Let me start off by saying in no way is this post about me blowing my own trumpet. I know breastfeeding is no easy task, and my heart totally goes out to the mums that find it difficult and really struggle with it, but I wanted to write a post about my positive breastfeeding experience so far, and let you know that it isn't all doom and gloom!
if you've been reading my blog for a while, you may have seen a post I did a few months ago, where I was trying to weigh up the pros and cons of breastfeeding (you can read that post here). I decided that I wanted to give breastfeeding a go, but was putting no pressure on myself to do it. if I felt comfortable and my baby latched on, great. If not, I had no problem using formula.
So when Aria was first born, the midwives asked if I wanted to have a go at breastfeeding, which I said a definite yes to. if I was going to give it a go, I wanted to have as much support around me as I could! I was so surprised that Aria latched on right away, and stayed on for well over an hour! This was probably more comfort than feeding, but it felt amazing, and I wanted to keep trying while I was still in the hospital.
Throughout our night in the hospital, I felt like I had so much support from the midwives. Every time I tried to feed her, they would be at my side and show me little ways to improve our positioning, and how to get her to latch on correctly. I feel like this support made all the difference, and after several great feeds they were more than happy to let us go home the next day, as they could see Aria was doing just fine.
Once at home, I did find things a little more difficult. I was only comfortable feeding while lying on my side, so it meant that whenever Aria needed fed we would need to go upstairs onto the bed. This was very tiring, especially when we had visitors who had come to see us, and we were stuck upstairs! This continued for the first 3/4 days, and my right boob in particular was becoming really sore, and I would dread the feed that came from that side!
At her four day check with the midwife, I was so surprised that Aria had only lost 1oz of her birth weight!! This gave me a huge confidence boost, as I knew that she was getting a great amount from me, and we didn't need to move onto formula just yet.
My midwife was absolutely fantastic those first 10 days, and whenever she was round she would give me so much encouragement that I was doing a good job, and that the 1/2 feeds I was expressing were great (so Tom could have some bonding time, and also let me have some sleep!). I was able to get 3, possibly 4oz in around 10 minutes! I feel like her support really helped me push past that pain barrier, and thankfully I have now have no problems feeding from either boob.
Three weeks on, I am still enjoying breastfeeding. I'm a lot more comfortable holding Aria while she feeds, and have even fed her in public a few times! This was really nerve-wracking for me, as I didn't think I'd feel comfortable at all. Thankfully, it hasn't been anywhere near as bad as I had thought, and it's actually quite empowering! The health visitor weighed her again at her two week check-up, and the little chunk has put on 1lb! Again, another huge confidence boost that she is getting everything she needs just from me. *gives self a little pat on the back*
I feel like I could tell you so much more about my breastfeeding experience so far, but I will save that for another update! (I think I will do these monthly) My biggest concern now is building my confidence at feeding on public, but I'm sure that will come with time and practice!
I really hope that this post has helped some of you, and let you know that sometimes things can go really well! Although it is extremely hard, try not to be put off by any horror stories. Breastfeeding is different for everyone, and if you do give it a go, don't put too much pressure on yourself! Just do what is best for you and your baby.
Thanks for reading