Parent Stories

Since we started running our support groups, we have had a lot of success stories. Here are a few that you may be interested to read about:

Support to continue breastfeeding:

I’m so glad I went to group as I got advice, support, tricks and techniques. It meant I went from painful breastfeeding (where I was consistently told everything was OK) to being able to continue breastfeeding. Not only felt the Lactation Consultant made such a huge impact but everyone there supportive, friendly and kind. I only wish I’d come sooner or lived nearer to come more frequently!

– Agata, mum of Oskar

Making breastfeeding comfortable:

Breastfeeding for me was a challenge in the beginning. After a difficult birth I found breastfeeding awkward, painful and emotionally draining. I spent weeks at first struggling through it, biting down on muslin cloths and curling my toes at the pain every time my son latched on. I had read all the research and practice surrounding breastfeeding but nothing compares to finding someone who can help beyond that infuriating phrase ‘tummy to mummy, nipple to nose’.

Kendal Breastfeeding Support Group was my lifeline; a wonderful group of women who were all at varying stages of starting their breastfeeding journey, getting it right and going the distance with it. Just arriving there and knowing that someone might be able to help gave me hope. My issues were simple and complicated all at once, bad posture, bad positioning and the fear of it hurting was causing the majority of my pain. It took time and patience to get things right and Ann Bruce, Breastfeeding Counsellor extraordinaire, gave me this in the bucket load. She assured me breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt, that I did have enough milk and made me believe I could do it, and boy did I! The first time I fed pain free I cried with absolute joy. When my son’s weight went from the 25th percentile to the 85th in 3 days because I was able to feed him on demand in such comfort I was incredibly grateful for everything that Ann and this group gave me. I fed my child till he was 14 months old when breastfeeding came to a natural end.

Breastfeeding should be a joy to do, a wonderful way to bond with your child and a cheap and easy way to feed. If you ever feel discouraged or unsure or there is any discomfort when you feed, find a breastfeeding support group. Seek out your people, those other mums who won’t judge your fear, who won’t tut or roll their eyes because you can’t do something that is supposed to be natural. I found my people with Ann and the Kendal group, my tears of frustration weren’t met with awkward glances but with kind words, a cup of tea and most importantly a knowledgeable and patient breastfeeding counsellor.

– Francine, mum of Jacques

Invaluable support:

The groups are invaluable, so supportive. Kept me breastfeeding in the early days.

– Sarah, mum of William

Instinctive breastfeeding:

When I met my precious baby girl it seemed the most natural thing in the world to put her to the breast. The moment she latched on her tiny body relaxed, and I felt love that I didn’t know before. I quickly found out that the one place she was happiest in was in my arms, breastfeeding. The first weeks after she was born are hazy in my memories, a constant circle of nursing, changing, sleeping, nursing again and again. I followed her lead, day after day, through growth spurts, cluster feeding, fussy periods and sleepless nights.

Despite the usual anxieties and doubts we found our rhythm. Breastfeeding became instinctive and easy. I felt amazed and proud that she was thriving on my milk. As she grew, breastfeeding proved a cure for all fears and worries, scratched knees and first disappointments. She is now almost three and a half and sometimes asks for mummy milk. I look at her in my arms and think of the days when she was tiny and we were embarking on that amazing journey. Nursing gave us an unbreakable bond, a safe haven, something that is uniquely ours. One day, when she’s ready, she won’t ask anymore. Having received all the love, comfort and nourishment at the breast, she’ll be strong and brave and ready for her next big adventure.

– Martina, mum of Elissa

Building confidence:

Coming to the group made me confident with breastfeeding and we’re still going strong at 10 months! I also met new mums with the same mindset as me.

– Amara, mum of Alfie

Feeding on return to work:

The only way I fed my baby for so long and even went back to work while feeding him was because of the group.

– Dora, mum of Marcus

A Dad’s recommendation:

The breastfeeding group is a haven for us parents. There is nothing more stressful than the first moments of your baby’s life, we worry over anything and everything. This group provides support when things go wrong and camaraderie and friendly atmosphere when all is well. I recommend this group, as father of two!

– Michael, father of Nicky and Christopher

Building confidence:

For me, the group is about support, and to meet lovely people and have adult conversation, albeit about boobs and babies.

– Jackie, mum of Toby

Breastfeeding success with support:

Without the group my breastfeeding journey would have been a short, difficult and disappointing one. With help and support I fed my daughter to 17 months and my son to 11 months so far.

– Jodie, mum of Max and Flora

Like-minded mums:

I come to group to meet like-minded people and remind myself that I’m not alone.

– Katie, mum of Brandon

Help with a tongue tie:

My breastfeeding journey so far…

Dora was born by induced labour, it was incredibly quick and resulted in a tear. I was able to have skin to skin from the moment she was born; from the moment she came out she was sucking her fingers and hasn’t stopped since!

The midwife asked me if I was planning on breastfeeding and helped Dora latch on whilst I was being sutured. I was incredibly naïve to all aspects of breastfeeding I honestly thought “well how hard can this be?” How wrong was I!

Breastfeeding was incredibly painful, up on the ward later that day I kept mentioning how painful it was which was met with mixed responses and suggestions some helpful and some not so, during the night by which time my nipples were blistered and every feed was met with pain and stress the most fantastic nursing auxiliary came to help me she looked in Dora’s mouth and said that she had a Tongue Tie. She sat with me and helped me to try and get a better latch taught me various different positions and even cup fed my little one to give me some respite from the pain.

That next morning we were referred for the tongue tie to be divided but unfortunately this could not be done for a further two days. I dreaded every single feed and they took so long there was barely any breaks from the end of one and the start of the next. Finally the tongue tie was divided which took a matter of seconds and appeared to cause very little distress to Dora.

Now I naively thought ‘Brilliant it will be plain sailing from here’ which it wasn’t. The pain was no different. I went to Kendal Breastfeeding Group with a friend and met a brilliant and very patient breastfeeding councillor but this first session ended with my leaving in floods of tears as Dora would just not play ball.

I struggled on with the pain for another week giving the ‘odd bottle’ for some relief and seeking advice from a variety of sources. Two incorrect things stuck in my mind: being told ‘breastfeeding hurts’ and also by a health professional to just stop and give bottles. However, my friend encouraged me to go back which I can honestly say was the best thing I ever did, Ann spent a lot of time helping me with positioning and helping Dora re-learn how to latch.

This I realised finally was not going to happen overnight and was going to take some perseverance but with the different positioning techniques Ann showed me there was an instant improvement in the pain and slowly over the next few days things got easier and less painful.

Now 20 weeks down the line Dora is a healthy 15 pounds 2 ounces, I no longer dread the feeds and I enjoy the closeness and bond it has given us. I am also donating milk to the local milk bank which is something that until recently I didn’t even know existed, it’s so simple and they don’t put you under any pressure to donate set amounts; they send out everything by post and then arrange collections every few weeks, the donated milk goes for premature babies and I think any excess can go for research, breastfeeding has finally become that easy thing I thought it would be from the beginning.

– Sally, mum of Dora

Support that goes beyond the mother and baby:

A new baby is a fabulous time for a household, but coupled with anxiety, magnified by reduced sleep, you can feel a sense of isolation. Add to this the problems we experienced with feeding, and a support body that is both interested and that understands is an absolute godsend. Its benefit is far beyond the mother and baby. By being able to come with my wife to the breastfeeding group was a great way of being able to support her.

– James, father of Thomas

Reducing formula top-ups:

Ok so this is a snippet from my breastfeeding journey. We encountered problems with weight gain when my son was around 4 months old which coincided with him sleeping through the night and also developing reflux which made feeding uncomfortable and of course a good chunk of the feed would come back up. I also had a very chilled out baby that was content most of the time so I had no idea he wasn’t getting enough to eat. I was mortified that my son wasn’t gaining weight and felt a failure as a breastfeeding mother. I started to give formula top ups after breastfeeding and the amount of formula gradually (and sneakily) increased until before I knew it we had almost stopped breastfeeding. I really wasn’t ready to give up breastfeeding so I visited the breastfeeding support group and got wonderful advice from a breastfeeding counsellor about how we could re-establish exclusive breastfeeding and given a plan to wean the formula. Within a month we were exclusively breastfeeding again and we are still going strong at 18 months. We will continue our breastfeeding journey until my sons decides he’s ready to stop.

– Maria, mum of Anton

Grateful dad:

The group gave us support in the early days after our daughter arrived prematurely when we were struggling with readmission to hospital.  My wife was able to continue breastfeeding our daughter as a result which meant, amongst many benefits, that I was able to get largely uninterrupted sleep at night leaving me better able to be helpful with the baby during the daytime

– Dom, father of Lara