Welcome back to another installment of New Mum Stories. This time Laura from Adventures With J shares with us her story on becoming a mum and the struggles with breastfeeding.
Over to you Laura….
When I first became pregnant I found the idea of breastfeeding very uncomfortable. It wasn’t something I had really thought about before but my initial considerations were to bottle feed. However, within only a few weeks of being pregnant I was bonding with my baby. I had a strong instinct very early that my baby was a girl and I had a name for her very quickly. Breastfeeding started to feel like a great way to connect with her once she was born. Sadly, my baby’s heart stopped beating and I never had that opportunity.
I never knew a product like Nimble Babies Milk Buster existed until I was sent a bottle to try out for myself. But first here is our little bottle feeding story.
Baby girl is coming up to a year old now. I exclusively breast-fed her for 6 months. Months 7 and 8 I started pumping milk off to try to get her used to the bottle for when I went back to work when she was just over 8 months old. But the trouble I had was that I couldn’t pump any milk off. It just never worked for me so I turned to some formula just for her to have while I was at work. This worked really well for us and it still does now. I get up half an hour earlier for work so I can breast feed her before work and then she has it just before bed. It’s a routine we have been in now since October and to be honest I can’t see baby girl giving up her ‘booby’ milk soon.
I have been meaning to write this post on tips for leaving the house with a newborn for a while.
Baby girl is 6 months old and leaving the house has got much slicker. We have our own routine now and she knows to wait and be patient while I pop to the loo!
Right at the very beginning, well 6 weeks after baby girl was born ( I had a c-section so wasn’t allowed to drive for 6 weeks) it used to take us 2 hours to get out of the house. I would throw my clothes onand have a quick spray of deodorant.
Yes sometimes there wasn’t time to have a shower!
Then there was the preparation of getting baby girl ready. I call it preparation because I used to prepare my self for any unexpected event that would put us behind.
To begin with I want to say I have nothing against people who bottle feed with formula. I want to set that straight. I’m not here to upset anyone, but I’m voicing my own opinions.
So a couple of weeks back I made the decision to try to start baby girl on some formula. For when I go back to work in under 2 months. She then can have milk during the day when I’m not there. I have never been able to pump any extra of my own milk off. I seem to produce just enough.
My plan is still to breastfeed her mornings and evenings. So she’s still getting all the goodness from my milk.
Anyway so I read up exactly how to make the milk from on the box. The powder doesn’t smell too bad. I have a habit of smelling food before I eat it. Although technically I’m not having the milk.
When the bottle is made up and cooled to the correct temperature I try to give it to baby girl. She has a few sucks. Mostly chews the teat. I’m sure she thinks it’s a game because when she’s finished playing around with the teat. Her little hands start grabbing at my vest top and trying to rip my bra open to get to her boobie milk.
We were very excited to be asked by Tommee Tippee to join in with the Tommee Tippee Ultra Games. All we had to do was take a photo of our little ones with the headband and medal on that was sent to us to take part in their games.
Now I’m a huge fan of the olympics and have been since I watched the first one I can remember. Which was Barcelona in 1992. This Summer because I’m on maternity leave I can watch quite a bit. I have really enjoyed the road cycling. gymnastics and swimming so far. I cannot wait until the athletics start. That’s my favourite.
Tommee Tippee are running their own games over on Facebook. There are lots of events you can enter your little one in. If you win they receive a Tommee Tippee Athlete pack and bottle. The pack contains a sweatband, medal and certificate.
How to Enter
Over the course of the games Tommee Tippee will be hosting the events below and to enter all you have to do is upload a photo or video show casing the event to their Facebook page.
Crawling | Smiling | Dribbling | Pooping | Peeing | Laughing | Napping | Rolling
My breastfeeding story starts back when I was 36 weeks pregnant when my mum and midwife both asked me (at different times I may add!) if I was going to breastfeed. I told them yes, I was going to give it a go. My midwife said oh you are such a good girl, it’s very important for baby. I got the feeling from her that she gets a lot of no’s! She left it at that. No tips on how to get the baby to latch on or what you should or shouldn’t eat, how to cope with sore nipples, nothing, zilch.
My mum on the other hand is amazing and full of so much advice. She loves babies and was an excellent stay at home mum. She breastfed all my sisters, brother and I, that’s four of us. She breastfed my younger brother until he was a year old. I don’t really remember much as I was six at the time.
My baby girl is now nine weeks old and mum still keeps giving me tips on what not to eat. Don’t eat onion, spicy curry or garlic she says. Oh and don’t touch turnip ( that’s swede to everyone outside Cornwall!!) that used to give your brother terrible wind! I have found with baby girl it’s cabbage that upsets her tummy through my milk.
Anyway let’s get back on track to my first few hours and days as a breastfeeding mummy. I had an emergency c-section with baby girl so the skin to skin contact which I planned on doing had to wait until I was out of theatre and in recovery. This took longer than I wanted, and was about an hour before she was placed on my chest. My husband had held her all the time from when she was born so she wasn’t lonely. It took two midwives to help me onto my side so I could get baby girl onto my boob, while she was lying down. She was a hungry little girl and was sucking away, I honestly didn’t know whether she got any of the colostrum or not as I wasn’t sure my body was producing anything, it didn’t stop her sucking though!
For a few days she was sucking and sucking and my milk never made a show. The poor mite was starving and I was so tempted to start bottle feeding her. I couldn’t bare to see her starve any longer. She lost weight and went from 8lb 11oz to 8lb 2oz due to me not giving her what she needed. I ended up phoning my midwife in a panic nearly crying down the phone because I couldn’t feed my baby. But By day 5 something magic happened! I started dripping milk! It was here at last! I didn’t feel like such a failure or a bad mother. I’m sure by having that c-section it took slightly longer for my milk to appear. Baby girl is 9 weeks old now and still loving the boob! I’ve expressed milk off for her to have in a bottle but she’s a little reluctant yet to take it, we are still persevering each day with trying her on the bottle. Got to give my little nipples a rest!
I have to say in those first few weeks I really couldn’t think of anything worse than going down to make a bottle in the middle of the night, especially if you live in a house like ours which is a three storey townhouse so two flights of stairs down into the kitchen. All I had to do was get a boob out and bob’s your uncle!
Now I look back at those hard first few days and wonder why did I keep going with breastfeeding. My answer – if only you could see the way my 9 week old looks up at me while she is feeding with those big blue eyes. That’s why.
To answer my own question – How hard can breastfeeding be?
Extremely hard! Tingly boobs, sore cracked nipples. Not being able to lie on your tummy. Not being able to go bra less. Leaky boobs, and I’m sure I sweat milk!
Did you breast or bottle feed? Do you have a feeding story to tell?
This post was first published on the Meet Other Mums website where I am a regular writer.