Welcome to our World Breast Feeding Week Hub
This World Breast Feeding Week, we're excited to shine a light on our very own Breastfeeding colleagues from across our Trust.
On their own personal breastfeeding journey; they celebrate the choice that they have made in breastfeeding their little ones.
Alison's Breastfeeding Story
I returned to work when Tobias was 11 months old and still feeding all day and night at home. My manager is very supportive allowing me as much time as I need to express, i was provided with pumps and given somewhere to store milk whilst on shift. The infant feeding team have been a great help too giving me lots of advice and tips. All of them made coming back to work so much less stressful and has allowed me to continue our breastfeeding journey.
Alison and Tobias (Midwife)
Emma's Breastfeeding Story
I came back to work when Lucy was 11 months old. I felt really well supported by you as an Infant Feeding Team - loaning me and electric pump and talking through any worries and concerns. I used the old handover room for a while to express but rapidly got less and less off, and she wouldn't really drink it at the childminders.
So eventually we just fed when I was at home before and after work. At 17 months she suddenly stopped and no amount of attempting to dream feed would get her back on which I was a bit sad about at the time. I'm 3 months into this breastfeeding journey now, so who knows what might happen!
Emma Pike, Midwife
Hayley's Breastfeeding Story
I have very returned to work following maternity leave and my daughter is 13 months old. I exclusively breastfed until she was 6 months old and have continued breastfeeding since she has weaned onto solids. I was anxious about returning to work as she has never taken milk from a bottle or cup, and often feeds to sleep.
As a labour ward Midwife, I work a range of shifts including long days and nights so was concerned she would not settle without me; however, she has adapted extremely well and sought comfort in other ways. I do have to express once during my shift and have found my colleagues and seniors to be extremely supportive, always providing a private space for me, and never making me feel rushed or a burden.
Breastfeeding toddlers isn’t something we see too often in British culture, but I have been greeted with lots of positive comments since returning to work and have received genuine compassion and sensitivity with regards to being apart from my daughter. It hasn’t always been easy, and I did have to extend my maternity leave and make some last-minute changes to my hours because of her dependency on breastfeeding.
But I know that this is only for such a short period in both of our lives and feel that continuing to breastfeed only strengthens our bond.
Hayley Anderson Midwife
Sarah's Breastfeeding Story
So many years ago, I returned to work on BC while still fully breastfeeding my daughter at 7 months old. I worked 2 days. On those days she went to a childminder with the milk I'd expressed on the previous shift. It all worked well, in this way for another 18 months. She fed normally on my days off with no issue.
I remember sitting in the breastfeeding room on BC, now a storage room sadly, using my electric pump. This was way before the abundance of current, high-tech pumps which look amazing - colleagues often commented on the sad sound of my pump behind the door!
Sarah Darling Midwife, Birth Centre
Fiona's Breastfeeding Story
Hi, my name is Fiona, and I am a midwife at BWH. I breastfed my first baby until she naturally weaned at 2 years of age and my second until we he was 3.5 years old. Both breastfeeding journeys ended peacefully and gently for which I was grateful. I had to return to work when both of my children turned one. Neither of them would take a bottle of expressed milk! So, whilst at nursery or at home with Dad they had to transition to sippy cups.
This did take time, but they got there in the end. I tried to express at work, but my breasts just responded best to my babies and often I dived in the door and feeding was first priority along with a cup of tea! I was ready to go to work and have a different part to me that wasn't Mummy, but equally coming home and breastfeeding them bought a wonderful reconnection.
It felt good to be able to provide 100% reliable comfort at the drop of a hat. It felt good supporting their immune systems which are underdeveloped until at least 2 years of age. My mother died aged 41 of breast cancer, so I also wanted to breastfeed for longer to get the most protection for myself also. Breastfeeding is so personal, but I feel proud of my achievement.
I had a lot of tough times, it wasn't easy...but I did it, and I did it how my babies and I wanted to. And this is what I urge anyone else to do... do what you feel is right, don't change because of different people's opinion. Also, breastfeeding doesn't have to be an all or nothing phenomena. As we return to work, or as life continues, it just changes with us, if that's what we want.
My breastfeeding journey is something I am most proud about, I hope every feeding person feels the same, no matter the length of journey- give yourself the credit you deserve!
Fiona Jones, Midwife
Sheryl's Breastfeeding Story
I did for both work and study! I completed my neonatal QIS course and breastfed my son during the online lectures and then came back to work and used to pump on break and sometimes during drug rounds. I had the pumps that just fit into your bra.
The NICU were so supportive and let me store my milk in the milk fridge. I would wash and sterilise my pumps in the expressing room on the NICU and parents would talk to me about it, it was great being able to relate to them and it gave them hope for their breastfeeding journeys.
Sheryl NICU Nurse
Amy's Breastfeeding Story
I returned to work when my daughter was 13 months old, I felt supported by work to be able to pump during work in a private space. This was for my own comfort as she was still breastfed at home.
I continued to do this until she was 19 months old when unfortunately, our breastfeeding journey came to an end, but we have a loving and close relationship because of it.
Amy Totney, Midwife