Holly Austin

Posted on July 31 2022


Introducing Holly (owner of Esther & Albie) & her family. Pictured above William (Hubby) and 2 beautiful kids Zoe (5) and Leo (21 months).

What I have discovered through writing this blog post is I have no photos of me breastfeeding my babes. In fact, I am usually the one behind the camera and not in photos - something to work on! 

A bit about the births:

I went into labour naturally with Zoe. However, I never progressed beyond 6cm dilated. When they were monitoring the baby and myself, they noticed that I had a fever and the baby's heart rate was very fast. They suspected that I had an infection. They put me on I.V antibiotics to try to bring my fever down so I could try to deliver the baby naturally. This but this was unfortunately not the case. I was rushed to have an emergency cesarean.

Leo was born by elective cesarean. Was a hard decision, however, I feel it was the best decision for me at the time. After having Zoe, I felt such a great disappointment in my body when I couldn't deliver Zoe naturally (the brain can be cruel sometimes). I couldn't bear feeling that deep disappointment again if I wasn't able to have a V back.

Describe your breastfeeding journey? 
My breastfeeding journey was similar but also different with both children. I was never able to get Zoe to latch properly however I wanted her to be fed breast milk so I exclusively pumped to feed her for 3 months. After three months, it was too much for me mentally so I switched to formula at this time.
With Leo, I managed to feed him for three months with only small formula top ups. He ended up being a very hungry boy and I don't believe I was producing enough milk to keep up with his growing needs. I tried all types of breastfeeding supplements to increase my supply and also took prescribed medication for both breastfeeding journeys. 

I did colostrum harvesting with Leo and I think that definitely helped bring my milk in quicker and gave us a better start to our breastfeeding journey.

What are some things you wish you knew before you started your breastfeeding journey? 

That breastfeeding does not come easy to a lot of people it requires a lot of patience. To be kind to yourself and believe that the baby is getting enough milk unless they are losing weight. 

Any advice for future mums starting their breastfeeding journey?

Try to block out the noise around you. Try not to compare yourself to other people. Everybody's journey is different. Everybody's baby is different. Everybody is different. Every breast is different. What works for one person might not work for others and if it doesn't work for you, it is not your fault. Make sure you have lots of snacks as Mamas get hungry!! Be prepared to sit there for hours on end and just be comfortable with you and your baby. Accept offered help! Try not to rush and be ok with canceling coffee dates or visitors to just be with babe and relax into your journey. As the saying goes, good things take time. Just because you don't get off to a good start with breastfeeding, does it mean that it won’t click at some point for you. Make sure you schedule time for yourself where you are untouched or relied on by anyone else. Remember that a happy mum equals a happy baby. 

Best piece of advice about motherhood that helped you? 

Don't worry about anybody else's opinion. Just do you. Everybody is going to offer advice and or opinion. It is up to you what you do with it. Remember, it is just their opinion and not fact in most cases. I got so hung up by what people thought of me as a mom that it drove me slightly crazy.

If you could turn back time, would you change anything? If so, what and why? 

I would have visited a second opinion lactation consultant for Zoe before I gave up trying to breastfeed her. If it still didn't progress in the right direction.

I would not have persevered for three months, pumping. It led me to a pretty negative headspace to the point where I ended up having a pretty bad mental breakdown and was assigned a mental health nurse. I 100% understand that it works for some people, however my mental health took a decline after having Zoe by emergency c-section and the icing on the cake was that I couldn't breastfeed her.

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