Determined to breastfeed / Engorgement and Mastitis
I feel sometimes like I have breastfed forever!
When I had my eldest son there wasn't question in my mind that he would be breastfed.
All my family had done so I wasn't going to spend my time and money on formula and bottles.
Luckily he was a very easy going baby and took to feeding quickly.
I loved every minute of feeding him. After returning to work when he was 9 months old it became a logistical nightmare and I had to stop, I was gutted.
Next time round was quite different. My second son was a very demanding baby! he seemed to feed constantly, he developed thrush in his mouth at one point and made sure I didn't sleep more than an hour or two for the first few months!
Despite this I never considered not feeding and when he weaned himself at about 18 months I felt I had done well.
My daughter came along some years later and by then I had strong views on feeding I was determined that although I had to go back to work when she was 9 months I wouldn't be stopping that early, with help from my boss ( and a change in laws from when I had my first son) I was able to express while at work and feed at home, my daughter quickly realised that when I was at work (I worked nights) there was no breasts, so would sleep all night long.
If I was at home it was another matter! breasts on tap and she took full advantage. The only problem I had with her was one horrendous night I wasn't able to express, I worked 12hours and by the time I came home I knew I had mastitis.
I couldn't believe it, my daughter was well over a year but the symptoms were unmistakable. I went straight to the doctors and was given antibiotics, I was shaking with fever, one breast on fire and so sick and dizzy I could barely drive.
I spent two days lying in bed feeding my daughter and feeling sorry for myself before it got better. It left me with a new fear - what would happen when I eventually stopped feeding? would the mastitis come back? it worried me so much I decided I would take no steps to wean my daughter off and let her decide herself. She did this just before she turned three!
luckily she did it gradually and I only had slight engorgement to deal with. Since then I have trained to be a breastfeeding peer supporter and can't tell you how rewarding it is to help mums learn and get to grips with feeding their babies, anything that makes more mums choose to do it is great.