Time sure flies when you’re a mother to a newborn. I can’t believe my baby is already two months old. It’s surreal to watch him grow every day and begin new movements such as cooing, babbling and simply moving his arms and legs. I’ve started to log Jordan’s actions and behaviours in a diary, which is great for following the growing stages of life.
Having My First Baby Has Been Such an Exciting and Overwhelming Time
Being a new mum has changed my lifestyle as well as everything around it. For all of the new mothers out there, I’d highly recommend you to breastfeed right after birth (if you can), especially within the first hour of birth to help establish your milk supply.
Don’t worry if you don’t see much milk in the beginning because it will be colostrum at first (which is yellowish coloured breastmilk). Over the next few days following your birth your milk supply will build until your supply is fully established.
Not Everything Was Easy
Breastfeeding was definitely challenging at first because it was something entirely new to me. One of the first major challenges that I experienced with breastfeeding was that my baby was constantly falling asleep at the breast. A tip I learned was to stroke Jordan under the chin to wake him up and then commence feeding as usual.
I also experienced cracked and irritated nipples right after breastfeeding. I purchased nipple cream from my local chemist or supermarket and applied a small amount to the areola and nipple at least twice a day. A small amount of breastmilk applied to my nipples after feeding also helped to sooth and heal them.
In the first month or so, I started to get swollen and engorged breasts from an oversupply of milk. I felt so much discomfort and pain with my breasts that I had to seek some advice from Medela’s Lactation Consultant, Kristy.
One way to avoid or reduce breast engorgement is to “Only express of a little for comfort or to make latching easier, then let your baby lead the way. When you feel that your breasts are becoming full, look to express a little either manually or by using your breast pump for about 5-10 minutes.”
So, essentially, the more you express, the more milk you will make. So the best way to avoid breast engorgement is to express just a little when you experience some discomfort.
Regular expressing definitely helps to avoid or manage breast engorgement as you’re consistently taking the milk out of your breasts (which means that you won’t get clogged ducts). So in the first month I was using the breast pump for about 10-20 minutes per session, however the timing will vary for everyone.
Jordan didn’t have any difficulties latching or feeding when I experienced breast engorgement at the time, but I found that my milk did flow very quickly which meant that he couldn’t swallow the breastmilk fast enough. To avoid him choking on my breastmilk, I would take breaks in between my breastfeeding sessions.
My Breast Pump Experience
For expressing, the breast pump I am using is the Freestyle Double electric pump. Expressing has helped me build a stash of breast milk in the fridge/freezer, which saves me so much time I felt it’s been a lifesaver as it helps to relieve mastitis.
Two months on and I am successfully breastfeeding and expressing. I have found he feeds more regularly, and when I’m away from him for a few hours, I’ll look to pump before I head out to make sure that he has enough to keep him going while I’m gone.
Expressing while I’m away from Jordan also helps to make sure that my milk supply remains constant because if you skip a feed your body thinks that you no longer need to produce the milk for that feed.
How would you describe your breastfeeding journey? What do you wish someone had told you before you started breastfeeding? Let’s have a chat!