Breastfeeding is currently a huge part of my life and it’s only right I give it it’s own space within the blog. I hope to write a few posts within these “chronicles” ranging from my experiences with feeding, to writing about other stuff such as nipple pads, and creams. If you follow us on Twitter, you’ll probably find me asking a lot of questions, not to mention rambling during my 3am feeds.
Before I get started, first and foremost, how you choose to feed your baby is completely your choice. If you choose to feed with formula then great, keep at it, ignore what anyone else has to say. Whatever works for you and baby is what’s important. I am choosing to breastfeed at the moment because I can. Simple. If I couldn’t, then I would have to deal with that.
In the not so distant future, I hope to express so that a) I can get a good supply stocked in the fridge/freezer and b) so S can share some of the feeding love. The only reason I’m not expressing at the moment is because I’ve been advised not to until at least 6 weeks. Apparently, T is the one who determines my flow and nothing/no-one else – apparently this takes 6 weeks. You would think that by expressing after feeds that my body would produce more milk due to increased demand, but when I started doing this after a week of breastfeeding it seemed to mess my supply up (I only know this because T’s poo changed a little – sorry TMI) so I stopped.
Breastfeeding for me started quickly after T arrived. He latched on well within an hour of being born and seemed to feed well. I was so proud.
By day two, however, my nipples started hurting quite a bit which I believe was a mixture of something new going on with my nipples and a poor latch, although T was still able to get milk out despite having a poor latch. Weird? This was quite stressful as every time I fed I felt toe curling pain on said breast for at least a minute during feeding – I was in agony, but because feeding T was more important I just got on with it (DON’T DO THIS) and to be honest, I thought this was normal (IT ISN’T).
I quickly called the community midwife the next day and asked for some help as I was concerned not only for my poor nipples but in case my milk supply changed because of the stress. I also wanted some advice in regards to breastfeeding positions as I only really had the one. After her visit I was armed with different positions to assist with different scenarios (quick let down, slow let down, etc.).
I highly recommend speaking to professionals if you’re ever having trouble breastfeeding. You are not alone, and if anyone tells you they never had any worries, they’re lying – it’s almost expected for mums to worry about things such as supply and quality. In addition to professionals, there are also several Facebook groups and charities around these days, not to mention Twitter where there is always someone online no matter what time it is – so there is always help around the corner.
Although my nipples still hurt for a few days, after several applications of nipple cream and constant detaching and reattaching until T latched comfortably, my nipples went back to normal and breastfeeding is now completely pain free and actually enjoyable. Thanks to the positions I’ve now learned (I will share these in another post) I’m also pretty confident feeding him whilst out.
I really enjoy breastfeeding. It’s free food, so we’re not spending money on formula (although we do have an emergency tub in the cupboard), and it’s that piece of closeness that only T and I get to share.
It can be personally frustrating when all I do some days is feed and I haven’t been able to leave the sofa, let alone do anything else, but I’m slowly coming to terms with the fact that this IS my job and it’s an important job.