As it is World Breastfeeding Week I feel it is important to make an effort to celebrate breastfeeding and contribute to the movement to normalise breastfeeding in our society.
I have had a positive breastfeeding journey so far with my four month old son. However, it has not always been plain sailing. I refuse to describe the days where I have struggled as a negative side to breastfeeding. Whilst I have struggled, I have never contemplated giving up nor felt that the difficult times were reflective of my experience as a whole. I want to acknowledge the difficulties I’ve faced, without discouraging other women. Therefore I feel I must be truthful about the less than easy times, but recognise them for what they truly have been which are only bumps in the road.
Bump 1: Cluster Feeding
My son was perhaps three days old when he spent the entire night attached to my breast. Every time he fell asleep and unlatched he would sleep for ten minutes before wailing for milk once more. I had a less than easy delivery and was suffering myself only three days postpartum. Sitting to feed him was agonising.
My son fed almost non stop from midnight until seven the next morning. My husband woke and sent me straight to bed where I slept until my son woke for his next feed.
This became our routine and helped me to manage the sleepless nights. I would stay in the lounge feeding all night so my husband could sleep, and when he woke we would swap so I could go to bed. This really helped and I would recommend it to everyone.
In hindsight I know that the cluster feeding throughout the night was my son stimulating my milk to come in fully and increasing my supply to meet his needs. However I did not know this at the time, so I read other mothers stories and used their advice to get through the nights.
I have compiled a list of the best tips that truly helped me to get through the long nights. I hope they can help someone else in the same position.
1. Water, water, lots of water.
2. Surround yourself with snacks.
3. Get comfortable so you don’t feel the need the move mid feed.
4. Get into a good book, or TV series. Something to keep you awake.
5. Always remember, cluster feeding will pass.
When I reach a bump I often think of something my husband once said to me – nothing worth having is ever easy.