that and some antibiotics it quickly went away.

What worked better than you thought?
Well, it went much smoother and was less painful in the beginning than I thought. Flora started searching for the boobs right away when she came out. She was only 40 minutes old when she fed for the first time, so I was still lying down after the birth being sewn!
Something you would have changed now afterwards?
I would have asked around more for help in finding a milk protein-free formula so that my husband and I could share more of the responsibility.

Are you happy with the breastfeeding lingerie/clothes you found?
I lived in Malta at the time, so I did not have to wear a lot of layers luckily. So, I basically lived in breastfeeding tops and tights. It would have been nicer though to have a bigger selection of nursing tops with for example lace or in rib.

Thank you for sharing <3

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