Following on from my previous post about the compassion shown by 5 groups of people, to me as a first-time mum, I’d particularly like to acknowledge the following for their significant contribution to my breastfeeding journey, and that of countless women.
Their compassion to families, particularly mothers, is astounding.
They’ve deeply felt the heart of mothers, so much so that they reach out and help to make their journeys that much easier.
1. NCT Lactation Specialist
Where do I even start from with this … the tears are flowing now!
That someone, you, would be so kind to a stranger, me …
I can’t get my head around it.
This lovely lady was recommended to me by a dear friend who breastfed over a decade ago and … my … this is hard to write, the tears are really flowing.
Thanks dear A, for accepting my anguished call and calmly dealing with my hysterical crying over the phone. You gave me my first glimmer of hope that I might just be able to FULLY breastfeed my son – my breastfeeding goal.
I can’t get it around my head that you agreed to see me for a FULL consultation in your house FOR FREE, and later at the children centre!
You worked with me so carefully, so gently, so calmly, so COMPASSIONATELY! You gave so many tips to help me regain my milk supply.
I am so pleased to say that my little boy and I MADE IT in the end! We’ve now been breastfeeding for over a year … I still can’t believe it.
Thank you so very much for you COMPASSION just when I needed it, and for playing such a crucial role on my breastfeeding journey.
It takes years to train as a lactation consultant; it requires compassion, warmth, and sensitivity; usually beyond the call of duty.
You can search for one in your local area on the Laction Consultant Great Britain’s website.
2. La Leche League (LLL)
I’ll always remember the practical tips and emotional support that my leader gave me over the phone, and in person.
Thanks lovely N, for helping me understand more about my milk supply problems, and for giving me fantastic and easy tips to work with.
I’ll never forget when you told my husband and I that my baby was rooting for milk when he bobbed his head against my chest; I thought he was angry with me. 🙂 You and C do such a fab job!
3. UK Maternity Service
I’m glad that I live in a country with such good, and publicly funded maternity services.
How brilliant to have a named midwife for prenatal and postnatal appointments, NHS* birth / breastfeeding / parenting classes, well equipped hospitals and birthing units, and staff with proper qualifications.
To the medical and administrative staff at the hospital I gave birth in,
I’d like to say a massive thank you for the job you do: laying beds, correctly distributing medication and food, answering questions no matter how obvious the answers might be, providing medical, physical, and emotional support all day long, in a very high pressured environment.
Though my birth plan did not go as planned, I am so delighted that my Precious Sparkle latched on within the first hour of being born, with your help.
A massive thank you to the GPs**, midwives, obstetricians, pediatrician, breastfeeding specialist, nursery nurses, maternity assistants, and other lovely people who worked with us.
Your compassion and consideration at one of the most fragile but crucial points in our lives will always be remembered.
I’m also grateful for the Maternity Services Liaison Committees (MSLC) around the UK who seek to improve maternity services.
My local MSLC is fantastic, what a great job they do.
I have enjoyed every meeting I’ve attended and I’m so glad for the opportunity to share my views as a user of the services you provide. It’s so lovely to feel heard, and definitely an encouragement to see improvements. I know I’ll benefit from these next time round 🙂
If are you are not currently involved with your local MSLC, I really encourage you to find out about them and get involved; you can help to improve maternity services for other women and their families in your local area.
*National Health Service ** General Practioner
4. Breastfeeding Matters‘ Contributors
I am so grateful for all the breastfeeding mothers who contribute articles, and their editorial skills to this fabulous LLL Great Britain’s magazine. My LLL leader introduced me to it and I now get one every 2 months with my LLL Membership.
The breastfeeding journeys I read, during my difficult breastfeeding months, …
gave me so much encouragement whilst pumping and feeding my Precious Sparkle.
They made me feel that I wasn’t alone in my struggles to achieve my breastfeeding goal, …
they gave me hope that my persistence might just pay off,
they motivated me to keep believing in what seemed impossible – being able to fully breastfeed my Precious Sparkle after my dwindling milk supply in the weeks I should have been establishing it …
and to keep trying.
I hope to contribute my breastfeeding story soon and you can too; perhaps it might help another mum on their journey.
5. Breastfeeding Products and Services’ Providers
I found it very hard to go out of the house with my baby for many months. ‘Where would I change and feed my Precious Sparkle’, I wondered amidst other concerns.
Special thanks to the Bentall Centre, one of the many UK retailers who have clean baby changing and feeding rooms for parents. You can also find them in some John Lewis, Mothercare, and Boots; and you don’t need to shop there to use them.
There are also other companies like Frugi who have specially designed breastfeeding clothes to make it comfortable for women to breastfeed without worrying too much about what they are wearing. Of course, you don’t need breastfeeding clothes to breastfeed, but I’ve found the few that I have very handy for breastfeeding when I’m out of the house.
Breastfeeding covers are also so helpful; massive thanks to whoever invented it. It really helped me and I’m sure other women, to develop their confidence with breastfeeding in public. Of course, it’s not a breastfeeding need and I rarely use mine now, but it helped me at the relevant stage on my journey.
And breast pumps!
They significantly contributed to saving my breastfeeding relationship. Deep gratitude to whoever invented them and to companies like Ardo, Medela and Philips Avent who continue to improve them for a more comfortable pumping experience.
A massive shout-out to Ir at Ardo, for their incredible customer service which I experienced on the few occasions I called to ask questions about the Ardo pump I loaned from one of the children centres in my area.
You might not remember me, but those 2 or 3 conversations with you were such lifesavers at those points on my breastfeeding journey; thanks for the COMPASSION you showed me, beyond the call of duty.
A shout-out to Medela too, for the incredible online support they give to breastfeeding mums on their Facebook page. I so wish I knew about them much earlier. Their incredible lactation consultant, Sioned answers questions in their Drop in Clinic, Pregnancy Hour, and Breastfeeding Cafes; and it doesn’t matter whether you are a Medela customer or not!
I suppose I can go and on, but I must end somewhere.
Thanks to the 1000 Voices Speak for Compassion Project; it has inspired me to reflect on compassion in many ways; giving it and receiving it. I will continue to consider and write about this theme.
This list is of course not exhaustive, what would you add?
Linkup: Facebook page/group & linky #1000Speak | #MaternityMatters #BreastfeedingandI
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