Becoming Mum, Being Mum

(o) Breastfeeding (o)

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 I’m not here to harp on about the pro’s of Breastfeeding or how ‘Breast is best’ – As I have mentioned a million times before, it is your baby so it is completely down to you what you do.  I can confidently say however, that I have used both methods of feeding Joseph in public and felt like I was being judged by both of them – Welcome to Motherhood 😉 

Breastfeeding was my choice and something that I always wanted to try but I totally understand why some women wouldn’t want to. The idea of Breastfeeding in public can be extremely daunting, especially if you’re a bit of a prude, however when you’re in the moment and your baby wants feeding you tend not to give it much of a second thought – well I didn’t anyway. Here are a few tips that you may find helpful on your journey of Breastfeeding.

  1. Persistence is key. At the beginning you will only produce ‘Colostrum’. Your baby will only need a few millilitres per feed at this stage.
  2. When your milk comes in you will know about it. It takes about three to four days for it to come in. If you’ve had a baby before it can happen earlier. Your boobs will start to feel a bit full and that is how you will know. You may feel a bit ‘bluesy’ and in a bit of discomfort however this will soon pass.
  3. I had quite a bit of pain when my milk came in, under and around my armpit area. After feeds I would use a cold compress on my breasts for about ten minutes to help ease them.
  4. It is all about trial and error. Experiment with different positions that make it more comfortable for you and baby. Sometimes Joseph would latch properly, at times he wouldn’t at all – and this hurt like hell. At one point my nipples were so sore and chapped that when I would pump, blood would go into my milk. It would only be a tiny amount though and I’m not saying that to freak you out.
  5. At times I would be in tears from the pain and would dread Joseph waking up as I knew he would demand a feed – it sounds bad but it is true. My nipples would burn and sting and sometimes he wouldn’t latch and I would be so frustrated. Please persist with this. Your nipples will begin to soften up a bit more as they get used to feeding. The amount of times I threatened to stop, but I am so glad I didn’t – this was my life saviour http://www.boots.com/lansinoh-hpa-lanolin-nipple-cream-1-x-40ml-10153449 I went out and bought three of them! I believe they do deals for it in Mothercare sometimes though.
  6. Take a large scarf or shawl with you when you have to feed in pubic – it makes life much easier.
  7. Nipple pads will be your bestest friend.
  8. Your period doesn’t start again until you stop feeding.
  9. Don’t pump too much inbetween feeds. I started expressing with a pump inbetween feeds and wondered why my boobs were becoming really engorged. I didn’t realise that obviously as soon as your breast empties, it has to refill up again – which leads to engorgement.
  10. Carry on feeding until you are TOTALLY sure you want to stop. I stopped after three months and was so sure I wanted to. At the time it did feel right for me however looking back I wish I had done atleast 6 months.
  11. I loved the one on one moments that we shared when I was feeding. It just made me feel so close to him and was our special little thing. That said, I don’t doubt you have those moments with bottle feeding, I just didn’t know any different at the time.
  12. Keep note of your feed timings and duration.
  13. I would alternate my breasts for each feed. To keep track I would keep a hairband on the wrist of the one that I last fed with.
  14. If you are in two minds to stop altogether, why not consider combination feeding with breast and bottle.
  15. Cabbage Leaves!! Oh My God these little beauties were amazing!!! When I decided to stop Breastfeeding I had to wean my boobs off of it. This can result in very painful engorgement. Keep a few cabbages in the fridge and use the cold leaves as a compress for inside your bra. This draws excess milk out and helps relieve SO much of the pain, I can not begin to explain just how amazing they are. As I was slowly dropping feeds with Joseph I was still having to breast feed for a while in the night. Please bare in mind that if still feeding in the night.. the leaves may fall out of your bra and your partner may wake up with it sticking to his leg 🙂
  16. Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated
  17. Don’t forget to feed yourself.
  18. Keep one of these in your changing bag when you’re on the go https://www.nutrimum.co.uk/products/breastfeeding-cereal-red-berries

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You may get such low moments and it can get pretty lonely at times. The amount of times I ended up sitting in a toilet cubicle for 20 minutes on my own, or having to sit in the car whilst I fed. The pain can bring you to tears and at times you can feel like your failing when they don’t latch but it does get alot easier. Ironically by the time I was coming to stop I started to enjoy it more and it was much easier, however I had already made the decision. Even a couple of months down the line I was googling to see if I could start it back up again! You will have your moments but overall it can be such a great and lovely experience so try and persist and enjoy i. Equally, please do not put pressure on yourself to continue if you think it just isn’t for you.

Please Note: Again, I am not trained nor am I an expert on Breasfeeding. This is simply my account of my experience. For more in depth info check out http://www.babycentre.co.uk/breastfeeding

 

 

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