So here's my story of getting settled with breastfeeding with baby no.4
27th July 2014 - Day 1Baby Freddie is born, 3 weeks early, a traumatic birth, and heavy blood loss. He's still groggy and I am in a state of shock... but we try with breastfeeding anyway. I'm really pleased that I manage to get him latched onto the breast reasonably quickly. It's an advantage that I've done this before, but Freddie never has and he needs teaching!
28th July 2014 - Day 2I'm all for "feeding on demand", but over night Freddie didn't "demand" ... I'm a little worried as he is going 4hrs+ between feeds, although he does latch on for a longish time when he's there. He's a big baby though, despite being 3 weeks early he is 9lb 6oz, and because I have been under consultant care with the gestational diabetes clinic Freddie is having his blood sugars checked regularly. Today they are low. It has been suggested that he is cup fed some expressed milk or formula after I breastfeed him to make sure his blood sugars stay up. 3 needs 3 good readings in a row before we can be discharged.
29th July 2014 - Day 3My milk has not come in significantly enough for me to express any to cup feed Freddie after his breastfeed. I have consented to a cup feed for formula to "top him up" just until his blood sugars regulate. I have spoken to a number of midwives and the lactation consultant and been reassured that this should not interfere with his breastfeeding. He is not feeding from a bottle with a teet, he is lapping from a cup and the motion he makes with his mouth and tongue is very similar to this breastfeeding latch. It seems to have worked because we can ow go home - without any further formula top ups or cup feeds! Back to 100% breast!
30th July 2014 - Day 4My milk is starting to come in! They are noticeably bigger, and reduce in size when Freddie has fed. I can feel "something" going on inside them, the "let down" when I start or am about to start feeding. It's taking longer this time than with my previous babies. I wonder if this is due to the shock of the traumatic birth, and the blood loss? He has been weighed by the midwife today, he has dropped a little weight. The guidelines say that between 7% and 10% is normal weight loss for a new baby. He has lost only 6% which is brilliant! He is now 8lb 12oz.
31st July 2014 - Day 5Oooooh my! Yes, my milk is here! My boobs are HUGE and as hard as rock! My nipples are totally flat because my skin is stretched so taught! this is making latching on really tricky! And painful! Luckily I remember what to do, what works for me... So here I am with my nipple cream to sooth & soften my nipples, my shields to sooth and shape my nipples into something Freddie can actually get hold of, and I am massaging my breasts as much as possible, working from the outside towards my nipples and checking for lumps, swelling, hot red patches (which would be mastitis). This is the bit of breastfeeding I hate! Good job I know it only lasts a couple of days. Right now I can't stand anyone touching my breasts, I can't even find comfortable clothes or get comfy in bed!
1st August 2014 - Day 6Still in agony with my boobs... I am so swollen I am having to let Freddie latch on any old how for a few sucks - which brings tears to my eyes thanks to the swelling and cracked nipples - and then when there's been a little release I pop him off and relatch him in a more comfortable position. Stupid thing is, even though I know how all this works, I am shy of the pain from the initial latch and try to put off feeding him (only by moments) which just makes things worse because he starts to get fussy, which stimulates my milk and makes my boobs more swollen! Keep telling myself it will be easy soon and so worth the effort. But for today... OUCH!
2nd August 2014 - Day 7Ahhh.... Things are so much better today. I am still a little tender and still applying the nipple cream, but I have retired the shields now and the swelling is going down now that my boobs have worked out how much Freddie likes to feed. He likes to comfort suckle though, which is a bit of a problem for me while I'm still tender. I'm trying to discourage him gently. He can stay on the breast all day of he's actually feeding, but when I have sore nips and all he wants to do is hold it in his gums it's a bit much for now.
3rd August 2014 - Day 8Freddie is a week old now, and I can safely say that we now have breastfeeding sussed! I feed him on demand, day and night, and really enjoy the closeness (especially now I'm not sore any more).
5th August 2014 - Day 10Another visit from the midwife today. She weighed Freddie again. He is now 9lb 12oz!!! So we has gained a whole pound since he was weighed a week ago, and is almost half a pound heavier than his birth weight. Guessing my breast milk is doing it's job then!
7th August 2014 - Day 12So it's the last day of World Breastfeeding Awareness Week. My milk has come in nicely, I've struggled through the tough days and lived to tell the tale. Freddie and I are firmly settled into our routine now. I'm loving that he enjoys an hour long feed at my bedtime and them sleeps until 2-3am. I love being able to snuggle up with him in bed to offer him his night feed and snooze while he fills his belly before giving him a snugly cuddly wind and tucking him back up for the rest of the night. And I love that my older boys know exactly what I am doing when I feed their baby brother so they know what boobs are actually for before they get distracted by the sexual side of breasts.
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