As breastfeeding peer support workers we are very privileged to meet some amazing mums at what is generally a very emotional time in their lives. These women share some very personal stories with us and some become like sisters and best friends. Gang! Meet Emily! Emily Swanborough, 31, from Berkshire. This is her story…
Emily is married to Daniel and they have a 9 month old son called Leif. Emily’s husband Dan took a year’s sabbatical when Emily started maternity leave, so they were both at home when Leif arrived. Emily has now returned to full time work and Dan is a full time house Daddy – a position both boys relish.
Emily, briefly tell us your breastfeeding story.
“It never crossed my mind on day one, with Leif, to do anything other than try and breastfeed. In fact we had prepared no contingency for if it had not been possible. As I was only taking 6 months off work, I always saw breastfeeding as a time bound experience and I think that has shaped how I viewed it – although looking back I think I had an easy experience, particularly when I look at friends who have struggled.
By the time I returned to work I wasn’t ready to stop feeding; I wanted to extend the experience as long as I could – so despite returning to a full time demanding job I still kept up night feeds for an additional month. After that time, a combination of Leif sleeping through and travel with work meant we called it a day at 7 months, incredibly grateful for the time that we had. The current process of sterilising a bottle and achieving temperature control is so much harder than unbuttoning a bra!”
Why did you choose to breastfeed?
“It was best for Leify and I wanted to experience it. It’s what they (boobs) are made for after all! For me it was the natural next step; it seemed right that having trusted nature to make and birth a baby, to trust nature again to feed it. And I’m glad I did. It is one of the things I am really looking forward to if and when baby number 2 arrives; it was something that was just Leif and I – it has special memories for me, particularly now I am not the number one carer given I am back at work.”
What is your happiest breastfeeding moment?
“Always at night. We co-slept for the first 5 months and I loved feeding him at night. It was intimate and close, just us in our cocoon.”
And your hardest moment?
“Day one. I was in the hospital and because it had been a while since he’d been born, I’d been off for surgery, there was pressure to feed him quickly. They were supportive, but aware of the time lapse and I felt parental pressure to perform; I was also worried about him!”
What is your one must have item?
“Definitely my Avent electric breastpump. So quick to express, easy to use and not very expensive. It gave me some freedom in those early months – I think that’s really important.”
And finally, what would be your one piece of breastfeeding wisdom for others?
“I guess at the end of the day, the baby picks up on how you feel, so how you feel about whatever your feeding choice is, is the most important thing – but give it a go! And get used to long lost relatives popping round when you’ve got your boobs out!”
Massive thank you to Emily for sharing her story with us. Here is a little picture of them looking all cute and amazing!!
Visit kiddicare.com to browse breastfeeding accessories and for more advice from our formidable Perfect Pair read Breastfeeding shopping list, Booby traps: the myths behind breastfeeding and Top 10 tips for successful breastfeeding.