LEEMING resident Celestina Chong said breastfeeding quickly became a painful, distressing ordeal after the birth of her son Tobias.
But an early call to Fiona Stanley Hospital’s lactation clinic allowed her to exclusively breastfeed for the first time this week – seven weeks after his birth.
She and partner Anthony Widjaja spoke to the Melville Times during World Breastfeeding Week, encouraging other families to seek help early.
“I’d had trouble latching Tobias and was sore, but when the midwives came in they said he looked like he was on fine,” Mrs Chong said.
“I’d had a caesarean and between that and feeding I was still sore when at home and was sick of expressing as well as trying to breastfeed Tobias. So after three or four days I decided to call the lactation clinic.”
They made several visits to the clinic where lactation consultant Leanne Graham helped Mrs Chong feed her baby in a way that worked for both mother and child.
Mrs Chong said the pain eased gradually and the moral support and encouragement to keep going was invaluable.
She felt her bond to Tobias grow with her increased ability to breastfeed.
“We would have given up without that support,” she said.
Mrs Graham said research showed if a baby was breastfed for the first six months the health benefits, in terms of preventing major illnesses, were there for life.
“It’s all about positioning and attaching your baby to your breast – it’s a very individual thing,” she said.
“Ninety-five per cent of women come to us wanting to breastfeed, or we can help women who have tried everything and feel it’s not good for their family (to continue) and we support other decisions.”
The service is available to women who deliver at Fiona Stanley Hospital.