Thursday 26 June 2014

Guest Post: Susan from SBM Artwork shares her breastfeeding experiences

Breastfeeding for me.

My journey started with difficulty. After an emergency caesarean and being quite unwell after surgery my little one slept for days. Once he woke we realised quite soon that he had a full thickness tongue tie (from back to tip). He fed amazingly putting on 1lb a week and not losing any birth weight.... But he ripped me to shreds! I got support, he had the tie divided (although he still has one which I find cute as so do I and his sister). I ended up with infection and several abscesses which I ended up in hospital with. Several times consultants and my GP advised stopping breastfeeding but this seemed to conflict with everything I knew and felt about breastfeeding. I found that breastfeeding actually got me through all of that. The bond I had with my son not only made all of the physical difficulties of the caesarean and the infection something that I felt I had to get through, but it helped me get through them. The hormones released when feeding can help with the bond as well as with physical and emotional healing as discussed by the La Leche League.

Which boy did I need!

I lost most of my supply in the affected left breast and spent the remainder of that year feeding my son mainly from the right side. Yes I was lopsided for a while which horrified me but evened out eventually!

When my son was 22 months old I had my daughter in a more natural manner avoiding an unwanted repeat caesarean. Breastfeeding went well and although she too had a tongue tie it was much less of one and did not cause any issues. Both breasts had a good supply this time and I am proud to report that she self weaned at just over 3 years of age. 

Breastfeeding, pregnancy, birth and motherhood inspire much of my artwork. As does feminine strength, vulnerability and power. Not everyone wants or is able to Breastfeed for one reason or another and I do feel that recognising individual need and choice is so very important in maternal health. However, I also feel that our culture, recent history and formula marketing as well as our individualised way of living lends itself to a much more difficult society for breastfeeding. One of the key elements in my own breastfeeding journey has been support. Without the support of my husband, mother and good friends it would actually have been a very different journey.

Much love
Susan xx
In 2012 Susan decided to start exhibiting her work and step further into the world of Art. Two years on and she has had illustrations published in two children’s books, a street art video made, exhibited in several beautiful venues, and had book covers, sketches and paintings commissioned. During the rest of 2014 she has several more books to illustrate and a new animation project for a singer/songwriter.

Susan has promised an original illustration for the winner of the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt. 
If you’ve been looking for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Logo you have found it!  Below you will find links to other bloggers and companies that are involved in the hunt this year and the rafflecopter which you can use to gain entries towards being eligible to win the £1000 worth of breastfeeding and baby goodies.

Buy illustrations and artwork from Susan Merrick
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. My first feed + the time i saw my baby

  2. Baby sleeping on my chest - most amazing feeling

  3. Daddy standing cuddling baby, whilst I cuddle him from behind and look at baby. I'd then have our son, who passed away at 13 hours, watching over us all x

  4. me breastfeeding my son while my two daughters are on each side of me cuddled up

  5. The first time we were all together as a family

  6. My partner,3yr old and myself with my newborn day after she was born

  7. The moment I lifted my daughter out of the water(water birth)

  8. the first moment mum and baby eyes meet

  9. The first hold ... magical :-)