My Breastfeeding Story: Dealing with Mastitis & Making Breastfeeding Easier
Next in our series of real mums’ breastfeeding stories, we hear from Jessica, about her journey breastfeeding her little boy, Jax. This includes battling through problems including a fast letdown, sore nipples, and mastitis, to breastfeed her son successfully for over 6 months.
Before my son was born, I was unsure about whether or not breastfeeding would work for me, I was eager to know how I could help with making breastfeeding easier. However, after my baby boy Jax made a quick entrance into the world 6 days early, he took to breastfeeding about 30 minutes after he was born which was fantastic. He fed on and off for 4 hours before he settled, which was really satisfying for me.
By the end of Day 2, my milk had started to come in and as the days went by, he fed more and more. I discovered quite quickly that I have a very fast letdown which took some getting used to for my baby, he had to come off of my breast to take a breather! I found my left boob was worse, so my nipple was quite sore, cracked and bleeding which was painful. As Jax was pulling back on my nipple when my milk started to come fast, this led to him gulping down milk very quickly, leaving him quite windy once he’d finished!
On Day 4 I felt confident enough to feed Jax in public for the first time, at a local restaurant. It really helped that the restaurant was really breastfeeding friendly and being able to relax and just feed my son was just what this tired mummy needed!
We discovered that Jax had put on 1oz since he was born when the midwife came out on Day 5, which made the pain during feeding so worth it, I was over the moon! As the days went on my little boy continued to feed, and by Day 10 he had gone up to 8lb 4oz – go Mama’s milk!
At Day 12, after a long couple of days with lots of cluster feeding, I ended up with mastitis in my left breast. As this was the breast with the fast letdown, I noticed it leaking a lot more than the right which wasn’t great, but after a day or so on antibiotics which certainly helped with making breastfeeding easier.
Fast forward to Week 5, feeding had become painless! It was such a nice feeling, because although feeding was an amazing thing to be able to do, I did not love the toe curling feeling of baby latching on! With my fast letdown, Jax struggled to keep a good latch with the fast flow, and would often detatch and then come back onto my nipple which made it very sore. With persistence taking him off and re-latching, my fast let down subsided and this made a huge difference in making breastfeeding more comfortable for me and Jax!
As Jax continued to gain weight throughout his first few months, I really had a sense of achievement and all the sleepless nights and problems with re-latching made it all worth it!
Now, 6 months on, breastfeeding is just as amazing, my little boy loves mama’s milk more than ever and is growing into a beautiful little boy. We waited until Jax was six months old before we began weaning, and it hasn’t affected our breastfeeding journey which is fantastic. Our next steps are dealing with his teething and also my return to work, so I am hoping to express so we can continue our breastfeeding story for a little while longer! I am loving my breastfeeding journey with my little milk monster and I hope it continues for many more months to come!
Thank you to mum, Jess, for sharing her breastfeeding experience. If you would like to share your breastfeeding story please email, firstname.lastname@example.org