Breastfeeding Support from Downend Clinic, Bristol: A Mum’s Experience

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Bristol Mum regularly features articles and information on the various types of support available for mums and dads in Bristol.

Today features a mum’s account of one of the breastfeeding support groups in Bristol which offers mums an invaluable source of support.

Here Kimberlee, a Bristol mum who writes The Home Made Mama, talks about her experiences of the breastfeeding support group at Downend Clinic on Buckingham Gardens in Downend, Bristol.

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When I had my son 3 years ago I assumed I would breastfeed because my mother had breastfed us. However things didn’t quite go to plan. I struggled because my milk supply was very low. I just didn’t seem to be producing any milk.

I felt like a huge failure! I remember crying a lot over those first few weeks. My son was crying in hunger & I was ready to give up completely. I just thought I was one of those women who just couldn’t breastfeed. However my midwife told me to pop along to my local breastfeeding support group before giving up.

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At the time we lived in Downend & our local support group was run by a local NCT breastfeeding advisor called Ann. I had met her as part of my antenatal classes before and didn’t think she’d have much to add to her lesson. I arrived thinking it was a pointless exercise, but wanting to say that I had tried everything before giving up.

However I’m so thankful that I went. Ann sat with me for two hours & showed me different ways to express to increase my supply, how to latch my son properly and also gave me lots of dietary advice that would increase milk supply. I also got to chat to other mums who had also struggled at the beginning, but who now loved it. It gave me hope that I could do something to make it better & that maybe I would manage to breastfeed.

I went home & followed all of the advice I received. I expressed, had skin to skin at every opportunity, drank what felt like 20 pints of water a day & ate porridge like it was going out of fashion! It all worked & my supply increased. We were managing to exclusively breastfeed without lots of tears at last. That wouldn’t have happened without the help & support I received at my breastfeeding group.

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It turned out that I had retained placenta which stopped my body from producing milk as it still thought I was pregnant. After a nasty bleed at 6 weeks post natal I had it removed. I woke up from the operation looking like I had beach balls up my top because I was so engorged with milk. We never had supply problems again.

I continued to go to the support group though as I had made some good friends there, but also so I could help other ladies feeling as low as I did when breastfeeding felt impossible. I went on to breastfeed until Henry’s second birthday. I am now breastfeeding my second child without any problems. I am 100% sure that this would not be the case if I hadn’t received such support & un-judgemental advice that first day.

Written by Kimberlee from ‘The Homemade Mama’ (http://www.thehomemademama.co.uk)

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If you would like to contact the Breastfeeding Support Group at Downend Clinic in Bristol, please phone 0117 330 2505.

If you would like to find details of the breastfeeding support group nearest to you, please visit the Bristol Mum’s Breastfeeding Support Groups page.

Please email bristol_mum@hotmail.com if you would like to share your experiences of a breastfeeding support group in Bristol.

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