Tuesday, September 20, 2011

my saving grace

Breastfeeding is hard.
It can be time consuming.
It can hurt.
It can be frustrating.

Sometimes I am so over it, I just can't bare the thought of another feed...

Thank goodness for my breast pump!

The Medela Swing. I just love this thing! It makes things so much easier and makes for a happier baby and a happier mummy.

I personally think that breast feeding is really important. But I also understand that it is a real personal choice. There has been many a time that I just want to give up (and Abi is only 4 weeks old!), but I am  going to keep going with it and see how long I can last. I'm aiming for 6 months.

Did you breastfeed? Or are you currently breastfeeding?
Why did you choose to or not to?


  1. I barely made it to 6 weeks with each of my first two. We just couldn't figure it out. They couldn't latch properly and I would cry in the lead up to a feed knowing how painful it was. With that in mind I figured I would need help 3rd time around and got some amazing support from the Australian Breastfeeding Association. When I found out I was having twins. not just one bub I decided there was almost no chance. But I figured I would try it and if it didn't work out I wouldn't be so hard on myself. Just minutes after they were born I fed them and they just knew how to do it. I needed a bit of help from the ABA with my supply around 3 months...but apart from that I fed them happily for a year until they both self weaned. It was a shock to everyone - including me LOL.

  2. I too believe that breast feeding is super important. I'm currently mix feeding. Little G takes a formula bottle every so often, if I can't boob feed her.

    Breast feeding was the most difficult thing I have done. It was painful, and there were always tears from me and little G. But after about 4 weeks it started to get better. Now it's not painful and her latching is now so much better.

    But I am ashamed to say I don't always enjoy it. I feel like a bit of a slave to it sometimes...It is so difficult to go out with her, especially if she needs to be fed. There aren't many mother's room's and if there are, not enough feeding booth's!!!

  3. This image scares the be-jeesus out of me! Ha! I'm planning on breastfeeding but the thought of hooking my boobs up to a milking machine does nothing for me! Time will tell :S

  4. Mrs McAwesome - how strange that it just worked out for the twins! Thinking of joining the ABA, going to a meeting thingy next Monday with a girl from my mothers group1
    Leah, TBH I really dont enjoy it either, I totally get the slave thing... hence the pump. I can hand her over to someone else with a bottle when i'm not feeling up to it.
    Reezy, I pump for two reasons... 1. to give myself a break. 2. I am not a public breastfeeder. I have a few times but I'm not confident, so I prefer to express and bottle feed while out! it's working for us so far.

  5. Read this while breastfeeding my 8 month old!
    OK, he's asleep now.

    I am a huge breastfeeding advocate, but think there needs to be more education and support of women who are trying to do it. Nobody tells you how hard it is going to be. As far as I am concerned labour is a walk in the park by comparison.

    I am on baby number 3 and have found that it has gotten easier with each kid, not that I have had a really hard time with any of them. My issues are oversupply which I know a lot of women would kill for.

    I also have no problem breastfeeding in public but understand how early on when you're starting out it can be hard to do it without getting pretty much topless. These days I can do it extremely discreetly if need be.

    Congrats on making it this far and keep at it!

  6. Oh gosh Sammie, I hope I didn’t come across as having a go! I admire the that you’ve stuck it out and I can fully understand the lack of confidence in public. You’re doing so well! I hope you didn’t feel the need to justify it to lil old me.. :)
    I was just saying that, for me it’s something completely foreign. Coming to terms what my body is about to go through and realising what it is capable of is quite daunting. I know it’s a beautiful and natural process but at the same time it freaks me out! haha.

  7. Reezy! Not at all!!! I think we all do what is right for us.
    ha ha! You think I'm doing well... I have a little girl thats been fighting sleep since 9am on my hands right now... not feeling like I'm doing great! But we will get by.

  8. ahhh I have been thinking about breastfeeding constantly for the last month or so....Tallulah is 10 months and I have been exclusively breastfeeding...the whole time. I've written about how she won't take a bottle so its super frustrating for me. Honestly, I am over it. I'm trying to wean her and its not happening and making me super stressed. I think I might have a chat to the ABA too!

    Seriously though, its such a personal thing isn't it?!

  9. Hello my name is Fluffo (vogue forum) and I love and hate breastfeeding.

    Bub is just over 2 weeks and I have been exclusively breastfeeding him. Luckily I don't have a supply issue but i have a physical problem - flattish nipples! This makes latching an absolute nightmare. Midwives/lactation consultants at the hospital suggested i wear a nipple shield, as inconvenient and annoying as it is, at least i can still directly breastfeed bub.

    My toes are curled and I take long deep breath each time he gets on. The sharp pain last about 20 seconds and then it kind of subsides. Been a few times bub becomes too impatient, bited too hard and i bleeded. It was terrible. For a million times i thought i would just give up directly feeding him and just go with pump, i don't know how much longer i can put up with this.

    If it's not the extra bonding and love i get, i would simply say no to breastfeed. Before bub arrives, i thought all i need to learn about breastfeeding was that one hour lesson while i am at hospital but i was soooooooooooo naive! I guess it's one of the chapter you go through as being a mum. It's a battle.

    BTW I have a Philip Advent electric pump and it's my new best friend.

  10. Fluffo I think you'll find with time your nipples will harden up. Even those with non flattish nipples find it painful to start. Hopefully you'll find the discomfort lessens with time.

    I would say it took a good 4-6 weeks before I wouldn't even notice I had the baby on my boob. This is coming from someone with a good breastfeeding experience. It is not easy but once established really simple.

  11. Hey Fluffo from VF I really hope you come back to read this...
    I'm the same. flat nipples, use a nipple shield and get the ouch factor too.
    It has however gotten better. Someone already commented that there needs to be more education on BF'ing, and I couldn't agree more.
    I just use the pump to give myself (and nipples) a break, give Abi and Hubby bonding time.
    Keep at it, I am... main reason being that it's good for the baby and on a very selfish note... Because its good for me (weight loss reasons)
    Aneets - thanks for the vote of confidence for both Floffo and myself.

  12. You're doing an amazing job Sammie! (and Fluffo!) The first 6 weeks are so hard! But it gets easier, I promise!

    I was totally unprepared for how often new babies need feeding.. and how long it takes.. it seemed as though I spent that whole first two months on the couch with my tits out and toes curled.
    My left nipple got quite grazed so I used a nipple shield for a week or so which was a great help. I also have that medela swing breastpump which I got some use out of in the early days.. although to me pumping milk will always be a chore!

    Before you know it they start going longer and longer between feeds and they get faster at it.. and your nipples toughen up and one day you realise Hey it doesn't even hurt anymore.. and before you know it breastfeeding has gone from being a constant source of dread to being the least of your worries.

    I'm at the point (nearly 8mo in) where I consider it easier to just breastfeed than it is to pump milk or even go to the trouble to mix a bottle of formula.

    Last week Bay got a really bad cold and refused all solids. It was such a relief to be able to offer her extra breastfeeds knowing that she was getting enough nurtients and all the other goodies she needed even without eating a thing.. not to mention the comfort she gets from it.. at times like that I'm so really grateful for the breastfeeding.

    As for feeding in public, you may feel more comfortable as you go on.. life is certainly easier if you can feed anywhere and everywhere but I can see why it's not for everyone. (Though it does makes me angry we have a society where women feel awkward about public breastfeeding, I think that is part of the reason I was so determined to do it) Getting the right clothing for discreet feeding made a massive difference for me.

    It is great that Abi is happy taking a bottle AND the boob as you have already discovered that will free you up a bit and allow others to feed her every so often.. It's important for Mamas to have a bit of freedom too. I do agree with Leah sometimes you feel like a slave.

    I think it is a wonderful idea to go to an ABA meeting (Fluffo you should get in touch with ABA too!), as they are amazing and offer practical and emotional support and they can iron out any little glitches you may be having.

    Breastfeeding is definitely a journey so just try to remember it isn't always going to be this hard or time consuming.. sounds like you are doing a wonderful job so far.

  13. I was really lucky and breastfeeding is quite easy for me from day 1. No problems with supply and no pain except for a bit of engorgement at the beginning. However I can't get anything out with the pump and sienna just won't take a bottle (her face when we try to give her formula is hilarious - well it would be if I wasn't so sleep deprived).
    Sienna is a ferocious feeder however and despite going on to solids, she still wants a big feed every 4 hours 24 hours a day. I am really tired out from it all. I do find breastfeeding exclusively very convenient however and have no problems feeding in public. After a month or so, I learnt how to feed very discreetly so I felt comfortable (but other times I have just flashed the boob when Sienna wants to do laybacks and it doesn't bother me at all. Although breastfeeding has been very easy, the most surprising thing for me is that I don't feel like it is a big love fest while I am doing it, it is just one of the jobs in taking care of her. Sienna just gets down to business, no eye contact and then latches off and now days doesn't even do the floppy cuddle, she just wants to be put back in her cot or wants to crawl off. I'll probably bf until she self -weans although I hope that is not over 12 months. ABA has a free number for everyone (not just members) so you can call and speak to a counselor 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week. Look on their website. They are awesome.

    Sammie, I wish you all the world of luck. It does become easier (and far less time consuming) but you just do what works for you and your family. Every one in my mother's group had a different and unique experience with bfing. Your feelings about breastfeeding can also change over time. Lately Sienna has been starting to do a bit of eye contact and I'm starting to enjoy it more - 7 1/2 months down the track. Hugs!!

  14. Spark i just came on here to mention the ABA hotline but you bet me too it!

    my mum used to be a member and eventually, after bfing 5 kids became one of the counsellors!

    The one thing i learnt from her doing that is that every mum and every baby are so different.

    massive bravo to you, and all the other mums, forgiving it your best shot...so much respect!!!

  15. I was just contemplating what breast pump to get!

    Would you recommend waiting until after bubs is born before buying one? I remember going to a baby shop with my SiL and the woman said to get one after because you never know what might happen.

    Thanks for being so honest about it all, it's not something I'm exactly scared about but not really looking forward to it! Which I feel bad about because it's supposed to be magical (once it stops being so hard/painful).

  16. Sammie, i think i have left out my other reasons for breastfeeding:
    - Better nutrients for bub
    - Weight loss (very important, i have put on around 15kg during pregancy and have lost 9 already!)
    - I have splurged on quite a few nursing gear so I have to make sure i will make good use out of them :P

    I have been reading a bit about nipple shield and the problems with it. My biggest fear would be the drop in milk supply. These past few days i have been thinking to ditch the shield and go without but i just didn't have the guts to do it! I couldn't imagine how much pain there would be but i guess i will still try hopefully soon.

    Aneet, thanks and i hope that it gets better soon! At the moment the only thing that would settle bub to sleep is breastfeed. Generally bub is a pretty good baby but this morning i have given him 4 feeds over 4 hours. I feel so sorry for my poor nipples..They need to toughen up.

    emmie gemmie thanks for the advice about ABA. I think i will need their help in ditching that nipple shield and to make sure that i have correct feeding posture. I know having correct posture could make a big difference.


  17. Oh Sammie I hope the breastfeeding is getting better. Don't beat yourself up about it if you do decide to stop but I think it does get easier and the initial weeks are the hardest. It does take time for both mum and bubs to get used to latching on and after 12 weeks, bubs should slow down on the growth spurts and get more efficient with feeding so it doesn't feel like she is permanently stuck on your boobs 24/7.

    I stopped breast feeding after 9 months just as I was about to start work and started using formula to top up feeds (as I was finding less time to express) and Lily preferred it and refused the boob! In hindsight I think'll buy a better pump (like the one you have) to prevent this happening next time. Good luck you are already doing a fantastic job!

  18. Hi Sammie,
    I'm a bit late with replying to this post :p I'm only just catching up with my favourite blogs. Anyway here goes...

    With my first son, I breastfed for 5 weeks. After that he was exclusively on formula. My son was born tongue tied (the bit of skin that connects the tongue to the bottom of the mouth was too short so he couldn't stick his tongue out past his gums) this made latching very very hard and feeding time very frustrating for him, not to mention very painful for me, I had pinched, cracked and bleeding nipples, it was brutal. At 5 weeks after I gave birth I got a uterine infection and had to go on antibiotics for 10 days and couldn't breastfeed while on meds, so we had to give him formula, by the time I could breastfeed again, my son refused to take my boob so I pumped and fed him through the bottle but my boobs eventually dried up regardless of all the efforts i went through to try and keep my milk supply up and that was the end of my first round of breastfeeding.

    In hindsight to be honest, I think deep down I was actually relieved and no were my boobs! The one thing I kept worrying about though was my son getting sick because of the whole "breastmilk makes for stronger immune systems etc etc etc" but my son never even got sick until after he turned 1 year old so go figure...

    This time around, my second son is coming up to 3 weeks old. He feeds well, but like Fufflo mentioned in her post, the inital latch and first minute or so is still toe curling painful. I have massive fat nipples and my son is happy enough to laze around and just suck on the nipple instead of getting a mouth full of boob so I still get pinched sore nipples. Lansinoh ointment has become my best friend to prevent dried cracked nipples, but I think I still have a fair way to go with 'convincing' my baby to latch properly. But when I do need a break from the pain i express and then feed Chubs. I have the same pump as you, got them 3 years ago for son #1 and I think they're worth their weight in gold!

    I think you're doing really well with pushing through the pain and soldiering on. Just remember that when it comes to breastfeeding, at the end of the day you can only really do what is best for your family and your own sanity regardless of all the breastmilk vs formula debate.

    Take care

    P.S. Abigail is looking more and more gorgeous! :)


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