Lisa Robinson says she was unable to breastfeed her child and Dr Claire Ingham adds that breastfeeding is a learned skill that western women are poorly taught
I read your article stating that England’s low breastfeeding rates were due to advice going unheeded (Report, 25 October) and, as a mother who didn’t breastfeed, I wanted to respond.
I did not just heed the advice to breastfeed, I pored over it. Even now, more than a decade later, I can recall with absolute clarity a vision of my younger self excitedly reading pregnancy books. I devoured the passages on the benefits of breastfeeding.
There was never any question in my mind how my baby would be fed. My baby would be breastfed. Then my baby was born. And the bubble burst. There are other, more painful memories, that you should know about, other memories that more than a decade later still hurt.
The memories of everyone telling me that I must not have enough milk because he wanted to feed all the time. The memory of lying awake all night, every night, consumed by worries which, as I succumbed to exhaustion and sleep deprivation, gave way to blind terror that I was starving my baby. The memory of the constant, endless, stream of people telling me I should give formula. No one, not one person, helped me to breastfeed, gave me any reassurance, encouragement or information that what we were going through was normal, and not indicative of a problem.