Thanks for hopping over from Life With Baby Kicks and welcome to my post for the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Scavenger Hunt Day 1 The Start of My Journey sponsors today include Boobie Milk with a £50 voucher, Cherub Chews who are offering a breastfeeding necklace and Loveyush who are offering a breastfeeding scarf for our Grand Prize winner. Over £700 worth of goodies are up for grabs entries via the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
I knew I wanted to breastfeed. I feared that I wouldn’t bond and for me, personally I knew that breastfeeding would help that.
It was hard. Very hard.
I was exhausted after being in hospital for three days prior to delivery and two days after. I suffered from a heart problem that gave me palpitations (217bpm is my record) which decided to trigger when I was already overdue so I was kept in for fear of something happening – apparently heart failure was possible! Recovering from that alone was exhausting so giving birth a few days later was doubly exhausting.
So we didn’t have the best start.
The first few weeks of Oliver’s life are a blur and were mostly spent in bed or on the sofa. I barely even showered. I was so exhausted that R suggested a bottle of formula to ‘give me a break’ – I was heartbroken, but looking back it probably helped.
My nipples bled, my toes curled in pain at each feed for four weeks. It got easier after those four weeks, but I was still really sore, by 6 weeks I was pain free and it felt almost like second nature.
I always feel gutted when I hear about people stopping at 6 weeks because it really is the hardest part, after that it gets so easy, not least in part to the fact that your baby gets more head control and there’s much less bobbing around.
Oliver never lost weight despite me having an (medically ordered) epidural which can make the baby gain fluid weight giving an inaccurate birth weight. He was a little tired though and the midwives suggested using a syringe for colostrum but luckily we managed a latch. I also battled oversupply which affected Oliver’s latch – imagine trying to latch on an over inflated balloon – so I often had to express a little before a feed in order to soften my breast slightly.
We got a lot of well meaning advice, lots of people suggested formula – including health visitors when Oliver’s weight gain slowed down (4 month growth spurt) and he dropped centiles, but I knew my baby and I knew he was thriving and that breastfeeding him was the right thing to do. A few months later he had gained centiles and has met and exceeded most milestones. He is naturally quite small, but neither R’s family nor mine are particularly tall/stocky so it is just how he was meant to be.
In the first 6 months, confidence in my body and biology is what kept me going.
And ignoring all of the bad advice.
Following on from my journey, please do hop over to Baby Foote to see how her journey began and be in with more chances to enter the grand prize draw. Remember you need to earn 50 points to be eligible, full details can be found on the Keep Britain Breastfeeding Site.