319 531 roots

Letter to breastfeeding mums

breastfeeding

Whenever first time, breastfeeding mums come to my massage classes, many have experienced the same things I did when I had my first baby. They worry that everything they are doing is wrong, they worry about how much milk their baby is getting, if their baby’s behaviour around feeding is normal. They worry if their baby is on the breast too often or not enough, if they want to feed all night or sleep too long. They worry about everything because that’s what we do as new mums. We care so much about this miracle WE created; we want to do everything we can to protect and look after them.

I wrote this because I don’t want new mums to feel like they are alone, you are NOT alone. This is to all the new mums who are starting out on their breastfeeding experience. It is HARD WORK at first, but it is sooo worth it! This is in no way a critique of mums who have chosen formula. In fact, if I knew enough about it I would write something for those mummies too. I hear time and again how bad they have been made to feel, or how they were just left alone to ‘get on with it’ without having any idea about formula and how to feed their little ones. However, this is for those breastfeeding mums because I have been there, and I have experienced many of the same worries and anxieties you may be going through. I am not a breastfeeding expert, but a mum who has breastfed 2 babies (and is still feeding my 1-year-old)

Here are my main things I want to share and things I wish someone had told me:

         Breastfeeding is painful at the beginning for many of us. It just is. It’s not because the latch is wrong, or anything you are doing. It just hurts to have someone suck on your nipple as if their life depended on it (which I guess it does). Of course you ought to check it out and make sure there are no issues like tongue tie or milk supply issues, but its normal to struggle. Please don’t feel upset or disappointed and, if you can, push through. It WILL get easier, just give it time. Don’t beat yourself up, don’t panic that this is how it will be for months, it won’t, but you need to have someone by your side telling you how well you are doing. Because you are doing well, so keep it up. Join La Leche league, call the breastfeeding NCT number, see your Health Visitor, find a lactation consultant, check out FB pages about breastfeeding. Get support and the correct information.

          You may not need to top up. Well-meaning friends and relatives will tell you to top up on formula if you are worried, or tired in those early days. This can be very unhelpful as topping up on formula will tell your body that you don’t need to produce as much milk. Breastfeeding is supply and demand. It takes a few days for your milk to come in but the more baby is on the breast the more it will stimulate this. if you are concerned do check with a health professional who will be able to help you do what is best for you and baby.

          When your baby is very little (or maybe not so little) they will want to feed all the time. This is normal. They are establishing feeding and they are getting comfort too. Breastfeeding is so much more then feeding. Try not to worry about ‘how much’ they are getting. Babies get what they need and if you are worried their weight is a good indication of how they are doing.

          Don’t let people tell you that your baby is using you like a dummy. So what? That is exactly what the breast is for, to feed and comfort. It is natures ‘dummy’ and therefore normal and natural for your baby to want this.

          Finding clothes isn’t as tricky as you might think. When I had my first child I wore the same 3 feeding tops on rotation. It turns out I could have worn any top I wanted. You just do the 2 top trick, pull the top one up and the bottom one down. No one told me about this until much later, but it’s worth remembering if you don’t want to buy all new clothes . Just using 2 of your existing tops in tandem works a treat.

Breastfeeding is a wonderful way to connect with your baby and to remember what a fabulous job you are doing. You are literally keeping your baby alive with your body! How amazing is that. Don’t be ashamed or embarrassed. I used to worry so much about feeing in public. But what should we? I wouldn’t feel ashamed if I was giving a child solid food in public. Your baby is eating. End of, don’t let others make you feel embarrassed about that.

*If you enjoyed reading this please do share it with your friends, and check out my Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/rootsandwingsparenting/ I would love to hear your thoughts and experiences so pop by and say hi 🙂

 

3 Little Buttons

 

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39 comments
  • Squirmy Popple

    I think it’s so important for new mums to know that breastfeeding is likely to be painful at first. I spend the first few weeks so worried that I was doing something wrong because it was uncomfortable – I didn’t realise it was just my body adjusting to a new experience. I’m still breastfeeding my 13-month-old and I’m so glad I stuck with it. I think it’s also important for new mums to know that it does get easier (for most of us). Babies work out how to latch and gradually start feeding less, until one day they’re barely breastfeeding at all and you kind of miss it. #bigpinklink

    • Roots and Wings Parenting

      Thank you for reading and your comment! I felt exactly the same the first time too! Mums need support and to be told the truth about what to expect. I am so glad you were able to carry on and have found it such a positive experience.
      I know what you mean about missing it as it comes to an end. Funny that at the start I felt like I hated it and now I also feel like I will miss it when my youngest weans off x

  • Merlinda Little (Glimmer of Hope)

    Lovely post! This made me remember about the early days of my breastfeeding journey!

    I have a small extra skin/lump on my right breast. That made me scared to use that side to breastfeed my son as I am scared it would make him choke if that extra skin goes inside his mouth.

    So all the way trhough his 2nd birthday I breastfed my son with just my left breast. And I was scared that it wont be enough but it is. I am scared that after breastfeeding my breast wont be the same size but they are now.

    Our body is amazing!

    #mmbc

  • This Mum’s Life

    This has some lovely, supportive messages for breastfeeding mums! Written in a very helpful, nurturing way! I can’t really relate too much with my own experience of feeding, but I appreciate the benefits and the struggles that breastfeeding can bring. Due to birth trauma, my milk didn’t come in the first time around. At the time I was devastated, as I’d really wanted to breast feed. I was determined to make it work the second time around, and I did have a milk supply, but had so many problems. The midwives were very busy, and didn’t have time to discuss my concerns properly. By the time La Leche League and the tongue tie lady got back to me, I’d despaired of breast feeding and switched to formula, which only brought me relief! I didn’t look back and wish I’d been able to carry on, I don’t think I was really enjoying it anyway. But plenty of friends have had lovely breastfeeding journeys, and I do like to hear about them, despite it not having been for me!
    Thanks for sharing with #bigpinklink!

    • Roots and Wings Parenting

      I am so sorry to hear you had such a difficult time, and that you didn’t get the support you needed early enough. It sounds like you did what was best for you and your baby and that’s all that matters. Its always difficult writing a post about breastfeeding as I don’t want anyone to feel like it’s a judgement, so it’s really lovely to have you read the post and comment. Thank you xx

  • babiesloveweaning

    Some fabulous advice and very well written. a fab’ balance of genuine advice without sounding preachy or judgemental
    I breastfed my little one until he was 1 and it was a major challenge, but the most amazing time too.

  • min1980

    Love this. I would give exactly the same tips. I’m still breastfeeding my son who is two this weekend, so we’re in it for the long haul, so to speak. I’m going to miss it when it comes to our time to stop. #bigpinklink

  • tracey at Mummyshire

    I loved reading this post and it made me think of my very supportive post birth midwives who helped and reassured me all the way. Reassurance is what you need because breastfeeding is a totally new experience and one that you have no real reference points for. Good tips written in a very open and honest way!

  • moderatemum

    Yes with the topping up! I was told again and again to do it and in the end I had to abandon advice I was getting and just trust us – finally he started to gain weight 🙂

  • blabbermama

    Great advice, particularly the dummy comment! I got this a lot which was frustrating as my son never took a dummy, now 9 months in breastfeeding and he’s great, those feeds at the beginning and during growth spurts may seem like they last forever, but it does pass 🙂 enjoyed reading this post! #dreamteam

  • babiesbiscuitsandbooze

    I love this, I recently wrote a post about my own breastfeeding experience and I was quite nervous to share it as I’ve been very lucky. This advice is all so good, especially about the supply and demand aspect and how topping up with formula (although I know some people have to, of course) can actually decrease your chances of getting enough milk. I also think it’s good to point out thatbthose first days before the milk comes in are just always going to be painful or uncomfortable regardless of your latch as you say (although after that it is in my experience always the latch causing problems!!) #DreamTeam

  • aNoviceMum

    Straight to be the point and reassuring points about common breastfeeding concerns; good informative post. I found your post on The Blogging Mums Club and I’m including it in my BritMums breastfeeding roundup. Many new to breastfeeding will especially find your tips valuable and empowering; they would definitely have helped me to have a better start, if I read them over 2 years ago. 🙂

  • Annette

    I love how you have written this post in such a gentle and positive way. It’s a fab reminder that we should listen to ourselves and bodies and do what is right for us and baby. I think new mums and mums-to-be will find this very useful. Thank you for linking up to the #dreamteam xx

  • Jayne (@SMABLblog)

    What an amazing post, very informative and very useful for first time mums out there.
    Our bodies sure are pretty awesome 🙂

    Thanks so much for joining in with #MMBC I am on hols so sorry for late comment! See you next week xx

  • happywawa15

    Excellent post. I was told to feed every four hours by my midwives and couldn’t understand why my baby was so upset! Once I figured out the feeding stopped all crying, that’s exactly what I did, all day every day for about seven months 😀 I wish I had read this post then – would have made me feel much less anxious. #bigpinklink

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