Today's guest post for The Boob Store comes from Charlotte who gives such a lovely rounded view of breastfeeding. A new mum a few weeks in and in my opinion, just emerging from those initial harder breastfeeding weeks, she shares her experience and the importance of being kind to yourself as well as how she feels there is little pre-natal 'realistic' boobing support.
In my head growing up I always just assumed that one day, when I had children, I would breastfeed them. It wasn’t until my friends started having children and sharing their experiences that I realised the ability to breastfeed was not a given; whether that was down to tongue-ties, allergies, supply issues, mental health of the mum etc.
I gave birth to our beautiful bundle of chub at the end of January 2019. Our first feed was an expressed feed, helped by the midwife, as I was fairly poorly with a fever and also recovering from an unscheduled c-section (aka was a bit spaced out). Baby A dropped a fair bit of weight from her chunky 9lb 9oz birth weight, but once my milk came in and we got her latching properly, she’s grown like a weed, getting chubbier by the day.
We’ve had a smooth journey compared to some; my supply is great, and Annabelle is putting on weight brilliantly (still in the 91st percentile!), but that doesn’t mean that I’ve found it easy. Since week 5 cluster feeding hit, her latch hasn’t always been great and breastfeeding can often be painful. Combine that with a heavy baby and positioning her hasn’t always been the easiest to help with comfort.
Issues with breastfeeding is something that I don’t think you really hear enough about prenatally; a lot of emphasis is put on the fact that if you get the latch correct from the word go, breast feeding should be pain free. Yes, it should, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it always will be, and there may be a myriad of other issues to deal with along the way. 8 weeks in and we’re finding our groove, my milk supply has settled a bit, and I’m glad we persevered. I am fortunate to have the most supportive husband, who works from home most of the time, and in the periods when Annabelle cluster feeds, he takes her for burping, changing and cuddles as needed in between feeds to give me a break when I need it.
Be patient with yourself, and never give up on a bad day. Find support groups, talk to a lactation consultant, and surround yourself with supportive people (whether that be online support groups, or friends and family). Get yourself a Haakaa pump for those oversupply days. Oh, and Lansinoh nipple cream. Lots of it!