I’m officially over a month into exclusively breastfeeding so I wanted to share some thoughts on what it’s been like the second time around.
Ahead of Dexter’s arrival I wrote about my hopes and fears for breastfeeding this time around, especially after I had quite a rough time with breastfeeding with Henry. I knew what I hoped for, but I also think I put less pressure on myself this time around, and that has meant it’s all round been a much more positive experience.
After a near perfect birth story, I’m pretty pleased to say we’ve had a near perfect breastfeeding journey so far. Of course we’ve had our ups and downs as with all aspects of parenting, but for the most part I’m happy and proud of myself.
I’m not even going to pretend that breastfeeding isn’t hard, because it so is. It isn’t a completely natural and instinctual thing. It takes perseverance and practice, and a lot of patience. However, this time around I’ve really felt more comfortable with it. Yes I had a couple of days to begin with where I had a bad latch, so had to change my position and feed through some milk blisters which wasn’t the most comfortable experience, but once I sorted the latch, which I did through memory of what I did wrong with Henry, it’s been an almost completely pain-free experience. Occasionally the latch changes and I have to pop Dexter off, but for the most part we’ve got this breastfeeding lark down!
I’ve also, for the most part, got my head around cluster feeding. This was an absolute killer for me with Henry, and really took it’s toll on my mental health as I just felt like a cow with constant feeding. This time I’ve tried to look at it as part and parcel of breastfeeding, especially in the heatwave, and that has meant a few less tears from me when I’ve had to feed hourly and felt like my boobs just can’t take anymore! Also a big shout out to Lansinoh Nipple Cream for helping to save me, it might be a little pricey, but it is pure gold when cluster feeding.
I think one of my favourite and most hilarious things from breastfeeding this time around is how Henry has reacted to it. He’s very hands on with his baby brother (much to my love and dismay, usually in equal measures) and always wants to help. He now understands that Dexter is fed from Mummy, which is sweet, but also means he tries to help get a boob when I tell him Dexter needs feeding. Top marks for lack of judgement and wanting to help, and it is super funny, but also not hugely practical unfortunately. I’m waiting for him to try and breastfeed his own baby, I can tell it’s going to come soon.
I’m now starting to think ahead to pumping. I’m not quite ready to start that journey just yet, but I’m equipped with my Lansinoh Single Electric Breast Pump* and the brand new Bravado Clip and Pump Hands Free Nursing Bra Accessory* for when I am. I don’t want to leave it too late with Dexter as we want him to be used to bottles as well as breast, so I’ve got my research hat on for the best times to pump ahead of this. With plans this Autumn for a couple of nights away, I’ll definitely be putting it all to use so I can actually go out without Dexter (hello Wicked in October!!), but I want to concentrate on the exclusive breastfeeding side beforehand. However it’s a good looking little pump unit and easy to put together and take apart, meaning cleaning should be simple. It’s also quiet which is helpful if you want to be a bit discreet. I have been wearing the Bravado Seamless Nursing Bra*, and it is now a firm favourite of my growing collection as it is so comfortable, looks nice under clothing and is such a pretty colour too. The hands free pump accessory is an add on and easily clips to the normal nursing bra. Again it’s comfortable and matches perfectly, and the quality of all the items is so so good. Personally a big fan of the double click of the fastenings too!
I guess over all I’m in a much better place with breastfeeding and everything that comes with it. Now I just need to get used to the lack of sleep and the unfortunate fussiness and wind that accompanies Dexter. Hopefully time will help with both of those.
If you have any pumping tips, please feel free to link in the comments below. I’ll be writing about how/when/why I pump in due course, so any extra help would be gratefully received.
*PR samples provided in exchange for review – all opinions are my own. See my disclaimer policy for more information.