Breastfeeding Diary

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After breastfeeding my daughter Little Bean for 6 months and now breastfeeding my son Beanie Boy (5 days old) I have decided to create a “diary style” page about the first few weeks of breastfeeding as I had forgotten how difficult those first few weeks can be.  I’m hoping that my Breastfeeding Page might help new mums who are struggling on their breastfeeding journey.

I am also to undertake a training course with La Leche League to become a Peer Counsellor for a Breastfeeding Support Group which is to be run at the local Surestart Children’s Centre.  I was recommended for this position by a Family Support Worker at the Centre and am very keen to help mothers in what can be a very rewarding yet stressful journey in motherhood.

Please come back to see this page as it develops.

Thank you xx

Day 1

Beanie Boy went skin to skin immediately after birth (11.41am) and started rooting straight away.  It took him a few tries before he managed to latch on properly but once there he went on and off every few minutes for almost an hour.  It feels so great to be able to do this for my son, I am totally in love with him already!

For the rest of the day Beanie Boy has done nothing but sleep.  As I had to go into surgery shortly after giving birth and receive a spinal block I’m laid out in bed for most of the afternoon and feel terrible that I can’t feed him.  I suffer with low blood pressure and they struggle to get it back up after theatre so I’m feeling very poorly.  All I want to do is sit up and feed my baby but am unable to do so.  By 5pm I start to get some feeling back and am able to sit up a little in bed and feed Beanie Boy again.  He latches on straight away again – it wasn’t this easy with Little Bean!!!

I feed Beanie Boy again three times throughout the evening and night – all seems to be going very well and feeling very relaxed.  This is a good start – hopefully a sign of things to come.

Day 2

Beanie Boy wakes for his first feed at 7am and feeds well, he then stays awake for about 45 minutes.  Once we are both given a good bill of health we are told that we can go home this afternoon.  I’m relieved as I didn’t get a good night’s sleep and it wasn’t down to Beanie Boy, the others on the ward were very noisy so I can’t wait to get home to my own bed.  The feeds for the rest of the day went well, he seemed to want a feed anywhere between every two and four hours.  On the downside he seems very sleepy again today, not having much awake time at all until we get to bed ourselves in the evening – suddenly he decides that he’s wide awake.  Our first night at home does not go well, Beanie Boy screams for a feed almost every hour and takes half an hour at a time so I’m averaging half an hours sleep between feeds until 6am when he finally seems to have had enough.  He then sleeps until 9am! Thankfully Hubby takes the children downstairs so that I can attempt to catch up on some sleep and I manage to stay in bed until 11.30am – I’m still tired but slightly more human.  We hope and pray that this stage doesn’t last long!

Day 3

After a tiring start to the day, Beanie Boy too seems worn out – must be all that partying he was doing last night!  We try to keep him awake for longer periods but my boy appears to love sleep as much as his Mummy.  My milk has come in today and I feel like I’ve had implants, I forgot just how huge they become.  My nipples are really sore today too so I decide to use nipple shields today – the pain isn’t helped by my milk coming in.  Each time Beanie Boy latches on I nearly jump to the ceiling in pain but its worth it for my boy.  He seems to lavish in the extra milk he receives during his feeds today and they totally knock him out.  Today he feeds approximately every three to four hours, I’m hoping for a better night.

Day 4

My milk coming in has definitely made a difference, he’s feeding every three hours on the dot and seems very settled after each feed.  He feeds for about 15-20 minutes and then has a beautiful “drunk” look on his face.  My boobs still feel pretty tender today from the milk coming in and my nipples are REALLY sore but I’m using nipple shields for a couple of days until they feel a bit better.  Night time is magic, he still takes a while to go off to sleep but we were only woken for a feed at 1.30am and 4.30am – I can handle this!

Day 5

Beanie Boy didn’t wake for his first feed until 8.30am so I actually felt like I had a little lie in this morning.  He fell straight back to sleep after his initial feed and then didn’t wake again until he was hungry at 11.30am and then fed every 3 hours again after that until the evening when he fed every 2 hours.  I remember this from Little Bean – she would cluster feed in an evening, a good sign as this will help to prepare him for sleeping through the night.  We’re away off yet I’m sure but I’m a little excited by this anyway!

Day 6

Last night Beanie Boy woke at 2.30am and 6.00am – I have to admit the 6.00am wake up call was really hard because I couldn’t get back to sleep afterwards but hey ho!  He has definitely set himself a routine of 3 hourly feeds in the daytime and 2 hourly in the evening with 2 wakes in the night.  Not too bad really – I won’t brag just in case it doesn’t last!

Day 7

Yep, spoke too soon!  This boy can’t seem to get enough today, we’re feeding between every 1-2 hours and then he’s being really sick after every feed.  He’s not fussing after he has been sick but it’s still not much fun being covered in milk every couple of hours and my washing pile is now mounting up!  At the end of the day my brain kicks into gear, I think we’ve hit a growth spurt so hopefully this won’t last too long.

Day 8

I think he must have worn himself out yesterday with all his feeding and virtually no sleep as he stays asleep most of the day, only waking for a feed and then going right back off again.  My boobs have responded to his demands, I feel like Jordan today!!  He’s not being as sick today, I think he must have overfed himself yesterday and had to get rid of the excess.  My nipples are starting to feel a bit better so have stopped using the shields on the left side but still need them on the right.  He transfers well between the two.

Day 9

Beanie Boy woke up at 7.30am which was very manageable – once I’m up and showered I actually feel relatively human!  The sickness after feeding is back and its soo frustrating, have googled every topic I can find on it.  Its more than a little positing but he doesn’t seem upset by it.  We’re still get very wet nappies and poohs at most feeds so he must be getting enough but it is really sole destroying to get him bathed and dressed only for him to be sick all over himself again.

Day 10

Finally I have been able to get rid of the nipple shields today so hopefully we can keep going without them now.  I used them for too long with Little Bean and they definitely affected my milk supply, don’t want to make the same mistake again.

Still feeding every 3 hours but its different times every day depending upon what time he wakes in the morning, funny thing is by the time we get to evening its always the same times?!?!?

Day 11

I’m thinking about starting expressing soon so that Hubby can feed him too and enjoy the closeness that I do.  Despite breastfeeding Little Bean for almost 6 months I actually have no confidence this time around, I feel a bit like a new mum again and have to keep asking friends for advice??

The sickness is sending me around the bend so we decide to try Infacol.  We think his sick seems to come up on a burp so maybe it will help?  Little Bean has taken to shouting “oh no, stop being sickies again!” every time he is sick – definitely need to do something about the sickness and the shouting!

Day 12

Infacol definitely seems to be helping, he is bringing up really good burps immediately after a feed.  I’m also trying to keep him upright for at least 30 minutes after a feed but I’m not managing to get many jobs done.  We’re still on a 3 hour schedule, 2 hours in the evenings and 2 wakes in the night.  I think I’ve got it pretty easy compared to some but I’m still soooo tired, best not moan though it could be worse!

Day 13

I have a memory like a sieve so keep forgetting to give Beanie Boy the Infacol then I wonder why he’s being sick?!?  I have been told to try drinking Peppermint or Fennel tea myself as apparently this aids digestion and some of it will pass onto him.  Definitely worth a try, it’s caffeine free so what’s to lose?

Day 14

Is it time for a growth spurt again?  If not he’s just being greedy, I feel like he’s constantly feeding today – I’m worn out as he has barely slept today and I’ve hardly been able to put him down all day.  Little Bean is acting up too so my patience has taken a vacation!  I don’t remember Little Bean having so many growth spurts this early on?

He must have overdone it during the day as the plus side is he only wakes once in the night at 4.30am and then again at 8.30am – I feel relatively human again today.

Week 3

Beanie Boy has a weigh in this week, he is now 8lb 15oz which means he has put on approximately 5oz per week which I think is pretty good but the Health Visitor says he’s slightly under.  He was on the 50th Centile when he was born but now he is nearer to the 25th????

Week 4

Things have settled down really nice, first feed is usually around 7.30am with subsequent feeds every three hours and then cluster feeding in the evening.  I have finally started expressing so Hubby has decided to give him the bottle at one of the night feeds as he seems to settle quicker after the bottle than if he feeds from me.  I think it’s because he likes Mummy’s cuddles so much!  He has taken to the bottle really well which is a relief!!!

Week 5

So much for taking to the bottle so well, he suddenly is really fussy with it so we swap bottle brand and how he seems very happy with the Tommee Tippee Closer to Nature.  He also decided feeding with Daddy in the night was fun so he would stay awake even longer so we need to try a different time again.

We’ve had a growth spurt again this week but again it only lasted one day so I could at least look forward to the next day when I knew he would be sleeping lots.

His sickness is really sporadic, sometimes we don’t have anything for a couple of days then for the next 3 days its just sick, sick, sick?  I don’t get it?!?!

I decided to take him for a weigh in at Baby Clinic this week, he’s 9lb 9oz, I feel really pleased with him but again the HV says he’s a bit low!?  I decide that perhaps I’m not eating enough of the right foods to give him the calories he needs so I have a trip to the supermarket and stock up on better foods for me – jacket potatoes, cottage cheese, loads of fruit and veg, meat pies and FRESH CREAM CAKES!!!  Ok so they’re not technically for him but they have got a lot of calories!  I deserve some treats surely!

Week 6

Everything seems to be going really well this week, waking at 7.30am – feeds every 3 hours in the day, every 2 hours in the evening.  Daddy giving a 5oz bottle between 10.30pm and 11.00pm.  He goes straight off to sleep and doesn’t wake until 5.30am – that has been 4 days now so I’m feeling quite positive – we’re definitely heading in the right direction anyway.

Week 7

Beanie Boy has a cough and cold this week so he’s struggling slightly with his feeding.  I’ve been using Emcur Nasal drops to help break up the mucus and using a nasal aspirator which has helped slightly.  On the second day of his bug he only fed for 5 minutes at each of the first three feeds of the day which really unsettled me.  He isn’t producing very wet nappies but he’s doing lots of poos.  I decide to take him to the Doctors to get him checked over where I’m told his lungs are clear, his temperature is fine and his heart rate is normal so to not worry and just keep an eye on him with his feeding.  When I get home he shows signs of being hungry so I give him a feed, this time he stays on for nearly 40 minutes before falling asleep.  He wakes 45 minutes later and has another feed of 30 minutes and this continues into the evening.  Gave Beanie Boy his final feed of the night at 11pm before heading up to bed expecting a bad night but he surprises us both by sleeping until 7.40am!!!  I actually felt quite human for the day and Beanie Boy has woken up bright as a button!

Week 8

Beanie Boy has fed really well this week and has now started to take both breasts at each feed so hopefully we will start to see some improvement in his weight gain.

On the down side he has started to get really stressed out with the bottle and is now refusing it.  I feel quite stressed out about that because it means that I can’t ever leave him for a night out.  The new Harry Potter film is out this week and I would love to go and see it but I can’t leave him long enough to go 🙁  We have decided to leave off the bottle for a week and then try again with a different type of bottle.  I’ve been looking online to see what bottles are suggested and quite a few people have recommend the Breastflow bottles so will see if I can get hold of them.

Week 9

This week we have gone back to using nipple shields in an effort to get him used to having a “teat” again for a bottle.  Initially he’s not too keen on going back to the shields but then he realises its his only chance of milk so he gets on with it.  During the week I notice that he is much less sick this week and when looking at the shape of his mouth whilst he’s feeding I realise that I definitely haven’t had his “latch” right.  I try him a couple of times without the shield again but as soon as I get him latched on correctly, he takes himself off and puts himself on wrong again. 

I’ve made an appointment to see a Breastfeeding Support Counsellor next week to observe a feed and see if she can offer any advice!  Watch this space . . . . .

Week 10

We had the observed feed this week and was told that everything looked as it should, he was latched on properly, nice wide mouth, full cheeks, no noises other than the sound of him swallowing, chin nicely into my breast and bottom lip curled.  When we discussed our situation further it seemed to be that he is struggling with the flow of my milk as I seem to have a fast let down.

I was told again not to use the nipple shields so I’ve stopped using them again for the time being.  The bottle is still a no-go area for Beanie Boy but I shall not be defeated, we will try again once I have got Beanie Boy into a better routine.

Week 11

We haven’t used shields at all this week and his latch seems to have been ok but he also has a cold this week which is making it hard for him to feed effectively.  Also thanks to his cold he is being more sick than ever because of all the mucus in his tummy. 

This is not a good week!  I took Beanie Boy to be weighed this week, he is now 11lb 4oz meaning he has dropped to the 9th centile – is this Little Bean all over again?

Week 12

After talking to a friend this week who has breastfed three children very successfully, she suggested I try expressing off a little milk before each feed to see if this helps with my strong let down.  I’ve been trying it all week and this has definitely made a difference to his sickness.  He is managing to keep more down and seems happier to take the second breast too, hopefully this will help with this weight too.  He also seems more settled this week, he has started to nap 3 times a day for 1 hour at a time and then actually goes down to sleep at 7.30pm and doesn’t wake until 7.30am with just a dream feed at 11pm – I’m loving this!

Week 14

What a mixed week this week.  Expressing a little before each feed is definitely improving the sickness though I struggle to do this whilst I’m out and about.  This means I’m trying to stay at home as much as possible.  But just as I think things are settling a little bit, it all goes wrong.  Beanie Boy’s cold has come back and it makes him quite sicky – really nice gloopy stuff with green bits in it – YUK!  Some nights he goes to sleep quite nicely at 7.30pm and sleeps through until 11pm-ish when I feel him before I go to bed, other nights he just wakes up soon after going down and then wants to be held for the evening.  I honestly don’t get it!

Week 16

I think we’re getting somewhere, for the last week or so bedtimes have gone really well.  We go upstairs for a bath around 7pm and he has a bath with Little Bean, then I give Beanie Boy a massage, read him a story and feed him.  He’s normally fast asleep by 8pm and stays that way for the night.  I tried not feeding him at 11pm to see how the night feeds went but I ended up having to feed him about 12.30am and 4.30am so I’ve started feeding him at 11pm again and he generally only wakes up at 4.30am.  He’s finally awake and ready to start the day around 8am.

I’m seriously considering starting weaning soon, he seems ready – he gets so excited when we’re eating or when Little Bean is eating.  He seems to be spending  a longer time on the breast again so I think he’s probably hungry.

Week 17

Well, we’ve started weaning.  Just baby rice and breastmilk at the moment but he seems really keen.  He keeps grabbing the spoon off us and putting it in his mouth himself.  This is a great start, I’m feeling quite positive.  He’s only having a little bit but I can increase the quantity slowly over time. 

I was hoping that it would have an effect on his sickness after feeds but it hasn’t – oh well – Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Week 18

Beanie Boy LOVES his baby rice and milk, he gets so excited I have to wedge his bouncer with my leg otherwise its like trying to hit a moving target.  We have also tried carrot (winner), butternut squash (naaaa), sweet potato (so-so), mashed potato and butter (so-so) and banana (so-so but it did come back up a little while later?

He’s not feeding as long as he was on the breast now so it must be starting to fill him up a bit.  I just need to make sure I don’t get stuck in a rut – must remember to gradually increase the amount and thicken it up a bit, oh yeah AND keep offering new (and previously rejected) flavours!

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