It isn’t easy in the beginning..
The first two weeks are toe-curling, but if you can survive them it’ll get 100x easier from then on after. Imagine a dozen tiny piranhas going at your nipple and your on the right track.. After a bad labour it is especially fucking painful, your downstairs is in pieces and you have a newborn nipping at you every ten minutes and all you want to do is lay in a bath of lavender oil and cry yourself to sleep BUT it does get easier. Stick with it Mama, no pain is forever.
A bad latch doesn’t have to last
A bad latch can be hell raising! Having baby suckling at you wrongly hurts, it really fucking hurts! Get them off and try again, always take the time to perfect that latch, easy latch, easy feed! Don’t sit there wincing in pain, stick your finger between their lips and your nip and ease them off and try again, save latch photos, watch youtube videos & ask friends!
Believe in YOU and your boobs
Your milk WILL come in, if your baby is putting weight on, having wet nappies then YOU ARE enough! Always ask for help, don’t get disheartened or feel alone, there are so many helplines and helpful groups you can go to. The National Breastfeeding Helpline is my go to, they’re open 9:30am-9:30pm every day you can be put through to another Breastfeeding Mumma for advice.
Stay laying horizontal!
You can breastfeed laying down, find what position works for you and your baby! With Jack I was a lot more committed to breastfeed for longer, I combi-fed Frankie and always regretted not trying harder to exclusively breastfeed him so with Jack I have researched, asked and been a lot more comfortable. A HUGE game changer for me was learning I can lay down to feed, meaning during the hard night feeds I can literally pull him towards me, feed and distribute back to bed! Even during the day on the sofa, if I am playing a game or puzzle with Frankie I’ll feed laying down so I have more arm control to help F.
If it works, it works
Every breastfeeding journey is different do what makes it work for YOU and YOUR baby. Both Frankie and Jack have had boob, bottle and a dummy, no nipple confusion in this house.. There is a lot of controversial advice out there but you have to do what works for you, after all no one knows your baby or you more than YOU right! If you don’t want baby to have a bottle and feed them yourself soley do it, if you need to express and bottle feed do it, use nipple shields do it, top up with formula do it, breastfeed standing on your head with your bum in the air holding a monkey DO IT!
Watch that weight creep on
Get baby weighed, what more motivation could you have than seeing those lbs and oz creeping up every two weeks knowing that YOU and YOUR boobs have done that!!
Ignore the comments
Don’t let any negative comments put you off, ‘he’s only just fed why is he back on the boob?’, ‘your not breastfeeding much longer are you?’, ‘formula is just as good as breast milk I don’t see the point in all that’ & many more you’ll endure. Comments from pro-breastfeeding Peggy’s are just as bad though, they’ll make you feel bad for wanting to leave baby for a night out and start berating you as a parent because they have committed to wearing a sling and breastfeeding their children until their first day of college.
I left Jack at 4 and 6 weeks for 24 hours a time for a hen do and a wedding, of which I was Maid of Honour and despite asking for ‘advice’ on so called support groups, 95% of them laid into me, called me selfish and berated me as though Jack would be emotionally hindered forevermore despite leaving him 30 ounces of expressed milk with his DAD in his HOME.. As though leaving him wasn’t hard enough, reading comments such as ‘do you know how selfish you are leaving him so young’ and ‘you will hinder his mental development by even attempting to leave him, can you consider being a better mother and not doing something for your own enjoyment?’ was horrific, safe to say I’ve left those nasty groups and to all you Mamas that still want to be YOU and MUM like I do, stick a finger up to Narcissistic Nelly with her 38 year old drinking Mummy’s milk. Here’s me pumping mid-wedding for Jack in my dress, providing him with a lovely 10 ounces what a bad Mum I was..
If Baby needs feeding FEED
Jack may only be 6 weeks old, but in those first 6 weeks he has been fed by me in Starbucks, the barbers, TGI’s, swimming pool, the back of cars, B&M and so many more places. If you are going to breastfeed and are determined to, you have to accept you may have to feed somewhere you might not be so comfortable, invest in a decent cover or ensemble of clothes to breastfeed discreetly in, I tend to do the one up one down method and cover with a muslin but there are so many different choices on the market meaning you can feed in peace! Even if you need to feed and hoover like me!
Proud to Breastfeed
Lastly, as a Mama that breastfeeds, you’ve got to understand that we are PROUD to breastfeed. Breastfeeding Mamas get stick, sometimes more so than choosing formula, for feeding in public, from Mums who can’t breastfeed etc etc. Throughout pregnancy you are plugged that ‘breast is best’ but when you have baby, there doesn’t seem that there is a lot of support, especially as a second time Mum, I felt that the midwives left me more so than the first time Mums I shared a ward with and assumed I had my shit figured out, I don’t but what I did in those early days worked and six weeks on it’s still working. So you may be sick of hearing it or talking about it but we are PROUD and support is the best thing you can give to a Mama breastfeeding.
I am always open for breastfeeding talk, things that can make my journey easier or to try and give any advice! x