Friday 28 March 2014

Breastfeeding attempt no.2

Breastfeeding wearing a Snoob.
I didn't manage to successfully breastfeed Oliver and I will always regret that. After 24 hours I gave up. I remember begging my mum to go and get me some SMA formular milk as I just couldn't take any more of him 'eating me alive'. I didn't understand that my milk hadn't come in and that you need to get over the initial struggle when you're already exhausted from labour, I hadn't researched it as much as I did this time. This time I'm much more confident with breastfeeding. It is very hard, it might be 'natural' but that doesn't mean it's always easy and I strongly believe that if you can't do it then you shouldn't feel bad. If you don't want to do it then you shouldn't feel bad. But if you do want to do it and you're struggling then look for help before you give up, I combined bottle and breast with Oliver and there's nothing wrong with that either. Every baby is different so if you can't breastfeed your first like me, it doesn't mean you won't with your second! Even if I only manage to breastfeed for 2 weeks, 3 weeks or 6 weeks - anything, then I'm happy as long as I've done my best at it.

Because I had an emergency c-section, we didn't get to do skin to skin straight away like I did with Oliver and that upsets me a little bit. I always think I will get around to doing it but I won't lie, we haven't really. I am really happy that Isabelle was given to daddy to cuddle instead of left next to me while I was completely out of it. Who would want their baby laying by themself having only just been born?

At hospital I didn't get support with breastfeeding - I did as a breastfeeding support worker to come and see if I was doing it right but she never did come! I spent night one after having a c-section awake all night sat in a chair next to my bed trying to get Isabelle to feed, she would do it a little then come off, then have wind and cry. So the midwife - cough - lovely lady - cough - offered me... formular milk! so that and I quote "could put her into the bed and get some sleep" as if sleep was more important than my baby learning to breastfeed properly because not only am I learning but Isabelle is learning too... it might be natural but she's never done it before so give her a chance! The next morning the same midwife came to me and patted me on the shoulder and said well done you done it. I wish I had replied yeah, no help from you!

We did struggle again once we come home with breastfeeding. She was so tired and couldn't be bothered to suck to get the milk she just screamed. Luckily we brought an electric breast pump but we hadn't considered sterilizing it and we didn't own a microwave. Oops. Thankfully we live close to Michael's parents and we quickly went there to get it sorted. When he returned I expressed an oz or so and fed it to her, while her eyes were closed I changed her from the bottle to my boob, having covered my nipple in breast milk she didn't notice and since then I've not had a problem with breastfeeding. Tricked her!

If you're looking at breastfeeding then I have a few suggestions for you...

  • Research while you're pregnant.
  • Find a local breastfeeding support group while you're pregnant so that if you feel you need it after baby is born, you know where to go! Also some places hold breastfeeding workshops for when you're still pregnant. I missed our local one but if you have one then you should look into attending. 
  • Buy at least one nursing bra towards the end of your pregnancy. 
  • Buy nursing sleep bras! Super comfortable and comfortable will be what you need.
  • Nursing pads and creams, coolings pads too! I have a great selection I will review in a future post. 
  • Breastfeeding pillow.
  • Decide where you're going to breastfeed... originally we had a chair sorted for me but since having a c-section, it just isnt comfortable so I've been staying in the bedroom which isn't ideal for various reasons including - I feel more sleepy while in bed and Michael gets woken up which isn't fair when he has to go to work. So if you can afford it, look into a nursing chair or look on local selling pages and ebay to see if you can pick one up cheaply. I've learnt now, plan for the worst case and if you have a c-section or lots of stitches you will require comfort. 
  • Breastfeeding cover, such as Snoob breastfeeding scarf. I will be reviewing these in their own post as well as I just love love love them!
  • Nursing clothes are also very handy - I have a great selection I'm going to share with you soon. 
  • Nursing night wear - especially for when at hospital.
Now little lady is breastfeeding happily and I can't believe I'm feeding this little baby all by myself. How clever are women ? hehe.

Mary-Kate, x

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