Steph, Isaac, baby Oliver
Steph, Isaac, Baby Oliver
“A woman's body is truly amazing. It's the main reason I became a midwife. It's the one thing we can do and not be compared to the male of the species. It shows our strength both mentally and physically. It truly empowers a woman, no matter how you birth your baby.
This was my second planned cesarean section due to previous birth complications. However, this time I had a natural cesarean section. Oliver was welcomed into a calm environment. He wriggles his own way out and was passed straight to me for skin to skin.
I successfully breastfed my first little boy for one year. However I really struggled to breastfeed my second and gave up after two weeks of struggling and battling through many tears.
I am a midwife and I know what I’m doing, but he still wouldn't latch on.
I really do believe that the baby chooses how to feed. You can not force a baby that will not latch to feed.
This time round I was determined to breastfeed.
Oliver latched on successfully the first time he tried”.
Claire, Phoebe, baby Eleanor
Claire, Phoebe, baby Eleanor
“I think feminism is about balance, choice and respect. I think motherhood is a huge part of this and whatever works best for a family whether that be working full time or being a full time mum, natural birth or pain relief drugs or section, breastfeeding or formula feeding you should still be given the same respect as anyone else.
I absolutely loved giving birth and felt very empowered. Despite the problems both times, as soon as the baby was born I have thought I could do that again.
I didn't have the birth I would have chosen but I think childbirth is such a complex thing that I don't think you really can plan it completely. My plan ultimately was to deliver a healthy baby and I was comfortable with however that came about. I was very lucky that with both babies I was able to feed them immediately and they both latched fine and I think this really helped with breastfeeding and attachment.
I didn't put any pressure on myself and initially just thought I would try breastfeeding and didn't feel any stigmatism about formula feeding if it didn't work for me, but I loved the closeness and convenience of breastfeeding and I felt a great sense of achievement every time my baby was weighed and was gaining weight or went into the next size of clothes. I decided I would continue to 6 months, then a year, then 2 years and Phoebe will be 3 in three months and I still feed her. I just love how in all the mania that is being two, it can totally calm her and send her to sleep in minutes, can't see her stopping any time soon.
With Eleanor I didn't need to wait for my milk to come in and was comfortable in what I was doing.”
Katie, Bobi, baby Seb
Katie, Bobi, baby Seb
“I welcomed my third boy on 3rd March 2017 and at first Sebastian Jude was having trouble with breathing... a few minutes later (to me it felt like a lifetime) he starting crying and I fell in love! He latched on in theatre and breastfed like a pro!
Even though my birth was a planned section, in fact all my births have been sections, I felt a huge bond with Seb straight away! He was placed on my chest and I believe the skin to skin contact helped our bond. Breastfeeding in theatre helped calm me and Seb whilst the surgeon stitched me back together. I didn’t know you can have skin to skin and feed in theatre with my first baby. With my other two I did and it was lovely.
I felt that because I had breastfed my two older boys I had a lot of confidence in knowing what I was doing. Don't get me wrong, breastfeeding is hard and emotional and draining and at times I felt like giving up! But I didn't and I love the fact that my breasts have nourished all my beautiful boys during the first year of theirs life's.”
Elizabeth, baby Flora
Liz and Flora
“Flora was born at home. It was quite a late decision to plan a home birth (35 weeks) but I'm so glad I did. The labour was fairly quick: 11 hours from the first contraction. I was at 41 weeks gestation. Flora was born in water and I had no pain relief! I was just so relaxed. Completely different to Ezra's birth. I loved eating cakes with the midwives afterwards while they stitched me up!
Flora latched on straight away which surprised me because I had difficulties for a while the first time around. I think the non medicalised birth may have helped. I bonded with her straight away but I also again felt the heavy weight of responsibility.
I felt confident with breastfeeding. I knew to expect cluster feeding. I had terrible pain though for the first couple of weeks, I think just because of constant feeding and a tiny baby mouth that couldn't latch deeply yet.
I feel empowered from giving birth. I have grown, birthed and fed two humans. It's an amazing achievement and only a woman can do it.
Feminism is very important to me and my household. I have identified as a feminist since I was about 13 and believe that most people are feminists if they really understand the word. It's about liberty, rights, humanity. And now as a mother I have responsibility to raise my children as feminists, to ensure I have a son and daughter who feel they can be whoever they want to be, that they are equal to each other and that the fight for women is their fight and their responsibility. Luckily I have a husband who was brought up as a feminist too.”