My Breastfeeding Story: Increasing Breast Milk Supply and Breastfeeding Bonds
The next in our series of real mums’ stories and accounts of breastfeeding…
First time mum, Sally, shares her experience breastfeeding her little one, from feeling the pressure to get it right from strangers, to facing the struggles of Mastitis to finally ending up with a fantastic breast milk supply- with a freezer full of liquid gold!
“Are you going to breastfeed?” I remember being asked this at least 3 times a day – sometimes by complete strangers, whilst they admired my big bump. I never quite knew how to answer that because I just didn’t know. Like most first time mums, I was worried… what if I didn’t have enough milk? What if it hurts me? How do I do it in public and What if I just… can’t?
When Darcy was born, she began to root almost immediately and my decision was made for me. The midwives were amazing, getting her to latch on and helped me find a position that worked for us both (I had had a C-section so was a little sore).
At home, we continued to do well. Sometimes it would hurt a little when Darcy first latched on but this toe curling pain would stop within seconds and she’d settle into deep rhythmic swallows. She went from feeding every 3-4 hours to every 1 ½ hours, which seemed erratic but I was assured by professionals this was ‘cluster’ feeding. This would happen every now and then as she had a growth spurt but would settle down.
When Darcy was 2 weeks old, I suddenly felt quite unwell – going hot and cold. My partner rang the hospital and we went down so I could be checked over. By the time we had got there, I had a red tender lump the size of a tangerine on my left boob... Mastitis! I was fortunate enough to have caught it quickly and it cleared with a short dose of antibiotics. The midwives suggested I expressed if it was too painful to feed so I invested in a Medela Swing Electric Breast Pump. Amazing! I had been doing some pumping with a hand pump but this was so much easier and quicker. I built up quite a freezer of expressed breast milk and my partner gave Darcy her first bottle when she was 6 weeks old. He said it was an incredible feeling, feeding our daughter, it even made him feel a little jealous of our breastfeeding bond!
I feel extremely lucky to have had such a positive experience breastfeeding journey and 8 months down the line, Darcy is still breastfed, though with a lump in my throat as I write this, I feel she is self-weaning. She feeds for less time, appears distracted, LOVES her solids and sleeps through the night for longer periods. If anything, I am glad it is coming to an end like this, naturally and her decision.
Thank you to mum, Sally, for sharing her breastfeeding experience. If you would like to share your breastfeeding story please email, firstname.lastname@example.org