Breastfeeding after a C-Section – Erin’s Story
As many of you know, I started a personal project in May 2017 to document the beautiful bond between breastfeeding mothers and their nurselings. I had an amazing response, and over the past few months I have photographed babies and toddlers from a few weeks to several years old. The conversations that I had with the mums at my shoots followed a really consistent pattern – that although breastfeeding is natural, it certainly isn’t easy (a bit like childbirth I suppose!). This inspired me to not just showcase the beautiful photographs of these amazing mothers and babies, but also to tell their stories. My intention is for that new mum, desperately googling at 3am and wondering whether to make up that bottle of formula, will find a story that relates to their situation and get the hope and courage they need to get through that next feed. I am so proud to start telling these stories on my blog – the first today will be Erin’s story of breastfeeding after a c-section..
Erin’s Breastfeeding Story
Erin & Abraham (Abe) had been breastfeeding for 10 months at the time of their shoot.
What did it mean to you to have a breastfeeding photoshoot?
“It was so lovely to have a breastfeeding shoot. Or breastfeeding journey has been the easiest and most rewarding part of Motherhood for me so far, so to have it documented is just the best :)”
Tell me about your breastfeeding journey with Abe.
“I have been really lucky with my breastfeeding journey. Abe is definitely a ‘breast pest’. he took to the boob straight away and it has been the answer to absolutely everything for him (and me). If he is hungry, sad, cuddly, sleepy – he just gets the boob and it makes him so happy. I was planning a drug free, natural birth but Abe was a big breech babe and we ended up with an emergency cesarean after 16 hours of labour. This has made breastfeeding so much more rewarding for me as it has really made me feel like my body is doing exactly what it needs to do for my baby, even though my birth didn’t go as planned. I was lucky to have skin to skin with him as soon as he was born and he latched straight away. It was just the best!”
What kept you going through tough times when you just wanted to give up?
“There were nights where Abe was on my boobs literally ALL night. I just reminded myself that this isn’t forever and he is just doing what he needs to do right now. I just rolled with it and now he sleeps through at 10 months. The first 6 months I had basically NO sleep. Someone once said to me – “You don’t hear of 4 year olds staying up all night on the boob – it will end”. This got me through and kept me doing what my baby needed. I also stayed aware of families who had lost children and knew that they would dream of waking to their baby at night – I never wanted to take my healthy baby for granted.”
What is the greatest challenge that you have faced?
“I honestly haven’t faced too many challenges. Probably the scariest thing for me has been the thought of him going to childcare 2 days a week this month and being without the boob for 8 hours! He has had a few trial days and he has taken the bottles of expressed breast milk like a champion so I am not as nervous about this now. Now I just have to express twice a day while he is there which will be a bit of a challenge at work but I am lucky to be fully supported by my management.”
What do you love the most about breastfeeding?
“That look when he is about to latch on before bedtime. Pure joy! and a very cheeky smile.”
Tell me about your breastfeeding support group.
“I have a great Mum’s group, a very supportive family and in the early days my midwife was absolutely amazing. My husband is also extremely supportive and understands that for Abe – boob is life.”
What is the one piece of advice that you would give to a new mum just starting out with breastfeeding her baby?
“I believe that if you stay relaxed and just follow your baby’s lead, the journey will be easier for both of you. I had no schedule that I followed and that really worked for us.”
How long do you plan to breastfeed for?
“I should be careful what I say here as I may end up feeding him til he’s 20 haha. I am happy to go with the flow and just follow his lead. I will let him self wean when he is ready.”
A big thank you to Erin for sharing her story of breastfeeding after a c-section and surviving sleepless nights! She has such an amazing attitude towards coping with those hard sleep deprived moments and I think Abe is lucky to have her as a mummy!
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