My Breastfeeding Journey

Breastfeeding is the most natural thing in the world. The female body is incredible, able to grow and sustain life all by itself. I adore being able to breastfeed, it’s convenient, free and most of all, I love the feeling of closeness it has given my son and I. It is wonderful to be able to nourish, comfort and protect my baby at a moments notice.

So my breastfeeding journey began the moment Teddy was born. I tried breastfeeding with Krystabelle, we managed three days but that’s a whole other story.

Teddy was born on the 22nd of March, 2017 at 8:25am. And I was lucky enough that he latched on immediately after he was placed on my chest. I’ll be honest in saying I don’t really recall that moment much after a long and very exhausting labour.

Ten minutes after Teddy was placed on my chest I was sent for a shower so the midwife could clear up as she needed the room free and then I was sent to another room with only a sofa, nursing chair and a crib in as they had no beds free for me as the maternity unit was full. Within a couple of hours I was then sent home.

No one asked if I needed help with breastfeeding or asked how I was doing so I was left to begin the journey myself.

As soon as we got home I started to feed Teddy and from what I can remember, he had a very strong latch. That area became very sensitive right away, and within a few hours I became quite sore. After a day or so I started to get blisters so I called the health visitor out to see me. I wanted to make sure that his latch was as it should be as I wasn’t very happy with how much it hurt. I can’t remember much of what the health visitor told me when she came to visit, but I can remember her telling me to use nipple cream and to try nipple shields. Nipple shields were definitely not on my list because of the trouble I had with Krystabelle when she was a baby and it completely ruined breastfeeding for the both of us.

Anyway.. I started using the cream but it didn’t really seem to help, I just kept getting more and more sore. As I said the area was sensitive anyway, but with a monster cut and someone biting and sucking right onto it is enough to make anyone cry, and cry I did.

Breastfeeding continued to hurt and there were no signs of me healing. When a relative came to visit, she could see how sore I was and suggested cup feeding (expressing milk and pouring it into baby’s mouth using a cup) I tried this for a couple of days and it really was a godsend, that couple of days have me time to heal, and then Teddy was back on the boob and each day then got easier and easier and I really started to get the hang of it.

Little man breastfed around the clock nonstop for the first couple of months and  I mean around the clock. During the day he would feed for hours upon hours and would wake every two hours at night. He seemed to want to just feed and feed. I did a lot of googling at this point and asked in breastfeeding support groups on Facebook if it was normal for him to breastfeed for 6 hours straight. But of course it was, it’s called cluster feeding and it’s totally normal.

Those first couple of months of breastfeeding are totally daunting because it’s literally just your whole day.

Teddy is now almost 18 months, the plan was to breastfeed him until he reached One, but I had no intentions on stopping after his he did turn One, it wasn’t broke so why fix it? Why stop giving him my milk to give him milk from another species, doesn’t make sense to and I’m thoroughly enjoying this journey. I’ve had one or two comments which have really hurt my but I’m trying to take the comments with a pinch of salt. Some people will just never understand.

Teddy now only feeds first thing in the morning and just before bedtime, in between meals he will drink plain water.

He now has his last feed at around 7-8 pm and sleeps right through until half 7-8 pm

From feeding a newborn to an almost 18 month old, it seems the breastfeeding journey is both long and short. I cherish the moments that I’m breastfeeding, it’s such a lovely bonding time between Teddy and I. I am still in awe of the science of breastfeeding from the benefits it passes along to your child to the way in which your breast milk is specific to every minute of your child’s existence. It blows my mind. Hopefully I’ll be able to carry on breastfeeding until he turns Two but being pregnant with my third baby I’m not sure if it will happen. The plan now is to let little man self wean, although that has been the plan since he turned One.

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