Becoming a mum; my journey, breastfeeding

Breastfeeding; our first week!!❤

Hi lovelies 🙂

So many people reached out to me about my labour story it was lovely to hear from you all! So I thought I would share more of my journey, something I particularly feel passionate about. Breastfeeding!🙂

Plus, it is actually National breastfeeding week in the UK this week – 25-29th June! YAAAAY!❤

Whether a new mum decides to breast or bottle feed their child that is totally their decision, everyone is different & everyone is entitled to their own choices! This is my decision & I want to share my experiences to help others!❤

I’ve always known I wanted to breastfeed my little one so when he came along it was a no brainer! Luckily I’m able to breastfeed my little man but I know others can’t which is unfortunate, so when he was born within the first few hours (not sure on timings at this point, I was out of it with all the drugs that were in my system!) I was told to give him a feed. As a first time mum many things went through my head. What if I can’t do it? What if I’m not doing it right? How do I know if he’s getting enough? Thousands of things went through my brain but when the time comes you just seem to do it. I seemed to gain this new, scary yet exciting skill out of nowhere.. like I’d somehow done it before but knew I definitely hadn’t!!

The midwife literally left me to my own devices, I’m sure she would have helped a bit more if I had asked but I just sort of did it! He seemed to latch on well of course after many attempts as we were both newbies to it all… when I thought I had a good latch & the midwife came round I asked if it looked right & she was happy with how he was feeding.

This picture was taken hours after he was born, can definitely tell I was tired!

Colostrum & the very early days.

Being a first time mum & having little to no experience with breast feeding I swear it helped me a million times over to research about breastfeeding. While I was pregnant I would watch videos & read articles on how to get the perfect latch & take note of what the “perfect latch” looked like. I swear if I hadn’t of done this I wouldn’t have a clue, just hearing other people’s experiences & tips on breastfeeding really helped!🙂 I’ll link some of my favourite videos below❤

The first few days of breastfeeding are quite strange as you’re producing colostrum, not actual milk yet.

Colostrum is what is produced before your breast milk really comes in, it is yellow/golden in colour & is very rich & nutritious for your little one. Your colostrum provides your little one with lots of vitamins, minerals, fats, protein, carbohydrates & antibodies that help fight off any bacteria/viruses that can cause disease! Many say even if your baby just gets some of your colostrum it gives them a good kick start to life!

Your breasts don’t exactly feel full or much different to while being pregnant so I was worried he wasn’t even getting anything. We soon learnt this wasn’t the case, he would feed pretty well, newborns tend to feed anywhere between 5 & 30 minutes, even though they only have a tiny stomach – about the size of a marble – it obviously takes them (and you) time to get used to feeding so even though they don’t need alot it takes time!🙂 After his feeds on about day 2 he started spitting up a bit which I got worried about. The midwives reassured me all was fine & that in fact it was good as at least we knew he was getting plenty of the colostrum as what he spat up was golden in colour. The midwives said babies tend to spit up with the colostrum being so rich.

Another way to tell your baby is getting enough is through wet & dirty nappies. Your baby should be doing plenty of wet nappies in a day & a few poos! If your concerned contact your health visitor or midwife.

Little man was born on Wednesday 6th June at 23:23, the first 3 days we were in hospital with me having a c section & we were both being monitored (that’s for a different post, planning on doing a more in depth post about my c section!). It was actually nice to be in the hospital, everyone on the labour ward were lovely & so helpful. It was so reassuring to know they were just a buzzer away if I was concerned at all with his feeding or needed help establishing a latch.

However, me being me I just seemed to get on with it & when midwives popped in I would get them to have a look at his latch & see if they thought all was fine which 90% of the time they were happy.. the first few times we adjusted his latch but that’s easy peasy; always make sure to break the suction seal before taking your little one of your boob by popping your little finger at the side of their mouth otherwise it is very painful!

Love this image, gives you a good overview of how & why breast feeding is so beneficial!!

Day 3 & our hardest night to date!

We didn’t get home while about 8pm on Saturday evening so by this point we were so ready to be home & knackered from everything that we had gone through! You always feel instantly better when your home, or so I thought! I did love being back home but it was weird, I’d got used to the confines of the one room where me & Rylie were by ourselves. As much as I wanted to be home I felt so nervous & anxious. At the hospital I had midwives next door to rush in if we needed help! This was not the case anymore & this made me anxious.

Not only that my boobs where so so heavy, I wasn’t sure what was happening as at first with colostrum your boobs don’t exactly feel full! It felt so weird to me they were like rocks, after I stopped & actually thought about it I realised ‘wait, is my milk coming in!?’ I had a quick Google & it seemed that this was what was happening. I say this was the worst night cos we were up most of the night, probably got an hour, two at the most, sleep due to the fact my boobs where so hard & heavy Rylie was struggling to latch which was a knock on effect as he then couldn’t feed properly. When you haven’t slept much for the last week either it definitely gets to you.. I had a bit of a melt down to say the least! I didn’t know what to do for the best… it was all new to me, I was still feeling very ‘foggy’ & dazed like you do after having a baby (don’t think this goes for a few months! Haha!) So I wasn’t thinking straight, which was made worse with my little man screaming & crying cos he wasn’t able to feed right! My partner didn’t know how to help me for the best as his previous two children had been bottle fed so breastfeeding was new to him too! He comforted me & told me everything would be fine & that I was doing so good with him.. why did I feel this wasn’t true? After a cry I almost felt better.. sometimes you just need to let it all go & that is fine, never be afraid to cry & let your emotions out! That’s far better than keeping it all inside. I have learnt this the hard way over the years I’ve had a lot of crap thrown at me & I’d always hide my true feelings.

Once I’d had my break down it seemed to clear my head a little, I expressed a small amount of milk, this helped my milk to come in & Rylie was able to get a better latch to feed! I was so relieved but felt silly as well for getting so anxious & worked up as this doesn’t help the milk. Now I realise it is only normal for me to feel this way & at the end of the day he is my first so it’s all trial & error for the first couple of weeks really! After this night though everything seems to be running smoothly. Once your milk has come in it almost seems easier as you can tell when he’s fed well as your breasts feel lighter & relieved! Haha! Usually after a few hours they get hard again when I know he’s ready for another feed.

Although your milk comes in, usually after about 5 days after birth but can be before, your milk doesn’t get fully established for a couple more weeks! These coming 2 weeks or so your body is deciding how much it will need to make to be able to feed your baby. This is the time where my washable breast pads have come in handy as they leak like mad. Usually while I’m feeding on one side the other will leak! (link will be below where I got my breast pads!)

Breastfeeding positions

I have linked a video showing different positions you can hold your little one in to make it comfier for you while feeding.

This is one part of breastfeeding I think I over thought way too much, I started by trying to feed him in the rugby/football hold, this just didn’t work for me, after having a caesarean I found this hold very uncomfortable & difficult as it felt like I was straining myself (I didn’t exactly have the lightest of babies!). Once I simplified it & just used the traditional cross cradle hold I found feeding far comfier & enjoyable. I wasn’t getting myself worked up cos I was hurting & he seemed happy & feeding well in this position so we have stayed with this position from then on! Always make sure you are well supported & comfy before positioning your baby onto your breast & lastly RELAX!!

❤RELAXING IS KEY TO SUCCESSFUL BREASTFEEDING!❤

These cushions are a gods send too… make life so much easier! Once you are in a comfy position just pop it under to support your little one & your arm! I tend to have it more at the side I’m feeding so the highest part of the cushion is well supporting my arm!

Don’t forget, while feeding your little one can be feeding for a good half an hour if not longer! My little man seems to feed for at least half an hour but then sleep for 3/4 hours which is amazing for his age & especially since they don’t really establish a routine yet!🙂 – post to follow when milk & routine is established!

I hope you enjoyed this post, rather a long one, but hopefully it will help you! Definitely check out the videos below & defintiely do your own research, it will help so so much!! I’m by no means an expert, heck, I’ve only been doing it a little over 3 weeks!

Thank you for reading & let me know if you’d like more breastfeeding updates.. I’ll definitely be doing a post when my milk has fully established🙂

Reusable & washable breast pads

My favourite breastfeeding videos

Emily Norris – Breastfeeding Tips & Essentials

Cloud Mom – Breastfeeding positions for newborns

Susan Yara- Breastfeeding tips & what I’ve learnt

Feeding Position & Latch

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