Saturday, 18 September 2010

Breast Feeding: My Story

Breast feeding can be quite a controversial subject: some people love it, some people can't do it and some people choose not to do it at all. The important thing to remember is - it's your decision and no one elses.

For me, I knew from the moment that I found out I was pregnant, that I wanted to breastfeed but I was slightly naive in the fact that I thought it would be easy and I'd instinctively know what to do.

I can feed discreetly in public with specialist nursing wear

When Mister A was born in 2007, I had a few problems getting started. I couldn't get him to latch on properly and I ended up with very, very sore nipples. Not one to give up, I talked things through with my midwife and I found a great lying down position that worked for me and baby. Luckily, once I had mastered 'latching on' in that position that I was soon up and running and knew exactly what I was doing.

Yes it was sore for the first few weeks, especially on day 3 when my milk came through -I actually thought that my chest was going to explode! I managed to persevere and with the help of plenty of nipple cream and lots of support from other breastfeeding mums, I ended up breastfeeding A exclusively for the first six months. I would have carried on for longer but I had to go back to work and so I took the decision to move him on to formula.

For me, my mistake was that I never introduced Mister A properly to a bottle. I only ever expressed milk on a couple of occasions but he never took to it so we gave up. When I came to go back to work when he was 6 months old he would not drink anything from a bottle. Whether he was with Grandma or at the nursery he would not adapt and they ended up having to use a cup and let him sip from it when I wasn't there.

Second time around I found breastfeeding so much easier - purely because I knew what to expect. I knew what had worked for me the first time around and Ellissia and I managed to get in to the swing of things straight away.

I do seem to have a lot more milk this time around and that isn't necessarily a good thing - I'm finding it difficult to get through the day without flooding through my clothes. I'm going to start expressing my milk now and freezing it so hopefully that will mean less embarrassing 'wet patch' moments!

Little E is 4 weeks old today and I'm loving every minute of it - except maybe those 4am feeds - I won't miss those once she starts sleeping through!

My advice to other mums...

If anyone ever asks for breastfeeding advice, I always say - express your milk - that way Daddy will have a chance to feed your little one, you'll have a little time to yourself and baby won't have any problems if you are ever apart.

Expressing milk can mean you get some 'me time'

I think the thing to remember is, we are all different, what works for some people, won't work for others. There are plenty of online support groups available if you're struggling or want to find out more about breast feeding and if you can't do it or it's not for you then you shouldn't be made to feel guilty.

I really enjoyed feeding time and although sometimes I felt tired and that I never had any time to myself, I really feel that you bond with your baby during feeding times and that makes me a very happy mummy.

Here's my Breast Feeding Checklist for all you new mummies...

Good quality nursing bras
- make sure you get measured every few weeks to make sure you're well supported
Breast pads 
- the last think you need is 2 wet patches on your top when you're doing your shopping
Nipple Cream
- I found that Lansinoh was the only cream that worked for me and you don't have to wipe it off to feed your baby
- for discreet feeding when you're out and about
Muslin/Burping Cloths
- protect your clothes and mop up and baby mess
Feeding Pillow
- I find a pillow helps me to get a better feeding position and helps prevent a sore back
Bottles and Breast Pump
- make sure there's milk around if you're not there (or give Dad a turn at those 4am feeds!)

Good luck! x


  1. With my first baby due in December I've really found this post useful :)
    For me I can't imagine doing anything other than breastfeeding and just hope it all works out ok. I've invested in a breast pump so my partner can feed at least once every day using a bottle.

    I shall also be stocking up on cabbages so if you walk past and get a faint whiff of cabbage it's probably me :)

    Kerry x

  2. As demeaning as it is using a breast pump and 'milking' yourself like a cow, you're absolutely right. It helps get your supply up in the early days so you'll never be short and after the first month or so it's nice to have the odd break and let someone else take a turn feeding. I'm due my second in December and would like to use the pump less this time. But I know I'll still be needing it as I won't want to be tied to my baby 24 hours a day for the first six months.

  3. I've breastfed four. My daughter would take a bottle but the boys wouldn't. I gace up trying in the end.

  4. Thanks for your comments. Im off to 'milk myself' like a cow! lol x