Category Archives: Midwife

My Breastfeeding Experience

When Thomas was 13 days old, I decided that breastfeeding was no longer suitable for us. This was a hard decision to make and one that I agonised over for few days and felt disappointed about for a few days after that.

When Thomas came into this world, he had swallowed lots of fluid inside me and suffered really badly with mucus. He hardly slept or breastfed for the first few days. I thought breastfeeding was easy to begin with and wondered why so many people had problems with it. Yes, I was a little sore and found it uncomfortable but I knew it was my body getting used to the new thing it was doing.

When my milk came in and Thomas finally cleared the mucus, things began to change. He became constantly hungry all the time. He would take an hour and a half to feed with a couple of breaks during the feed, then an hour and a half later he would want feeding again. I had no energy and just felt tired and upset all the time. I did not feel myself at all.

I spoke to the midwives and my friends on Twitter who ensured me that things would get better so I kept going for a few more days.On day 11, we had the first visit from the health visitor. She made me feel better as she said any breastfeeding was better than none and I had done well to last as long as I had.

I lasted one more night then on the afternoon of day 12, I cracked and asked my neighbour with a 10 week old for some formula. I gave Thomas one bottle and he then slept for 4 hours straight. This was the most he had ever slept in one go. We did not know what to do with ourselves.

Still unsure of what to do and feeling very guilty for giving Thomas formula, I called my friend and breastfeeding buddy, Mandy. She came round and checked that my breastfeeding technique was right and it was. We discovered that Thomas was using me for comfort as a dummy. We discussed the situation for a while and as Mandy said, if breastfeeding was easy then we not need buddies for it.

I decided to give Thomas more formula in the overnight feeds so we could get some sleep. I do not like making major decisions when I am very tired. The next morning, I expressed some milk off. It took me nearly an hour to get 2 1/2 ounces and I felt like Daisy the cow while I was doing it. I thought about doing combination feeding but the expressing seemed to take ages and required lots of practice to get it right. It was then I told Stuart that I wanted to formula feed Thomas. I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off me. I went to my local NCT coffee morning and spoke to the fellow Mom’s there. Most of them had a similar story to tell. I felt a millions times better.

Thomas proved that I had made the right decision later that afternoon when I gave him my last feed of the expressed breastmilk.  After the 2 1/2 ounces he was still not full so I got another bottle of formula, expecting him to take an ounce or so. He drank another 2 1/2 ounces of formula. My breastmilk had hardly touched the sides.

The majority of the people I have met have been supportive of my decision, however a very small few have given negative comments. This experience has not put me off breastfeeding and I fully intend to try again when I have another child. All I know is that since I have stopped breastfeeding, I have been a happier mummy and Thomas has been a happy settled baby.

I would like to thank Stuart, Mandy, my NCT friends and all the rest of my family and friends for their support during my time breastfeeding and my decision to stop. It is greatly appreciated 🙂

Tips for Breastfeeding

Although I only breastfed for a short time I do have some tips that may help you during the early days of breastfeeding your little one.

  1. Use Lansinoh HPA Lanolin nipple cream from the start. Your hospital breastfeeding support worker will probably say you do not need it but I would of stopped after two days without this.
  2. Breastfeeding only hurts if you are doing it wrong. It is uncomfortable but that is because your body is getting used to it. Keep at it and will stop being uncomfortable. I had just got to this stage when I decided to stop.
  3. Get yourself a comfortable supportive bra like Bravado Body Silk Seamless Nursing Bra. I highly recommend it.
  4. Ensure you have the full support of your partner before you start. I would not have got through the first two weeks without Stuart.
  5. Practice breastfeeding in public by going into supportive environments to begin with, such as your local NCT groups.
  6. Find out who your local ‘Breastfeeding Buddy’ is. They are usually in your local Children’s Centre.
  7. If you decide to stop breastfeeding and want to get rid of your milk supply quickly, drink a couple of pints of water with a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in it. It is not pleasant but it works.

Thank you for reading this post. I hope that by sharing my experience I help others in the long run. What was your breastfeeding experience like? Did you experience anything similar? Do you have any more tips you can add to my list?

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Weeks 36-38: The End is Near!

I cannot believe I am 38 weeks pregnant. It only seems like five minutes ago that I was announcing the news of my pregnancy to everyone.  The last couple of weeks have gone very fast. We had a maternity photoshoot with Jay Mountford and I cannot wait to see the results of the photoshoot. I have never had a photoshoot before. It was a bit strange but we had lots of fun. I will share some of the photos with you as soon as I can.

At 36 1/2 weeks, I had a scan and we discovered that my placenta had moved out of the way so we are go for a natural birth. At the scan, we found out that the baby’s estimated weight was 7 lbs 2 ounces which is higher than expected. Because of this, I had to have a gestational diabetes test. This turned out to be negative for diabetes which is good. My midwife thinks Bump had a growth spurt but that it has eased off now as there is no more room for it to grow.

I have still been going to Bumps & Babes and coffee mornings with my local NCT branch. I have volunteered to help them and I am now a publicity officer looking after their Facebook and Twitter activities. I look forward to helping more once the baby has arrived.

Over the weekend, I went into false labour. I had backache, period like pain and some contractions which started Friday afternoon and carried onto Saturday morning but then stopped. Stuart and I got excited and thought it was the real thing but it was not to be. My midwife thinks I will give birth in the next two weeks as the baby’s head is nearly fully engaged. I am hoping it will be sooner as I have been feeling really uncomfortable for the last few days. My midwife says this is a good sign and that I am mentally and physically prepared for the birth. I really cannot wait to meet the little one now! 🙂

Weeks 31-35: Basketball into Beachball!

I cannot believe it has been a month since I last updated you on Bump and I’s progress. How very naughty of me! I apologise for my tardiness. I don’t know where the last month has gone to be honest.  I had my two weeks signed off on sick leave after my bleed which flew by, went back to work to finish stuff off for a week and I am now on my second week of maternity leave.

At the moment being on maternity leave feels like being on holiday. I am still getting used to being at home all the time and being able to do things when I want to. Shopping in a supermarket in the middle of the working week is a joy that I am loving. You can actually get round the shop unlike on a Saturday. We have brought everything for the baby and have it in piles all over the house. Our nursery is currently still a spare room but Stuart has ensured me that this will change in the next couple of weeks.

Stuart and I have joined our local National Childbirth Trust (NCT) branch and I have been going to ‘Bumps and Babes’ and open house coffee mornings meeting parents from all around our local area. I love it and am looking forward continuing this on and volunteering to help run things for the NCT once the baby has arrived.

My bump seems to have grown to a massive size over the last month. I looked at myself in the mirror yesterday and wondered where the beachball had come from. The last time I looked I had a basketball sized bump. The good news is that it is all baby. I haven’t put on much extra weight at all. 🙂

We started the antenatal classes at our local hospital this week. I thought I had seen everything until I saw a knitted uterus! I thought the session was ok but I did not really learn anything more about labour than what I could learn from a book. Stuart found the session more useful.  Last night we went to a breastfeeding workshop. After reading about Hayley’s experience, I was slightly sceptical about what I could learn from the session. However I didn’t need to worry. The lady who ran the session was well informed, amusing and went through all the benefits and possible problems we might have. I am very lucky that the support network for breastfeeding ladies seems quite good too.  I decided ages ago that I wanted to breastfeed the baby. This session did not change my mind and make me want to breastfeed successfully even more. After the knitted uterus at the antenatal class, I was not surprised when they brought out a knitted boob to teach us how to hand express.

Next week, we have a busy week with a midwife appointment on Tuesday, a bump photo shoot with Jay Mountford on Wednesday, another antenatal class on Wednesday night and my 36 week scan on Friday to see if my placenta has moved and I can have a natural birth. *Fingers crossed* 🙂

Week 30: The Hospital Stay

Hello everyone. Sorry for the massive delay in between posts. We spent a few days sorting out the house preparing for Bump’s arrival, a few days in Cornwall and then I had a hospital stay. There will be more about the hospital stay in a minute but first, the picture above was taken at 29 weeks and 5 days pregnant at Lizard Point in Cornwall. It was quite windy as you can see but it was sunny too. We had a great time. Its a lovely part of the world and I urge you all to visit it soon 🙂

After returning from our few days away, I went back to work and just got on with my job as normal. I had a midwife appointment in the afternoon  and I went to do my sample for her before I left work. I looked at the toilet paper and saw that it was covered in blood. I looked into the toilet and saw that it was full of blood. I was surprised and shocked but thought that it was nothing serious, possibly haemorrhoids. I drove home and went to the toilet again and the same thing happened. By this point, I was getting more worried and as soon as Stuart got back we drove to my doctors and saw my midwife virtually straight away.

She checked me over and said that I should get to my local hospital and take a few things and prepare to be kept in overnight. We drove to the hospital, about 15 minutes away and went straight to Triage. They asked me to give them another sample. I tried but it was full of blood again.

Bump was put on a foetal monitor and I was monitored for contractions. Bump’s heartbeat and movements were fine. I was then seen by a doctor who told us, they wanted to give Bump some steroids, through my thigh to help the lungs mature and create more mucus. I could have one now and another in 24 hours time.   I knew then I was going to be in hospital for at least 24 hours. We were both a bit panicked and scared by this point. The baby can’t come now. We are nowhere near ready for its arrival. This and all sorts of silly things started going through my mind.

I was moved to the maternity ward and left to start my first ever night in hospital. I heard more women in labour then I ever wanted to hear. Its not much fun to listen to at 2am in the morning! My bleeding eventually stopped at 7am. I had already been told that I had to have 24 hours bleed free before they let me out  so I knew I was in another night at least. Bump and I were monitored 3 or 4 more times during the day, with the baby’s heartbeat only dropping below 100 once. They were looking for 100-160 beats a minute. I saw another doctor who told me not to worry, that they knew my placenta was low and that I would be scanned at 36 weeks to see where my placenta was. This seemed a bit silly to me as there was obviously a problem now and they were not really doing anything about it.

Stuart treated me to some lovely maternity/nursing pyjamas from Mothercare and I settled in for another night in hospital. The next morning, Bump and I were monitored for one last time and saw another doctor who said that I should have a scan in the next few days to find the source of the bleeding and check the baby’s size. I was also signed off work for two weeks and told to take it easy. We could go home. Yipeeeee!   I was told to come back if I saw any more blood, had sharp pains, reduced baby movements or my waters break. I was also advised by my midwife to start my maternity leave early.

I had a scan a few days ago. Bump is growing fine and is exactly the size they expect it to be. My placenta is partially blocking the exit route so I have Placenta Previa. They were unable to find the source of the bleeding so I have been told again to take it easy and rest as much possible as I am more at risk of another bleed now I have had one. They will rescan me at 36 weeks to see if the placenta has moved as the bump has got bigger.

Sorry for rambling on a bit. I really wanted to share my experience with you all. Have anyone had a similar experience? I would love to hear from you

Thank you for your support as always.

Jo and Bump x

Week 27: Being Ill in Pregnancy Sucks!

Week 27 and the start of the third trimester has not been very good for me. It started last Thursday night when I had a bad night’s sleep and woke up feeling rubbish the next day. I had no energy and just kept on coughing and spluttering all the time. I managed to get to work on Friday and put a brave face on it but I was not feeling good. I stayed in on Friday night and had an early night hoping to be better the next day.

On Saturday, I woke up and felt even worse than I had before. I tried to do a few of the jobs I had to do at home but in the end I went back on the sofa and rested. I was taking paracetamol but it was not doing a thing. It was then that I realised I had not felt the baby move very much since Wednesday night. I had been sick quite a bit and I was concerned that I was not getting enough of anything to the baby. I called our local hospital who have a maternity day assessment in a bit of a panic (translated to emotional crying pregnant lady who I do not think made a lot of sense) and was told to come straight in.

We arrived and the first thing they did was check the baby. I was not pregnant enough at the time to be attached to a foetal monitor ( you have to be 28 weeks – I am 28 weeks today)  so they had to find the heartbeat with a Doppler device. It took two or three attempts before they found the heartbeat but it was there and it was strong. Baby was fine. A massive weight was lifted of my mind. They checked me over and I was told that I probably had some sort of infection. The midwife’s called a doctor and we waited until one was available to come and see me.

After a little while, a doctor came over to see me and listened to my chest. She thought I had a chest infection and she prescribed some antibiotics to help clear it up. I was also advised to drink lots of water and rest. I spent the rest of the weekend doing this. I still felt awful on Sunday and ended up sleeping lots. I had a day off on Monday anyway so I used this as a duvet day and by Monday afternoon, the antibiotics had kicked in and I started feeling my normal self again. If this had happened and I was not pregnant, I would of just taken some Night Nurse and had a couple of early nights and felt much better. Paracetamol does not cure everything unfortunately.

I am hoping that this is my last illness of the pregnancy. I have 8 weeks left at work until maternity leave starts and I have lots of things to do before I hand over to my cover position. We also have some more sorting/decorating of the house to do before baby arrives so I hope the rest of the third trimester progresses smoothly and I can just get on with things at a slight slower pace than normal. *Fingers Crossed!!*

I hope everyone else who is pregnant at the moment is feeling good and not sick like I was. If you are ill, please say hello and even if you are not ill, please say hello anyway, I would love to meet you 🙂

Weeks 20-21: Seeing My Baby Again!

Last week, it was my 20 week scan. I had been looking forward to this scan for a while as Bump would look more like a baby, as opposed to peanut on the first scan at 11 weeks. As you can see from the scan picture above, Bump is doing acrobatics already. It is trying to put its toe into its mouth.  I love how you can see facial features. I wonder whose nose it has?

We decided not to find out the gender of Bump as we would like the surprise. We are not that fussed as long as it is happy and healthy. Everything was fine with Bump at the scan except my placenta is bit low so I need another scan at 36 weeks just to make sure it has moved. It is apparently quite common and it should move as my uterus grows with the baby but it is reassuring that they are checking.

Week 19: Nearly Halfway!

Over the last week or so, Bump and I have been very busy. We went to London for a weekend away with Daddy (Stuart) and we went to the Prepped Cookbook Launch in Northampton. The photo below is Bump and I outside Buckingham Palace and the photo above is Bump and I with Vanessa Kimbell, the author of Prepped.  The dress I am wearing in the photo above is from Lush Mummy who are a fantastic company that sell clothes that do not make pregnant women feel fat or frumpy. I absolutely love the dress. I would wear it even if I was not pregnant.  It makes me feel amazing. I got lots of lovely comments about it at the launch too. I finally feel that I have got to the ‘blooming’ stage in pregnancy. I am loving it! 🙂

I will go into more detail about our London trip in another post or two soon. Bump was very busy having adventures while we were there.  I cannot believe that I am nearly halfway through my pregnancy. It is going so quick.  Next week, we are going to look at a nursery for Bump, have our 20 week scan done and see the midwife again. I am really looking forward to seeing and getting a new scan picture. I cannot wait to see what Bump looks like. I am also getting some movement at long last too. It feels like I am being tickled from the inside. Its an amazing feeling. 🙂

Bump and I are going to the BBC Summer Good Food Show on Saturday and we are going to watch the BTCC at Croft on Sunday too. Its my birthday on Monday as well. Another busy weekend!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend. Happy Fathers Day to all the Dad’s and Dad’s to be out there! 🙂