“Both my babies were born by emergency cesarean after long, difficult labours. I have to be honest that I’m still gutted I never experienced a straightforward birth even though the c-sections saved our lives. Both babies are boys and both were tongue-tied at birth. But there the similarity ends. I was bottle fed because my mother couldn’t breastfeed and wasn’t given any support.
Feeding my first son was agony, more painful than labour, and a brief mention that he was tongue tied was all the information I was given, leaving me confused and still unable to feed. His latch was poor and he was a very hungry, angry baby. My mum gave me what she thought was good advice: ‘Just give him a bottle’. So he was bottle fed and I shed a few tears that I had 'failed’ to give birth properly and then 'failed’ to breastfeed my beautiful first son.
Two years later and a familiar long labour at a superb hospital, with all the support a woman could hope for eventually still led to another c - section. But this time, for the last baby I intend to have, I just wanted to do something natural. I wanted to feed him so much that I would do anything. Feeding him hurt so much and he was diagnosed with tt, which I had corrected. I was given exemplary support from the team at King’s Hospital but my nipples still bled and I had mastitis twice. He would feed for 90 minutes sometimes. It still took three months for the pain to subside and then… One day, it stopped hurting. He got fatter and happier and I fell in love a million times with him and with nourishing him in the most natural way possible.
It is the hardest, best thing I have ever done.
I have no shame about my body and feeding him in public, in fact the opposite. I would feed him naked in Trafalgar Square if I could just to prove how proud I am of us. He is 14 months now and still gets wrapped in my arms for a feed whenever he wants to.”