A first-time mum is urging other new mums to experience the joy that breastfeeding brings.
Shellby Kendrick, 28, from Mottram, has breastfed her five-month-old son, Travis Dean Kendrick, from birth with the help of her hospital midwife, family and friends.
Shellby is sharing her breastfeeding story in support of Breastfeeding Celebration Week to promote its benefits.
Shellby said: “When I returned home from hospital I had two amazing midwives that visited to show me the different feeding positions.
“Breasting has given me a really strong bond with my son. I was also encouraged to breastfeed by my family and friends who were breastfeeding at the time.”
She continued: “It feels nice knowing I’m giving him something no-one else can give him. Breastfeeding makes me feel proud - he’s thriving.”
There have been some good and bad points to having a baby in the pandemic for Shellby.
Lockdown left her feeling a bit lonely and bored, and of course not being able to spend time with friends and family.
However, she loved the slower pace of life and having all the extra time to spend with Travis.
Lack of support is one of the key reasons given by mums for giving up breastfeeding.
Home-Start Oldham, Stockport and Tameside (HOST), a local community network of trained staff and volunteers who work in partnership with the Community Infant Feeding Team (a jointly commissioned service who also offer support to mums in Oldham) and Tameside Hospital, have been providing support over the phone to Shellby.
She added: “I’ve found the support provided by Home-Start HOST really helpful - they were always there to help and for a good chat.
“I would say to anyone wanting to breastfeed to have patience and to be kind to yourself. If you need help and support make sure you ask for it. It can be hard at times, in those early weeks, but it really does get easier and when it does it’s the most amazing journey you will have with your baby.”
Shellby has also signed up to do the volunteer Infant Feeding Peer Support training with Home-Start/Breastfeeding Network (BfN) to help other mums to breastfeed.
Visit https://www.tameside.gov.uk/health/breastfeeding for more help and support.