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Shaleena's story

Shaleena shares with us her labour and birth story, along with how she prepared and was determined to breastfeed her second child.
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"When I was pregnant with my first child I thought I was prepared but I wasn't, I was far off. I kept saying how hard can it be.. I've taken care of my younger cousins, it's easy. Little did I know. After a c section I tried to breastfeed for roughly 4 weeks, that's as far as I got to be honest, I was in pain and caught an infection and to be honest I had lost all will power by then. Although I would have loved to have  had breastfed him I learnt to accept that I couldn't and it was what it was. 

"Then... When I conceived my second child, the first thing that came to my mind was that I so badly wanted a natural delivery and second thing came to mind was that I had to breastfeed, it was just a natural strong feeling. So for the next 9 months that's all I prepared myself for. I read articles, I listened to videos I spoke to people, but I didn't stick to just one opinion I just kept my options open and any negativity I blanked out completely. 

"Ultimately it's going to be your journey in this, not your mum's, not your mother-in-laws or next door neighbours, you will have your unique experience with your unique baby. So the big day came, and a week before the delivery I did some hypnobirthing, just a video off YouTube, and it was truly amazing, I felt something. I listened to it twice. 

"Then the big day was arriving, my contractions started and I started checking up vids on breathing techniques and followed them all through right till the last stage. We got to hospital at 2am after 5 days of contracting just to be told that I still hadn't dilated (same situation I had with my first one, hence the reason it ended up in a c-section). The midwife I had was amaaazing, she looked me in the eye and said you can do this I believe in you. And I really believed what she said to me. I was so adamant to have a natural delivery, there's nothing wrong with a c section but I guess it was just a natural feeling within me and I followed it. 

"Anyways I was a little disappointed that I hadn't dilated and thought okay so I might have to prepare myself for an op but my mind kept taking me towards a natural. So I was induced at this point. I contracted throughout the morning and into the afternoon, at around 1pm the nurse was off shift and I literally cried when she left, another nurse came who was also brilliant and around 3pm she did a further examination and to my astonishment I had fully dilated, the nurse was ecstatic, along with my hubby and aunt who were also with me. He was born at 4pm. So we had skin to skin and I fed him his first breastmilk. We were home 2 days later and I was super prepared I had a mini fridge in my room the pump all plugged in and set up with extra bottles, nipple cream the lot! 

"The first 4 weeks were extremely difficult, but the midwives really helped out and I received a lot of help from the breastfeeding clinic. Not to mention I had stayed in hospital another night just so that I could ask any questions about breastfeeding, and it was worth it. So my journey began, I won't lie it wasn't easy I even caught mastitis but you have to put your mind to it, you have to keep telling yourself that you can do it and tomorrow is a new day and that you are progressing. 

"My advice to all would be to research everything you can on breastfeeding, literally become an expert at it. Here I am almost 6 months later still breastfeeding. I had put him on formula as I kept getting the infection and it did drain me out, so you have to listen to you body as well. But keep following your instinct and be positive and strong."


01/07/2020