Real Mum Story: Breastfeeding, Amber, Mum of 5.
1-7 August 2020 is World Breastfeeding Week and as every mum’s experience of breastfeeding is different, we’re sharing some real mum stories with you.
This is Amber‘s story. Amber is Mum to 5, 4 Earthside. Aubrey (8), Aurora, Aleksandr (6), Asher (3) and Arielle (8 weeks).
I have been really lucky to be able to breastfeed my 4 children. I knew it was something I always wanted to do and each experience whilst incredible hasn’t been without difficulty or hardship.
When I had my first, my little girl Aubrey latched straight away. I had always heard that if a baby is latching properly, breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt but my nipples were sore and my breasts felt like they were on fire. I was able to engage the services of a lactation consultant whilst in hospital and his techniques and advice really encouraged me to keep going. This knowledge I’ve then used for all 3 babies.
When Aubrey was 3 months old I developed mastitis, my Mother’s group helped me to notice the signs pretty early and I sought medical treatment straight away and managed to recover very quickly.
A few months later I fell pregnant with our second child, Aurora, but 4 months into the pregnancy I had complications and I lost her. This kept me separated from Aubrey on and off for a few months and my supply greatly suffered. When I became pregnant with our third child my milk just dried up. Aubrey ended up being weaned at 15 months.
Breastfeeding my son Aleksandr was a very different experience. He was such a guts and gulped down so much air while feeding he was just such a windy and colicky baby. I had such an oversupply of milk that I would have to hand express before some feeds just so he could latch properly. He absolutely loved boobies though and he even started going to sleep with one of my bras for comfort. He ended up self-weaning not long after his second birthday.
I had about a year’s break from feeding until our second son, Asher came along. I was so surprised to find that I still occasionally leaked milk over that year. Like the other 2, Asher took to the breast minutes after he was born. We suffered a bout of thrush early on and it was absolute torture. My nipples were cracked and bleeding and they got stuck to the breast pads or the fabric of my bra. I honestly don’t know how we made it through, but we did. I can completely understand why people would stop breastfeeding, especially if you do get mastitis or thrush. Thrush was one of the most painful experiences for me and I have endo! I would have to brace myself for Asher to latch.
I ended up weaning Asher a few weeks after his second birthday when I discovered I was pregnant with our second daughter, Arielle.
Arielle is 8 weeks old and is breastfeeding well. Much like with Aleksandr, I have an oversupply of milk and a very rapid let down which she is finding hard to control. She needs to be burped more frequently than the others. I hope to be able to feed her for as long as I fed the boys.
After almost 8 years of almost constant breastfeeding some days I feel like a cow! I have never really been able to express well and it would be nice to be able to share the load occasionally. But I know I will be incredibly sad when our breastfeeding journey ends. I have loved every moment of feeding my babies be it good or bad I’m proud of what we have achieved together.
This story was shared with you by Amber, Mum to 5, 4 Earthside. Aubrey (8), Aurora, Aleksandr (6), Asher (3) and Arielle (8 weeks).
Check out Amber’s Instagram @theinfantboutique