This is a post that I was going to scrap because it’s quite late now … okay it’s very late now but I thought that it may be interesting to anyone at the beginning of their breastfeeding journey or later stages of pregnancy. I wrote about my first week of breastfeeding in diary style as the days went on as I really wanted to document it in as much detail as possible. With Jasper I encountered problem after problem from tongue tie and mastitis to thrush and a low milk supply and there were so many points of that journey that I wish I’d done things differently. This time around things are going so much better; I’m 11 weeks in as I write this and looking back at these diary entries there were so many points that I could have given up and would have done if it were my first time.
Now please don’t think if this as judgy or gloaty; breastfeeding is hard, it’s f-ing hard and no one warns you about it. I’ve found it tough. That’s an understatement; I’ve found it excruciating, upsetting, draining and heart breaking – sometimes all at once. I stopped at 8 weeks with Jasper because it wasn’t right for me or him anymore; I felt guilty at first but it was the best decision ever as I felt a burst of freedom and Jasper felt full for what seemed like the first time. I’m pro-feeding; breast feeding, formula feeding, combi feeding, whatever kind of feeding as long as baby is fed. All this post is set out to do is to give an insight into my first week of breastfeeding second time around.
Day 0 – Baby boy is here. He latched on instantly after birth but oh my was it painful. It felt like how it did with Jasper when I had mastitis … it can’t be possible to have it already can it? Maybe it’s something wrong with my nipples? Feeling deflated. For the rest of the day baby fed every 2-3 hours, he’s regular which is great but it’s still so so painful. I’m asking the midwives to watch me each time but they’ve all said his latch is perfect ‘the best on the ward’ according to one; I really think it’s a problem inside of my nipples. Oh and to top it off, I have blisters already!
Day 1 – Today was our first day at home and feeding is so painful I’m in tears every time he latches on. The pain doesn’t ease off and I’m getting so tense and dreading each time he gets hungry. Pete woke at 1am to me crying so much that he went to the 24 hour store to get formula and dummies to give my boobs a break. I agreed of course; reluctantly and said I just needed a bit of relief for the night. Not the best start. Oh and another thing – bleeding nipples – wonderful! Baby boy drank formula throughout the night but refused the dummies.
Day 2 – I decided to go back to the boob after a much needed break. Luckily baby boy went back on with no problem and with the help of my Lansinoh lanolin nipple cream my nipples felt less sore. I also used my 3 in 1 therapearl hot and cold compress for pain relief – godsend!
I used a dummy between feeds and expressed milk as well to give my nipples a break; he only woke for feeds at 11am, 3pm and 7pm – I’m feeling so much better!
Day 3 – The midwife told me to not use a dummy or give him formula and if I’m expressing to give him the milk from a cup or a syringe so that he doesn’t get used to a teat. I honeslty felt a little judged but I know she didn’t mean to make me feel that way. She also told me to try a 3 course feed, so main and seconds on one side and then dessert on the other so that each boob isn’t going too long between feeds and getting engorged. She also told me to feed more regularly – so every 2-3 hours rather than waiting for him to wake up which is more like every 4 at the moment.
Day 4 – My milk has come in; I’m swollen sore and engorged but there’s definitely nothing wrong with my supply!
Day 5 – The day of mastitis – half way through the day I came down with flu like symptoms and red hot hard lumps on my boobs. The health visitor came round and told me to express as much as I could off each boob and then feed off of each to completely drain and unclog them. I managed to express 5oz on each boob and felt so much better instantly! I also started antibiotics and she told me that if I wanted to use a dummy formula it was my decision and to do what made me feel calm as stress would only impact negatively on my supply and baby.
Day 6 – The flu like symptoms have gone already and the red hard lumps are so much better!
Day 7 – Feeling even better; I had a hot shower with a muslin on my boobs to protect my nipples which are super sensitive and I massaged the lumps with a wide toothed comb. Even though my mastitis symptoms have gone down and my boobs aren’t engorged anymore I’m still getting horrible pain in my nipples when I feed so I’m considering going to a breastfeeding support group or trying breastfeeding babes. I’m going to give myself another week and if it’s not better I think I’ll switch to formula.
It makes me feel so emotional to read this back. I’ve been avoiding publishing it or even reading it in my drafts for that very reason but I know from experience that hearing from other REALLY can give comfort in what can otherwise seem a helpless time. If you had a tough time and found this useful or you’re looking for advice/ support please do pop a comment below because honestly ladies … I feel ya!
I only diary documented my first week but I’m going to write a bit of an overview post of my whole journey so far so do look out for that as well as a video update coming soon to my channel
Thanks for reading,