Before I’d even found out I was pregnant, I knew I wanted to breastfeed. I’m not quite sure what exactly attracted me to it as most of my peers with children all bottle fed but I knew it was the best I could give my baby…and it’s free & on tap (I might be tired doing night feeds but I find it much easier than having to go downstairs and prepare a feed and sterilise bottles etc in the middle of the night). Now, I’ll be honest, I have absolutely nothing against bottle feeding or formula fed babies. My premise is that if it works for you and your baby, you give them what is best and that’s that.
A couple of friends added me to a couple of groups on Facebook aimed at giving support and advice on breastfeeding. It was the perfect place to ask questions and get more information from other mums rather than just asking a professional. During my pregnancy, I was more determined to breastfeed when baby arrived if I could. I did prepare for any situation though, I’d been given and bought a couple of different sterilisers, a bottle warmer, a handful of bottles and a breast pump (for just in case).
When baby bear was born, I was over the moon that the midwives told me I could try and feed him during skin to skin. So with the assistance of our student midwife, I latched baby onto my breast. I’ll admit, it felt a little uncomfortable at first but that lasted around a minute if that and the student told me it was fine and normal. I was amazed that I was actually feeding my little one myself and he was taking it so well.
Once we got onto the ward, the midwives were really lovely and told me that if I wanted any help at all, even just to check the latch, that I could ring the buzzer. During the day, baby bear had fed quite a few times but that was OK because I knew he was just getting colostrum at the moment until my milk fully comes in. I was happy enough as I know it’s named liquid gold for a reason ha! At some point during that day, I remember noticing a fleck of blood on my breast pads, so I told a midwife who brought me some Lansinoh Lanolin cream and reassured me that it was fine and normal and that I needed this cream to help. I remember pressing the buzzer a few times that night for the midwife to help with my latch, Alex was really good at helping me during the day but he wasn’t allowed to stay over. Even though I was told to feed baby every 2-3 hourly, I’m pretty sure during the night he fed a lot more often. There was even one point where a midwife came and I told her that I was confident he was hungry but not sure if he was getting much out. She got me a syringe and a plug for it and held baby bear so I could try a little hand expressing into it and could try feeding him with the bit in the syringe, I think I managed around 1-2ml which she said was fine. Baby drank the colostrum but was still unsettled so they took him for a walk down the corridor. I couldn’t understand why during the day, I was having difficulty waking him up for feeds 2-3 hourly but at night he was just wide awake and crying a lot, but I guess that’s just babies ha!
The next evening, I was allowed to go home with the confidence that I was happily feeding my child. A midwife came around on the Sunday for a chat and a little check over us both and told me a midwife would be here 5 days later too. Both times they checked the latch for me and made sure everything was okay and that we were comfortable with how things were progressing. I’d even gotten a visit from Breastfeeding Together my local breastfeeding support service. My milk came in on the 3rd night and it felt like agony, they were so full and painful and just leaked everywhere despite using breast pads and changing them constantly. I was unsure if everything was okay and I was reassured that it was fine. I was told to keep hydrated and to keep using the Lansinoh Lanolin cream to help protect my nipples and keep them from cracking and feeling sore. The amount of help we received was amazing and it all enabled us to begin our Breastfeeding Journey happily and confidently. I hope that I feel confident enough to help any friends I have wishing to breastfeed and that they feel confident enough asking me for help because I honestly love it so much. It gives baby bear and I such an incredible bond and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world.