Real Mum Story: Breastfeeding – Teya’s Story
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 Teya’s story, Mum to Cadence (7) and Ezra (4).
When my daughter, Cadence, was 4 months old, we took her on a holiday overseas. One of the places we visited was Malaysia, and given the fairly conservative nature of the country, I was a little worried about what the reaction would be to the public breastfeeding I was inevitably going to need to do.
I found out quickly enough when we stopped to have lunch and I asked the staff if it was okay if I fed her at our quiet little table. Not only did they give their okay, but they actually told me how fantastic it was that I was breastfeeding her. This was the response that I received by the beautiful people of Malaysia everywhere I went.
The way they supported me in breastfeeding my daughter was something that made me feel so much more confident publicly breastfeeding when I returned home.
I fed Cadence until she was 15 months old which was a few months after she started day care, I fed a little longer than I initially planned as I wanted to help boost her immunity going into a new environment.
When my son, Ezra, came along he latched almost instantly. He was a huge baby and constantly snacked, waking every 1-2 hours for over a year and would only fall asleep feeding. It was exhausting!
Because Ezra snacked all the time there was a month or so where he was getting too much fore milk which resulted in some tummy troubles and lots of confusion for me. After some Dr Google and a call to the breast feeding hotline I realised what was happening and how to fix the problem by focusing on staying on one side at a time to allow him to get more fatty milk.
The easier part the second time around was that I knew that breastfeeding was only uncomfortable for the first few weeks and was aware of how cherished our future feeds would be.
I fed Ezra till he was around 20 months old when it was on the verge of starting to impact my physical and mental health, so it was no longer the healthy option for the two of us.
A huge part of why breastfeeding worked for me without any real hiccups was because I had mentally prepared myself to be ok if I did not. That took the stress, judgement, and pressure away and I honestly think that’s why things went as well as they did.
I think that regardless of how you feed, how long you feed and how discreetly you feed, someone is going to judge you. It sucks, but it’s generally far more about them and their insecurities or the stories they’ve been telling themselves about you.
This is why it is so important to make space for other people’s experiences to look different from your own. Be comfortable enough in your decisions to allow them to make their own. You have nothing to prove and most of us are just doing our best to give our babies the world.
I hope that we can create a culture here that is equally supportive around a very natural and normal experience between a mother and her child.
This story was provided by Teya – Mum to Cadence (7) and Ezra (4)
Check out Teya’s Instagram @andsoshethought