I’m currently 9 months into breastfeeding Jack and to be honest I didn’t expect to last this long, after a very tough start I didn’t think I’d last a month!
I decided I wanted to try breastfeed Jack for various reasons, for the bonding side of it, health benefits & of course its free!
Whilst I was pregnant I never really prepared or did any research in regards to breastfeeding as I just assumed it came easy, however it wasn’t as easy as I expected!
There were days where I was ready to pack it in and switch to formula but I never did. In fact from 6 weeks old I expressed and kept trying with bottles as me and Luke were getting married in April, 12 weeks after having Jack.
I tried to get him used to a bottle so if he needed a feed whilst we were with the photographer, or occupied, he would still be able to have a feed straight away. However he wasn’t having any of it, 9 months down the line and he still will not take a bottle!
If you have any tips or advice on getting a breastfed baby to take from a bottle please let me know!!
Here is some of the tips I have learned the past 9 months & wish I’d have known for our breastfeeding journey!
1.It can be painful/ uncomfortable
For the first week or 2 it can be uncomfortable, even painful, you’re boobs become engorged when your breast milk comes in between day 3 to day 5 after birth. If that’s not enough to deal with, your also learning about the getting the correct latch and to be honest our nipples aren’t used to all the suction, pressure and saliva of feeding a newborn every couple of hours! In fact, years ago women were advised to rub their nipples with a wash cloth or something hard to harden them up prior to breastfeeding!!
Its important you take care of your nipples to prevent them getting cracked & possibly bleeding! Think about your lips, they often get sore or cracked from the wind or sun. The more you wet them by licking them, the more dry and damaged theyget – so you moisturize to soothe and protect them and to help them heal. It’s the same with your nipples.
Lansinoh Nipple Cream ( HPA LANOLIN) was a lifesaver for me! Rubbing your own breastmilk on your nipples also helps!
2. Getting the correct Latch
This is one of the most important parts of breastfeeding as otherwise you will be in pain & your baby will not be getting a good feed.
To get a good latch, make sure the bottom of your areola (the area around the nipple) is in baby’s mouth and the nipple is toward the back of her mouth. It’s important that baby isn’t just attached to the nipple. Baby needs to have a wide, open mouth that will allow for effective emptying of the milk ducts around the nipple. If your struggling with your latch always ask your midwife, health visitor or lactation consultant for help to get this sorted immediately.
3. Leaking boobs
Its completely normal for your breasts to leak, or even spray milk, during the first few weeks after having your baby. Even hearing your baby cry could cause your breasts to go into meltdown & leak!
Avoid sleeping on your stomach, there have been many nights I have gone to sleep on my stomach & woken up soaked in my own milk!!
Breast pads will become your new best friend!!
Personally I love the Home bargains Pure Baby breast pads, they are reasonable and I found them more absorbent than the Sainsbury’s breast pads.
4. Time Consuming
Breastfeeding is time consuming, especially to to begin with while your supply is getting established. For about the first 3-4 weeks, Jack was feeding for about 45 minutes every 2 hours, I felt like all I did was sit on the sofa with him hanging off my boobs. But now at 9 months old it only takes him about 5 minutes to take a feed.
This is where your family & friends come in handy, helping out with jobs around the house, getting you drinks & snacks while you focus on feeding your baby.
Remember to always stay hydrated! I always found it useful to keep a bottle of water next to me when feeding.
I was surprised at how many positions there are to breastfeeding. There’s not one correct position for breastfeeding as long as they’re latched on properly and your comfortable it totally depends what works for you. I mainly use the cradle hold in the day and at night I lie next to him & feed. However I have had mastitis twice so to help ease this I have tried many positions such as feeding him upside down or rugby hold to drain the blockage.
To help drain a blocked milk duct try and position your baby with their chin pointing towards the lump so they can feed from that part of the breast.
8. Breastfeeding in public
I was perfectly happy to get my boob out whilst in hospital and at home in front of family but when it came to breastfeeding out in public for the first time I dreaded it. There is so many debates on social media and videos of breastfeeding mothers getting snide comments or abuse. I’ve had mixed experiences breastfeeding in public, the majority has been positive, however I have had nasty looks and quiet comments.
The best purchase that has helped me with feeding in public, has been this feeding scarf cover from JoJo Maman Bebe.
I use it pretty much every time I feed in public as not only does it cover us up, but it helps jack to concentrate on feeding as he is a very nosy baby & if there are things going on he would be distracted.
However I am absolutely not saying you should cover up!! Breastfeeding is such an amazing natural choice which should not offend anyone.
I hope this helps anyone who is thinking of giving breastfeeding a go when they have a child, or even someone who is currently breastfeeding.
I would love to hear your experiences with breastfeeding!
Whats your opinion on breastfeeding?
Do you have any advice for other Mums? (or me with getting jack to take a bottle?? it would be greatly appreciated!!)