I have been so lucky to have been able to breastfeed all three of my children. But all three experiences have been completely and utterly different.
Angus, my first born, arrived three weeks early. He latched on fairly soon after birth and our first two days went pretty well. It was the third day, when my milk started to come in and my breasts became engorged (think two watermelons attached to your chest) that we hit a roadblock.
Gus was also jaundice and the combination of him being extremely lethargic and my breasts, now being double the size of his head, meant we had one very upset baby who couldn’t latch and one very distraught mother wondering what she had done wrong.
I was so lucky to have a lactation consultant visit me the following day. She patted me on the back and told me that I wasn’t the first and I wouldn’t be the last, to be in this exact position. She hooked me up to the breast pump, ordered me a cup of tea and told me to relax.
This very same LC also diagnosed me with flat nipples and handed me what would become the very reason I could breastfeed my first born for 10 months, a Medela nipple shield.
Eddie, my second born, was born right on his due date and latched on with all of his might. But despite successfully breastfeeding Gus for 10 months I still felt unsure of what I was doing. I ended up with grazed and blistered nipples. So on went the nipple shield again, but this time after 3 months I was able to wean Eddie off, and we went on to breastfeed for 12 beautiful months.
When Billy was born I was very confident I knew what I was doing. He attached well. He fed well. He gained an enormous amount of weight in his first week of life. But it was about two weeks into arriving home that we hit a huge stumbling block. Mastitis.
I still shudder when I say that word. If you’ve ever had it, you’ll know. If you haven’t, I hope you never do.
Then I got it again. So My G.P put me onto antibiotics, which then resulted in me getting a very resisted strain of nipple thrush.
On went the beloved nipple shield again to protect Billy from getting the nipple thrush and three months later we were able to pack it away again and go on to breastfeed for 15 months in total.
The reason I’m sharing my stories with you is this…96 % of mothers choose to breastfeed their babies from birth, but by the second and third months that figure drops dramatically. By 5 months, that number has dropped to under 30%.
The main reasons? Mothers worrying they’re not producing enough milk for their babies. Worrying that their babies should be sleeping through the night. Worrying that they’re not doing it right.
But the reality, the range of normal is so wide. We are all different and our babies all have different needs.
Medela has done some amazing research into how we breastfeed and what our babies need. I wish this info was around when I was a new mum!
Medela supports mums with their breastfeeding journey by providing the most technologically advanced, superior-quality breastfeeding products, conducting ongoing research and by working with community groups and charities on innovative programs assisting breastfeeding mums. For more info visit www.medela.com.au
They are also kindly donating one of their magnificent Calma bottles and a $50 My Pharmacy voucher to one lucky reader. All you have to do is comment below to be in the running.
*Winner will be announced Friday the 11th of December 2015 at 5pm AEST
*Competition open to Australian residents only.
***This post has been sponsored by Medela.