Part 3 or our Breastfeeding from a Mama's perspective series and we have another two breastfeeding mums giving us an insight in their own words into their breastfeeding journeys. If you are thinking about breastfeeding, or already breastfeeding these stories will really give you a view into the reality of breastfeeding from breastfeeding Mums themselves.
Part 3 of 3
Sophie, Mama to Amelia 8 months old
My baby was born 4 weeks early and I hadn’t started producing milk so I was formula feeding and latching her on, together with pumping to stimulate my milk supply. On day five my milk came through and that was when Amelia made her own mind up that she didn’t like the bottle, she would pull her face like she was given a lemon. So I let her take the lead and I exclusively breastfed her from there.
It was very demanding in the beginning, and I had sore nipples on and off until she was 2 months old. Amelia gagged quite a bit in the the early days after first latching on and my mum was encouraging me to bottle feed because of it. I decided to persevere and I am so glad I did because after reading a few articles/ blogs and speaking to others I found out that it was quite common when your milk flow and let down is strong for babies to do this.
Everything seemed to settle down after two months.Since then it’s been plain sailing. I have to say breastfeeding my baby is so amazing, to know I’m giving her all the goodness she needs and the best start in life. Words can’t begin to describe the feeling. not only is it the best she can have but it’s also free, convenient and there aren't any bottles to make up and sterilise.
Jenny, Mama to 22 month old Summer
The Good; There is nothing more mesmerising, than watching your new born baby bob its head around to find your nipple, to breast feed for the first time. I felt breast feeding my baby was the only option for me as a mother, assuming everything went to plan, which fortunately for me it did….well kind of!
I appreciate that we was very fortunate in that my baby latched on, wasn’t tongue tied and basically I had no complications. I really feel for those mothers who long to breast feed but for one reason or another haven’t been able to. Breastfeeding my baby created a special bond with her as I gave her something she could get from me. I was conscious I wanted my partner to also feel as though he had a special role and one to one bonding time, so he was assigned bath times and bedtimes. I found through breast-feeding I naturally lost a lot of my baby weight without trying, they do say you can burn up to 500 calories a day! The Bad;
In my opinion breastfeeding is certainly not the easy option, it is much more pressure and tying for the mother as she cannot share the feeding duties and night feeds with anyone. Also as breast milk is digested much quicker than formula, the baby needs feeding more frequently so you are usually up more often in the night. In the first few months, evening cluster feeding is very common where the baby constantly feeds from the Mother for hours on end, my baby would do this from 10pm-2am. At this point she was also waking every 2-3 hours for feeds, needless to say I was exhausted. I used to sit there staring at my partner as he slept thinking how much I would love to swap places with him! Breastfed babies often associate the breast as their comfort and will not accept a dummy so you often become that too! I couldn’t really leave my baby for more than a hour for the first 6 months. Breastfed babies in my opinion are more clingy to their mothers which can be difficult when the mother wants to return to work and get some independence back.
The Ugly; When breastfeeding it is common especially at the beginning to get very sore nipples, even to the point where they crack, this happened to one of mine so I had to use lanolin for a few weeks. I would grit my teeth as she attached to that side as you have to continue feeding from it to encourage your milk supply. I remember when I used to have perfect, perky 32G boobs, now I feel as though they resemble empty teabags, that have had all the tea leaf squeezed out!
I feel I must end this chapter on the note it is intended which is overall positive, I have loved my breastfeeding journey, my daughter is currently 22 months and showing no signs of giving up her “milk from Mummy” I actually enjoy it more now in a sense, because I get cuddles with her when we have had a busy day. As she no longer sleeps on me, it gives us some one to one quiet time. When people ask “so when are you planning on stopping feeding her?” I say when we are both ready….or possibly when I have another baby to feed!
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