Why did you breastfeed?

There are many reasons why a mother chooses to breastfeed. Karina’s story below was actually a comment in response to Lucia’s breastfeeding story. Karina refers to her main decision for choosing to breastfeed as a ‘selfish reason’ – hearing that it could help mothers with post birth weight loss. We regard that reason as one of the many valid health benefits of breastfeeding, especially if it helps mum to feel good about herself so she can pass on the happy vibes to baby! But as you will read, Karina came to her own understanding of the many other benefits of breastfeeding so we would like to share it as a story in its own right. We have lots of great stories to come and will continue posting them over the months. Thanks Karina for your sharing.

Karina’s story

“I admit that I only decided to breastfeed because of the weight loss aspects. Before I heard about the benefits of breastfeeding to help me return to your pre-pregnancy weight, I was 100% adamant that no baby was going near my boob.  So when I found out this valuable information I settled on feeding for 3 months, just to get my weight loss started.

Once I decided that I was going to breastfeed, I discovered there was so much stigma associated with breastfeeding that it would make the most confident woman weak at the knees.  My antenatal class focused on it for 2 out of 4 sessions and by the end of that I was so nervous/scared/daunted by it that I almost decided that I would flag it altogether.  All that “nose to nipple, chin to chest” bollocks just seemed too much!

My babe was born in a rather urgent and violent manner so I was unable to have skin-to-skin contact for well over an hour.  As soon as I could see my daughter my midwife plopped her down on my chest, grabbed my boob and literally shoved it in her mouth. DONE!  Latched on and drinking.  Just like that.

The following days were painful and a little frustrating, but as soon as my milk came in (which incidentally resulted in my daughter getting such a fright you’d think my boob had slapped her) it was smooth sailing; apart from the cracked nipples which cleared up in a week or 3.

My Bubba is 4.5 months now and she is breastfed exclusively.  It is THE most rewarding experience I have ever had.  I am so incredibly happy I changed my mind – even it was for selfish reasons at first.  Now I would not have it any other way and could not give a toss about the weight loss.  It is such a wonderful thing to be able to provide for your baby.

She will start solids in a month or so but I will continue to breastfeed her until she is a year old.  Then I will probably express for another year just for the “goodness of the milk” aspect.

My experience with breastfeeding was that it was easy.  The information given made it complicated and that could have clouded my initial encounter had my midwife not been so hands on.”

We’d love to hear more stories about why you chose to breastfeed. Email your breastfeeding story to breastfeeding@gslnetwork.co.nz Include a photo of your baby too!


1 thought on “Why did you breastfeed?

  1. Haha, my midwife did the same thing! She knew that I wanted to breastfed but I didn’t realise that she was going to grab and pull my nipple and stuff it in my daughters mouth minutes after she was born! We are still breastfeeding at 17 months and I plan to continue until my daughter wants to stop. Breastfeeding has been a great experience for both of us 🙂

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