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.
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 â€œjust this onceâ€. 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 â€œsupportiveâ€ Royce Jasmine. Buy cheap for the first weeks.