Breast Feeding & Recovery
Suzie Edward May
Member, Arthritis Australia National Consumer Reference Group (rheumatoid arthritis)
Author of ‘Arthritis, pregnancy and the path to parenthood’
I was very determined that I was going to breastfeed and perhaps it wasn’t the best decision for me. It was the best decision for my child but it wasn’t for me. Because I got to 10 months and I started doing permanent damage to my hands and was told that I needed to go back on medication. So I did that, I went back on medication for a period of four months and then my husband and I thought; well, we’ve been through it once, we want to have more than one child, we may as well do it again.
And may as well do it now. So I then came off medication again but this time I had a toddler to look after or a baby to look after and it took me much longer to fall pregnant. So by the time I fell pregnant with my second child, I had been off medication for about three years so by that point I was incredibly debilitated and I was in so much pain and I needed cortisone injections every fortnight between weeks 14 and 37 of my second pregnancy. It was a very, very difficult time. Again I had a little child to look after as well as my own health and it was very hard. I then gave birth to our second child which was fantastic and I breastfed for six months and then went back on medication. It took probably two years to get stable back on a medication regime. Would I do it again? Absolutely. Having children is the most incredible thing you can ever do. I would not change it for anything. But it was a really, really challenging process. It was a really difficult process and it took a lot out of my body.