*FYI- Look away if boobs offend you! I’ve shared my journey which include photos of me feeding my babies*
I’ve started to write this, when piglet and I, are days away from our breastfeeding ‘boobing’ journey, it’s coming very near to the end.. sob sob
With monkey, I didn’t acknowledge all my feelings with breastfeeding, the beginning was a nightmare, he latched after being born, but the next day, when the midwifes wanted to check (being the first) He wouldn’t play ball, he didn’t know what he was doing, I didn’t know what I was doing! I was poked and prodded, boobs squeezed, to get the slightest drip out with a syringe! I said at the time I just needed to be at home in the comfort of our surroundings. When I did get home, we laid and practiced and he eventually latched! Being my first I didn’t realise the stress it would cause, that you should pull them off and put on again if sore! I would cry through some feeds as my nipples were so sore! So many times my hubby would say ‘lets just put him on a bottle’ It would break my heart to even contemplate that, and I would just battle through! ‘I can’t put him on bottle! I should be feeding him like this’ I never sought help, I got advice from the health visitor and friends, but I didn’t explain how hard it was!
After 6 weeks we did find our way, I think partially the nipples got used to it, once I knew what I was doing, the feeding got better.
I was eventually fine, the covering up didn’t seem so important, I would whip them out whenever he needed, I was exposed many times, cheeky monkey.. literally!
From about 4 months, maybe.. from memory, my hubby would give him a bottle as his last feed of the night!
When we started on food, his feeding habits changed, then at 5.5 months when he was on 3 meals a day ish, he would get fussier and fussier on the boob!! I didn’t think much about it, I was sad but it seemed the norm to just go with the flow! I just wanted him to be getting what he needed, so one day I just gave him a bottle on his first feed and boom that was it, no more booby, there was no plan, no lead up! Monkey totally decided! and so by 6 months he was no longer breastfed!
Fly all the way to the present and piglet is 8 months on Monday… this experience has been so different, with, some similarities.
She too, fed minutes after birth, she took to it straight away! was like riding a bike! I thought that way too, We know what we are doing… I was wrong! It took a few days for the milk to actually come in, didn’t help being completely sleep deprived and she fussed and couldn’t settle!
Few days in, we got our groove on. I’m not sure if my instinct from monkey set in, some mistakes I had made with his feeding!, But any time she didn’t quite latch, I took her off and put her back on. We still had the hard 6 weeks, like I had with monkey, it seems lots of people have the same 6 weeks… but this time I added a support group on Facebook and that was my life line, I posted a few times, but it was more knowing there were mummies in the same position as me, feeling the same, going through this journey. That at 3 am when you are feeding or they are not settling, that there’s someone else feeling the same!
Again like monkey, we soon got into the swing if it, just she FED alllll the time, if she wasn’t sleeping, she was boobing! Hence her nickname ha ha
I always had 5 months ish in mind, as wanted everything like I had with monkey! Again we would give a bottle here and there, just in the event of us going out, if she couldn’t wait, then my parents or my hubby could settle her, we’ve only been out an handful of times, but we are happy she got used to one!
I flit in and out, of wanting her, to be boobing, but time has just flown and actually when I think about it, it makes me so sad! Its that feeling of no longer being needed, the feeling of not being the ONLY one to settle her! I’ve also felt much more empowered and part of an amazing community, mainly on Instagram, as that is, where I hang out! Its somewhere I have shared my experiences and shared imagery, I NEVER thought I would, but its OK, its somewhere its accepted, to be proud, and enjoy feeding your baby!
(can I just say if you haven’t breastfed, there is no judgement here, in my opinion and that’s all it is, is ultimately a baby needs feeding and if that means by bottle, then good on you! happy mummy happy baby… )
Around 7 months the hubby gave her a bottle as her ‘last feed’ of the night, a few days later and she went into her big cot in her big bros room.. eekk
Since then, and being on 3 meals a day, shes currently fussing more, just like monkey did, the last few days shes been having an afternoon bottle too, so shes only really boobing in the morning, I just know its days away from her going onto bottle full time.
I am so sad! and anxious, I never in a million years thought I would even get this far, let alone approaching month 8! Now I see why there’s so many mummies that are still feeding past year one.
I do think, yay no more wearing a bra at night time, no more breast pads, and thinking about what to wear and can you pull a boob out! But its more than that, I’ve enjoyed it, its me and her time, that no one else gets, the looks, only I get, that time to just relax with each other.. OK, i’m sorry, its all cliche, but for me, I really mean it!
I’m not sure i’m quite ready to give it all up! but ultimately, piglet is deciding and its her choice! I will do what she wants!………
My tips for feeding-
- If you want to cover up! Anything works, muslin’s, jumpers, blankets (as long as you keep an eye to make sure they are not over heating and can breath)
- Stock up on lots and lots of CHOCOLATE, its a saviour when you need that calorie and energy boost (obviously a good diet and vitamins too, but where is the fun in that?!)
- Drink lots of water, you can get so dehydrated
- Lansinoh cream, esp the first few weeks its a God send!
- Lansinoh Breast pads, I’ve tried so many types and these, really are, amazing
- Good nursing bras, supportive, and get a few. I’ve seen some ladies recommend New Look as a good place to get some, mine happen to be from John Lewis (but are a little pricey)
- A decent nursing pillow, mine was by Widgey, its very soft and supportive for you and baby
- Get comfy, ensure you have pillows behind you, to support your back
- Try all positions, you will find ones that work for you
Above all else, keep at it, but if for any reason, its not happening for you or your baby, please do not worry, firstly get your health visitor to check for tongue tie, push for a check if you still feel something isn’t quite right! your instinct is always right!
Even if you try, and it still isn’t right for you! That’s OK! (not that you need my permission) but a baby fed by any means, is the right thing! Bottle or Boob who cares as long as mummy is happy then so will your baby 🙂
It worked for me, and I thoroughly enjoyed my journey, but it doesn’t always go that way!
If you need support please take a look and also ask your health visitor, don’t suffer! breastfeeding support link
*All thoughts are my own, I’ve not been paid to advertise any products mentioned*