Stella Onions with her children speaking to David Kidney
Where are you from?
Manchester & Shropshire
Why are you passionate about breastfeeding?
I always assumed that because breastfeeding was natural, it would be easy. How wrong I was! After giving birth to my daughter I came home and apart from the community midwife and my husband, after work, had no support at all. No family living in the UK. I really struggled to breastfeed, but I was fiercely determined. Although the midwife assured me my latch was fine, my daughter started losing weight and my nipples were shredded! I was advised that my daughter was using me as a dummy and that she was starving!
With blood pouring down the front of my T-shirt I relented and gave her a bottle of formula and a dummy. However, it didn’t feel right to me and I started expressing when I could. After a few days, I was able to give her a bottle of ebm and able to tip the formula into the bin where it belonged!
My nipples gradually healed and somewhere between week 4 and 5, we had it sorted between us. DD was gaining weight beautifully, my nipples had healed and we were set to get to 6 months. A week later my father died suddenly and I was able to scoop my dd up and jump on a plane to be with my mum in South Africa. I don’t think I could have contemplated doing this if I was formula feeding. At six weeks old, how many bottles would you have to carry for a 24 hour door to door trip on 3 different planes? Travelling on my own with my tiny baby really made me realise how portable breastfed babies are. I can highly recommend it.
Hindsight, of course, is a wonderful thing and now that I know a little more about breastfeeding, it is obvious that the latch was not fine and just a simple adjustment would probably have sorted it out. Although it was only a few weeks at times you imagine it will always be like that. I subsequently nursed my daughter right through my next pregnancy and have been tandem nursing for nearly 2 ½ years now.
The more I find out about the dangers of formula feeding, the more I realise that it is only marketing hype that makes formula out to be a ‘good guy’, when really it can be dangerous and should only be used when all else really has failed. I fear that in the future, people will ask why they weren’t told the whole truth about formula and it’s potential dangers.
I could go on, but Moomum has said enough is enough.
Best moment of breastfeeding campaigning
Breastfeeding my son live on air on the Lorraine Kelly show
What makes you happy?
Chocolate, breastfeeding, chocolate, playing with my children, chocolate,
red wine, chocolate….
What makes you angry?
People who make assumptions and label people / things without knowing anything about them / the subject and lack of chocolate!
What are you working on right now?
- Setting up a new magazine. A general publication, with mum to mum stories and it will be WHO Code Compliant.
- Member of the
The Baby Feeding Law Group
- Member of the
North West Breastfeeding Liaison Group
- Support the
- Training to be an
NCT Breastfeeding Counsellor
- Trying to raise and breastfeed two young children in between all the above – children now aged nearly 2 ½ and nearly 4 years old.