I knew I wanted to try and breastfeed as soon as I found out I was pregnant but wasn’t going to put any pressure on myself if it didn’t work or Ezra didn’t latch as I had heard the pressure you feel can be horrible which then might affect feeding! It’s all a vicious circle!!
Apart from the very first feed, where the little boy didn’t want to put any work in to get his meal, Ezra has latched really well and has fed like a pro! Now don’t get me wrong, I have still had the stingy nipples, the long nights and the hour long feeds every hour and a half!!
As they all say stick with it and it will become much easier and I have to admit it is true – but not always!!
Here are my top tips for surviving breastfeeding, I do want to say that I am by no means an expert on this or trained to give advice I am just sharing what has worked for us:
Find a comfy spot
I found having somewhere comfy to sit really helped me not having as sore back and neck and also to keep Ezra comfy and happy to be feeding. I have a bouncy Ikea chair in the nursery that I go and sit in to do the night time feeds, with a blanket and a baby pillow.
I know other people stay in bed but my bed has a weird headboard which is so uncomfortable to sit up against!
I was gifted some nipple cream from my cousin at my baby shower and it has been a godsend!! I used it a few times after feeds at the start but I was still getting sore nips. But then I started using it religiously after every feed and it genuinely helps! So make sure you have your cream with you everywhere you go and don’t be embarrassed to apply it liberally after each feed, no matter where you are!
It is funny to see people’s reactions to you having your hand in your top rubbing your nipples!! 😂
Bring snacks and water
I had heard that breastfeeding burns calories and helps mummas lose the baby weight, but I am literally hungry all the time and I find during each feedS I am so thirsty. Making sure we are fed and hydrated helps the whole nursing journey, so I would fully recommend having some snacks and a bottle of water next to you when you are feeding your baby. I would also make sure you have a muslin to hand to stop any crumbs landing on baby! 😀
As you get into a bit of a routine with your feeding your boobs learn when they need to be full for baby and if you miss a feed for whatever reason they will leak!! So breast pads are a must unless you would like to rock the wet t-shirt look! 🙂 Also when your nipples are tender the last thing you want to have is your bra or top sticking to them! I use the re-usable pads from boots so I can wash them between uses, the disposable ones work just as well!
We all have days where baby just wants to be attached to your boob and trust me it can get a little too much. We found that expressing during the day and giving Ezra a bottle before bed gives me a little break and a lovely chance for some baby and Daddy time.
So I would recommend having a pump so you can have some expressed milk ready when you need it, it is also a good idea to try and build a store in the freezer for when you are ready to leave baby for more than 10 minutes!
There are so many pumps out there so please do your own research first, but I found that the Nature bond milk saver was amazing and required very little effort. We also use the Tommee Tippee and Lansinoh milk storage bags for the freezer.
Ask for help
My final and possibly most important bit of advice is ask for help if you need it!
You are not alone in this, there are so many mums going through similar if not the same things, so talk to people about it. Having support, advice, and reassurance has helped me so much. Knowing that you are doing the right thing and your baby is fine means the world when you feel like you are struggling.
Get a WhatsApp group going with other mums and use it as your place to vent, chat about feelings and get their advice and experiences! Trust me this is a sure fire way to help make you feel normal about what you are doing and to bring a smile to your face!
There is also breastfeeding groups you can attend to ask questions and get hands-on help.
I am loving breastfeeding Ezra and seeing him grow, but it isn’t easy. I would love to hear your top tips for surviving breastfeeding.