So Eloise is coming up to two years old soon, and i will be having baby number two in a few months which has recently got me thinking about breastfeeding again, and i soon realized i never shared my experience with anyone.
When Eloise was born i really wanted to breastfeed but i was open minded that if i struggled i would just go on to formula and not put a lot of pressure on myself to breastfeed her! Eloise was in neonatal for the first 24 hours after her birth and so they ga
ve her formula through a feeding tube that went in her nose to start with while i rested, but about 5 hours or so after her birth they said i could go in and try her on my breast if i wanted to. Previous to that i sat in my hospital bed trying my very hardest to express what colostrum i had so i could give her all the good stuff to go along with her formula to try and help her get her strength up after a traumatic birth.
I was so incredibly nervous as i had no idea what to do, i was very lucky and she pretty much latched on straight away, it felt so weird and i wasn't sure she was even getting anything out! But i stuck at it mainly because the longer i tried to feed the longer i could hold her and have some skin to skin. I remember feeding her for about 40 mins straight to start with before my proper milk came in, then she would rest for about half an hour and be at it again, so for our first night in hospital together i pretty much had no sleep at all, but the adrenaline from having this beautiful baby kept me going.
A few days later i just carried on sticking with the breastfeeding, we had bottles, formula and breast pumps at home just in case! I started to feel really sore and i had lots of people telling me i was clearly doing it wrong because breastfeeding should hurt! I completely disagree with that statement and it used to make me cross! Dont get me wrong if there not latched on right they will leave you with little blood blisters, but this was just sore simply from having someone constantly on my breast. Luckily i found some nipple cream in a local shop which helped soothe them! And whenever i could i would just keep my breasts out in the cold air to dry naturally so they wernt always in wet breast pads all the time, because you will leak like crazy!
Eventually my nipples got used to breastfeeding and didn't hurt over time! But a few weeks in i did end up with thrush on my nipples which i didn't know was possible! Its quite common and was probably from all the breast pads i was going through, so the doctors just gave me some cream to put on and Eloise had some mouth drops and it cleared within a few days.
After a few sleepless night of constant breastfeeding, i tried to express into bottles so Decarlo could have a turn in the night to allow me to sleep. It took me quite a while to express, i would usually try and express whilst she was feeding from the other boob as it would usually leak then anyway! Eventually when my milk came in properly and i leaked less i struggled to express, it took so long, so whenever she needed feeding in the night we would just give her some formula.
I highly recommend once your settled with breastfeeding to try and give them a bottle, whether its breast milk or formula, as i know so many people who have exclusively breastfed then when there baby is about 6 months or so and they were thinking about moving them on they couldn't because they refused to take a bottle! I breast fed until Eloise was about 4/5 months old, i didn't think she was getting enough from me, although looking back now i wish i had carried on because making formula and sterilizing bottles was just such a nightmare!
Im 100% hoping to breastfeed next time, im not against bottle feeding as i did a bit of both with Eloise, but i just found it so convenient and cheaper, it was one of the best things ive ever done and gave me such a lovely bonding time with her!
Next week i will post my pros and cons of breast and bottle feeding, and some essentials you might need such as nipple creams and sterilizers. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions and i will answer them in the next post.
I post on my blog every single monday!