Nicolle & Caleb (9 months)
“I breastfed my first son for 20 months & fully expected to do the same with my second son, so I applied to participate in the PBAP sessions.
“After 8 months, 20 bouts of horrible mastitis in my right breast, 26 courses of antibiotics, & two weeks on an IV drip of hardcore antibiotics in hospital, my second breastfeeding journey ended.”
During those 8 months, as my health got worse, my Specialist begged me to stop. His winning argument was “better a bottle fed baby and a healthy mummy, than to continue on this path”(but his actual words were far less tactful).
Our last moment of breastfeeding was lunch time on Mothers Day 2016. I didn’t plan to wean my son on this particular day, but that evening he refused the boob. From this moment on I knew our journey would be forever different & now include only bottles.
“I shed lots of tears, held Caleb close & told him I was sorry I had failed.”
The first few weeks were really, really hard. I wondered if maybe our bond wouldn’t be as close? I prayed he would still be strong & healthy. What if he eventually felt I let him down?
Then one day as I bottle fed my son in a café, a lady said to me “Mothers these days don’t even bother to try to breastfeed! They are just lazy & selfish & go straight for the bottle…”
“Her words cut through my heart like a knife!”
If only she knew how hard I had tried! I was so tired & emotional that I just walked away without saying a word in reply.
All I could think was “Let us just feed our babies when they are hungry. As long as their little tummies are full of milk they will be happy & content! And if we have happy & content babies, that makes us good mums!”
I contacted Leanda to cancel my PBAP session because I thought for sure I would not be wanted now that I was bottle feeding. When she offered to do a bottle feeding session instead I spent the afternoon crying happy tears.
“I actually felt that broken part of my heart had started to heal.”
I want to help normalise feeding a hungry baby in public, whether it’s using a boob or a bottle. There needs to be less stigma & judgement regardless of how you feed your baby.
“If a baby is hungry it just needs feeding!”
I enjoyed everything about my PBAP session. It was such a beautiful moment for me to share with Caleb and I was so honoured to be still included. I would recommend a session like this to all mums.”