I’m going to write a reflection from the start of my breastfeeding journey to now. Please don’t think I am gloating or being judgemental, I am very pro-feeding wether that’s breastfeeding or formula feeding as it’s what suits you and your family.
Breastfeeding can be quite challenging at times, I have to do all the night feeds, take into consideration when the Little Fella needs feeding so I can’t always get a shower or have my dinner when it’s cooked. Even though I do the night feeds, I honestly wouldn’t change it for the world. I love being able to breastfeed and don’t take it for granted. I don’t think anyone can prepare you for how hard it is at times.
Due to my birthing experience I stayed in hospital for a while, I had a midwife with me for the first 24-48 hours as they had to complete observations every 1 hour. Therefore, I had a lot of help and support with feeding the Little Fella. I couldn’t pick him up or hold him properly as I had needles in both hands so, the midwifes would place him into the correct position and then taught him to latch on. This helped tremendously as I didn’t have any sore or cracked nipples and the Little Fella became familiar with breastfeeding from a very young age. Throughout our stay at the hospital we had support workers pop in numerous times to ensure I was doing it correctly or if I needed some help or had any questions. Now I understand that this doesn’t happen to everyone and sometimes you go home after a day or so and have to breastfeed alone, I can see how this would be difficult especially if it’s your first time.
For the first week, the Little Fella ate every hour, this helps with the milk supply. I leaked a lot so I would definitely recommend breast pads. This soon calmed down after the first 7 days and he started to breastfeed every 2 and half hours and he still does now. The Little Fella found one side easier then the other so I fed him more on that side – I would not recommend this! I had one breast much larger than the other!
Around week 2, the Little Fella cluster fed a lot in the evenings. The first time it happened he fed 9 times in 4 hours! This was quite tiring but is normal.
At 8 weeks, I got a cold so I expressed to allow my mum to do a night feed for me so I could sleep. However as the Little Fella is used to having food immediately he started crying so I settled him and then wanted to see how he was with a bottle. I’ve only expressed around 6 times to allow others to feed the Little Fella.
From around 12 weeks, the Little Fella would use me for comfort and was on me more frequently and for a long time. My mum and dad suggested a dummy to allow me to have a bit of a break as my nipples were beginning to quite sore and I really didn’t want him to have one. However, I listened to their advice and gave him one but at first he didn’t take to it. I felt a little selfish though, I explained this to my health visitor and she advised that I could give him a dummy if I need to do something and then comfort him when I could. He only occasionally uses it and has it as a soother if I can’t provide any comfort, for example, if we are in a car or out shopping and I can’t comfort him immediately. 5 months later and he still uses me as comfort but it’s such a nice bonding time and if it helps him fall asleep then I don’t mind.
The Little Fella still feeds a lot at night, I’ve fed him around 2-4 times a night since about 4 weeks. When he was 12 weeks he slept for 4 hours from his last feed at night but would then wake every 2 and half hours after. I think it’s hard for him to sleep the whole night through as breast milk is thinner and is more easily digestible. At week 19, this Little Fella started waking every hour to 1 and an half hours but this stopped after a week.
At 5 months, the Little Fella has started teething really bad and at night he was around every 1 and half hours and will only go back to sleep after being fed. He has done this for around 3 weeks but he sleeping longer periods of time now.
What is your experience of breastfeeding like?