30.8.18

Things I wish I’d known before starting Breastfeeding  |  Blog

When I started Breastfeeding Smidge as part of our Combi feeding journey I thought I knew what I was doing. I mean it’s the most natural thing in the world so how hard could it be? Surely you just put baby to your boob, check the latch and feed away. How very wrong I was!!
Breastfeeding comes with a whole host of stuff that you need to consider and a whole load of different ways of doing it. There are so many different tools you can use, so many different sources of information (that you’ll only find if you know or are told) and so many different things to consider. This got me thinking about how much easier my journey would have been if I would have known some of the things I know now 3 months ago when we started this. I can’t be alone in this lack of knowledge and information so I figured I’d share it on here in the hope that it may help any mums to be or new mums on their journey.

1. As hard as it is, the first 2 weeks are so important. 
I pumped for the first 3 weeks of Smidges life because he wouldn’t latch on. The midwifes and health visitors didn’t really seem to concerned, probably because he was still getting breastmilk, but I didn’t understand the impact it would have on my supply by getting him to the breast so late. Those first couple of weeks are so important to establish your supply and even though it can be exhausting and mind numbing when you are feeding at all hours of the day and night it is worth it in the long run. I regret not trying to put Smidge on the boob more as I can see the impact it has had on my milk.
2. Everyone is different 
When I first got Smidge to latch on I found myself comparing what we were doing to everyone else but I have learned very quickly that everyone is so different. When I’m feeding Smidge the other boob doesn’t leak. I don’t have milk squirting out of my nipples like some people do. I don’t have to wear breastpads as my boobs don’t leak. All of this made me panic that I wasn’t doing things right or that breastfeeding wasn’t working for us but I shouldn’t have worried. All that it means is that people are different so if you find your journey is going differently to what you think should be “normal” then don’t worry.
3. Find your sources 
There is so much amazing breastfeeding advice out there when you know where to look. I have been sent so many links and web pages and Facebook groups, NONE of which I would have known about if it wasn’t for social media and my blog. I’ll pop some of the sites I found really useful down below but I’d also reccomend searching on Facebook for your local La Leche League and also see if there are any local Facebook groups or physical group you can join for support.
https://kellymom.com/
https://www.nct.org.uk/parenting/breastfeeding-concerns
https://www.fitpregnancy.com/baby/breastfeeding/how-breastfeed-step-by-step-guide
http://www.bestforbabes.org/prepare-the-learning-curve-of-breastfeeding/
4. Don’t stop learning. 
Just when I think I know what I am doing something else pops up or new support becomes available. It honest feels like I’m always learning when I’m breastfeeding and that’s okay. When I started our journey 3 months ago I had no clue about all the different positions or the different suckles that babies have and what they mean... I feel like I’m always learning and that is good because it is just helping me. Be inquisitive, ask questions about feeding to your friends, family and professionals. Just because you’re questioning doesn’t mean you’re failing, it means you’re learning and making your journey easier and better.
5. Social media is your friend. 
Facebook, Instagram and Twitter have been a godsend to me throughout my breastfeeding journey. Yes, you may come across trolls whose main aim is to be a moron but social media gives breastfeeding women a platform to connect and share. Middle of the night and you’re stuck in a vicious circle of a cluster feed? I guarantee that someone else out there is doing the same thing and they are feeling as lonely and as isolated as you. Put a picture or status on social media and I’m sure someone will see if and let you know you aren’t on your own. It’s also the perfect place to ask the questions you wouldn’t want to ask someone face to face. Does my nipple look okay? Is this normal? Thanks to social media you can connect with so many mother’s and pull experience from all of them without having to leave your bed!
I honestly believe that if I would have known these things 3 months ago then our journey would have run a lot smoother and we would have got to the happy, contented place that we are now so much quicker. I really hope this helps and as always if you have any questions then feel free to ask.

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