Column: Relentless battle to breastfeed

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Relentless versus Rewarding are my two very different perspectives of breastfeeding.

That toe- curling feeling the first time your baby latches on is enough to put any new mum off, having just gone through labour.

My first experience of breastfeeding wasn’t great. I faltered at 12 weeks when the endless vomiting and piercing cries left me in tears.

I’d had so much support from my local breastfeeding group, my friends, my husband but it just wasn’t working and was making me miserable. I gave up.

When I switched to bottle feeding I felt instantly cut off from the support network I’d made. I wasn’t welcome at the party any more and the guilt cut even deeper. I felt a failure. Second and third time around it was a similar story. The idea of preparing bottles while entertaining a toddler made bottle feeding seem like more work than it needed to be. The same issues were there but in the back of my mind there was always the reassurance that it wouldn’t be forever.

I didn’t set any goals or expectations, but I did have the courage as a second- and third-time mum to make decisions for my family regardless of what the experts said and what the guidelines were.

I took each day as it came, the leaky boobs, the engorged breasts and the mountain of muslin cloths that needed washing.

What got me past those 12 weeks was that amazing bond we developed.

It wasn’t instant but every time we overcame another obstacle together, I started to see those long nights sitting in the nursing chair cradling my sleeping baby not as lonely but as intimate,and the love I felt for my baby grew ever stronger.