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Interview 35

Age at interview: 36
Brief Outline: Pre-eclamptic fit, caesarean section, breastfed in intensive care and later in coronary care (heart failure/post partum cardiomyopathy). Determined breastfeeder. Peer counsellor and breastfeeding programme administrator.
Background: At the time of interview, this married 36 year old, White British woman had a 3 year old daughter, whom she had breastfed for 20 months. She is a Breastfeeding Peer Support Coordinator.

More about me...

As a breastfeeding peer counsellor, this woman believes that empathising with a woman and providing the right kind of support is important in ensuring that a woman's breastfeeding experience is as positive as it can be. She says that her own expectation that a baby would be fed, go back to sleep for about four hours and then wake for another feed was unrealistic. In reality she was quite overwhelmed by how having a baby took over her whole life. She thought that she would go back to work and had not anticipated the intense longing to be with her daughter and not to go anywhere without her that she developed in the days after birth. She was very ill in the perinatal period and being closely monitored but was determined that she was going to breastfeed and that no-one would take away her motherhood. Becoming a peer counsellor was a turning point in her life. She has started several very successful 'drop in' support groups, run numerous breastfeeding peer counsellor training programmes and been given local authority funding to run programmes in hospitals and antenatal clinics, all in an area that has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the United Kingdom.

 

As a teenager, she had seen her older sister breastfeeding but had no information and unrealistic...

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When I found out I was pregnant I knew very little about breastfeeding but I told my midwife that I wanted to breastfeed.

Why?

I don't know, I really didn't have any information about it, no expectations of it. I have a sister who's ten years old than me who breastfed both her children. So I were a little bit old when this happened and, probably I think I were round about thirteen when she breastfed her first child, so I was aware of it but at that age it didn't have much impact on me so whether that had a bearing on my decision I'm not sure but at me booking appointment when me midwife when they said, 'How do you intend to feed?' I said, 'Breastfeed?', through my pregnancy I didn't look into it, I didn't read up on it, I knew very, very, very little about it, so when it came to actually having me daughter I went into it with quite sort of unrealistic expectations I'd say of what a baby would do after birth. But yeah I never felt, I'd read about everything to do with pregnancy and childbirth but not really anything about what happened after and that included feeding.

So what do you think those unrealistic expectations were, and what was the reality in comparison?                         

The unrealistic expectation was that a baby would feed by however means and then go to sleep, probably for around about four hours, and then wake up, want another feed, be changed, and go back to sleep and. This is what I, sort of, this is with what I'd read that I picked up, this is what happened, this is what normal babies did. But, actually it were nothing at all like that. She wanted to be held which I couldn't understand because I thought babies were put down to sleep, but she wanted to sleep being held by me and she didn't feed every four hours she fed quite a lot more than that, she wasn't happy to just be left while I got on with everything else that I thought that I'd be doing, and really I was overwhelmed by how it took over, took over me whole life, I'd not expected it to be like that. I thought it would be all flowery and baby talc and you know that sort of perception of motherhood and it wasn't liked that at all.

Where do you think that perception came from?

Media, I think that the perception lots of people have comes from media. We read books which are, are good in one sense, you sort of, you know, there's quite a lot of useful information in them but also nobody ever tells you about the realities of it, and, that to me is why a lot of women afterwards feel sort of things are going wrong and it's not normal, because they believe that what's said in these books, you know, lots, lots of different magazines, television is another one. On television you see babies in sort of drama, soap opera, this sort of thing. They don't portray it in the way that it actually is, how much it does change your life, so I think a lot of people unless they've sort of grown up with lots of babies around them and, and are aware I think, a lot people pick it up from media, yeah.

Do you think some people think that having a baby is a bit of a hiccough in their lives and then they'll get back to normal?

Yeah I think with your first child you do feel that this is an event that's going to take place in nine months and then after the big event which you focus on when you're pregnant so that's what you're actually looking to and you give not that much thought about what's going to happen after, that yeah you just assume that things,
 

She developed the confidence to trust her instincts and realised that her baby wanted to be with...

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And I remember it, when me daughter was six week old, ringing the health visitor and saying, I think it was something like half past five on a Friday, when everybody's wanting to get home to work and saying, 'You don't have to come, because this is not a child, this is a freak of nature, and I just can't cope. And she said, 'Why what's wrong?' and I said, 'She'll never, I can't put her down, and I have to carry this baby everywhere.' Because I I'm, even though I had all the instincts, you know, everything was there, I still thought that there was something wrong, because I thought that she should, I thought babies did go down in their own cot and, and would sleep on their own and, you know, so because even during the day I couldn't put her down if, she'd be asleep and if you put her down in her, in her little crib she would start to cry, she wanted me to pick her back up. I thought, 'This ain't right, there's summat wrong, what's happening?' And, and I said to my health visitor, 'You know what, she, I can't put her down she'll, she's crying, out if I leave room she starts to cry, you know, like what's wrong? And this can't be normal'. And she said to me, 'Actually it is normal, because she's a baby, and for nine months she's been with you, and all she wants to do is be with you,' and she said it and I thought [sighs], 'Well that makes so much sense, that's so much easier than thinking that she's, she'll sleep and stressing that I can't get her to go in this crib', because this crib were, you know, it were like a nasty word to me because, I couldn't get her in it and I felt that everybody else's baby went in their cribs and mine wouldn't, and I'd gone through every, you know, oh it's because it's closed in, oh it's because it's got this hood thing on it, oh it's because she don't like this, she don't like that, I'd made every possible excuse that I could, oh she'd like them things in hospital better because you can see through 'em', every excuse I possibly could, never considered that all she wanted to do were be with me because I were her mother, it, it never, never entered me head, and when this, when the health visitor said it I thought 'oh yeah'.

Was that a huge weight off your shoulders?

Yeah. Yes, I just felt that in that one statement it all made sense, so that's, just, live my life how I need to live my life as a mother, stop trying to be independent from my daughter, accept that this is how life is, and once I did that, and I stopped trying to put pressure on myself to hoover every day, and put her down because I'll spoil her, which, you know, I, lots of people, 'Oh you don't want to be carrying her about all day, you'll spoil her, you'll never get a minute, you're making a rod for your own back' all these things, and in me, here, I'd be here at home in me, like, 'Oh God I'm doing it all wrong, oh no, I will, I wouldn't, what will so and so, what will auntie so and so say because I've, I've spoilt her, I've spoilt the-I've fed this baby and I've spoilt it, and I'm, I'm doing it wrong I'm not good, I can't do this'. And so all that went, I just thought, 'd'you know I'm going to just trust what feels right, trust this process', and that's what I did, and we absolutely sailed through, we had a wonderful time. And, you know, we had us little moments along way as you do, things weren't always great and there'd be night times when I'd sort of be blue in the face and thinking, 'Oh no what have, you know, what have I done?' [laughs], 'Scuse me. But it were all, I acknowledged it as all being normal and that was what was normal, and not this trying to make, trying to make a baby fit in with my life, I just accepted that we had to learn it were a new thing, we were a new family who had to learn to be a family together and each one of us as individuals would bring something to that, and had to take something away fr
 

She would tell a pregnant woman about the realities of breastfeeding, not just the benefits but...

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What would you say to a newly pregnant woman?

I think I would try to talk about some of the realities of breastfeeding. I think with me experience with new mums and the pregnant mums, the benefits of it, are not something that actually makes a big impact on their decision, I think a lot of people have the, 'Well that won't happen to me anyway', sort of frame of mind, but I think looking at the other things about breastfeeding, that it's not just about benefits, it's not just that it's good for a baby, and it's, you know, it's good for a mum, but also the, the emotional part of it, what that has to offer. The feeling of holding that little baby that's been breastfed, and it looks up at you, and that connection and that eye contact, and that feeling then of wanting to protect this little bundle, and I think a new mum has, or an expectant mum that's very sort of, they're very focused on that, that immediate sort of birth and just after the birth and the first holding of this little baby, and the skin-to-skin contact, the cuddles that it brings, because it, you know, it's not just about the food, it's about a whole, it covers everything, the whole mothering of the baby, so I think looking at it like that, not only looking at what nutritional value it has, and what it may help prevent and things, but as a whole, and what the whole thing offers. And also again the reality is, you know, of how many times a baby feeds in a day, and that they don't necessarily want to be put down. And just, I've found actually with talking to the pregnant ladies that when you put it like that, when you say to them, 'You've carried this baby for nine months, it's heard your heart beat, and it's been awake and heard your voice and, everything that it's natural that he's going to want to be with you'. I think, they then think 'Well yeah' because like me with my health visitor it just makes sense. And it's easier to think of it that way, so I think that is important, but not to go into having a baby with great expectations of what it'll all be like and to, just acknowledge that it won't be this fluffy experience that we all think it will, because it is, it is that if you're not prepared for the other parts which are hard, the tiredness, sleepless nights, the feeling of, 'Oh my God, there's this baby that I've just had, What do I do? What do I do with this baby? No, no don't leave this room, you don't leave me with it, I don't know what to do' acknowledge that everybody has that, and you are not different and it's not that you're not bonding, and it's not that you're not a good mother, it's just such an overwhelming experience. I think that's important for people to know, and it all then comes together with breastfeeding, if you're aware of this it makes breastfeeding seem a much more natural and normal thing to do.

 

Even though she was extremely ill she wanted her baby with her. Breastfeeding was the only thing...

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I sort of really, really pushed to be moved and was taken onto high dependency on labour ward where it were, it were lovely because I had my daughter all the time and that's when I could start breastfeeding and it really from that point I were able to, to take control of the whole mothering of me daughter, but it was difficult.

I was suffering from heart failure due to post partum cardiomyopathy. This condition was explained to me and my husband as something separate from the eclampsia, I was very unfortunate they said to have suffered from two quite rare pregnancy-related illnesses. At the time they were unsure of what, what would happen about it. The first thing they did is they told us that we wouldn't be able, we wouldn't be able to have any more children, they advised that we couldn't look at this because it would, the literature that they had on the condition said that it would return and the chances are it would be worse, and this happened immediately after a fall, immediately after giving birth so, it's difficult that I'd just had a baby so everybody thinks that you shouldn't be affected by being told that you won't have another, in reality I'd just had a baby, my hormones were everywhere, my maternal instincts, were, were overwhelming, and I were told that I couldn't have another, child, or it would be potentially fatal to have another child. So it had, it actually had a really, really big impact, it hit me, so hard, but other people didn't necessarily understand it because they thought, 'Why would she be upset she's just had baby? Why she already be upset about not having another?' And with the talk of, there were lots of, lots of things thrown about in the room, they talked about possibilities of a transplant, they talked about the medication that could be used, very quickly they talked, they sort of went down the route of the medication, and decided what I should take, but then they also decided that I should take warfarin which they told me I couldn't breastfeed if I took it, to which I said quite naively, 'Well you're going to have to look at something else because I am going to, I want to breastfeed so I'm not just going to accept that'. I don't think it were, I were too popular at that time with some of the, the doctors but, I felt that everybody were taking control of every aspect of my life, absolutely everything, they monitored when I went to loo, they monitored everything, they monitored my heart rate, everything about me somebody else was checking and looking at, and yeah because I needed that to get better, I'm eternally grateful, but they weren't taking away my mothering, I was quite, it was the, in fact it was only thing that I could keep hold of and I were quite stubborn and I thought, 'No because if I breastfeed you can't take her away again' and I knew that because somebody had already said to me that because I'd been re-admitted into a different area of the hospital there were a possibility that me daughter had been discharged, that she might go home with me husband and they weren't, there were no way that that were happening, absolutely no way, so I said, 'No, no, I'm breastfeeding and I want you to look at it', and they did, and they came back and they said that they would try something else, they said they would try something else if it didn't then I would have to have the warfarin but they were prepared to try something else and they did and it worked. So I, kept hold of my daughter, and the only thing that I did sort of agree to is that at night time she went into the staff room which they absolutely loved, nurses, but she were brought back to be fed, so it meant that in-between feeds I could rest and weren't disturbed by my daughter's little, you know, every turn and such. And we spent a week on coronary care, by the time we left the hospital I was breastfeeding wonderfully, absolutely great we were quite sort of in tune w
 
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She was extremely ill with eclampsia and postpartum cardiomyopathy but the most important thing...

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Well I had quite a difficult pregnancy, I had morning sickness for the first thirteen weeks, when everybody told me that 'When you get to thirteen weeks you'll be okay', and it sort of just stopped at thirteen weeks and I had a couple of weeks where I felt absolutely wonderful, but then, when I got to fifteen weeks my blood pressure dropped and it went really low. I was advised by my doctor to not work for a while, and I had various things at twenty-two weeks of my pregnancy, I started to suffer from really, really sort of terrible pains at what I can describe as the top of my bump. I was admitted into hospital and nobody really knew what was wrong at that time, so they thought it might be viral and I was discharged. After that I felt ill, just can't quite put my finger on it, I just felt ill, never quite right, when I was thirty-six weeks pregnant I suffered really sort of horrendous pains in my side and was admitted into hospital and again they didn't know what were wrong and they were looking at appendicitis and there was a general surgeon involved, lots of people sort of rushing round trying to find out what was wrong with me and nobody could quite again put their finger on it and they were treating me for appendicitis. They were talking about removing doing an emergency caesarean and removing me appendix and then it calmed down, and they did a few different tests and they found out that it were me kidney and they described it to me as this, that my kidney was full, so my kidney was full and this is what the pain was, they gave me some antibiotics and I left hospital. I got up the next day and I got into the car with me sister and she looked at me and went 'My God, what's happened to you?' and I'd just put so much weight on overnight, fluid it was, that I'd filled up with this fluid. I think this was six days before I actually gave birth. I then went back into hospital and the midwife told me that they thought it was pre-eclampsia but my blood pressure was normal at this stage, so they couldn't quite understand why my blood pressure weren't high if it were pre-eclampsia. The day before I had me daughter I had been moved into a room on my own, I'd stopped passing any water at all, I hadn't been passing water for two days and was continuing to fill up really. I were just like bloated with water. And then I called for the midwife during the night because I felt absolutely shocking and she brought the doctor in to see me and I went through various things in that night. I had a pain in the back of me head and I can only describe it as it felt like somebody had stabbed, just shoved something into the back of me head, the pain went from the back of me head, right through into me face. I started vomiting and they rushed me through into the labour ward. I continued to vomit, I was suffering from diarrhoea at this time and just pains, through me body. I kept getting pains in me chest, but me blood pressure was normal and everybody still found it difficult to work out what was happening. So there were lots of symptoms that were happening that I now know were associated with pre-eclampsia but at that time I didn't realise what were happening. I suffered a really severe pain in me chest which actually sat me up off the bed, the pain jolted me body up and they started to do an ECG. My vision started to go, I can describe it only as looking through crystals, that is everything were like little bits all over, so as I were looking at the midwife there were little bits of her face all over, and bit by bit they started to disappear until I'd lost my vision. They came to talk to me about doing a caesarean, an emergency caesarean. I signed a consent form which I couldn't see, they had to put my hand on it and I just had to sign. I'd lost me vision totally, I had a fit, a seizure and I just remember looking at this midwife and looking in her face and a strange feeling, a really, really strange thing almost pleasurabl
 

She became an advocate for breastfeeding in her area and the demand for support has grown very...

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Yeah I, I'm involved in breastfeeding peer support groups, it all sort of started with my health visitor because I breastfed [daughter] for, I breastfed my daughter for twenty months and, we didn't, because we didn't really have any problems I was of the mind that, 'This is really good, this is great, you know, why isn't everybody doing it?' I couldn't quite understand, you know? It's so easy, I went on holiday so much in her first year excuse me. We, when she were nine week old we went off to London and to see, to see family and do a bit of sightseeing and such, so easy, you know, breastfed on the tube, it were great. I've never seen so many newspapers go up in front of faces in my life but, it were fantastic, it were just so easy and I thought, 'How come other people aren't doing this?' And so I'd got like a little bit of a, I were thinking about, about it, and, I went to like a local sort of council forum meeting and my local hospital did a presentation on applying for foundation status, and one of the things that they talked about was that this area has the lowest, one of the lowest breastfeeding rates nationally, so again I were thinking 'Why?' And I were getting a little bit sort of fired up about it, you know, what's, what's going wrong round here? But I'd not really done, I'd not said anything to anybody, and then the health visitor said to me, just because I think I'd breastfed for longer than what most people around here do, said to me, 'Would you be interested in starting a group with me? I want to start a breastfeeding support group but, you know, it's not something I want to do, I really want to get mothers involved and, you know, I know that you, you're breastfeeding and, so would you like to get involved?' and I said, 'Well actually yeah because I been sort of thinking about this sort of thing and how I can get involved'. So we started and the first week there was me, the health visitor and one lady came, and she came in and she sat down and we started to talk and her little girl was six week old, and she was already worrying about returning to work, and so we just got together and I had a look on internet and looked at rights for breastfeeding mothers returning to work and, and the week after we met again and we looked through all this stuff and she went, 'Oh that's really good', and I thought, 'Oh that's nice, 'cause she, she feels happier now and together we've all been able to do that'. Well within a month we had ten ladies attending. And the health visitor said to me, 'We need to do something really, and, and maybe publicise this and, you know, put a few fliers out.' And, so it started to grow. Then, they started to ask us about peer support training, and so the health visitor started to look at it. Now at the same time because the area which I, had gone into is the, is the next village to me because that's where my doctor is, in my village I live in a Sure Start area and my local Sure Start had decided to run with La Leche League's peer counsellor programme, so they'd put a little advert in the newsletter and I saw this and thought, 'Oh yeah I'd quite like to, to do that'. So I, I applied and, I did the training, so I became a La Leche peer counsellor, and I, it were just a, it were a turning point in my life. I sort of, I found this, this group of, of women that came together and along with them and La Leche League I suddenly thought, 'Yeah this, this is me'. At first some of the things I couldn't really relate to, because, you know, they might, it might talk about the use of dummy and things, and, you know, the area in which I lived they're used a lot. And I thought it wasn't something I'd done, my daughter had not had a dummy, but that's only because she'd refused when I had been trying to put it in her mouth in a moment of despair. So there were some things that I, I sort of struggled a little bit about it, but as I got more involved and as my daughter got older and I became
 

In adult intensive care, no-one thought to express her milk. One nurse/midwife held her baby to...

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I stayed on intensive care for a few days and while I were on intensive care, I think it was the third day after my, me daughter had been born, there was a midwife that, she, well she were working on intensive care but she'd trained as midwife, she'd trained as a midwife and she told me later that she didn't like it, midwifery, so she'd gone back into general nursing then, she were working in intensive care, and somebody had said to her that I wanted to breastfeed, so, she, when my daughter came down because they used to bring me daughter down during the day and a midwife would stay and look after her just so's that she could sorta be near me, when she came down one day this, this girl said to me, 'Would you like to try?' Well I couldn't do anything because I still had lots of things running in out, I were on an air line so it were coming in, into me neck and, you know, through my arteries and out in my wrists and I was sort to pinned really to this bed, I couldn't do anything, and she said, 'If you can just let me know that that's what you want to do then I'll hold her'. So I did everything you possibly can do while strapped to a bed to say yes and they managed to sit me up and this girl held me daughter to me and, and started her breastfeeding and this was what happened for a, a couple of days, my daughter was being fed, cup fed on maternity ward because she weren't left with me because I were on intensive care, the general something, intensive care, and she were on maternity. So she were being cup fed up on maternity but then when she were brought down and, and this nurse was there she would hold her so we could get, get going really. I can't say for definite what would have happened if she'd not done that because nobody ever considered breastfeeding because they thought I were too ill, so everybody was thinking about me, which I understand, but nobody ever really looked at fact that I'd just had, I'd still had a baby, I'd just had a baby and by, sorta three days I was quite aware, I might not have been up and, you know, vocal about the things, but I was aware of everything that was, was happening when I was awake. So I wanted to be able hold this baby that I, you know, I'd a nine month pregnancy you, it's what you want, what your sorta aim is to hold this baby and everybody else was around this bed holding this baby, and I couldn't, and nobody really looked at that and, nobody understood that I were still a new mum, apart from at the time this girl because everybody were concentrating on me.

How did that make you feel? 

Frustrated. Because I, I think me natural instinct as a mother took over and I didn't particularly matter, it was her that I were concerned with, I wanted to be able to take, to take, to be the mother and I felt that everybody else was being the mother. My sister-in-law and my sister stayed at the hospital to look after me daughter through the night so that she weren't on her own because my husband was spending time with me and, even though they were doing that, and I'm eternally grateful, it was all things that I felt I should be doing, it was my time and it was really difficult because I didn't have the energy to do anything about it, so after I think five days, I insisted that they move me and, it weren't, it, you know, intensive care's not a nice place to be.

At any stage did anybody pump your breasts or anything, or were you lying there for three days'

No.

'with nothing happening?

No, nobody, nobody expressed any milk, I wish that it would, obviously hindsight's a wonderful thing, if I could have known then I wish that I would have given my permission prior to that happening, but nobody, nobody'.

 

Her daughter's weaning was very flexible but she felt that their whole relationship had changed...

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So by about twenty months she'd started to cut down to one feed a night before she went to bed?

Yeah she were only doing that one feed and if she didn't sort of remember about it, it was only when I would prompt, but some nights she would've quite happily just gone off to bed, and not had a feed. And I sort of, I were aware that there were things called nursing strikes but she'd not just stop, she would if I asked her and then one day I asked her and she said, 'No' she didn't want it so I said, 'okay' and off she went to bed and then the next day she did and, this went on for a while and then she just started to say no all the time, and after about two weeks of her saying no, and me keep offering, I discussed it with my husband and he said, 'You know, maybe if she wants it she'll ask' so I thought, 'well I'll not offer and I'll see what happens', and since that day she's never mentioned it again, and I would rather have continued for longer, but, and I worry sometimes that were it a nursing strike, and I found it very difficult to cope with what happened and I spoke to a breastfeeding counsellor about it because I felt my whole relationship with her had changed. And I think it linked with my illness and breastfeeding starting as the thing that I could take control of and other people couldn't and it was ending, and I think that I, felt that, quite deeply, because I had stopped being the one and only person that could do this thing for her, because anybody could make you know, fish fingers and mashed potato, and I really struggled for a few months to come to terms with it and then I spoke to a breastfeeding counsellor and she talked to me about how it, to embrace it as another stage of my daughter's development and not so much a rejection of me, that, you know, she was growing and I was her mother and would always be her mother and would begin to sort of bring new things to her life as she became more independent. And I did, so I did work with that but still there's some sadness deep down that I think, 'Should I have, should I have kept asking for a month? Should I have tried a little bit harder to keep that going?' But then I question who would that have been for really, would that have been for me? Because it was never a time when she was told that she couldn't have it, she could've asked.

 

Her health visitor suggested solids at four months but they distressed her and her daughter so...

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Can you think about when you first introduced solids?

Yeah, I, didn't think about introducing solids it was suggested to me by my health visitor, my daughter was sixteen weeks and I was asked if I'd considered this, which I hadn't. And, it was suggested that maybe I would like to start thinking about it and one of the good things to start with was baby rice. So I went out and bought some baby rice, I expressed breastmilk to mix with baby rice, I'd never expressed really, never had, never had the need to express because I just always fed when she wanted feeding. So that were a little bit tricky, I found that bit difficult, and I mixed up baby rice and expressed breastmilk and thought, 'This don't, this really don't look very appealing', we sat down, I put it in her mouth and she spat it out, and we did this for a week. And, it, weren't pleasant, it, she didn't want it, and I didn't want it, it, weren't, well neither of us were happy, you know, it just, it weren't working. So I thought, 'Maybe it's the baby rice I'll give her a carrot'. So I did all the carrot thing and mashed it up.

Yeah she became, she really weren't happy about it and she became quite, as soon as she realised what was going to happen she became distressed, so I became distressed. And we did it for a week, I kept trying, for a week, really to shove this food into her mouth and then at end of week I thought, 'I can't, I can't cope with the stress of this because she don't want it and it can't, surely she can't be hungry if she's so upset about it' so I stopped. But I never admitted to anybody that I'd stopped, I never told my health visitor, because I thought that people would think I were a bad mother because I weren't doing what I should be doing. But I just didn't bother, I'd, I went back to breastfeeding and then when she was nearly six months I tried her with something and she seemed to take it so much better, and it started very gradual, we didn't sort of start with, it had to be one meal a day, we sort of just took it quite, really relaxed about it and, if we had, we were at home and we had time to sit and try it we did, and if she took it that were great and if, we just built it up, so it weren't as if, one day she were fully breastfed, next day she had to have a meal regardless of whether she wanted it, and it, it worked like that for us, and I found that she moved on to foods much quicker than what they said that she'd, what they'd originally said that she would. So whereas it had been you have, you do this and you have to do that for a week and then you introduce something else and you do that for three, four days and then, I just sort of started doing little bits and putting them together because I think she were more open to different flavours as well, it didn't need to be as, as bland as what were said. So she, she ate loads of sort of different tastes to what I hear a lot of people say that their children are eating, and I mean, brussel sprouts, well it's one of her favourites for a little, a little baby, at and still [laughs] at three she likes brussel sprouts and she's got quite strong sort of tastes. So it were so much easier when I did it sort of later, it really were and we were both much more relaxed and it, it were a lot nicer. 

 

For her own comfort she discouraged her toddler from wanting to breastfeed in public.

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But apart from sort of not being as long, she kept on breastfeeding and the time when it changed was as she got a little bit older and we would be out, and I have a recollection of being sat outside a caf' with some relatives, my husband's relatives who were older, in the summer, and my daughter climbing up and pulling my shirt up, outside, and it was quite busy and it was quite embarrassing and that I think is when I found that discipline is acceptable with breastfeeding when they get a little bit older. I realised then that it had to be about both of us, and that she, because at this time she was around about eighteen months old, and I thought, she can understand that it can happen at home and she doesn't, it's not acceptable to pull my clothes up in public. And I felt very much that we both needed to be happy, because I wouldn't have been happy if that had have continued, so I just I started to say to her, 'In a minute' or 'you can't, can you wait until we get home?' if we were going to be going home soon. Or, but I told her that she mustn't pull at me clothes, that she could just ask, or tap, or use some sort of way, and even though she was very young it did work, it did work with her, but I felt that I was at a time, because, I'd sort of given everything I could and, and had been quite happy to breastfeed, and always quite happy to breastfeed in public and, never really, never restricted her feeding, and after that time I thought, 'We now have to be working two ways and, you know, this can't be uncomfortable for me either'. And so, I mean I call it discipline, I don't know whether you'd, it's part of that understanding, this is how I feel it, it's part of the understanding of discipline, so starting to show what boundaries are and for her to have an understanding of that. And some people did think she were a bit young but it worked and if it hadn't then I'm not sure what would have happened with it, I don't think we would have continued to, to both enjoy the breastfeeding as much. But as it happened she quite happily accepted it, but then at twenty months she decided that she wanted to stop, it was a very difficult time, she'd cut down quite a lot, she were only feeding before she went to sleep, at this point she were going to bed so she fed before she went to bed and she would quite happily have a feed and then toddle off to bed.       
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