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Tips for all you potential breastfeeders

Tuesday, 11 September 2018  | 

I quite often get asked questions about breastfeeding and how I’ve found it particularly with a toddler in tow, so this week’s blog is about my breastfeeding journey.

 

With my first little boy I didn’t really think of breastfeeding during pregnancy and went ahead and purchased everything needed for bottle feeding.  However, when he was born he was rooting for a feed and the midwife asked if I wanted help to latch him, so I went with it and our breastfeeding journey began.

 

In the initial couple of days, we struggled to get him to latch so I asked for some midwife support and she was helpful in showing me different positions to get him to latch. One side he would only latch if I held him like a rugby ball but the other side he always latched normally!

 

The difficult part of breastfeeding for me was the cluster feeling in the early days. Hours and hours at a time with a baby attached to you is a challenge when you’re sore and exhausted from the birth. I also ended up with an oversupply of milk and thrush as a result which me and him both needed treatment for. It was relatively quick to treat, and we were soon back on track.

 

Once the first couple of weeks were over we then settled into a 3-4 hourly feeding pattern and I was very lucky that he dropped his night feed early. I quickly became comfortable feeding outside the house and didn’t opt for breastfeeding clothes but instead wore a stretchy vest under a normal top, so I could pull one down and one up. It seemed a discrete way to feed.

 

Lincoln started feeding much less from 9.5 months old, so he moved to a straw cup with formula as he was a bottle refuser!

 

When I had Etta as I’d already breastfed Lincoln it seemed the obvious choice. Again, I needed some initial help with her latch, but she fed well. Her reflux has made the cluster feeding more challenging than Lincoln’s journey, but it’s been a positive experience.

 

When she had flu, I ended up with mastitis as she refused to feed but I’ve had no other problems this time round. She also fed until 9 months when she moved onto a bottle (she thankfully wasn’t a bottle refuser like her brother!). The early days of trying to breastfeed her and sort out Lincoln’s lunch, toilet trips and playgroup runs took a bit of juggling, but we got there, and it was a bonus not having to get up to give a night feed as she could just latch straight on!

 

My top tips:

 

  1. Do some research into breastfeeding support groups as it helps to have contact with people going through the same and some great advice from professionals (usually tea and cake as well which is a bonus).
  2. Invest in a good quality nipple cream!
  3. If you’re self-conscious then invest in some giant muslins that you can tuck into your bra strap and cover yourself up with.
  4. Make sure you have a little box with everything you need while stuck under a feeding baby (drink, snacks, tv remote, power bank for your phone, lip balm etc).
  5. If you own a toddler take them to the toilet and get them a snack and a drink before you start.
  6. Be prepared for cluster feeding. It is something that I don’t think you are prepared enough for and it’s something I know so many breastfeeding mamas have gone through. If you aren’t aware then you think the baby isn’t getting enough milk and you aren’t producing what they need. They are building your supply and its completely normal in the early days.
  7. If you feel a lot of pain do seek professional advice on the latch.
  8. If it doesn’t work out don’t beat yourself up about it. A fed baby is a happy baby and a happy mum is what is most important!

 

Finally, I’m not in any way medically trained and this is just my experiences and tips as a breastfeeding mum of 2.

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