Friday, July 20, 2012

Talking about my boobs again

So guess who got another writing job?! Thanks blawg!

I am super excited to announce that I’ll be sharing a few of my breastfeeding stories at the how2breastfeed website in the coming months! I have a lot of feeding stories – when you feed for this long that’s what happens. I see this as a massive win/win situation - I can pass on the knowledge I’ve gained to those who might need a bit of a hand and I get another forum to talk about my boobs in! HOORAY!

I thought I’d prepared for breastfeeding as much as possible by researching everything while I was pregnant. I figured that in the sleepless few weeks of new parenthood I wouldn’t know my ass from my elbow so best get as much info as I could before that happened. 

The start of my breastfeeding journey (because you always have to use the word journey) was shaky. All the books I’ve read, all the midwives and all the lactation consultants I’ve ever had experience with told me “if he’s latched on properly, it won’t hurt”.

I have one word for you. Bullshit. That's not always the case.

My nipples obviously did not get that memo. You know why? Because I was busy being filled with conflicting information about how long I should leave Tricky to feed as a newborn. It seemed every book, and every specialist had a different set of "rules".

My midwife told me to leave Tricky to nurse an hour, which did turn out to be true for us ONCE MY MILK CAME IN. It was definitely not the way to go when all I had was colostrum. Her advice (based on the fact that she assumed Tricky was five days old rather than 12 hours old) led to some rather nasty damage and a truck load of pain despite the fact he had latched on well.

With a start like that I sometimes wonder how on earth we managed to come this far. Then I remember I’m stubborn and have been known to take on proving people’s assumptions of me wrong as a bit of a hobby.
Was he really ever this small?

But even with my arsenal of knowledge, I still felt like I needed someone to tell me I was doing OK, to answer my questions and assure me it would get easier. I would have loved to have the how2breastfeed DVD. I would have watched it at 2am when I was awake with a starving baby who was screaming the house down as I figured out how exactly I was meant to hold him.

Hold his neck not his head? What? Won't that hurt him?! GAH someone just tell me what to do!

To see real mums, watch them feed, hear their stories and know that it does get better, right in your own lounge room... worth it’s weight in gold.

Did you have a shaky start to breastfeeding?  Where did you get your support from?

This post is not a standard sponsored post, but is part of my ongoing work for how2breastfeed which is a paid position.


  1. Good on you for persisting. It is hellish if it hurts. Hellllllishhhhhh.

    Yep. Very shaky start for us. Baby with a strong suck, me over-producing (ever the over-doer) and grazed/bleeding nipples. I dreaded every feed and would cry for mercy. Did that for 10 weeks. And that was WITH support from lactation consultant who correctly advised that it was gonna hurt now the damage was done.

    I stuck it out. I had to. I was determined to. But a friend gave me the best bit of advice.... she gave me the courage to make an end-date. A day, a time, a feed, to draw the mental line in the sand and say "I've done all I can, this is where I get off". I made that date with myself (I gave it 48 hours) and I kid you not, Glow, the VERY feed before the one I had determined would be my last if things hadn't improved was the first one that didn't hurt. My newborn was now a whopping 10 week-old. From there on, we both enjoyed it and she self-weaned around 14 months.


    (p.s. and oh my, what a coincidence, Dierdre Chambers, as I am about to hit 'post comment' I see you've commented on my blog! Great minds, my friend....)

  2. I had troubles with the first 3 children they only fed for 3 months cause everyone kept telling me that they were so small, they weren't getting enough from my boobs, I need to give them formula. Then pressure took the better of me and i stopped. With number 4 I never listened to anyone. I just fed when I felt like it and when she wanted it. She grew. Was still small but my kids are not going to be giants. I breastfed her for 8mths. Ok still not long but by then I had had enough and she was interested in food more then breast. So it was a good time for the both of us to stop. It was a mutual agreement.

  3. Oh, Deirdre Chambers!
    I love the idea of giving yourself a cut off date, because it is definitely not for everyone. I quote a friend of mine quite often, she said "When breastfeeding is starting to impact your mental health, it's time to outsource". I loved that so much.

  4. Three months is a valiant effort particularly when being told you're not good enough. Tricky started right at the top of the weight charts and quickly dropped right down - one MCHN had a go at me and the other standing next to her asked "what does dad look like?". The answer was tall and skinny and it became obvious Tricky was going to have the same look as his dad so they left me alone. To this day he eats more than most of his little mates (6 weetbix for breakfast yesterday, 4 today!) and is a skinny kid, just like his dad.

  5. First time round I went really well, lasted 12 months and weaned gently when I fell preggers with number two. Thought it would be easy second time round but had a really tough time with breast refusal. The ABA were absolutely amazing, don't know how I would have survived without them. Wrote about it here (one of my most popular posts - probably because of the title!)

  6. I love the ABA, I went to a lot of their meetings in the early days and found it so helpful. I've heard a lot of people have troubles with #2 or #3 etc and find it so frustrating after no problems with #1.

  7. I had nipple thrush for 2 solid, excruciatingly painful months. I persevered.
    ABA were on speed dial. God, I don't know where I would've been without them! Total lifesavers! Well done on getting another writing gig. Gee, your boobs are taking you places, Glowy :) xxx

  8. OH OUCH! When they're feeding so often, especially when there are TWO babies, it's so hard to break the cycle of thrush :(
    These boob will take me far, I'm sure ;-)

  9. oh I remember that 'if you're doing it right it wont hurt'...crap! It was total agony for 2 months. I think my nipples just needed to toughen up. It took me a lot of strength to push on and to stop worrying that I WAS doing something wrong. He was always a fast feeder (10 mins only ever one side) so that also added to the stress. Turns out part of the agony was him sucking so hard! It wasn't until I talked to a family friend who said her kids were the same that I finally felt like I was doing it right.

  10. I was lucky enough that I didn't have too hard of a time. There were issues. My baby bit me and did all sorts of areobics, and never slept without a boob in his mouth etc. etc. Despite me knowing "better" and having educated myself on all of this.
    We didn't have latch issues or a bout of mastitus and for that I am very lucky.
    Occasional supply issues were fixed by feeding more regulary and looking into my diet.
    The hardest thing about breastfeeding is definitely the conflicting information EVERYONE seems to dish. If you haven't breastfed, breastfed in the last decade or have a mother ucking certificate saying you're a breastfeeding god then shut your fucking mouth unless I ask you a direct question.
    To those first time mums, or first time trying to breastfeed. Don't take all the advice you hear or read. you can even scrap this if you like. I say this because you know what you're doing, trust your gut, and when you don't you seek the help of those you trust around you. Other mum's in the thick of it who havetheir sights on your goal and helping you to get to it.

  11. Yep, had a shaky start to breastfeeding, overload of confllicting advice coupled with midwives who were obsessed with weight gain and a baby boy who was a lazy sucker resulted in cracked nipples, mastitis, and giving up after 5 months. There wasn't enough support though, most people told me to just give him a bottle! Much better success with babies 2 and 3 because I was more confident and relaxed :-)

  12. I have to say Abby, 10 mins makes me VERY jealous of you! We were one hour on, one hour off for about four months! I think no matter how much nipple stimulation you've done in the lead up to birth, NOTHING compared to the vacuum suction of a newborn.

  13. I found a lot of the conflicting advice was from older women who had successfully breastfed 3 kids 30 years ago. They were well meaning but "drink more milk to get more milk" was proven to be bullshit many moons ago so stop telling me that! And stop telling me that I can only eat plain food - do they think women in other cultures stop eating spices???

  14. I must admit, the 10 mins was great, but he was still getting the regular amount in that time. I could feel it being sucked out! I can't imagine what a 1hr baby would be like...I'll probably find out with the second.

  15. Confidence is such an important part of breastfeeding and hearing someone say "YOU'RE DOING IT WRONG/YOU'RE STARVING YOUR KID" is never helpful and yet I hear that so many of my friends have been told that from unhelpful medical professionals.

  16. I remember my MIL trying to get me to 'posture feed' at 3am! It's been shown many years ago that is can cause mastitis and doesn't help with fast flow, so that was an interesting conversation to have at 3am. I did find that 'milk made milk' though...

  17. OUCH! An hour would have been fine if it wasn't freezing cold :P I fell asleep most of the time.

  18. I struggled big time and I blogged about it recently

  19. I tried calling the ABA in the middle of the night once and whilst they were great, like you, I couldn't remember things after hanging up. I was anxious and doubting myself. I would have a lactation consultant stand over me and say "perfect latch" and I would want to scream "BUT IT STILL HURTS!". Turned out to be a staph infection... unlike thrush it's invisible so it went a long time without being diagnosed x

  20. Kelley @ magnetoboldtooJuly 21, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    I did a whole long comment and disqus forgot my password and then threw me out and then I had to reset a new password and it lost my comment.


    in a nutshell: 1st easy. 2nd 6 weeks. Third nipple burst open during pumping.

  21. I had "flat" nipples and my daughter couldn't latch on in the beginning. Bad latch = hungry baby who couldn't drink + sore nipples. Fortunately I had an awesome midwife who spent many hours a day with me for the first week and took me to see an IBCLC when she couldn't help any more. She even lent me a hospital grad electric pump for a few weeks for free. Hand expressing and syringe feeding colostrum was painstaking but ultimately so worth it. By 2 weeks my daughter was taking all feeds from the breast and I was ready to open a milk bar with the amount I was producing.
    That was more than 5 years ago and is a faded distant memory. I'm still breastfeeding, although not the same child (I DID feed her until she was 1 1/2 and am still feeding my 3 yo).

  22. I didn't see this comment before. 3rd = What the ever loving fuck?! ZOMG!

  23. So great to hear of others who are full term feeders :) Fabulous effort against the odds, Alex! x


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