National Lottery Community Fund

Oxfordshire Breastfeeding Support

 Donate through Local Giving 
OBS Join us button Newsletter for Health Care Professionals

OBS Case Study - Kumari

I first heard about OBS shortly after giving birth to my son “Elijah”. Elijah was born nearly 5 weeks early and because he was premature, feeding presented a significant challenge from the start.

Any spare moment I had was spent on expressing milk and sterilizing bottles, and given that I have no family living close by, my husband and I dealt with this challenging start to parenthood on our own. We felt exhausted and overwhelmed, which left little room for bonding with Elijah.

Due to my baby’s low birth weight, I had to spend a lot of time expressing and feeding him using a syringe, and eventually a bottle. Since Elijah was very lethargic, he often had to be woken up to feed every two hours. Nothing prepared my husband and I for the challenges of feeding a premature baby. Feeding became a source of extreme anxiety. Any spare moment I had was spent on expressing milk and sterilizing bottles, and given that I have no family living close by, my husband and I dealt with this challenging start to parenthood on our own. We felt exhausted and overwhelmed, which left little room for bonding with Elijah.
 
By the time I left the hospital, we had a plan for feeding Elijah that we stuck to, but what we didn’t have was a plan for moving beyond this bottle-feeding regime. What I really wanted was to reduce the amount of time I was spending on expressing milk and be able to feed Elijah directly at the breast. My husband and I started to attend OBS sessions in the hopes that we would be able to make this transition.
 
Over the course of several months we frequently attended OBS drop-in sessions and found them immensely helpful. The facilitators became an enormous source of support and strength for us throughout these months. I always left the sessions feeling much more positive and self-assured. Eventually, I was able to fully shift from bottle feeding to exclusive breastfeeding.
 
While I started attending OBS sessions for one specific issue, I found myself going back on a regular basis as I navigated the ups and downs of breastfeeding. The facilitators advised me on a number of different issues such as: finding an optimal feeding position, latching challenges, how to safely express and store breast milk, coping with blocked milk ducts and advice on how to combine feeding with returning to work. After each session I felt more confident and empowered.

I appreciate that OBS did not advocate a one-size-fits-all approach to breastfeeding. Instead, they listened to me as an individual and really encouraged me to trust my own instincts as a mother.  

What I came to value most about the OBS facilitators was not only their wealth of knowledge backed up by scientific evidence, but their experience as mothers. The advice they offered me each week was always practical, non-judgmental and supportive. Each time I walked through the doors of an OBS session, I felt as though I was getting a big hug and an acknowledgement that I was doing ok. I appreciate that OBS did not advocate a one-size-fits-all approach to breastfeeding. Instead, they listened to me as an individual and really encouraged me to trust my own instincts as a mother.  
 
Having come through the other side of a very difficult start to becoming a parent, my husband and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to OBS as an organization and to their amazing facilitators: Charlotte, Emily, Jayne and Lisa. Were it not for their support, I would have probably abandoned breastfeeding altogether. Thank you so much from the bottom of our hearts.

Oxfordshire Breastfeeding Support logo