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Interview 32

Age at interview: 19
Brief Outline: Really enjoying child-led breastfeeding. Supportive partner, family and friends. "Give it a go to see if it works for you" she says. Slight engorgement, copious milk supply.
Background: At the time of interview, this 19 year old, Caucasian woman was breastfeeding her 6 week old daughter. She was a full-time mum and her partner was a lorry driver.

More about me...

An easy-going mother, this young woman takes her cues from her daughter, feeding when her baby wants it and sleeping when her baby sleeps. She used the internet for breastfeeding information. She has fed in public and feels that the looks were approving. She now feeds in front of her partner's friends and it has become normal for them all. She has a good milk supply and her daughter is piling on the weight. She is very proud of herself. She has never used a dummy and only recently given her daughter a bottle of water on the doctor's recommendation for her baby's constipation. Her daughter had not had a bowel motion in five days and the doctor thought that her milk might be too thick and concentrated, on account of her not drinking much water. She usually drinks tea and her baby was having plenty of wet nappies. That night the baby did fill her nappy but she, the mother, was going to continue giving water because she thought there 'was obviously something wrong with my breast milk'. She is using a progesterone only contraceptive pill because she was told that it would not interfere with her milk supply. Her plans are to breastfeed for about six months and then gradually introduce solid foods with continued breastfeeding for as long as her daughter wants. She thinks that a lot of other young women don't breastfeed because they are concerned about the sexual connotations, specifically that breastfeeding would feel sexual, but for her it just feels natural. She thinks that other young women like her should try breastfeeding and if they are comfortable with it, then continue doing it.

 

Her breastfeeding experience changed her attitude towards her breasts which she no longer sees as...

Her breastfeeding experience changed her attitude towards her breasts which she no longer sees as...

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Yes, some men were like looking away and putting papers in front of their faces but one man sat next to me, he's looking at me and smiling like, 'Well done, good on you' and I'm like do [laughs].

How did that make you feel?

It's a bit odd, it is a bit odd having someone look at you, giving you like sort of grin as if to say, 'Well done', you know, but I don't care it is, your first instinct's, 'Oh he's looking at me', but then I look at her and it's like, 'Well she comes first' so you can look at me all you like because they ain't very sexy at the moment and I don't see them as sexual, like before feeding her my concern was that there'd be, it would feel sexual feeding her because obviously they are like sexual toys, aren't they before making new baby and that was my concern and that's what I found a lot of people's concerns are is that it would feel sexual but it really doesn't, you know, so I'm like, I don't see them as sexual toys any more they are just udders I suppose they feed her [laughs] they're hers and until I stop breastfeeding her they are hers so it just doesn't bother me any more, and you can stare all you like, covered in stretch marks go for it.

So that's a big change in attitude, then?

Yeah, yeah, really big but I find that's the main concern for a lot of my friends I mean, one of my friends is pregnant and that was her concern and, you know I sort of said to her it doesn't feel anything like that but because you do and because your body changes so much after having a baby as well, and nobody sort of says about that do they? It's all sort of, 'Oh its hunky dory and no pain no nothing everything's it's easy" and it's so not.

What about your friends? What do they think? Because often young women don't breastfeed.

None of them have really said anything, I just do to be honest with you if they have something negative to say, I just ignore them anyway [laughs] it's my right as a mum you know everyone has got their own opinions and I'm not saying bottle feeding is wrong and that you should breastfeed but I think you should give it a go and if it works then brilliant and if it doesn't work for you then don't do it, you know, that's just my view though but I wouldn't give her a bottle now she's so attached to it that I just wouldn't bother the only bottle she has is a bit of water.

Why do you think a lot of young women don't breastfeed?

The problem again it's sexual, you know they see them as toys and they are concerned that feeding your baby will feel sexual and that you'll feel like a bit of a pervert I suppose because it's a young child, isn't it so a lot of, I think that's a concern for a lot of people is that you'll feel a bit like a pervert or you know it or that it won't feel natural but I'd say give it a go, you know.
 

 

She started taking the pill that is compatible with breastfeeding when her baby was three weeks...

She started taking the pill that is compatible with breastfeeding when her baby was three weeks...

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Can you tell me are you practising any form of contraception?

Yeah.

Yeah, what are you doing?

I'm back on the Pill but I have gone on to the Noriday Pill I think it's called just because it's a progesterone only Pill, which means that the normal Pill can interfere with your breastfeeding and so I have asked for advice on contraception and this is one they obviously said you know if you are going to have sexual intercourse before this, use a condom because you, you are most fertile for three weeks after having a baby and basically I left it and you start taking the Pill three weeks after having a baby and then you don't stop taking it if you get what I mean there's no breaks or gaps, which you normally have, that's the only one they've said to me to take, it's just because it won't interfere with breastfeeding and I didn't want anything that was, you know, stop or interfere with it, I wanted to make sure that it would still flow for her and that wasn't going to affect her, I suppose, but yeah, that's the one we've gone for.

Were you aware at the time of making this decision about the contraceptive effects of exclusive breastfeeding?

Yes, but, I wouldn't go [laughs] for that so many women have done that and got pregnant straight away and I ain't having that [laughs] I'd rather, it's like using a condom and the Pill I suppose before but I'm with my same, the same partner and obviously know he's not got anything. But no I wouldn't, I wouldn't go via breastfeeding alone, that's something I wouldn't, I just wouldn't trust it, it's an old wife's tale, isn't it? You know I have enough not enough problems having her it was quite traumatic having her and I don't want another baby, I want her to be old enough to explain to me what's wrong with her and so she can be involved with baby rather than having one nine months after having her, if you get what I mean it's not fair on her because I wouldn't have got to know her, she would be a jealous little baby, and it's not fair in my eyes so no, contraception [laughs], don't trust the boobies by themselves [laughs].
 

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