Parenting | My Breastfeeding Journey So Far

Bottle or Breast?? There’s always that big debate about how you’re going to feed your new baby when they enter the world. For me I’ve always known I would try to breastfeed again. I tried it with the munchkin but could only do it for 2 weeks. Now, thinking back on that first time I tried breastfeeding I’m not sure if it was because I didn’t get to feed the munchkin straight away as I was still out of it from the general anesthetic following an emergency C-Section or if it was because he was just too hungry and I just didn’t have enough milk for him. I felt like a complete failure, so trying again was a must for me this time.

Even though I had another emergency C-Section with the dream baby I was awake and able to feed him straight away. That very first time I think we nursed for a good hour or so and it felt so good. It’s still very much a learning curve for me and I’m still trying to figure things out but we’ve made it to 5 weeks! We’ve been breastfeeding for 5 whole weeks and I’m so happy with myself.

It hasn’t been easy and I’ve made a few mistakes, we’ve battled a few other things but I think we’re starting to nail it. I’m not going to say I’m a natural at this and dream baby has taken so well to the boob and he actually sleeps too. He does have his moments and I’m so glad that I’ve been expressing because he has had to have the bottle a couple of times. He’s a little confused with the bottle and it takes a little while to figure it out but I’m hoping he’ll learn as I’d like the OH to be able to feed him as well as my mum if she wants to look after him for a few hours. I’m still not used to that tingly boob sensation I get when dream baby is due a feed.

 

It didn’t take long for my milk to come in this time either, I think it came in by day 3 or 4 and that first week I was pumping a good 1 oz of milk, by the second week I was pumping 2 oz, then by week three I was getting 3 ozs. I had my manual pump from when I had the munchkin which was so time consuming I have to admit I don’t think I was pumping right. I was pumping while I showered but not after feds like you’re supposed to and I ended up with clogged milk ducts which was really sore and painful.

My boobs were really engorged and sore and I had a lump in my boob which felt hot, it really wasn’t pleasant at all. I spent the next 2 days nursing and pumping to try and see if it helped and it did, it turns out I wasn’t “emptying” my breasts at each feed properly and my milk became backed up and that’s how I ended up with clogged milk ducts. We’ve learned from that for sure and I’ve also recently been using a new breast pump which is working better for us.

I’ve been using the Haakaa silicone breast pump and while I nurse I pop it onto my other breast and it does a fab job. I’ve started to stock pile my milk and freeze it for later use. I don’t have to nurse, then sit and pump and then carry on with my day. I do them both together and it’s a lot less time consuming. I’m still getting around 3 ozs of milk each feed which is good I’m hoping that I’ll be able to produce more milk as more time goes on. I don’t even want to think about how much milk I’ve lost from having leaky boobies but since we’ve been pumping this way I definitely have a hell of a lot less boob leakage!

 

I also learnt the reason why they say to watch what you eat and drink while breastfeeding. The first few days I was home and we were getting used to doing the whole breastfeeding thing I was drinking about 5-6 cuppas a day, as I was off them while I was pregnant. I’m not able to stomach coffee yet either but that will take a while. The dream baby didn’t seem to want to settle and barely slept then I realised why. The caffeine in my tea was keeping him awake so I’m now limiting myself to 2 proper cuppas a day but first thing then I’m onto my herbal ones or sticking to water. I’ve learnt how much caffeine I can have a day and have been sticking to it. I’m also very conscious of the foods I’m eating but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been naughty with the odd takeaway, I just have to be a little conscious of what i’m eating.

Who’d have thought sitting down and breastfeeding your baby was hungry work??!! I can’t believe how much hungrier I am and thirstier. I make sure I have a drink of water or juice at hand while I’m nursing and a snack. I’ve found I don’t tend to sit and eat full meals I graze much more than I did. Trying to make sure I pack lots of fruit and veg into my diet as possible but lets face it who doesn’t like a sweet treat or a few biscuits now and again??

Breastfeeding hasn’t always been easy for us and I have thought about buying formula milk a couple of times to keep “just in case” but I snap myself out of it because what’s the point in stockpiling my milk if I’m going to feed him formula?! I’m not against formula fed babies as my first was formula fed after 2 weeks old. I’ve only been out a few times and had to feed in public and it’s so much easier and definitely less faffing around trying to find somewhere to heat milk. I’m not too bothered what people think when I feed in public. I’m hardly making a show of it and I don’t really understand why people still make a big fuss over it.

 

We don’t really have a set goal in mind and I’m just taking it each week and seeing how I feel and how we get on. I would love it if we got to 6 months though. But who knows when our little journey might come to an end. We’re just taking things in our stride and learning as we go together but I certainly enjoy the bond we’re creating and love looking and talking to him while he’s feeding. I’d also be lost if it wasn’t for my Weleda Nipple Balm, it’s been a life saver and has stopped my boobs from becoming sore and cracked while breastfeeding. I’m looking forward to seeing how long we can keep doing this and enjoying every minute.

 

Are you planning on breastfeeding?? What was your experience like??

Lots of Love

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