Remi Peers from the UK has shared a revealing Instagram post opening up about the struggles she faced while breastfeeding as a new mum, including her painful experience with mastitis.
Although the post was taken around 10 months ago, she recently shared her story with her followers after hitting the one-year mark of breastfeeding.
“This is mastitis. After hitting the 1 year breastfeeding mark last Sunday I felt compelled to share my story. Breastfeeding did NOT come easy for me,” she wrote.
The 24-year-old has called for better education and awareness around breastfeeding because she feels mums aren’t “taught” properly about the subject.
Remi was the only mum breastfeeding on her ward and says she was never taught about cluster feeding.
“While the other babies slept with full bellies, my son screamed and cried attached to my breast through the night. (What was cluster feeding? Nobody told me),” she writes.
“When I got home, problems started to arise-my nipple literally cracked in half. I have never felt such pain, I dreaded every feed, but persisted with tears in my eyes until I was healed. (Nobody taught me that breastfeeding could be painful, nobody taught me what a good latch looked like).”
She was too embarrassed to breastfeed in public, which ultimately led to clogged ducts and engorgement, and then mastitis.
“At 5am I woke up my boyfriend and told him I thought I needed to go to the hospital. We got my stepdad, a doctor, he took my temperature and said it was slightly high, but to take a paracetamol and try to sleep. 7am comes, I’ve had no sleep, and now I’m vomiting, he takes my temp again – 40C. I had developed sepsis overnight,” she shared.
Thankfully she was treated and her sepsis improved within 24 hours. She was given antibiotics for her mastitis, which went away after nine days.
“During my hospital stay, I repeatedly asked for a pump, because if I didn’t drain the breast my mastitis would get worse (and it did),” she said. “The nurse’s response was ‘we’re having trouble finding one as we don’t get many breastfeeding mothers here.’”
She added: “There’s a lot more to this story, but my point is, the lack of support and education surrounding breastfeeding is just terrible. And I don’t mean in terms of relaying the benefits of breastmilk and handing out lactation support leaflets. I mean general education, about the basics of breastfeeding, about cluster feeding, about the problems that can arise and what to do, how to spot them and how to remedy them.”
Other mothers praised her for sharing her story.
“What a fantastic post. I totally agree. 17 years ago as a first time mum I was left to breastfeed... I was put on a ward of bottle feeders and just left to it. I was told to just do it for 3 months like it was some kind of chore… Work (employing 4400) could not offer me anywhere to pump. Their answer was if I wanted to do that, do it in the staff toilet!!! So I gave in. We are backwards you are right,” wrote one.
Another commented: “This post has truly shown me how important educating patients truly is. I can't imagine how much pain you were going through, but thank you for sharing your story!”