I feel a lot more confident this time round with Delilah with my feeding. I'm a little more chilled out that Delilah is getting enough and I feel a lot more confident feeding in public this time round, maybe because I'm a bit older.
My experience with breastfeeding Matilda was really stressful the first two weeks. I was told by the midwives at the hospital and the midwives with my aftercare at home that Matilda wasn’t latching on properly. For me, breastfeeding I really breastfeed and for me, it was really important to me as it felt the most natural choice for me, it didn’t feel a natural choice to bottle feed. My mum had always breastfed, I am one of four and maybe women tend to follow their mums choice of feeding.
I don’t think AT ALL it makes you any less of a good mum if you decide to bottle feed instead of breastfeeding. All women's circumstances are different. I think its best for each mother to do the most comfortable choice for themselves. A happy mum is a happy baby. A lot of women can not breastfeed for various reasons such as a low breast milk supply, having to take medication or a baby that is struggling to breastfeed.
I think the most important thing though is for women and mothers to support each other whatever choices we choose for our children if its to do with what age to start weaning, dummies or no dummies, childcare, and choice of feeding. There's no such thing as the perfect mother as no one is perfect, like all loving mothers we are all just trying the very best we can for our children.
So back to feeding my firstborn, it was just really stressful. I remember the first week of having Matilda was amazing as I was just so in love with my little miracle and being a first-time mum but I also felt incredibly overwhelmed with everything. I didn’t realize I would be a bit sore after labor and not able to walk properly for a few days which was a bit of a shock and id never been around babies before so everything was so new from nappies to bathing to even dressing and winding a small baby. I didn’t even think of experiencing any problems or stress with breastfeeding. I remember the first week I would even dread feeding her as I was just worried she wasn’t latching on properly. I cried quite a bit the first week of having Matilda. I would sit with the breastfeeding booklet from the hospital practicing latch. I ended up giving Matilda a bottle or two of formula milk as I was so worried that she was hungry with being told my latch wasn’t right. I was also totally freaked out that Matilda was going to be okay with just my colostrum (the first form of milk after delivery of the newborn, a yellow colour) I know it sounds ridiculous and irrational but I actually thought she was going to pass out and id be at the hospital. I felt so anxious. I also felt so responsible for this teeny tiny baby, which of course I was, who was so unbelievably precious to me, I was just so anxious especially after being told my latch wasn’t right.
I think it was on day seven I finally ventured out of the house with Scott. I had an episiotomy so was quite sore after having Matilda and I remember as it was my first baby I felt overwhelmed with everything so wanted to stay at home, I don’t think I drove my car with Matilda for a while as I felt nervous driving with her in the back. We went to a retail park to go to mammas and Pappas and I remember when I was pregnant with Matilda one of the things that I couldn’t wait to do was just go to Starbucks with my baby. I feel for me becoming a mother has just brought me so much contentment, purpose, and fulfillment. I enjoy the little things so much like watching Disney films cuddled up in PJs in the morning eating breakfast, walks to the park with my baby and going for coffee. Even the food shop is made fun with a little one.
Anyway, breastfeeding I went to boots and I came across some nipple shields. This was a game changer for me as I was really on the verge that day of giving up breastfeeding all together as I found it was too stressful. I know that midwives don’t promote the nipple shields and after speaking to my midwife recently she said we don’t promote the nipple shields and its best not to use them but they don’t do any harm to the baby and its best to use these breastfeeding altogether. Ah, now I remember she said something about the baby doesn’t get as much good quality milk.
I am not a breastfeeding expert obviously that’s what midwives are trained in, I just wanted to give a really honest account of my experience with breastfeeding first time round so maybe my honesty might comfort or help another mum.
I used the nipple shields for a few weeks until I got my confidence with breast feeding Matilda and my milk was flowing. I used to like seeing the milk in the nipple shield so I knew that my baby was getting enough. Then I was away with breastfeeding and really enjoyed it, I loved the bonding experience and the closeness it gave me and my baby. I breastfed Matilda till she was around eight months. 6 months I breastfed Matilda for and two months I gradually weaned her off my breast milk. I did that because when Matilda got her little teeth through shed give me some little bites ha for me that felt the comfortable time to stop breastfeeding Matilda. I did give Matilda formula milk if I sometimes went out for a weekend and she was with her nanna but this was really a one-off. I remember my friends would laugh when I woke up in the morning as my boobs would be absolutely massive, so I would have to express all that milk away and throw it if I had a drink the night before.
My boobs have dropped and changed a lot from breastfeeding but I wouldn’t have it any other way, I'm proud to have fed my child myself and my bonding experience with my baby is far more important than what my body looks like.
When I was pregnant and setting up Delilah Ruby maternity lingerie I was wary about having problems breastfeeding Delilah from not having the most positive start to breastfeeding Matilda. So I was worried but my mum was assuring me id be fine as I've breastfed for so long with Matilda and id have much more confidence and as mums are she was right!
After giving birth to Delilah I was told I could stay over the night or go straight home and I said I really wanted to stay in to refresh my breastfeeding with the midwives as you get such support with feeding breastfeed the midwives at the hospital. I was told by all the midwives that Delilah was feeding perfectly and latching on great but it took a while for me to really believe them with having such a stressful start to feeding Matilda.
I did feel a bit more confident after giving birth but you forget how tiny newborn babies really are and they are so precious to you, I did still feel very anxious.
I also felt so unbelievably overwhelmed with love for Delilah which I wasn’t prepared for. When I was pregnant with Delilah I used to think how possibly could I love another child as much as I love Matilda, like that cant be possible. My mum assured me you just do and I knew I would love them equally but I just couldn’t imagine how. So when she arrived I was just so besotted and just so in love and I didn’t feel guilty about loving another child other than Matilda. I felt to breastfeed Delilah as well has really helped me bond with her. I didn’t feel I bonded with my baby bump in pregnancy as I was just so busy with Matilda and work and traveling. Where when I was pregnant with Matilda I would talk to my baby bump all the time and I felt I already had some kind of bond already. I felt then when Delilah arrived I wanted to make up for that.
The first week of Delilah been born I was just really quite snappy and stressy which I felt really bad about as I was snapping at my lovely mum who was doing everything for me and snapping at Matilda when she was having tantrums which were the exact opposite of what I wanted to do with her having a brand new sister which I felt awful about. Your more emotional as well and hormonal with your milk coming in, I remember being quite teary around day three.
I was just really worked up and anxious about Delilah being okay and if she was feeding well. I was stressed with her feeding and it was only until I could see my milk flowing after about seven days that I relaxed. I was so lucky as my mum stayed with me for a whole week after having Delilah to help me with the girls and support me with my feeding which I feel grateful I had.
I feed Delilah on demand so really whenever she cries as shes either hungry or wants comfort. Delilah has had colic which I've never experienced with Matilda. It's really horrible to see them struggle and be in pain. At first she would cry for a few hours nonstop and it was really awful to see her inconsolable. I decided to cut out dairy from my diet as I was told that might make a big difference as babies can be sensitive to the lactose in dairy products. My health visitor told me that what causes the colic in babies is an immature digestive system so they don’t find it easy to digest like we do. I'm just more mindful with what I am eating with Delilah having colic this time round, it's obviously really important to have a great healthy balanced diet when breastfeeding so your baby gets all the goodness. I drink coconut or soya milk and coconut or soya yogurts, I avoid cheese, stick to one coffee a day and stick to dairy free chocolate or dark chocolate. I've started to drink chamomile tea and fennel tea which I was told were good for breastfeeding.
I've not started expressing yet but am I am keen to do so soon. Delilah is nearly five weeks old as I am writing this and she has not left my side since she born as I always like Delilah with me in case she is hungry. I have really enjoyed this and its special to me as with her having colic as well I want to be there if she's in discomfort.
I do however miss my one and one time with my little girl Matilda. Matilda is just gorgeous and so loving towards her sister and not at all jealous but I am really looking forward to be able to take her out for an hour or two on her own to get her little nails painted or take her for ice cream and to be able to leave Delilah with her daddy with my expressed breast milk in a bottle.
We found that getting Matilda onto a bottle was quite tricky and we used NUK bottles as we found the teats were most like a nipple for a breastfed baby.
I always know when Delilah is due her next feed as my boobs fill up with milk and its always a relief when she does feed. I've learned its really important not to latch your baby off your nipple when feeding and to let them come off your nipple when they are ready. I have been told by my health visitor that your baby needs to get to the hindmilk which is the higher fat content of your breast milk towards the end of a feed. I feel my experience so far of
I feel my experience so far of breastfeeding Delilah has been a real positive one. I am glad this time round I didn’t use the nipple shields to start with and its just gone well after the initial first ten days. I just love the bonding experience breastfeeding gives. Its such a special time and you don’t get this time back with your baby. I would to like try and breast feed Delilah for eighteen months this time round, maybe feeding for nine months fully and then just giving Delilah a night feed.