National Lottery Community Fund

Oxfordshire Breastfeeding Support

 Donate through Local Giving 

OBS Join us button
 Newsletter for Health Care Professionals

OBS Case Study - Emma

OBS Case Study Emma

I gave birth on March 1st 2019 to my baby girl. I live in Oxford with my husband, but we have no family around at all, so it’s just the two of us. During pregnancy I suffered with antenatal mental health problems including depression and anxiety. One aspect that really upset and worried me (reduced me to tears every time a midwife or anyone else asked about it) was breastfeeding. I felt it somehow unnatural and would even use the word disgusting to describe it. I did not think this of anyone else feeding their babies - it was specific to me feeding my baby.

Once born, my baby was given to me to feed and I lay there terrified waiting for a midwife to show me what to do. They tried to help, but I couldn't get the hang of it. I had a screaming, hungry baby and it was so very painful. I cried constantly for the next few days. Between feeds I wanted nothing to do with the baby because she was the source of all the pain.

She explained how she could help me learn to latch the baby to reduce the pain, but ultimately if I didn't want to continue - that was OK too. This was so important for me to hear.

An NCT friend messaged me and suggested I try to get to an OBS session in Jericho. My husband got us there on day 5 and I immediately felt a sense of relief. Charlotte sat with me and was so reassuring. She explained how she could help me learn to latch the baby to reduce the pain, but ultimately if I didn't want to continue - that was OK too. This was so important for me to hear. I somehow gathered real determination - surrounded by other amazing women all working hard to feed their babies and felt it was something I really wanted to do - even if I wasn't loving it at the time.

I now get a real sense of pride and feel more bonded to my baby than I think I might otherwise have been had I given up. I am 100% certain though, had I not found OBS that day, I wouldn't have continued. Breastfeeding ended up protecting my postnatal mental health.

My baby is now 7 months old and has been exclusively breastfed (other than starting solids at 6 months). I now get a real sense of pride and feel more bonded to my baby than I think I might otherwise have been had I given up. I am 100% certain though, had I not found OBS that day, I wouldn't have continued. Midwives couldn't offer the focused time and didn't have the knowledge really needed to help me. They kept telling me the latch 'looked' fine and it was 'bound to hurt', which isn't necessarily true. It turned out my baby had a genuine tongue tie. With continued face to face support from OBS we managed to get past this and relearn the latch.

Over the course of the last 7 months, feeding has thrown other difficulties at me that I wasn't expecting and I have found the online Facebook support group amazing for mum to mum support. I have been kept going - and now, looking forwards, I'm hoping to be able to keep feeding my baby for some time - even if just before and after work when I return. I no longer find it disgusting, I find the time precious and I'm very lucky to have managed to get this far. Breastfeeding ended up protecting my postnatal mental health. It’s not for everyone, but the support offered by OBS definitely is.

Oxfordshire Breastfeeding Support logo