Everything You Need To Know About Breastfeeding

Everything That You Need To Know About Breastfeeding

The things that they should tell you about breastfeeding, but they don’t

I have put together a set of resources that will help you make your breastfeeding journey a success. We’ll be talking about the benefits, the funny bits, the helpful bits and the boobs of it all.

Click on the buttons below to read the relevant articles or keep scrolling to read the introduction to the series in the form of my own, rather eventful, breastfeeding story.

My Breastfeeding Story

So, why am I so interested in boobs and the stuff that comes out of them? Well, I’m no qualified expert, but I have spent nearly 6 years of my life (when you add it up between all of my children) breastfeeding, and I’m still going. I have had varied experiences with breastfeeding, from an easy ride, to stressed experiences, to feeling like I was rocking it.

Through these highs and lows, I picked up so much knowledge & information along the way. Lots of this valuable knowledge that would, had I known it in the beginning, have saved me all the stress, worry and tears that suffered while struggling to figure it all out for myself.

Through this series, I aim to give you a survival guide including everything that has helped me to breastfeed successfully.

Here’s my story…

Dylan - Mummy Of Four

When I had my first son, Dylan, I wasn’t especially well read about breastfeeding, but I knew that I wanted to do it. I wasn’t stressed, my baby took to it well and it all went swimmingly. I was very “go with the flow”. I fed him most of the night and did totally “baby led” feeding, but my whole world revolved around him and it didn’t matter. I as very lucky that we both just sort of accidentally got on with it. I breastfed Dylan until he was 17 months and it all went without a hitch.

Seven and a half years later

When I had my second son, William. It started off pretty well. He fed, I was happy. Sleepless nights were harder as I had my other son’s schedule to adhere to, but all in all, it began quite well. When he was a few months old, he sort of went off feeding. He constantly “snacked” around the clock, never feeding for more than a couple of minutes (like I talked about in my Doing This One Thing post).

I knew there was something up and called my health visitor. She came to see me on a Wednesday and confirmed what I had feared; his weight had dropped. It wasn’t by much, but a drop of any kind in a baby that age was clearly cause for concern. She told me that she was coming back on Friday and if he hadn’t gained weight, then he would be admitted to hospital to be tube fed with formula.

I was devastated.

I went into a tail spin of maternal guilt which fuelled crazy levels of research and sheer determination to rectify the situation and do what I could to help him gain weight. As I had breastfed my first son until he was 17 months, I was convinced that I had to do the same for my second son. I was fixated on the idea that they both deserved to be given the same.

I began expressing to stimulate my supply, then topping up my little baby by sort of force feeding him expressed milk when he refused to take any more from the breast. I was up most of the night, even when my baby was asleep, expressing milk. I continued to express even when there was no more milk to train, knowing that this would stimulate supply.

Suffice to say, my efforts paid off. In spite of the fact that he remained the kind of baby that needed attentively monitoring to make sure that he was getting enough, he gained weight steadily. In fact, by the time that he was crawling, he was positively chunky.

Happy baby William

Considering the rocky ride that we had been on, I was immensely proud of his roles. By the time that consultant appointment came around to address his “failure to thrive”, the doctor could not understand why this chubby baby had been referred to her.

Then Came Baby Number 3

When I had my eldest daughter Bella, baby number 3, I was adamant that I would never go through such a traumatic experience again. As soon as my milk came in, I was expressing between feeds.

Baby Bella

By the time Bella was a few weeks old, I had a stash of breastmilk in the freezer. I was so very comforted by this. It was my baby insurance. Never again would I be sent into a tail spin by the threat of a hospital admission. If there was ever any concern about her weight, I had all of this liquid gold to top her up and nourish her with.

Breastmilk stash

The result of this expressing from so early on was amazing. The stash in the freezer game me confidence, so the whole ride went smoother. Breastfeeding is a bit like men with erections, performing under immense pressure is difficult. The stash removed the pressure. But the other result of all the expressing was how plentiful my supply was. I had tricked my body into thinking that I had twins, so whenever Bella fed, the supply flowed and it was easy. Don’t even get me started on all of the calories that I burned while producing all of this miracle milk (what an added bonus).

So that brings us to baby number 4, Zara

As you will know if you have read my Letter To Zara on her First Birthday, we both had a rocky start, health wise. Still, through all of this trauma, I continued with my expressing schedule. Although she was tiny, Zara thrived. I accumulated another epic stash of insurance milk, plus topped her up when I worried that she hadn’t fed enough. Zara is now 1 year old and still breastfed and doing well. She still has 2 feeds a day, one first thing and one last thing, then sleeps through the night.

So that’s it. That’s my journey so far. 

Have you ever breastfed? Are you pregnant and considering your feeding options? Do you have any questions that you would like answered? If you have, please comment below, or email me rhi@mummyoffour.com and I will answer your query or discuss your points in future posts.

Now let me leave you with one of my favourite breastfeeding videos of all time by the fabulous Kristina Kuzmic.

Why not pin tis for later?

Comments 2

  1. Wow well done, he really climbed the centiles suddenly. Great work!
    In terms of HV I was frustrated because they don’t seem to be logical when they look at who should be monitored – mine was ALWAYS between the 2nd and the 9th centile from 1 month to now as a child, so they would stress me with loads of monitoring due to her tiny size, but of course she followed her line slavishly. I wonder if they would have done that with a bottle fed baby? In the end a wise one looked at me and said “OMG you’re titchy! She’s just small. Growing textbook normally but small like her mum.” And I was so stressed I’d gave myself needless over supply, mastitis and a freezer full of pumped milk.

    1. Post
      Author

      Thanks, I was pleased! The centiles can be annoying, as all adults are different shapes and sizes, so it’s not really fair to compare all babies directly. Hmmm, wonder if they do scrutinise bottle fed babies as closely 🤔 I will ask my HV when I see her! xx

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