Category Archives: NCT

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* 🙂