Feature Photo Credit – Joseph Barker

Today marks five months of breastfeeding for our family. It has been one of the most exposing and challenging tasks I’ve ever embarked upon.

I’ve experienced extreme pain and discomfort, countless sleepless nights and frustrations that I wasn’t prepared for on any level. In the western world breastfeeding is quite hidden which makes it difficult to learn. It didn’t ‘come naturally’ to me but I reached out for support over and over again and many angels turned up on my doorstep to help me when I was at breaking point.

Breastfeeding has caused me the most physical pain I’ve ever experienced (yes even worse than childbirth) and I still experience pain almost every feed but the most confronting thing I’ve found with breastfeeding is society’s hostility to it and the way women attack each other over the way they have chosen to feed their baby. The things I have seen on Facebook forums have shocked me to the core.

Every mother should be supported to feed her baby in a way that feels true and supportive for her and her child, whether that be with formula or breast.

Breastfeeding is not something ‘private’ for me. Although sometimes I like to breastfeed in private I do not want to isolate myself every time I need to feed Elliot. It is very sad that breasts and women have been sexualised to a point where people cannot handle seeing breasts being used with purpose to feed a baby.

I have so much to say about this topic and I plan to write a lot more but for now I am celebrating and appreciating the way I have embraced this experience and all it has offered our family.

“Breastfeeding is more than getting milk into a baby, it is more even than giving the comfort and closeness of the breast. It is a way of communicating” Sheila Kitzinger

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