My early experience of breastfeeding.

Emily the Doula Breastfeeding Portrait

My early experience of breastfeeding.

Breastfeeding was always something I deeply wanted to do.

I heard it was tricky and took myself off to a private class to prepare.

Fast forward a few months and I had a real life baby to try and do this thing with. The first few nights before my milk came in were hellish with a screaming and hungry baby. My milk came flowing in, he guzzled and things seemed okay.

Week 3 I got sick… hello exhausted mama! That week my bub didn’t gain much weight and my maternal child health nurse (MCHN) was convinced that my supply had dropped from being unwell. She said I better get a hospital grade pump and to express twice overnight and as much as i could during the day (wtf?!)

When you’re a new parent and someone tells you that things aren’t going well, you take that shit seriously. This is the point where I started trusting in other peoples opinions over my own instinct.

Fast forward 6 weeks and I was a total wreck. Damaged bleeding nipples, completely sleep deprived and anxious. The sound of a pump still takes me right back there. I was pumping through the night, breastfeeding, topping up with formula and had zero confidence in what I was doing. There was no continuity of care through this feeding journey, I was so desperate for support, but I had no idea who to reach out to.

I dropped back the pump to a woman I hired it from via the Australian Breastfeeding Association. She happened to be a very experienced lactation consultant and took one look at my son and said “I think he’s got a tongue tie, I can tell by his chin development for his age”. I was so relieved and she asked me if I wanted to come in and have a chat.

She was who I had been looking for 😭 We sat for two hours and I finally felt seen and heard. I had someone in my corner to help me out of the dark hole I had found myself in.

This relationship saved me in many ways, she helped me regain my confidence, we got my son sorted and worked our way back to exclusive breastfeeding.

I don’t want anyone to feel like I did back then. I’m here to listen to you, to help you through the ups and downs and to sit with you through the newness of it all.