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This post originally appeared in my old blog, www.the-alice.co.uk
Breastfeeding: hard work for something that’s supposed to be the most natural thing in the world!
After thinking it was all going swimmingly in the hospital and then developing cracked, bleeding nipples from hell, we finally got some help from the scary midwife who carried out our home visit last monday. Since then it’s been a completely different experience and I no longer feel like I want to cry every time she latches on. Honestly, the pain I was experiencing was how I imagine it to feel if I were to rub my nipples up against broken glass.
We’ve had other feeding issues in that Elfreda often drops off to sleep within five minutes of being on the boob, if not sooner. We’ve tried a million different ways to stop her doing this but it seems she just finds breastfeeding so soporific and comforting, there’s just no stopping her. This is especially frustrating in her late evening feed when she drops off after being fed for 5 minutes, I wind and put her down and then she wakes up in a cold bed crying for more milk. Repeat 5-6 times before she’s full enough to drop off and you have one tired mummy.
She is slowly getting better at staying awake for her feeds and I know it’ll be easier for her as she’s bigger, but I worry that she’s not getting sufficient calories as she is still 8 oz under her birth weight. I’m pumping the remainder of the milk she leaves to bottle feed her when she wakes back up and we’re using formula for one of her feeds so fingers crossed at her weigh-in today she will have put on a little weight.
Anyway, I’m glad we’ve found a feeding routine that almost seems to be working for us. I’m pleased with our decision to introduce the bottle at this early stage, she has no issue with switching between that and the boob and the fact that we give one formula feed a day gives me the flexibility to have a nap and leave baby with Will or feed from a bottle when we’re out. The scary midwife from last week was very militant about breastfeeding 100% of the time, but our usual midwife is happy with our current arrangement. It takes that little bit of pressure off me and means I’m not stressed – happy me, happy baby.