Let’s talk about Breastfeeding

If you read my blog then you will have seen my most recent post about our feeding journey now we have a 6 week old baby in our lives. I think it’s important to delve a little deeper into the world of Breastfeeding and share a little bit more about my experience with the whole thing.

I mentioned in my previous post that I was adamant from finding out I was pregnant, that I would give Breastfeeding a go. Sure enough when Freya arrived we attempted our first feed within her first couple of hours in the world. The midwives and I both noticed that she latched on really well to start, would suck a little, then fall asleep. Not the most helpful scenario when you’re both new to this!

We persisted once we were moved to the labour ward at 4:30am and the next midwives came to help us with the process. Again, Freya would do the same thing. This continued all day before we left the hospital and in all honestly, I just thought we would all get the hang of it once we got home and it would be fine and dandy.

Wednesday arrived and we kept trying again and again but by then Bob and I were concerned she really wasn’t taking enough from my boobs and at this point I was still producing Colostrum. We decided to feed her a bottle from the Aptamil 1 First Milk Starter Pack. This was a godsend purchase when we look back as she probably wasn’t getting enough food in the first few days and this helped her get used to a teat and a bottle as well.

By Friday, I developed Mastitis in both boobs and was in almighty pain. I instantly knew that morning that I wasn’t well as I felt like I had the flu, suffering with achy joints and muscles and feeling extremely run down. I asked Bob to google Mastitis and the symptoms and both of us agreed that I probably had the damn thing. We rang the midwifery centre who talked through it with me and agreed it was Mastitis and referred me to the GP. After a telephone conversation with the GP, I was prescribed antibiotics to start taking immediately. The other method I tried to relieve my awful rock hard boobs was to express as much milk as I could. This meant becoming a cow and being either attached to my child to try to feed, or attached to an electric breast pump.

The Mastitis eventually disappeared several days later but by this point, it was clear Freya wasn’t latching on despite persistence as she would scream and scream when she would try to it became a bit of an ordeal for us both. Bob and I decided that I would continue to express until I ran out of milk and then we would switch completely to formula. This was ultimately the best decision for us all after such a traumatic start but honestly has not put me off trying to breastfeed again with any future babies. I did get very upset to start with when I realised I wouldn’t be breastfeeding and often needed cuddles from Bob to calm me down but now I look back and remember that she still had 2 weeks of breastfed milk to start her off in the world.

One question that I have been asked an awful lot by even random strangers since having a baby is “Are you feeding her yourself?” Inside I wanted to respond with “how the hell is that anything to do with you?”, but truth be told I’ve remained polite each and every time. It really comes across as an odd question to ask someone and in all scenarios when I’ve met someone with a baby, it has never been a question I would have even dreamt of asking. Not all women might get annoyed by this question but I was very taken aback by how many just come out and say it.

So there you have it! A bit more of an insight into our story and how we got to the point we’re at now. I hope this post has been useful and leave me a comment if you’ve suffered with Mastitis yourself when feeding. I’ve come across lots of women who’ve had it and you wouldn’t have known, so it’s more common than we think.

Laura x

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