Breastfeeding Made Easy | Book review & giveaway (CLOSED)

I know it’s a little odd me writing about this book as I’m not breastfeeding any more, but I received the Breastfeeding Made Easy book just as I was switching to the bottle – it would have been so handy for me beforehand but I thought it would still be great to review it as I could maybe help someone in the future, even if only on something small, and I could recommend it to people in the future too. Obviously it’s also taken me a long time to get through it, as it is a long book; but in turn that means it’s very informative.

Anything that can help you find out more about breastfeeding is great; whether that be friends, peers on social media, peer supporters, midwives, or books. This book literally covers everything. There are 23 chapters covering subjects such as [actually] breastfeeding, facts about babies, problems with the breast, weaning, illness, fertility whilst breastfeeding, and many many more.

It is written by Carlos Gonzalez, and he writes with both seriousness and humour. Though at some points I did feel he was being critical towards formula feeding mothers, but obviously if you are going to read this book you are planning on breastfeeding anyway so it wouldn’t particularly bother you, and he is of course promoting breastfeeding (I read some of these parts at the point when I was still a bit sensitive; later on it didn’t really bother me).

There are lots of useful images so as well the written word of his advice, you can actually see what to do or what he is referring to. At the end of every chapter there are also references to other literature which has been mentioned so you can seek further information if you wish to do so. Carlos also includes links to support, which is fantastic.

There are some really interesting facts in this book which I had absolutely no idea about and I have come away with a whole new mountain of knowledge which I may be able to pass on to someone else at some point – you never know when that little thing could come up in conversation and a light bulb comes on – “Ooh, I read about that in this great book!”.

It is currently retailing at £9.59 on Pinter & Martin. I think that for anybody who wants to breastfeed, that it is a must buy at this price and I only wish I had read it before N arrived.

My rating – 5/5


Disclosure
I was sent this product free of charge to review. All thoughts & opinions are honest & my own.

If you like the sound of this book, I am giving you a chance to win it. All you have to do is complete the entries in the Rafflecopter below and you’re set – good luck! (None are mandatory, complete as many as you wish).


a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Entries must be received by 11.59 pm on 15/09/2014.
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The winner has 28 days to respond to the email or a new winner will be drawn.
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Family Fever

The depressing truth | In the media

I recently came across an article that a couple of friends posted on social media recently. The headline caught my eye simply because I related to it – The depressing truth behind mums ‘unable’ to breastfeed. I put together three of the words – depressing, unable, breastfeed – and immediately thought of myself. If you have read my blog before you will know that I really struggled to breastfeed both J & N.

The months after J was born were some of the worst of my life because I was unable to breastfeed. I blamed myself, my body didn’t work properly, I couldn’t provide for my baby. My inability to breastfeed led to an enormous amount of breastfeeding guilt. In turn this led to me developing post natal depression. I mention in the post I linked to for the experience with J, that I had help from the support workers. But that was it. They could see that I couldn’t get J to latch, but they didn’t suggest anything else. Now I see it wasn’t my fault, but is a possibility that J had tongue tie; but nobody could diagnose that because I didn’t know about it back then, and nobody else mentioned it to me. So I gave up before I even really tried.

My experience with N was slightly different in that I tried battling on for longer but we had the exact same problem – his latch, or lack of it. We had help from the NICU nurses when we were in transitional care, but nothing when we were discharged. I refused to give him formula as I was so so scared of developing breastfeeding guilt and depression again. The support workers came out to me a few times for a week or so after he was born, but every time they came out it was the same. They could see he couldn’t latch, but nothing else. We attempted, but no other suggestions, nothing. I was simply told as was said in the linked article, “Stick at it and it will click”. So we stuck at it. It didn’t click. This time though I didn’t blame myself as I know I tried my hardest for four weeks, on my own for the most part. Again, a friend mentioned to me recently that N could have tongue tie too. No-one mentioned anything during support.

So far (fingers crossed) I have gotten away with developing depression because I was yet again unable to breastfeed.

Both times, I believe I really could have done with specialist help. Maybe it would have made a difference, maybe it wouldn’t. But just the fact that it would have been a ‘professional’ rather than just support, might have helped me not to become another statistic.

It is so sad and such a shame that there is no specialist help for so many women who really want to breastfeed. It’s okay saying that breast is the best option (which it is, I know), but where is the help, rather than just the support, if women don’t know about it and therefore can’t find it?

Bonding with baby

I recently happened to come across a statement on social media where basically, someone had said that breastfeeding gives you more of a bond with your baby than formula feeding does. This is something which has irritated me before so I thought that now was about the right time to blog about it. I shouldn’t need to state, but this is not at all a dig at breastfeeding as I actually managed a few weeks myself, it’s purely the statement and the derivation of it.

With little man J, we didn’t take to breastfeeding, but that doesn’t mean we didn’t bond whilst feeding. I still remember it like yesterday, the way he used to stare into my eyes, and he used to hold hands whilst he was having his milk. Exactly the same as breastfeeding, yes? The only difference is, that he wasn’t physically ‘connected’ to me whilst feeding, with not being on my boob. (And Daddy gets to bond too).

I do understand that there is a special connection whilst breastfeeding as I had it with N. It does make you feel amazed, that you are feeding this little person with great Mummy milk, but apart from that, I didn’t feel much different than I did with J. In fact, it took me a little longer to bond with N as a lot of the time I used to dread feeding because of the struggles we had. I know this isn’t relevant to everyone though.

The bonding with N whilst feeding was different, but I wouldn’t say any more of a bond than with feeding J. N mostly used to grab my boob whilst feeding, sometimes we would hold hands, I don’t think he ever really stared into my eyes as he was mostly concentrating on boob.

From my experience, I believe that however you feed your baby, you will bond. (I also understand in certain circumstances that you may not). Whether that be by breast, expressed breast milk, donor milk, or formula. Because purely, you are feeding your baby and making them happy & healthy.

The bond surely comes from within, not the source.

J bonding with Daddy, I couldn’t find a photo with me.
N bonding with Mummy.

Family Friday

Breastfeeding envy

As my regular readers will know, I suffered terribly with breastfeeding guilt after not managing to feed J. Though I only managed to feed N for a few weeks and it was quite upsetting for me to stop even though it was my decision, I haven’t suffered with it half as much. One thing I have suffered with though, is breastfeeding envy.

  1. Envy
  2. Envy is an emotion which “occurs when a person lacks another’s superior quality, achievement, or possession and either desires it or wishes that the other lacked it” Bertrand Russell said that envy was one of the most potent causes of unhappiness. Wikipedia

As the definition above goes, I definitely don’t agree with the latter in this respect – I don’t wish that anyone else lacks it and cannot do it as it is a horrible feeling when you can’t. The former though is certainly true for me.

I so desired to just be able to do it this time. Well, not even ‘just do it’; even if it took a few days. I was still struggling after weeks. It just didn’t come natural to me. Or N. Though the times we did manage it, it felt completely natural.

It upsets me when I see that people that seem to take to it like a duck to water. Like it is so easy for them. Natural. Like they just never get that feeling of failure. That they don’t even have to try.

I realise that maybe, just maybe, they have struggled but don’t tell anyone on the outside. But then there are those who tell everyone just how easy it was for them. (Here I will add that nobody has ever made me feel purposely inferior, it’s just something in my mind that tells me I am).

Every time I see someone breastfeeding, I am overcome with a mixture of feelings. Happiness; that their child is getting the most natural food and that they are doing the most natural thing. Disappointment. In myself, for the fact that I quit, again. Envy. Because one thing that is supposed to be so natural, just didn’t come natural for me when I so desired it to.

I’m not sure I will ever be able to brush this feeling off.

Guilt, yes, in time.

Envy, I just don’t know.

Though perhaps, that will disappear in time, too.

Why I’m bittersweet…

The week of June 20-26 is Breastfeeding Awareness Week in Britain.

During this week there will be a Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt.

I’m feeling very bittersweet about it this year.

Last year I was just sad, as I had hoped to be taking part in it with our angel.

The year before I had already failed with J, so was much the same.

Don’t get me wrong, I am very pro-breastfeeding.

It just didn’t work for us, and it made me oh so sad.

I would have loved to take part this year.

Seeing all the posts about it brings me a tinge of sadness as it’s still very fresh in my mind.

BUT…

I think that the scavenger hunt is a fantastic initiative; helping people, raising awareness, gaining knowledge.

If YOU are breastfeeding, go hunt!