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The Beginning of Our Breastfeeding Journey

Before I’d even found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. I’m not quite sure what exactly attracted me to it as most of my peers with children all bottle fed but I knew it was the best I could give my baby…and it’s free & on tap (I might be tired doing night feeds but I find it much easier than having to go downstairs and prepare a feed and sterilise bottles etc in the middle of the night). Now, I’ll be honest, I have absolutely nothing against bottle feeding or formula fed babies. My premise is that if it works for you and your baby, you give them what is best and that’s that.

A couple of friends added me to a couple of groups on Facebook aimed at giving support and advice on breastfeeding. It was the perfect place to ask questions and get more information from other mums rather than just asking a professional. During my pregnancy, I was more determined to breastfeed when baby arrived if I could. I did prepare for any situation though, I’d been given and bought a couple of different sterilisers, a bottle warmer, a handful of bottles and a breast pump (for just in case).

When Β baby bear was born, I was over the moon that the midwives told me I could try and feed him during skin to skin. So with the assistance of our student midwife, I latched baby onto my breast. I’ll admit, it felt a little uncomfortable at first but that lasted around a minute if that and the student told me it was fine and normal. I was amazed that I was actually feeding my little one myself and he was taking it so well.

Once we got onto the ward, the midwives were really lovely and told me that if I wanted any help at all, even just to check the latch, that I could ring the buzzer. During the day, baby bear had fed quite a few times but that was OK because I knew he was just getting colostrum at the moment until my milk fully comes in. I was happy enough as I know it’s named liquid gold for a reason ha! At some point during that day, I remember noticing a fleck of blood on my breast pads, so I told a midwife who brought me some Lansinoh Lanolin cream and reassured me that it was fine and normal and that I needed this cream to help. I remember pressing the buzzer a few times that night for the midwife to help with my latch, Alex was really good at helping me during the day but he wasn’t allowed to stay over. Even though I was told to feed baby every 2-3 hourly, I’m pretty sure during the night he fed a lot more often. There was even one point where a midwife came and I told her that I was confident he was hungry but not sure if he was getting much out. She got me a syringe and a plug for it and held baby bear so I could try a little hand expressing into it and could try feeding him with the bit in the syringe, I think I managed around 1-2ml which she said was fine. Baby drank the colostrum but was still unsettled so they took him for a walk down the corridor. I couldn’t understand why during the day, I was having difficulty waking him up for feeds 2-3 hourly but at night he was just wide awake and crying a lot, but I guess that’s just babies ha!

The next evening, I was allowed to go home with the confidence that I was happily feeding my child. A midwife came around on the Sunday for a chat and a little check over us both and told me a midwife would be here 5 days later too. Both times they checked the latch for me and made sure everything was okay and that we were comfortable with how things were progressing. I’d even gotten a visit from Breastfeeding Together my local breastfeeding support service. My milk came in on the 3rd night and it felt like agony, they were so full and painful and just leaked everywhere despite using breast pads and changing them constantly. I was unsure if everything was okay and I was reassured that it was fine. I was told to keep hydrated and to keep using the Lansinoh Lanolin cream to help protect my nipples and keep them from cracking and feeling sore. The amount of help we received was amazing and it all enabled us to begin our Breastfeeding Journey happily and confidently. I hope that I feel confident enough to help any friends I have wishing to breastfeed and that they feel confident enough asking me for help because I honestly love it so much. It gives baby bear and I such an incredible bond and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.

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  • Reply Hannie

    I decided pretty early on that I was breastfeeding too. My Mum and my Grandma both had issues when it came to breastfeeding so both of them at different points in my pregnancy took me to one side and gave me a warning not to get too hung up on it.

    Fortunately enough, minus a small hiccup when we got home from the hospital and another around 9/10 months, I managed to keep going until Jaxon was almost 18 months old. In the end, we gave up because he no longer wanted it.

    Everyone can have their own opinions about breastfeeding but there was something so intimate about it. (not in a dodgy way!) Here was something that only I could do for Jaxon, my body had not only carried him for nine months but it was now sustaining him too. He’s now two but I do miss that closeness some days especially when Jaxon is doing his “independent toddler” thing.

    September 5, 2016 at 9:27 pm
    • Reply ClaireBearx

      Aww I’m so glad that you’ve had such a positive journey too lovely! Were you really gutted when he weaned off the boob or was it pretty easy to go through? We’ve just gotten to 6 months breastfeeding I honestly never imagined I’d get this far haha! Don’t worry I totally agree that it’s very intimate and unique and lovely, such an amazing thing that we can do for our children πŸ™‚ I hope to be able to breastfeed my future children too! Xx

      September 5, 2016 at 10:38 pm
      • Reply Hannie

        He didn’t go on/off overnight it was more of a gradual thing. First, it was giving up the middle of the day drinks unless he needed the comfort. Then as time went on it was bedtime then last to go was actually his “wake up” milk.

        I was really blessed that my husband was fighting my corner even when I was too tired or emotional to think about it. When the hospital wanted to give Jaxon top up feeds, I’m not sure whether the hospital recommended it or my husband had been doing research but he tried formula from a cup rather than a bottle so that Jaxon didn’t get nipple confusion. He took over doing that while we were in the hospital which was great. When we got home, I sat on our bed on Saturday night (Jaxon was born on Wednesday and we came home on Friday) and burst into tears. I had this massive doubt that I couldn’t feed Jaxon and I had got it wrong and all this sort of thing. I think I even was like “You need to go to the supermarket now and get bottles and formula and stuff because I can’t do it”. Chris was like “No, you feed Jaxon we’ll put him back down to sleep again and in the morning we’ll ring the helpline, if you want to give up then, then I will go get bottles and stuff”. Oh my goodness! I am so glad that he did that and didn’t let me give up at the first hurdle.

        After that, I was like “right we’ll get to six months and see how it’s going” then we got to 9 and 12 months and we were still going. I personally didn’t want to be one of those mum’s who are still breastfeeding and their child is starting school. (If you want to do that then go for it, everyone is entitled to their own views etc).

        We were almost at 18 months and there about 2 weeks before Christmas we had our last feed – I am pretty sure it was the 13th December.

        (Sorry essay of a comment!)

        September 5, 2016 at 10:51 pm
  • Reply The End of our Journey – Dear, Mummy Bear

    […] shared previously, on my blog, about how our breastfeeding journey began. (You can view that HERE). But now I’m going to talk about how it […]

    November 24, 2016 at 7:14 am
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