Little Sunday story time by Megan

Breastfeeding was something I thought was the right thing to do as a mother, I wasn't a 100% convinced I wasnt going to enjoy it as non of my family breast fed and I was sure I was going to feel embarrassed and possibly not natural at it but in my mind I thought it was the right thing to do.

Following a long and traumatic induction to labour, my beautiful baby Matilda arrived. The elation I felt blew me away and before I knew it we were attempting our first feed. Matilda didn't take to the breast straight after birth and I felt concerned, looking to the midwife for reassurance, which she gave and we were wheeled around to a ward where I spent Christmas eve night with my baby girl.

We woke up Christmas day in hospital and headed home to a house full of presents, Christmas food, decorations and twinkling lights. All I wanted was to spend time with my baby and crack breast feeding that was sold to me as natural, wonderful and positive.

My experience in the next 2 weeks were non of the above. I felt very poorly after labour, they don't tell you or prepare you for the exhaustion that I felt, to then breast feed and give Matilda the little nutrients I had in my body really took its toll.

The first week consisted of what I can only describe as a feeding frenzy.. I fed for ever in a day, and when she did fall asleep she woke after ten minutes crying for more.

As mothers our bodies and instincts are amazing things and I felt the overwhelming urge to crack it. Weeks went by and Matilda wasn't gaining much weight, I was emotional and felt like a failure... What I was giving her wasn't enough. It was suggested to put her on formula but I kept persisting.

Cracked nipples started to appear, pain that I had never experienced. Each latch was painful and I dreaded each feed. One moment that really sticks out in my mind is standing at the bottom of the stairs in complete dispare after trying for a good 20 minutes to latch her on, crying holding Matilda saying to Sam my partner.. I can't latch her on I need help. He came rushing down the stairs to the both of us crying, helpless mother and daughter and shoved her on my breast like a pro, how could he do it better than me!

We got to week 4 and Matilda had gained a little bit of weight so they suggested pumping and breast so I could top her up. I literally felt I was a cow being milked constantly and my baby girl wasn't ever content or satisfied with what I was giving her.

I then reached out to a lady called Beth who runs a breastfeeding support group in my local town, it was the best decision I ever made. She welcomed me to join them at their next group where we sat down and I discussed everything we had been experiencing. At a bf support group you meet mothers who have had similar experiences, where you realise actually it's not just me! All these women were now successfully breast feeding, this gave me hope.

Beth suggested having her tongue looked at as she could possibly have tongue tie, so that was our next stop. Could this be why Matilda and I hadn't cracked it... Maybe it wasnt our fault and we had done everything together to try and make it work.

We had it looked at that week and yes... Matilda was tongue tied. We paid to have it snipped privately to which I was petrified... Why would I put my baby through something else! As a bf mother you question everything, am I eating the right thing? Is my supply enough? Is it too much? Am I doing the right thing?

I can now say after our 5 weeks of pain, bleeding nipples, tears, anxiety and self doubt.. Yes it was the right thing to do.

As mentioned before, I decided to bf as for us I felt it was the correct thing to do but didn't think I would be natural or good at it. Matilda and I are now pros. I am so proud of matilda, but I am also so proud of myself. Our latch is so natural, no pain no struggle and we are confident.

My confidence now goes beyond feeding her and satisfying her, but to feed her in public, take her away from the comfort zone of our home and know she can rely on me as her food source. The bond I have created with Matilda is so pure and special. We know each other so well and knowing she needs me for comfort, food, when she's upset, poorly or just needs her mumma... I am enough.

So when you feel self doubt or question whether it's working, reach out for help. It was the best thing I ever did and I am grateful to all the people who gave me advice. I am enough and Matilda is thriving... Yes each day I come across new challenges but i know we will get through it together.