My Breastfeeding Journey: Pregnancy

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In honour of Breastfeeding Awareness Week (19th-25th June 2011), I am sharing my breastfeeding journey so far. I would love to hear your stories too. Please share your breastfeeding related posts in the comments feed.

My pregnant wife
Photo: davhor

I always knew I was going to breastfeed. My mum had breastfed and I knew the benefits, so formula feeding didn’t really cross my mind. My antenatal classes were pro-breastfeeding and all of the women in my group planned to breastfeed too, so I had nowhere to learn about anything else, even if I had wished to.

As the decision was already made, I didn’t give the matter much thought. I attended a breastfeeding class which explained the mechanics and armed me with a list of local support groups. Rather naively, I assumed that breastfeeding would just happen and that the midwives would advise on any minor problems.

As my due date approached, my preparation was minimal. At 38 weeks, I spent a fortune on gorgeous Hotmilk nursing bras in appropriate sizes (I was advised to go down a back size and up 2 cup sizes) and scoured every available hospital bag checklist. I packed a carton of ready prepared formula and a bottle, as advised by my local hospital and we also bought a cheap manual breastpump. Just in case.

I wish I’d known:

  • You don’t need formula in your hospital bag. If needed, my partner would have been able to buy it at the nearest supermarket. In a real emergency, hospitals do have some. As it was, that carton was a little too convenient. In the middle of the night when I was struggling, even Mr MilkChic suggested that I use it “just this once”. In the end, I threw it away. I found that having formula at hand gave ammunition for people to undermine me and I was fed up of people testing my willpower.
  • Bottles aren’t essential. You are better off using a syringe, teaspoon or open cup while you get breastfeeding established. If you buy a breastpump, use the bottle that comes with it. If not, leave buying the bottles til you need them. I wasted money on bottles that were never used as the small one wouldn’t drink from them.
  • Initially your nursing bra size is, at best, an educated guess. There is nothing more depressing than having gorgeous lacy bras in your drawer when your boobs have exploded by 6 cup sizes and you can only wear a “supportive” Royce Jasmine. Buy cheap for the first weeks.

Other posts in this series are My Breastfeeding Journey: Breastfeeding a Newborn ; My Breastfeeding Journey: Finding My Style ; Crimes of Breastfeeding

 

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7 Replies to “My Breastfeeding Journey: Pregnancy”

  1. Great tips. I agree that formula can always be bought in an emergency and it's better for everyone's frame of mind not to have it lying around.

  2. Great post. Also bought bottles and a steriliser which I hardly used as B never drank from a bottle except one time when I went to a concert. Plus you can sterilise things in the dishwasher which is a much better idea! Oh well you live and learn x

  3. To be fair, I don't think it's just feeding paraphenalia that gets touted as necessary when it's not. I was informed on several occasions that scratch mitts were essential. We had about 50 pairs and on the 2 occasions we tried it, found socks more effective anyway…

  4. Great post. I bought bottles, formula and a steriliser all 'just in case' and never used any of them. Just goes to show that may be we should have more faith in ourselves and our bodies to do what nature intended. Thanks for linking this up for National Breastfeeding Awareness Week x

  5. I found that there was so much advice and information being thrown at me that I just accepted it. Although I found a lot of hospital bag lists didn't reflect my experience. One day I'll do my own…

  6. Good post thanks! We bought some bottles and formula just in case things didnt go to plan (we have a 24 hr tesco on our doorstep for goodness sake) and guess what 5 months later they are still unopened!!

    I love breastfeeding and I love the bond we share because of it.

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