4 years, well 47 months to be exact, and going strong. That’s how long I have been breastfeeding for. It’s something I hold so close to my heart and its accounted for many special bonding moments between my kids and I. It is something that I very nearly gave up however, and I certainly had no idea it would be as “hard” as it was. This post is aimed to educate new mothers about breastfeeding, because it truly does take a village. Whether you choose to breastfeed for just one day, or if you choose to do formula feeding, there is no judgement here at all. “Fed is best” at all costs, and a happy mommy is most important. HOWEVER, the amount of mothers that give up on their breastfeeding journey due to lack of support or mis-education is huge, and it’s those mothers that I hope to try and help. So If you are expecting, or if you plan to breastfeeding, PLEASE read this post. PLEASE try to remember the points I make and lets dispel these myths, one by one. Welcome to my “Ted talk”.
Lets begin in the early days, because if you have just started your journey you will relate.
Congratulations, and welcome to the crazy journey of motherhood. Its actually one that has made me so in awe of our creator. The whole process of growing a human, giving birth and then being able to nourish this tiny being, is mind blowing, and it’s just incredible to see what our bodies can do. The moment your little one is brought into this world, they can “crawl” their way up your chest to find milk. It’s incredible to watch and even more amazing to experience. The best piece of advice I can give for the early days is to “feed” baby as much as possible. Demand feed. Baby wants to be connected to you again in some way so let baba nurse as often as they want. As a new other you have no idea what to expect or what is “normal” in terms of milk. The amount of times I have heard “I don’t have enough milk” is shocking, but as a first time mother, how are you meant to know what’s normal and what is not? We see these big bottles of formula filled up and we presume our milk should be the same amount. I’m here to tell you ITS NOT. The reason the formula has to be such an amount is because it has to try and replicate the nutrition that babies get from just one drop of breast milk.
Myth 1: I “couldn’t” breastfeed
I have heard a lot of aunties and people say these words. While I don’t know their personal circumstances, the vast majority of women are physically capable of breastfeeding, as long as they have the help and support they need. Even if you haven’t physically given birth (adoptive mothers) you CAN breastfeed. Unless you have a rare condition called mammary hypoplasia, where women don’t have enough of the right type of breast tissue to produce milk, you are able to breastfeed. Whatever your breasts or nipples look like, you are equipped for the job.
Myth 2: I don’t have enough milk
I want to scream when I hear this. I want to scream even louder when I hear nurses telling a mother this when a baby is only 2 days old. Bar a serious medical condition or medication, there is NO such thing. Refer to the graph below. Your baby’s’ stomach is the size of a cherry, a cherry! All it needs for the first few days is a teaspoon amount of your colostrum at a time. It is truly the perfect 1st meal for a baby. Don’t expect your breasts to fill up straight away. Colostrum is made up of living cells, it forms a protective lining inside baby’s gut and protects them from germs outside the womb. It also has a natural laxative effect, helping baba to clear out their system. Literal liquid gold. That’s why I say even if you only manage a few days, you have done an amazing thing. Newborns don’t need much but as you learn each other and your bodies, let baby suckle for as long as they need. Initially the feeds will take longer (20 minutes or so), but this often decreases as time goes on.
But how can I tell my baby is getting enough milk?
Before you turn to formula, the best way to tell whether your baby is getting enough is to look at his nappies. Up until about day 3, there should be about 3 wet nappies a say. Then from day 5 there should be at least 5 wet nappies a day. Always measure the nappies. Newborns tend to feed between 8 and 12 times a day.
My eldest was a little fighter (funnily enough he is now my softy), but as a baby my word he tested me. He had an incredibly strong latch but in those first few weeks, despite him gripping onto me like a bulldog there was clearly some air getting in somewhere and I ended up with blood blisters. Enter the all saving nipple cream that other mums swear by. Yes, it provided some relief but actually I found that “air drying” was the best. He would pull on my boobs, cry out in frustration, get wind and then get reflux, it was like a vicious cycle. He would scratch me, wack me in the face with his arm, I felt like giving up on more than one occasion. Then, without even realising it, one day it just clicked. We found our grove, which looking back, probably would have come a little quicker if I had seen a lactation consultant. Then I started expressing in my preparation to go back to work. Imagine my horror when I realised that I could only pump between 80 ml and 120 ml at a time! SURELY he was drinking more than that? According to the formula tin we needed about 180 ml per feed? Guess what? 3 kids later and I still only pump between 80 ml and 150 ml per feed. That’s what my babies drink, and its raised 3 pretty healthy kids. That’s the beauty of breastmilk. The amount may not change, but the nutrients inside do! Magic right?
As you start getting into the swing of things and you get over all the initial fullness and discomfort, your baba starts to mature a little bit and will start experiencing typical newborn winds and cramps. You may think your baba is in pain or is even constipated because they are struggling to “push”. Firstly, please remember that a baby needs to adjust to the world. They don’t come out walking and talking. Their muscles have to develop and their bodies have to learn. Their skin has to adjust to the air, material against their skin, dry air. This is typically when baby acne or little spots can start to appear. This is also when the next round of myths typically appear.
Myth 3: Your milk is too rich (or too weak)
I’m sorry but your milk is freaking perfect! It’s from you, and you are perfect! Breast milk is always just right and adjusts to babies needs. If you start expressing, you’ll notice how your “foremilk” will be a grey, watery consistency and then gradually as becomes a thick creamy consistency. The thinner milk is high in protein, sugar and vitamins and minerals. Its “refreshing”, (think coconut milk), while the creamier hindmilk has a higher fat and calorie content, to “fill baba up”. Your milk is not too rich, spots and cramps come with newborn territory and it is generally just their bodies adjusting.
Myth 4: My baby is allergic to my milk
Errrr no, sorry, they are not. Your milk is perfect. Baby COULD be allergic to something you have eaten that could pass through your milk, but typically, the biggest advantage to breast milk, is that it is introducing all these flavours and tastes to your little one “through a filter”. Breastfed babies often have less allergies as they have been exposed things all the way through. Newborn babies are often are most sensitive to the protein found in cow’s milk, or in soy and their tummies have a hard time digesting it. Cramping can occur, so if you suspect this try cutting it out of your diet to see if it improves. In addition, if you notice any blood in their stool it is typically a sign of an allergy.
Myth 5: Why is your baby rooting all the time, is she hungry all the time? You aren’t feeding her enough
Want to scream yet? I know I did! Your newborns stomach is the size of a fist. They need to fill it up little and more frequently, sometimes they drink to fill and other times they drink for comfort. Breast milk is also easier to digest then formula, so it digests quickly. There is nothing wrong with frequent feeding, if anything, in the early days, it’s setting you up for a great supply and it’s giving you time to just bond with baby.
Myth 6: You should feed every 4 hours.
This is a newborn we are talking about. Why would you want to “time” them? Feed on demand in the early days. Their appetites will vary every day so for the first few weeks just follow their cues. I always used the “4 hour rule” as a “must feed”, so if we were out and about and baby hadn’t had a feed for 4 hours, I knew to stop whatever we were doing to feed. When we were home however, I always fed on demand. As they hit the 3 or 4 month mark however, I do use the 4 hour rule as a guide.
As your baby grows, your milk matures.
Typically around 2 to 3 months the “let down” sensation wont “hurt” as much. Yes I found that tingling sensation to be so strong at times it hurt. It should all settle down and you will find your natural groove. The “struggle” will fade and the fighting and the “fighting” will not be as bad. You will feel more comfortable to feed in public now. You may have to start thinking about returning to work and expressing milk to freeze. Make sure you have the best quality pump you can afford, please don’t buy a second hand one. You can read the reasoning behind that here. Building a stash takes some time but its worth it. Be patient with expressing and try to stick to the same schedule every day (muscle memory). The more you express, the more milk you will get. Remember that demand always equals supply with breast milk. Its during these 3 – 4 months that you may notice that your milk supply varies. A number of factors influence your production, mainly, hydration (yours), stress and sleep. You could be starting to worry about your return to work, or you may have just have had one to many sleepless nights. When I see my milk supply decreasing at all I take it as a sign that I need to take a little time to slow down. Rest a bit more, increase my fluid in take and by eating certain food groups you can help to increase your supply (thanks Mrs.Milk). Medela has always been my pump of course, and I have used the swing, the swing maxi as well as the freestyle. Each pump is deigned for different price ranges and “lifestyle” needs.
Myth 7: You will have to stop breastfeeding when you return to work.
I’m here to say that I have worked with all 3 of my children and have managed to express for all of them. I fed my eldest for 15 months, my youngest son for 2 years and 4 months and know babygirl is on 4.5 months. Know your rights at work as well. Your workplace has to provide a safe place and give you 2 30 minute breaks to “feed your baby/express” up until 6 months. Remember, once you start your solids journey you may be able to drop a feed in the day as well. For anymore tips on breastfeeding while working you can read my previous article here.
We finish off by dispelling the biggest myth of all:
Myth 8: You can’t fall pregnant whilst breastfeeding
Well hi there, my name is Rebecca and I fell pregnant when breastfeeding 🙂 So did a few of my friends. If you are exclusively breastfeeding, a minimum of every four hours, then your chances of falling pregnant within the first 6 months are LESS, but still possible (Month 7 over here !). Its definitely not the most reliable plan for a contraceptive.
A few top tips to help you on your feeding journey:
- Approach breastfeeding with determination and a strong mindset. You CAN do this, it may be natural but it doesn’t come naturally to everyone. Persistence pays off.
- Get comfy – Before you sit down to feed make sure you have everything around you within reach. Some water/tea, your remote etc. Get comfortable. Feeding pillows are the BEST and help you and babe to be more comfortable.
- If you are ill – I’m sure you have read it before but if you or your baby become ill, keep feeding! Your body produces breast milk containing more antibodies which protects your baby’s immunity. I have fed through flu, tummy bugs and bronchitis.
- What happens when you get Mastitis – Blocked Milk Ducts and Mastitis will be experienced at some point, no doubt. It is uncomfortable and painful but it is manageable. Speak to a healthcare professional or a lactation consultant. The best way is to sit in a warm shower and massage your breast to try and “unblock” the duct. Warm face cloths and expressing can also help. If your nipples are extremely sensitive or baby is struggling with a latch, nipple shields and expressing can also help you get over the hill.
- Nipple care: With your first baby in particular, you need to take care of yourself, and your milk makers 🙂 Its an adjustment and they go through a bit of a tough time. It does get easier, and with each child after a little easier still. Use a nipple cream (works for some and not others. Some people are actually allergic to lanolin. I preferred not to use it as I didn’t like the sticky feeling). Air dry as much as you can – don’t put your bra on straight away. Sit for a few minutes after each feed and let them dry naturally. If you are at a low point or are suffering, use a nipple shield. A few moms I know swear by them.
Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. It truly does take a village. Please share this article with any new mum to be. We are all in it together. If love to hear if you have any other stories or tips. The challenges you faced and how you overcame them. You can make a difference in one persons life.
In light of giving back and helping another woman in their breastfeeding journey, I have partnered with some of the brands that helped me along the way. I’ll be giving away 1x Snuggletime feeding pillow, 1 x Medela mini-electric pump, Natralogic Nipple Creme and a variety pack of Mrs. Milk lactation bars.
Make sure you follow all brands involved on Facebook and Instagram;
And of course me 🙂 In these Stilettos.
Comment below and share your tips. This really is all about helping one another and encouraging each other. So I would love to hear your success stories and personal journeys to inspire others.
That’s it! Competition will close on Friday 20 September at Midnight and winner will be announced after. Please note that the design and style of the Snuggletime pillow may vary dependent on availability.
49 thoughts on “Journey through Breastfeeding – What to Expect And What Is A Myth”
I hate to admit it, but before I got pregnant, and even when I was pregnant, I was already a judgmental mom. I started watching documentaries about natural birth and breastfeeding years before I even entertained the idea of having children because it fascinated me.
Women’s bodies are amazing. We are capable of growing, birthing and feeding a brand new life and I was on board for doing all of it naturally because biology is perfect and I was made to do this—or so I thought. I looked at moms who opted for epidurals and thought, “If only they knew about natural birth and how amazing it is,” or those who formula fed and thought, “How sad,” because breastmilk is magical and formula will never be able to measure up. We started to breastfeed at the hospital, and it hurt like they all said it would. I had trouble latching, but he was still nursing so I just tried to be patient. I had a rough first few days as my body tried to balance out hormones. I was shaky, hot, sweaty, mad, sad, and all-around miserable.
I called the midwife who told me this was normal and advised me to stay in bed and “breastfeed, breastfeed, breastfeed.” So I did. The next day, my son started crying like crazy when I tried to latch him, and refused to nurse for a full 24 hours.
The pediatrician told us to supplement with formula and I gave in because I felt sick, tired and I wasn’t going to starve my child.
When he finally started to latch again, it was clear that I didn’t have enough for him. He would get sleepy after only a few minutes of nursing, sleep for a few minutes, and then wake up crying and wanted to eat again. I spent a couple days feeding him every 15 minutes and didn’t wear a shirt or see anyone during that time.
I met with a lactation consultant who listed a whole slew of things that could potentially be wrong with him. I also learned that I had an infection on my nipple and he developed thrush, which made all of this infinitely more complicated and painful.
I was still determined to breastfeed, so we saw two lactation specialists, an ENT and Osteopath to evaluate the little guy, and I tried every natural remedy in the book. I took supplements and tinctures, drank dark beer, pumped multiple times in an hour, saw another lactation specialist, ate almonds, stayed hydrated, pumped, nursed, pumped, nursed, until I just couldn’t do it anymore.
I got to the point where I just said without emotion “tried it” whenever someone gave me advice to increase my supply. I was exhausted. I woke up to pump every morning and sobbed because I would only get dribbles and my baby just wasn’t getting that ever so magical breast milk despite all my best efforts. Until then, I’d been conditioned to think that since I was a woman, breastfeeding would be the most natural thing I’ve ever done.
I forgot in all of this that all humans are different and that’s part of the beauty of life. I had to stop blaming my baby, and I had to stop blaming myself for “failing” at this. I had to give up the notion that this was, in fact, a failure, because it wasn’t.
This journey made me bake myself an entire humble pie and eat every last crumb. I started to look at breastfeeding and motherhood from a much different perspective. I came to terms with the fact that feeding my baby formula and the tiny bit of breast milk I did have was infinitely better than having a baby that couldn’t thrive and a sobbing mommy. I became grateful that I live in a time where formula exists to provide nourishment to my child.
Every mom out there is incredible.
As a first time mum and also a Healthcare professional, I knew that I wanted to breastfeed my baby. I was lucky enough to be supported by wonderful nurses who helped my baby latch on before I left hospital.
It’s been 13 months to the day and I’m still so lucky and grateful to be able to breastfeed my little one. I’ve also been worried about whether she was getting enough milk or putting on enough weight but I’m glad I remained calm and knew that my body knew best what was the right amount of milk for her and it was providing her with whatever she needed. I’m also very grateful that she has barely gotten ill since being born. I’m convinced it’s because of the antibodies and nutrients passed over from me which will hopefully strengthen her immune system more and more.
One of the best tips I found was to catch the excess milk leaking from the breast I wasnt feeding her from and used it for her cereal or to add into her food.
I also am a firm believer that breast milk is the cure to everything. I applied some to mosquito bites, dry skin, and even used some in the bath occasionally. My little one can’t get enough of this liquid gold and I’m more than happy to have it to soothe her and comfort her for a few more months inshallah ❤️❤️❤️
With my first born i never like da idea of brestfeeding, dat i complain everytime da baby cries and must breastfeed.
My mother she decided dat i must stop.
I started reading magazines, and watch programs abt breastfeeding and da important of it 2 your baby.
With my 2nd child i decided 2 breastfeed and i enjoy it so much.
I was struggling with the breastfeeding and almost gave up. Baby did not want to latch and my milk supply dropped.
I am so thankful for family and friends that supported me and that I kept trying and did not give up.
I am following the below and this has made my life so much easier and I actualy enjoy breasfeeding now 🙂
? Use a nipple shield (medela works best) if need be
? Stay hydrated
? Feed on demand
? Drink jungle juice and eat lactation oat bars to help with the milk production
? Ensure that both you and baby are comfy
? When it gets hard just keep going believe me it does get better.
You’ve got this mama!
Thank you so much for sharing and creating the platform to learn so much. I think everyone’s journey is different and the most important factor is about you and baby being happy. There will be bumps along the way so it’s important to tension positive and surround yourself with people who care. Your milk supply can really drop on a bad day, bit don’t be discouraged because it can get back on track. Take care of your body and mind and remember that your doing your best
I always thought breastfeeding was taking out a boob and giving it to the baby but I was so wrong!!!
The first few weeks were horrible.?Low milk supply,sore nipples,baby unable to latch properly,tongue tie etc few weeks into motherhood and I had already felt like the worst mom.Friends and family kept pressuring me to supplement with formula but I knew I would not cope because it so expensive and besides, Breastmilk is best.I managed to Rise against all odds.I look back and the experience is unbelievable.To this day I still breastfeed my son and it’s a lot more smooth than before.Breastfeeding is literally the most beautiful, heartwrenching, greatest accomplishment of my life. Thanks to Musa (my son) for giving me this gift.My biggest achievement as a mom definitely has to be BREASTFEEDING.
My number tip would be DON’T GIVE UP.Give it your all, your best,make use of lactation cookies,always stay hydrated,be comfortable,wear breastfeeding friendly clothes (not necessarily nursing clothes but normal clothes that will enable you to breastfeed freely),make use of nipple cream,make sure that the baby latches correctly and lastly feed on demand.
My first breastfeeding journey was initially very shaky as it was all new and I had not done any research on how to and what I learnt was only after baby had arrived and had to go to Google for help. Luckily for my I could breastfeed for 18 months and it’s been one of my proudest mommy achievements especially since I work full time.
My advise would be never to give up, nothing that is worth it Comes easy. Also, take just one day at a time, some days I took one hour at a time just to keep the overwhelming emotions in check.
Im so excited for my next baby and would love to win these awesome products to make it more memorable.
I love this article. I do not have any advice other that do nit give up. Im breastfeeding for 2 months now and I’m so happy that I kept trying
1) Anticipate Your Baby’s Desires. …
2) Let Your Baby Determine How Often And How Long To Nurse. …
3) Get Comfortable While Nursing. …
4) Relax. …
5) Help Your Baby Find The Right Position. …
6) Don’t Be Alarmed, Leaking Is Natural. …
7) Take Care Of Your Skin. …
8) Don’t Worry, You’ll Have Enough Milk.
Love all your tips, totally agree with you!! My tip: My pre-baby wardrobe (and in fact even the bulk of my maternity wardrobe) were wholeheartedly unsuitable for breastfeeding. In both cases my clothes consist mainly of dresses…Really hadn’t thought through the logistics on that at all. I would recommend mums set themselves up with a few nursing bra’s and tank tops before baby arrives (shopping will be last on your mind in those first few weeks) that can be worn with shirts & jerseys or wrap/button-down dresses. I also got a nursing cover later down the line that was very handy (more to avoid distractions for baby than anything else).
What’s One Breastfeeding Advice That Helped me yet Through My Breastfeeding Journey is to Surround yourself with Breastfeeding Advocates. Don’t get the wrong information from Non-Breastfeeding Practitioners because they do not usually give the right advice. Start from getting a Breastfeeding OB, a Breastfeeding Pedia, a Breastfeeding Breast Doctor and a Lactation Consultant and most of all BreastFriends ~ they will all guide you to succeed in Breastfeeding. I swear these people will surely Make your journey easier even from the very start of your pregnancy. Remember that There is no such thing as Very Low Milk Supply. Second Advice is to Direct Latch as often as you can – look at me working and Breastfeeding. As a Stay-at-Home-Mom myself, this is quite possible For me since I am inseparable with my baby. This is the best way to build a constant breastMilk supply. These two have helped me overcome the many challenges during my first few months which is one, my low milk supply, and second, Mastitis (that surprisingly struck me). I never really got myself to realize that Breastfeeding is a real struggle and it was painful (at first). I cried a lot thinking I will not be able to breastfeed due to wrong advise I received from some people I asked for. Breastfeeding is my Labor of Love ❤️ Now an everyday routine for at least 6 times a day… and Yes – I direct feed her every time since she was 6 months old… I must say that There is no greater sacrifice than giving what’s best for our little ones. 15 months may be long enough but I plan to give her my breastmilk as long as she wants it. Hats up to all Breastfeeding Moms who continue this journey no matter how challenging it may be. Celebrating the World Breastfeeding Week together with all Moms and soon-to-be Moms, because we all give both Life and Love to our little ones. I would love to give comfort and advice to anyone facing the same difficulties because I believe that No Mom should be left alone in the face of challenges…
Thanks to brands like Medela South Africa,Medela South Africa
Mrs.Milk lactation bars for Supporting us Moms in our Motherhood Journey ☺️#DueinOctober
My little boy had a severe milk allergy and so was advised to stop breastfeeding quite early, at 10 weeks. I was devastated at the time, as I had hoped to breastfeed until I had to go back to work. Retrospectively I wish I had sought more opinions about allergies, and rather given dairy up myself. Don’t give up, it’s a wonderful gift. But if you can’t, don’t beat yourself up, you are also a great mom
Very well said Stephanie. Don’t beat yourself up at all! You did a great job and I am sure your son is thriving.
My breastfeeding journey began 3 years ago when my daughter was born. She spent a month in NICU and was a mere 1.4 kgs. She got used 5lto drinking expressed milk from the bottle and no matter how hard I tried she did not latch. I ended up expressing for 2 years
. I stopped in April 2018 and fell pregnant in August 2018.. My new. Preemie was born in April 2019.
This time I heard about lactation consultants and I found an amazing lady to help me. My 5 month old son latches perfectly and I’m enjoying every moment. My 3 year old has a sip every now and then as well. I express everyday for when I am not with baby.
I was looked down on and bullied for expressing for my daughter but I felt like I needed to give her the best whether it was expressed or she drank straight from me. With my son I was told that breast feeding would come naturally however I just could not get it right. He was also a preemie born 7 weeks early and spent time in NICU.
The biggest myth is that breastfeeding is something that comes naturally to all mums and that babies know how to latch. I was told that by everyone around me both times and honestly for me it did not come naturally and both of my kids could not latch. Thankfully this time around I got wonderful support from all the NICU nurses and the lactation consultant so my son learnt how to latch on. Some days are harder where I struggle to get him to drink which is why I find it difficult to breastfeed in public.
Mums need support through this and husband’s can help. Like after I breast feed my hubby burps And changes baby. He also bottle feeds expressed milk some nights so I can Sleep extra. Everyone’s journey is different and mums do not deserved to be judged.
Here are my tips for breastfeeding
Drink lots of water to increase supply
Soak in Epson Salts and hand express in the shower to relieve lumps.
Eat lactation cookies…. I have about 3 a day
Relax and enjoy the beautiful journey
I’m the mom who with our first my milk never came in and I know now that it was due to a lip tie and baby not being able to latch properly and with our second at 20 weeks into breastfeeding still has pain and so far nobody has been able to figure out why… I’ve seen more doctors, nurses and specialists than I ever thought would see my breasts to try sort out the pain. We have dealt with recurrent thrush due to this as well, however I’m holding on as best I can. Everytime hoping somewhere someone has the answer… and even though I have pain, I still don’t want to formula feed as I missed out with our first and I can see the difference in many aspects… so to any new mom just hold on. And reach out. Even a cyberspace village can help so much to push on when it’s tough.
Absolutely love your write-up on breastfeeding.
I’m a first time mum – expecting a beautiful, little girl in December 2019. I don’t have any breastfeeding advice to share but seeking as much as possible from Mum’s around. I know each journey is different.
It’s been a little bit of a rollercoaster of emotions for me over the last 4 months as I sadly lost the most Precious woman, my Dear Mum. My hubby and I were blessed to have shared our wonderful news with her and she sadly passed away on the 6th May 2019 due to a 1.5 year battle to metastatic breast cancer. I believe that my Precious Mum is with me every step of the way and know that she will be with me along my breastfeeding journey. My mum went back to work when I was 2 months old and I was breastfed until the age of 2. My gynae has strongly advised me to breastfeed for as long as possible, preferably until my baby is 2 years old. So, in short, boobies are dear to my heart and I would love mine to sustain my Precious Little girl for as long as possible. This prize would mean the world to me.
Out first breastfeeding journey started in 2016 when our son was born. He was quite the eager little drinker? We went through a week or 2 where I experienced very tender breasts and breastfeeding was so sore but we pushed through and once we got through that it was the most beautiful thing, I enjoyed every moment of it. To see how he loved it and the bond we built was incredible. We breastfed for a full year until he weaned himself and decided he was done. In 11 days we will be welcoming our little daughter into the world and our journey will start yet again. I can’t wait to also share this special journey with our daughter. The greatest feeling of all is knowing that only you can give them that kind of satisfaction and happiness.
I wish every mommy that takes this journey the same happiness it brought me?
As a new mom I understand now that support is so helpful. Even if it’s just someone making you some tea, picking up bread or just sitting with you and just chatting. We all need that someone
With my first son, i was a young mum living far from my own mum and not having a clue on babies let alone breastfeeding , i thought i was doing the righ thing, 24 hours later i found out, i was not actually feeding him and he ended up with jaundice, i had to express oh how i wish i was properly informed about breastfeeding, i sat next to mothers who squirted milk out like a tap, he was only a day old and i was barely even filling the little cups they had given me.. I remember going home and crying because i felt like i’m failing my child, i had the “i have no milk” mentality and up until this year that was the line i told everyone, i had given up and at 2days old i had advised them i will be giving him formular.. So my first advice and i see Rebecca also touched on it, you do have milk, enough milk for the stomach you feeding!!
Fast track to this year with baby number two on the way i had decided to try giving breastfeeding a go, this time around i did my research, i followed every momma blogger and i was ready, however i was still terrified that baby will end up with jaundice again i didn’t over prepare didn’t get a breast pump or any nursing equipment which leads me back to advice number one you do have milk so go ahead and get all the nursing equipment you need..baby number two i was prepared and all that was left was for him to latch he did however he was short tempered so as soon as he didn’t get a perfect latch he screamed i knew it wasnt hunger because he would cry for that latch as soon as he found it he was quite again..however the nurses felt he wasnt feeding enough the tried to convince me to feed him formular in the nicest way possible”we promote breastfeeding but if he don’t feed he will get sick” they did muliple sugar test and he was just fine, i refused to give in to their pressure..so my next advise would be find your voice and dont be afraid to stick to your no to formula..
When baby reached 2weeks, my dad passed away, we had to go with this little baby all the way to durban, given all the running around i had to do i had little to no time to express, as i mentioned i had not bought nursing equipment and was not planning on leaving the house so soon which leads me to my final advise whilst baby is still new they sleep alot so you have time to pump and store you never know when it will be an emergency and someone would need to take the gap in feeding when you busy..
My new born is 4weeks today and although he is not my first child, it’s a whole new experience, we still learning each other, his still cries when he doesn’t latch properly but he is properly fed and growing. formula is not poison but if you really want to breastfeed then don’t give up, trust your insticts and live by the terms mama knows best..
Thank you Crystal for sharing your invaluable advice. Im so proud that you have given it another go and have been so determined. There is absolutely nothing wrong with formula feeding either, or combination feeding. What I want to try and promote though, is the number of mums that give up on their breastfeeding journey because of this misinformation or lack of support, when in reality, as you say, if they had just persevered and ignored the naysayers they would have been fine. Thank you again for sharing x
Yes totally agree!!! The worse is when nurses that are supppose to be helping you make you feel like you have to formular feed in order for your child to get through the first few days,thank you for all the information, it is really getting me through the first few weeks of breastfeeding
I realised each baby’s feeding journey is different.
So in the first couple of weeks visit a lactation consultant. You will feel much more calm en confident after.
Be patient with yourself and your baby.
Feed on demand (even if mother in law says your spoiling the baby and holding him too much)
Trust your gut, it is YOUR baby and you know exactly what your babydoing needs xxx
The thought of breast feeding felt so exciting here I was a mommy to a baby girl and so enthusiastic to breast feed. I read up as much as I could and heard stories from friends as well. But it sure was no fairytale hahaha. The sore nipples, discomfort, baby crying as she couldn’t latch onto my breast for to long etc etc.. What I learnt was to relax and not stress, sit in a comfy position, have soothing lullabyes music and breastfeed gently and enjoy every moment. It was all about my mindset.
Turned into a beautiful experience.
Love to win as there is a new bundle of joy arriving shortly….its a girl.
I never pictured myself breastfeeding, but after giving birth, the nurses at the hospital helped me through it. Breastfeeding was by far the toughest thing I’ve had to do so far. It was stressful, frustrating and depressing the first two days, because baby wasn’t latching. I soon realized the more I stress, the more difficult it is for baba to relax and drink. I learned to stay calm and keep trying and on the second evening We finally succeeded. Nipple cream has been a huge help and Lactation bars to help with my milk supply. Baba is now two months and I finally feel like we’re both comfortable with breastfeeding.
– have a milk Elixir to keep yourself hydrated.
– stay hydrated. You need an extra litre water per day whilst breastfeeding!
– skin-to-skin contact is great.
– rest, rest and more rest!
– herbs (fenugreek, fennel seeds) to increase the supply.
– have lactation foods (eggs, almonds, oatmeal, carrots, brown rice, brewers yeast).
– have a good latch technique and don’t give up!
– breast compression in between feeds.
Brilliant advice Tylah, thank you so much for sharing !
I just had my baby girl and not easy still getting used to breast feeding her. My breasts feel so heavy and my nipples are very painful as baby pulls hard on it.
I learnt to be patient and take it easy baby will soon get used to drinking from my breasts and I also was told get a Breast Pump its really a help. But its expensive though.
Be nice to win this for my baby thanks a lot
There has been so many days that I just felt like giving up…days when I just could not take the judgmental comments any more…days that I cried so much.. today I am proud to say I am still breastfeeding my 20 week old baby boy! The only thing that made it possible was talking and listening to fellow moms and to ask questions, so many questions. Then one day it hit me so hard! I am not alone. My battle might look different but we are all struggling. Just realizing this made my journey better. I am doing my best each day. Yes there are still very hard days but we will manage. My precious boy is getting the best he can and it is because of ME
Hi, I don’t have any advice just yet as I am a first time mother. I have been exclusively breastfeeding for 4 months now and had to return to work this week. Now I am expressing and breastfeeding when I am with my little one. It is hard work but so rewarding for me and I am just so happy that I didn’t give up. I could do with this prize as I had to borrow someone’s pump.
At the moment, I am 8 months preggers with my first baby! I am so excited to meet him and be the best mom I can be.
As expected, when I announced my baby’s arrival, I received crazy pregnancy hacks, myths and warnings. Now that my baby is about to enter this world, I received new mom hacks, myths and warnings…
Because I want to do my best for my son, breast feeding is the ultimate goal. However, most of the advice I received strongly disagreed because “it is difficult and simply not worth it”.
Just like most new mom’s, research fills most of my free time if not all my time. So, according to everything I’ve read (including your blog), it gets easier and is worth it in the end. My baby’s health is my main priority and that makes everything worth it.
Winning this giveaway will not only be a blessing, it will make my journey as a first time mom so much easier.
Sorry that I can’t give any tips and tricks on how to breastfeed. But I hope to tell you guys all of them when my buddle of joy joins us soon!
Ahh good luck as your journey is about to begin, Insha’Allah all will go well. Patience and perseverance are key for successful breastfeeding, determination! If you ever need an ear, I’m here to listen!
I always thought that breastfeeding just came naturally. That when your baby was born he would simply latch and Wola. That wasn’t the case, I had an emergency c section and so breastfeeding was a bit uncomfortable , I also needed a nipple shield as my nipples were too big at first for baby to latch. I wasn’t prepared. But I learnt that I needed to be patient with myself and with baby and that I needed to remain calm. That was the biggest lesson I learnt to be calm. Once I was calm baby was calm too and through our ups and downs we soon got into a rythem. Also feed on demand at every 2-3 hours.
Patience that’s the key word there! Patience and persistence xx thank you for sharing!
My tip would be – get a lactation consultant in asap. We had a lactation nurse come to our home on the second day we were home. She was so helpful, taught me more in 2 hours than the nurses in the hospital taught me in 3 days. I have been breastfeeding for 23 weeks now and go back to work in a few weeks time when my baby is 6 months old. I am not sure I would have been so comfortable with my breastfeeding journey had I not received the expert advice and practical tips from the lactation consultant.
Thank you Mignon for sharing your story. I agree with you 100%, their advice and help is invaluable
Thanks for a well written article!
The best advice I can give is to trust yourself, be patient and give yourself a break.
I love how you said breastfeeding is natural but doesn’t come to everyone naturally. I struggled initially but got into it after a few days I could honestly see my baby thrive. I love the fact that it’s something so unique and super special that the two of us share. Use it as an opportunity to bond with your baby.
I’d also suggest trying to build up your freezer stash so that someone else is able to feed your baby (in the event of you needing to leave your baby at home or if you plan to return to work ect).
Lastly I’d tell any mum to enjoy it! That liquid gold is priceless and one day your little one will be so grateful you did it.
I love that you say enjoy it! I have been thinking about it lots and it really does force you to stop and slow down. Its such a special time with you and bab. Thanks so much for sharing Radhia!
It really does take a village to assist you on your breastfeeding journey…
I come from a family who never breastfed their babies for long and, as such, never really got the greatest advice when it came to me breastfeeding my babies. It was manic with my firstborn. I didn’t know what to expect and how to handle the huge task of nourishing my baby directly from my body. What I did know is that I was going to give it my all and try to breastfeed as long as I possibly could. I cried when my baby fed through my cracked nipples and thrush…I cried when my boobs got engorged and I brushed it across my pillow as I slept. It really was an experience and a half at the onset, but I am so thankful and happy that I decided that, against all odds, I would persevere and try to reach my goal of breastfeeding until my son turned 1 years’ old. Fast forward 3 years and I have managed to master the art of breastfeeding!
My advice is that you stick it out no matter what! Try to persevere through the bad days because, let’s face it, we’re always going to have some off days. Then you’ll have some awesome days and you’ll forget about the bad ones. Establish a good support system in family, friends, church and, most importantly, your place of employment. You’ll find that once you have a strong support structure in place, your breastfeeding journey would be that much easier for you to manage. I was the first mom to express breastmilk for my baby when I returned to work after maternity leave. I set the tone for new moms wanting to do the same once they return to work from maternity leave. We have to start the breastfeeding awareness message where it is not spoken of or heard of. We have to be the pioneers in this case, so as to create the trend. You are not alone in this and, thankfully, there are amazing social platforms that allow for breastfeeding conversation between experienced and not so experienced moms and/or professional lactation consultants. The help and guidance does exist. We simply need to reach out 🙂 All the best moms! X
This is such beautiful advice that all new moms can relate to! Thank you so much for sharing!
Thank you for creating this platform to encourage, inspire & uplift one another ❤️
As a first time mom I expected breast feeding to be challenging , but boy was I mistaken ! Breast feeding has been the best part about motherhood so far , and mostly because it’s so CONVENIENT!! Mother Nature knows best ! Breastfeeding has been a way for me to bond with my baby and in a very profound way it enables me to understand that it’s my duty to provide and nourish my child . I am going back to work and like you’ve mentioned in your previous posts we tend to get a cheaper option of breast pumps because let’s be honest , after 9 months of drs visits and pregnancy bills , you’re kind of broke by the time baby is born …. I really ,really ,really ,really need to win this !! I’m a young broke new born mom who just wants to breast feed her child while going back to work ! Help !!
What a wonderful platform. Wished I found it 4 months ago, before we started the journey with little Kristene. Still breastfeeding at this stage and so grateful for it, we’ve been through nipple shields, Thrush, reflux and topping up with formula… and now at a stage where she’s almost fed breast milk for 95% of the time.
My piece of advice would be to find people thats pro breastfeeding, encourages you to keep on trying, supportive family members and friends – keep them in your inner circle. Refuse to listen to other people’s horror breastfeeding/formula stories.
Breastfeeding was one thing I set my heart in doing when I found out that I was pregnant. Having to go back to work and pump is not the best, so my advice would be to prepare yourself for pumping at work. Get all the bottles and things ready at night so the mornings aren’t too rushed. Also when you are feeling overwhelmed, just remember how good it it for baby and the amamzing bond you make when you breastfeed with baby.
Really interesting reading and really helpful for a new mum to be.every bit of advice helps.also found the article on why you should not borrow a breast pump quite enlightening. Thanks
Thanks so much for this! I’m expecting my first born in little more than a month, and need all the real talk I can get! I believe there is so much truth in your post, and will definitely be reading it again before birth. Thanks for motivating and helping expectant mothers-to-be, like me!
I had a very very hard breastfeeding journey. It was hard, but I pushed through it. I found that most people who breastfeed don’t tell you how hard and time consuming breastfeeding is initially. It feels like all you do for the first twelve weeks of baby’s life is breastfeed, breastfeed and breastfeed. You breastfeed, go to toilet – open the shower – baby cries – baby is hungry again? But I just fed him. Yesss! Feed again. But the more awareness we create of the challenges of breastfeeding, how normal it is for newborns to feed every two hours or earlier the easier it will be for mothers to breastfeed. Breastfeeding is hard and will be hard but you can do it. You can get through it. A lactation consultant helped me. And I am now breastfeeding my third baby. I alsp found that I had a tough time for the second baby and I just wanted to give up. But my husband kept reminding me. Its normal it will all settle. With my third little one as well, I still had some latch problems, but it all settled by twelve weeks. I would love to win this awesome prize.
Tip- celebrate the small things (especially if you are having a difficult breastfeeding journey)
Very long story short I have twins who were born at 26weeks and my journey has not yet reached the breastfeeding stage but I am pumping.
At first I couldn’t even manage to get drops of milk out much less feed to boys in need.
My nurse was a superhero who celebrated each and every victory with me. Without her I would probably have given up but the day I expressed 1ml of milk she was beaming with pride. She was proud of me?! It still leaves me in awe and wonder of how amazing she was that her support lifted me to higher than I could ever be.
Celebrate each ml of that liquid gold it’s worth it!!
Oh Siske, you hit the nail on the head here, and your nurse is truely a HERO ! I wish they could see the difference that positivity and support make. It takes just one nurse to encourage you and that can make all the difference in your breastfeeding journey. At the same time, it can take one nurse to comment negatively that can leave you affected as well. Every single ml, no matter how much or how little you get is better then none!
Thank you for all the information and tips!
As a first time mom-to-be this post is giving me some much needed reassurance that we can get through all the challenges lying ahead of us. It can be overwhelming at times trying to soak in as much information as possible to prepare. This post reminded me that everyone will have an opinion, but that I must trust my body and that my body is capable!
I am expecting our rainbow baby in December and I’ve learned to fight through some tough days. This will be a big motivation for me during the though days lying ahead.
Tips that I’ve seen thus far:
• Put a nursing basket together with all your breastfeeding essentials (snacks; water; burp cloths;
etc.). This way everything will be close by for easy access when breastfeeding baby and you can
stay comfy while letting baby feed as long as he/she needs to.
• Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Use all the help you can get before giving up on breastfeeding.
• Perseverance is key!
• Don’t compare yourself to anyone else. Our bodies are different and our babies are different.
• WATER! Stay hydrated.