Before I start this post, I want to make it clear that it is in no way an argument for one side or the other. I want to put across my experience of doing both and what I found the pros and cons to be personally (beyond the health benefits that get pushed to new mums). The joy of modern technology is that we do have a choice how to feed our babies. The important word being ‘choice’. If you choose from day one to bottle or breast feed, that’s entirely up to you, and I completely respect that decision, particularly having done both!
Sienna is just over three months old now, and our breastfeeding journey is coming to an end.
I’ve spoken a few times about Sienna’s fussiness. She cries lots, struggles to settle, and has fussed during and after feeds. To be honest, it was really starting to bring me down. I was starting to feel that every waking minute had to be dedicated to her. I could sometimes get away with putting her down once she fell asleep, but couldn’t dare leave the room, as the pram would need rocking if she stirred!
If there’s one saying that you’ll hear time and again as a parent, it’s ‘this too shall pass’. I’d never heard it before having Ella, and now hear it ALL THE TIME!!!
It’s become a bit of a parenting mantra during the tough times. Yes, this is hard, but it won’t last forever, kind of thinking. And it’s a saying that has gone through my head nearly every day since Sienna was born.
It started with the constant feeding, which is nothing short of exhausting. It did pass though, and when I think about Sienna’s feeding pattern now, most days she’ll go 2.5-3 hours between feeds. And the days of a feed taking at least half an hour are gone too. She’s become a much more proficient feeder, and is done in around ten to fifteen minutes. The result is that breastfeeding has become so much easier. This has happened in the blink of an eye! One day I’m stuck to the sofa, with only mini breaks between feeds, the next we have some sort of routine emerging. And I’d barely noticed it happening.
I opted for a sky blue pillow, and it is super soft and velvety. And the cover is removable for ease of washing. The nursing pillow is designed to fit around your waist to support the baby while either breast or bottle feeding, giving your arms freedom and comfort.
The one thing I have found handy about using the pillow to feed, is being hands free. Though Sienna does have a habit of losing latch, so I do have to keep helping her out. In all honesty, I’m more comfortable not using the pillow to support Sienna, but to the side to support my arm! I find this works better for both of us.
I found breastfeeding difficult with Ella. Exhausting, painful and frustrating. I didn’t know it would be like that. No one warns you!
And I didn’t know enough about it. I had low supply. But I didn’t know the best thing was to let her feed and feed and the supply would increase. Instead, at 3 weeks old, we started supplementing with formula and did so until the amount of formula increased and my supply dwindled even more, until I dried up at 3 months.
I had read, when pregnant with Ella, books about routine and how often babies ‘should’ breastfeed. I didn’t realise that in the early days they can literally feed nonstop.
I wouldn’t say I had the most positive breastfeeding experience with Ella.
I would have loved to have breastfed her for as long as both of us wanted to continue to. Unfortunately, my milk supply was far too low for this to be possible.
I managed to breastfeed Ella for 3 months in total before my milk completely dried up, though this was supplemented with formula to avoid her starving. There was a ‘cracking point’ at 3 weeks old, when I realised that I wasn’t providing enough milk for Ella. She sucked almost non-stop for 7 hours, and was crying out for more. So we gave her some formula and she guzzled it down.