Thursday, 7 June 2012

The beauty of breastfeeding.

During the month of June I am taking part in the Keep Britain Breastfeeding ScavengerHunt.  During this month a large number of bloggers, me included, will be writing about their own personal experiences of breastfeeding.  As well as being able to read a variety of posts about breastfeeding by lots of different bloggers during this month there are many competitions you can enter as well as a grand prize worth an amazing £500!

Even though I always hoped to breastfeed when I had a baby and I am pro-breastfeeding I personally think it is a mothers own personal choice on how to feed her baby,  In my posts for this campaign I want to share my own experience of breastfeeding and I am in no way criticising bottle feeding.  I think it is sad that some mothers are made to feel bad because they chose not to breastfeed, I believe it is particularly unhelpful when mothers who tried to breastfed but for reasons relevant to them struggled with it and are made to feel bad and guilty as they did not ‘succeed’ with breastfeeding at all or for a lengthy time.  The breastfeeding/bottle-feeding debate is a delicate issue, whilst it is often argued that ‘breast is best’ attitudes and promotions make mothers who do not breastfeed feel criticised I think it is often overlooked that mothers who are pro-breastfeeding can be made to look like they are critical, preaching that ‘breast is best’ and look down at mothers who do not breastfeed.  I wanted to highlight that even though I am pro-breastfeeding I am not anti-bottle/formula feeding, I have always been cautious of strongly voicing my opinion of the benefits of breastfeeding due to concern that people would say that I am being critical of other mothers parenting choices. 

For the first week of this campaign the focus is on the benefits of breastfeeding. 

Long before getting pregnant when even the thought of having a baby was just a dream I imagined that if I was ever fortunate to have a baby that I would breastfeed.  I can’t highlight any particular breastfeeding benefit that appealed to me, that made me want to breastfeed if my dream of having a baby came true.  For me it was a natural choice to make, I was breastfed and I wanted to breastfeed my own baby.

A little while after the long awaited day came when my dream was becoming reality and I got a beautifully big fat positive pregnancy test I started thinking about what kind of parent I wanted to be.  Naturally one of the thoughts was how would I feed my little bundle of joy once he came into the world and I still wanted to breastfeed.  Once it started to become a reality that I would have a baby I did have slight apprehension whether I would be able to breastfeed but as I strongly felt that I wanted to do so I decide so that I did not put pressure on myself to succeed that I would take one day at a time and that I would be happy with every single day that I succeed in my wish of breastfeeding whether that would be 1 day or 365 days.

The benefits of breastfeeding are vast.

One of the great benefits of breastfeeding is the health benefits for baby.  The first milk a baby gets is called colostrum, this first milk is fondly known as ‘liquid gold’ as it provides baby with incredible nutrition and protection.  Like the benefits of breastfeeding, the health benefits are also vast.  The specially made milk that your body makes for your baby contains all the nutrition and antibodies that your baby needs.  Breast milk helps protect against colds, ear infections, chest infections, gastro-intestinal infections and sore throats and it helps lessens the chance of eczema and allergies.  Experts also say that breastfeeding helps lower the risk of cot death and aids neurological development.

As well as having great health benefits for babies, breastfeeding is also good for mums.  A great benefit of breastfeeding for mums is that it lowers the risk of breast and ovarian cancer.  Breastfeeding also helps and encourages your womb back to its normal size quickly.  Another benefit that is often talked about for mums it that I can help with weight loss due to the calories that are burnt whilst feeding.

A benefit of breastfeeding that I found particularly great especially in the first few months of my little man’s life was the convenience.  In the midst of the chaotic early days of getting to grips with being a new mummy I did not have to worry about bottles and formula, when I was heading out with my little baby I did not have to concern myself with making sure I had bottles filled with milk in my changing bag.  Whenever and wherever my gorgeous little baby wanted milk his boobie milk was there ready and waiting for him, specially made for him and his needs.  As well as enjoying the convenience of breastfeeding with it being for me quicker and easier than bottle feeding, I love the fact that it is completely free.

Even though all those benefits are brilliant and I am sure there are a few more benefits that I have not mentioned the benefit I love the most is the close bond I developed with my son during those many, many hours’ breastfeeding on demand.  Even though there were some difficult times breastfeeding has been a very natural, enjoyable experience for me.  It has always felt right for us, when my beautiful baby was born and we heard his first ever cry a sensation ran through my body and I felt a slight tingle in my nipples, a completely natural feeling of wanting to comfort my son.  The first skin to skin contact I had with my little baby was amazing and not long after he was born he had his first ever feed. 

Especially in those early days, weeks and months I loved the snuggles I had with my beautiful baby as he fed from my breast.  I loved comforting him, nourishing him with my boobie milk.  Breastfeeding gave me many special moments with my son that I cherish in my heart, the gorgeous cwtches I had with him as I fed and comforted him.  I loved breastfeeding him in the early hours of the morning, sat in bed gazing down at his angelic face and sparkling blue eyes that I could get lost in.  It’s the middle of the night feeds I hold dear to my heart and remember fondly; in the still of the night, with the house peacefully quite I would admire my little man in complete awe, amazed that Lee and I created this amazing life together.

Little man content after a feed

To read more about the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt visit the facebook page or the website.  I hope you enjoy reading lots of posts about breastfeeding from the other lovely bloggers taking part, a few of which are –

As well as bloggers helping this campaign a host of breastfeeding companies are also supporting the campaign and have provided some great prizes for the main prize as well as other competitions happening throughout the month.  One of the companies is Mama Jewels who makes stunning baby-proof jewellery and breastfeeding necklaces and bracelets.

Use the rafflecopter below to enter the grand prize of over £500 worth of breastfeeding goodies for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt.


  1. I loved seeing my little baby boy's eyes looking up into mine! It truly is magical :)

  2. I was unsuccessful at breastfeeding, and to this day (nearly 3 months on) I still feel guilty that I couldn't do the best for my son. Reading this actually brought a tear to my eye that I failed him. 

    If I'm honest, I do sometimes feel like I'm being frowned upon by some (not all) pro breastfeeding mothers, and it is really hurtful. I've actually had 'arguments' with pro-bf'ers who seem to think that bottle feeding is the devil's work, when really it's not, and my son is in fact thriving on formula. 

    Your post doesn't come across this way though, and I will be reading the rest with interest :)

    If we have another, I plan on attempting breastfeeding again, and I do hope I will be successful. 

  3.  Hi Stacey,
    i just wanted to say i had a similar experience to yourself. I struggled feeding my son 4 years ago, recieved no help and eventually bottle fed. I felt the health profession frowned on me for this too. We had our second 7 months ago and i was determined to give breast feeding another go! i searched for advice, sites, links, guidance, groups etc before having her and got lots of tips. she feeds like an absolute dream and were both very happy!
    proof that just because breastfeeding doesnt work out with one baby doesnt mean the story will be the same for your next little one!
    good luck in the future!

  4. Thank you, makes me feel a bit better :)

  5. magical really does describe it :)

  6. Sorry that this post bought a tear to your eye.  Breastfeeding is hard work and you shouldn't feel like you have failed your son as you did the best for him and it is brilliant that he is thriving on formula which at the end of the day is the most important thing.  

    Breastfeeding wasn't a easy, smooth journey for us.  When my son was a few weeks old and wasn't gaining weight that well I felt like I was a bad mum and not doing the best for him as my breastmilk seemed not to be enough for him and I wanted to give him formula.  I remember being sat with our Health Visitor in tears as I felt like a failure and if it wasn't for her support and encouragement along with that of my partner's I would not have preserved.  Even though we got through our rough patches I would have happily used formula to do the best for my son and I in know way consider it to be the devil's work (it is a shame for parents who use it though that it has devilish prices tho).

    I don't mean to make you feel bad in anyway and can say I know how hard breastfeeding is.  I think as parents we will always want to do the best by our children and even though others may think we are doing brilliantly we are harder on ourselves and never think we are doing good enough for them.

    Thank you for taking the time to read and comment and if you ever have another little one your breastfeeding experience may be a different one next time :)

  7. Thank you for your comment, it is lovely to see people being able to relate about their breastfeeding experiences :)

  8. Lovely post :) I agree totally with your first paragraph about not being anti-bottle-feeding and making it clear to others that I'm not looking down on mums who don't breastfeed for whatever reason (I wrote a similar intro to my participation in the hunt too). I think one of the best things about breastfeeding for us has been what you talk about in your last paragraph - the snuggles, bonding and cherished moments of calm when feeding :)

  9. Lovely post, I can totally identify with loving the night feeds; snuggled up just the two of us with the rest of the world asleep, it makes me chuckle to think people are feeling sorry for us 'having' to wake up in the night.  I love it!

  10. The incredible bond that it gives you with your baby!

  11. Its brilliant because you are not only doing the best for your child and yourself, you are also always prepared, you cant forget anything, you
    cant get the temperature or mixture wrong and you dont have to walk
    around the house when you are half-asleep to get a night feed set up.

  12. the bond I have with my son, every time I feed him.
    I love the way he looks up at me whilst he is feeding it melts me every time.

  13. Donna McParland10 June 2012 at 19:48

    sleepy snuggles are the best for me, I can get lots of sleep and baby is snuggled up close

  14. I think it's a great bonding experience x

  15. I think what you say at the beginning of this post is extremely important! It's vital that, as a mother who wants to Breastfeed / is Breastfeeding, you mustn't put any pressure on yourself or others around you to continue/do the same. Things change, people change, people are different, and people have completely different lives and experiences! I know for myself, things were different than the average mum as my boy was rushed into intensive care and hospitalised for a month - this meant I was forced to express my milk - which in turn made it harder for my supply to keep up with demand! So... Such an important message that yre spreading! Thank you :)

  16. The health benefits for both you and your little one are truely priceless but i love the special time you get together the best and cant wait to experience it all again when bump decides to arrive :)

  17. The greatest benefit is cuddle time for mummy and baby - just the two of us.

  18. health benifits for baby and child the connection between the two of you and the costing x

  19. My favourite breastfeeding benefit is the way it has helped keep Georgie healthy - she hardly had any bugs or anything when she was being breastfed!