A little while back now, I shared our experience with breastfeeding, and the highs and lows that come with it. I breastfed Belle for about five months, and mix feed till she was about seven months, when she eventually weaned herself!
I was really proud of how long we breastfed for because it did not at all come easy for us. First, my milk didn’t come in quick enough, which made for a tough five days after she was born. I then got sore and cracked nipples and this made for a difficult time with latching. There was then the crippling Mastitis around the six week mark, which was possibly the sickest I have ever felt. And then after a few months I started having supply issues and really had to work hard to keep it up.
However, even thought it wasn’t the easiest time to begin, we eventually got there and the last few months were much easier. But, it wasn’t without effort and we tried nearly every trick in the book to try and over come our issues – a lot which didn’t work for us!
Below I have detailed the top five tips for the breastfeeding mother, should they have any of the same issues we did!
1. Nipple shields
Someone suggested I get nipple shields to help with my sore and cracked nipples. I ended up using them for over three months because they made it super easy for Annabelle to latch and I was so scared for them becoming cracked again. Once we finally ditched them however she latched fine still, which had been something I was worried about.
From very early on I pumped so I built up a supply in the freezer. This meant my husband could get up and do night feeds as well and could get some rest! It also helped keep my supply up, however it is very time consuming!
I used a the Medela swing pump at home and their manual pump as back up, both were amazing!
I honestly believe had I have not pumped I wouldn’t never have made it this far. It allowed me so much more flexibility in my life and really helped with supply issues!
3. Eat Breakfast
When I started to have supply issues I noticed that if I hadn’t had a decent breakfast, that by the end of the day I wasn’t making next to no milk. I had to really start making sure I had a god breakfast and carb rich foods throughout the day to make a decent supply!
4. Don’t get too full
To try and catch up on sleep I would let my husband do a few feeds, which meant my boobs were not being emptied for at least 8 hours. Ultimately leading to mastitis, which if you have never experienced it, is possibly the worst pain ever!
5. Don’t be afraid of formula
As my milk took a few days to come in, by the third day Annabelle was so hungry and I just couldn’t keep her full. We ended up giving her a few formula feeds so that she wasn’t starving, and again around five months we began to mix feed because she was so hungry!