From the moment I found out I was pregnant I knew I was going to breastfeed, it was one thing I was 100% sure about. I did so much research during my pregnancy, I was on my phone every night looking up all things breastfeeding. I found out about colostrum harvesting when I was about 30 weeks pregnant and so at 37 weeks I went to my Hospital and got some syringes and gave it a go. I managed to collect 2ml which I thought was the tiniest amount but actually it’s quite a lot for colostrum. I stored it in the freezer and when I was induced at 38 weeks I took it with me in a little freezer bag and the Midwife’s put it in their fridge for me.
After my horrendous birth Beatrice struggled to latch, I was absolutely heart broken and all that went through my head was that I wasn’t going to be able to feed her. I completely forgot all about the colostrum until the Midwife suggested we give her some, the Midwife fed her a tiny bit and she started suckling away at the syringe. She handed Bea to me and that’s when we had our first successful feed. I had the most amazing Midwife support assistant in the hospital, whenever I fed Bea I buzzed her and she came straight away and would help me latch her on correctly and was so encouraging without her I don’t think I would have continued!
The best advice I received about breastfeeding is that it is painful for the first 2 weeks. I think many mums think that it is going to be the most natural thing in the world and it’s not going to hurt. Them first 2 weeks are awful, your nipples crack, they can bleed and the pain is toe curling but if you can eat through them 2 weeks that’s the hardest part (for most woman). I’m really lucky that I had a good supply, Bea had a good latch and I had great support.
When Bea was 4 months old I started pumping to feed her a bottle, she would not take any bottle we gave her, we spent so much money on every different make. I was producing a lot of milk so I went on the Facebook page “human milk 4 human babies” and found a Mum in Guildford who unfortunately couldn’t produce enough milk for her baby. We started chatting and I started pumping for her little girl. I also used the Haakka & naturebond whilst pumping which helped me produce even more milk. Every other weekend when Dec and I would go and visit his family that way, we would pop in and give her the milk. She was the loveliest lady and was so appreciative of it, it was an amazing feeling being able to see her baby grow from the help of me! I donated milk to her for about 4 months but unfortunately when I returned back to work I had to stop as I didn’t have the time to pump as much.
We used breast milk for so much more than just “milk” too, Bea had a blocked tear duct when she was a couple of days old so we used a few drops of milk a day and it cleared quickly. Bea also had milk baths a lot as she gets little bits of exzma and it helps so much.
Bea and I managed to get to 11 months and 3 weeks in our breastfeeding journey.
I went on a hen do the weekend before beas 1st birthday to Bournemouth and stayed away for 2 nights, when I came home I knew it was the perfect time to stop. I feel so sad sometimes when I think about the fact we stopped but to make it to a year (okay, one week short!) is amazing and I am so so proud.