I know this is usually turns into a heated debate, however I was hoping to just start a thread where we can all share our breastfeeding experiences whether good or bad without arguing, judging and making others feel guilty etc etc. I love reading about other's experiences with breastfeeding, parenting, pregnancy as it helps you realise you are 'normal' as many others go through the same things. Also there are many new mums out there who don't have others/sisters/aunts/grandmothers who breastfed so hopefully they can find some support here.
I'll start :
Lachlan born June 2003.
Lachie was born by emergency c-section and my milk didn't come in until day 6 - no-one told me this was normal until I was already in tears on day 4 (I got the 'blues' really bad). That night after constant breastfeeding for the past 24hrs and no sleep I offered him some formula - funny thing though he only drank about 20mls. He'd lost 575g in those first few days and I felt like the biggest failure. Like most first time mums I'd read so many books beforehand and thought I was going to have the 'perfect birth' and breastfeed with no problems and of course nothing went to plan. Then I had as much 'well meaning' advice as I could take - and then some! In the end I was so stressed and felt so much pressure from everyone, and that's when I gave him the formula. Thank goodness my obstetrician, paediatrician and lactation consultant were all really supportive. They gave me some guidelines to follow with using formula as they all understood how important it was for me to breastfeed. I always new that the formula was going to be just a short term thing - I was really determined to breastfeed. I only had to supplement his feeds for a few weeks - usually only once per day. The funny thing is he started sleeping through the night at 9 weeks old - and I hadn't been giving him any formula for a couple of weeks before that. If I knew then what I know now I would never have given him any formula in the first place, but at the time I was ready to give up breastfeeding altogether - and I'm really glad I didn't. Lachie was about 13 1/2 months old when he was totally weaned, then I was pregnant with Lily smile ...
Lily born March 2005
Lily was also born by c-section. This time around I was a lot more aware of what to expect. I had much the same experience in the first couple of days however I didn't get the 'blues' this time - I was still constantly feeding for 24 hrs and had no sleep but it was a bit easier as I knew what to expect and knew that things would get easier. She's now 12 1/2 weeks old and I'm happy to say exclusively breastfed.
Anyhow, I'll leave it there. I hope others will post their experiences too.