Wednesday, 27 June 2018

A better understanding of Breastfeeding

National Breastfeeding week in England starts on the 26th June-29th June with the theme of breastfeeding support. I thought this would be a great time to share my two very different breastfeeding journeys and share the knowledge and support I've gained and learnt along the way. I am a true supporter of 'fed is best' and I don't judge any mothers choice on how to feed her child. What I am a big supporter of in terms of breastfeeding is if I have a friend who really wants to succeed at breastfeeding then I will give them all the means of support I can to help them on their journey, even if it results in them choosing to finally stop feeding and give their baby a bottle. By passing on knowledge and tips and understanding of breastfeeding then we can help so many other mothers on their journey.

[Photo by Sharon Cudworth on my wedding day - feeding a 5 month old Evie]

I am by no means an expert but I have experience in my first born very difficult start to breastfeeding where I had to use all my willpower and determination to succeed at feeding and he self weaned just before 11 months old. My second born latched as soon as she was born and didn't stop for two hours. I did nothing different, I would like to say I had the confidence and calmness of a second time mother but these sorts of things are dependent on baby and situation and just because I'd done it once before did not mean I was going to succeed second time round. 

If you only have a few minutes to read this post then these are the main points I want to get across that I feel are not always portrayed or educated to mothers prior to them actually attempting breastfeeding or when they have left the hospital and maybe do not seek extra support of midwives or health visitors. If you read on then you can read in more detail both my very different breastfeeding journeys. 

  • As natural as it can look, breastfeeding is much more than putting baby's mouth to your nipple and it working. It relies on positioning, latch, the baby and can be affected by medication received in birth.
  • Your baby is the one to bring your milk in by working very hard suckling to boost your milk production - in order to do this they need to feed often and it can seem like they are forever attached to you in those first few days. 
  • The traditional position of sitting up with baby laying across you may not be the position that works for you - I could only feed Logan laying down on my side for the first few days. 
  • Breastfeeding can work on one side and not the other - Baby's can have a favourite, just like it feels more natural for you to sleep on a certain side of the bed or eat with a certain hand. You may have to adjust positions to feed from the other side, like the rugby hold position
  • Baby may seem to feed well the first couple of days in hospital and then it all feels chaotic once you are home - this is because they 'wake up' a bit after the tiredness of birth and often this goes hand in hand with your milk coming in around day 3-5 and baby is working hard to up production.
  • Baby's sleep a lot as newborns - they may not seem hungry but if they haven't fed for a while you need to stir them to feed. This can be done with stripping them off, skin to skin, tickling their feet to encourage them to feed. Remember they need to be suckling often to bring in the milk. 
  • Ignore remarks like 'Surely they can't be hungry again?' from family members who may be from a generation where they were only taught to feed their baby's on a 4 hour schedule. Gently remind them you are feeding on demand and baby is working hard to bring in the milk it needs. 
  • It can and will hurt. It may not the first couple of days but by day 3/4 it can be painful every time baby latches. This is normal, your nipples have to get used to feeding and frequent feeds can take their toll. My biggest recommendation is Lansinoh Nipple Cream - a kind midwife recommended it to me at my worst time feeding Logan about 4 days in - with Evie I used it from birth and I never experienced sore nipples. After each feed, dry off the nipple and apply the cream thick - its safe to use with baby so you don't need to clean it off. I would say the worst pain is the first one to two weeks and then this goes away - if it doesn't then there may be a Tongue tie issue with baby or you may need more support with baby's latch and positioning 
  • If you are struggling to latch baby and they have got very upset and crying - get your partner or another person to take baby off you, hush and walk them around the room for a moment and bring them back to you to try again. Baby's can smell your milk and often get hysterical if they are close but not latched. White noise also works really well at calming a crying baby so you can try and latch again. 
  • In an ideal world we would continue the tradition of staying in bed for 2 weeks and having no responsibility but to rest and feed our babies. However we are a generation that doesn't stop but I would really recommend limiting visitors to morning or afternoon. Establishing your feeding is hard enough but when you have an audience it's even harder. Allow yourself the morning or afternoon to rest when baby is asleep and just lay in bed or sit on the sofa and feed feed feed. 
  • If things are becoming overwhelming or you are worried about getting baby to latch with visitors around then take them upstairs and away from all distractions. It is much easier to feed a newborn when you are fully topless and boob out, you can have skin to skin and you won't be worried about covering up. When your milk comes in emotions will go sky high and you may find yourself tearier than normal and the excuse to feed baby upstairs is a perfect one for having a little cry at the same time. 
  • If you wish to feed in front of others but want that bit of cover then I swear by the two layer system - I always had a good nursing bra, a stretchy strap top (H&M and Primark do £3 ones) and a baggier top layer. When baby needs to feed, unclip your nursing bra, pull your bra and the strap top down under your boob and the top baggier layer acts as that bit of cover for the top of your boob and you can still see if baby is latching correctly. 
  • Ensure you are not just the milk machine. I fell into a sad place when Logan was born as I felt like just the milk machine. People would come visit, take him off me when he was finished feeding and bring him back simply to feed. I felt in those first two weeks I didn't get to simply just hold him when he wasn't feeding. Don't feel selfish in holding on to them that bit longer after they have finished a feed. When I had Evie I made sure I had plenty of time just holding her whether she was feeding or not. 
  • Your partner doesn't need to feel 'left out' just because you are doing all the feeding. Try laying down to feed in bed and letting them lay next to you, they can feel included even though they are not physically doing anything. Let them take charge of the burping after a feed or they can do the nappy changes. There are plenty of jobs to take charge of with a newborn and just because they aren't feeding doesn't mean they cannot help or be included.
  • You can get birth afterpains that increase when you feed - I experienced this slightly with Logan but not with Evie. Your body is contracting back to normal size and breastfeeding helps the speed of this - it can seem like agony at the start but this too will pass - so wait it out and know you are helping your body along. 
  • You need to drink and eat more! It's a thirsty and hungry business feeding another being. Make sure you always have a bottle of water or squash by your side in the day and the night and I'm a true believer in a pack of biscuits by your side will help you through too - don't worry, crumbs brush off baby's head. You could be stuck in the same position for a long time - once feeding is established, it's quite easy to browse your phone with one hand while holding baby with the other - it certainly helped keep me awake during those night feeds. 
  • When your milk comes in your boobs will feel very very tender! I found wearing a crop top bra to bed at night helped support them that bit better. A nice hot shower will also relive them and I've even heard cabbage leaves in your bra but I can't say I've tried it. Baby may struggle a bit more if your very engorged so you may need to help them a bit more. I remember Logan looking like he might be suffocated by my ever growing boob at one point. Hand massage/expressing can help take off some of the built up pressure before baby feeds. 
  • Remember as much as you may not enjoy being in hospital following the birth of your baby - you have 24/7 help and support on call for you in the form of the midwives. So many people are in a rush to get home that they say they are doing fine and then find themselves panicking in the night when baby won't latch or feed. There is of course support helplines for breastfeeding and you can ring the ward line to help but nothing beats having a midwife sit with you and help change positions and suggest stripping baby off for skin to skin and just being supportive if you are having a cry about it all. I was made to stay in an extra night with Logan as I was struggling and I'm so glad I did, as much as I had my cry about everyone else on the ward getting to go home and my partner not being there - I had a midwife check in on me every 2 hours throughout that night to help get Logan to latch and feed. 
  • Your midwife will visit you the day after you are home from hospital - please raise any concerns you have with feeding to them - get them to watch you latch baby and ask if its right. I was clearly not ok the day after I got home from hospital and the midwife helped me and sent someone to come the next day too - by then I was doing much better but I felt reassured I would have a physical person come and check in with me the next day. There is no judgement if you want to admit you are struggling - all they want is to help you succeed. 
  • If you are really struggling then there is no harm in giving baby a bottle for one feed and resting and regaining your strength and trying again at the next feed. Your baby needs to feed from you to build milk production so its important they get every opportunity to try and latch but missing one feed or a few feeds does not mean its the end of your journey - you can try again once you've calmed down or had a good cry and in a better frame of mind, you may just need to bring baby to the breast more frequent to build up the milk supply again but with support its possible. 
  • Remember it is normal for baby's to lose some of their body weight in the first 10 days. It doesn't mean they aren't getting enough milk, even formula fed baby's can lose weight. Your midwife will weigh baby on day 10 and if they are worried about weight gain they will work with you for formulate a plan to make sure baby is thriving and you can continue your journey. Logan was born 8lb 3oz at birth, lost nearly 2lb by 5 days old but by 12 days was back to 8lb 13oz. You can tell he had a rocky start to feeding but that we had it sussed by the end of those 2 weeks. Evie was brilliant at feeding and had put on 4oz by day 5 and 7oz by day 10 so her growth was more steady. Even though Logan lost a lot in that first week, I was never suggested to give him formula top ups, the midwife just worked with me to ensure all my breastfeeding concerns were addressed. 
  • Make small goals - start out with the goal that you want to breastfeed, move on to a day, 3 days, a week, a month etc. We put too much pressure on ourselves with big goals and no matter how short the period you feed for, it's all good for baby and you tried your best before making the decision that suits you and your family and you should always be proud of that. 
  • As baby grows and develops you will go through times where they cluster feed (on and off feeding in a short period of time) to build up milk production for their increased growth and times when they will normalise their feeding to every 3/4 hours. They may not follow a schedule and may not sleep through the night but in the grand scheme of their life then your feeding journey is a short period and so worth it. 
I hope the above helps someone, even if you pass on the information to a friend that is starting their journey or struggling. Check on facebook for your local feeding support group or on babycentre at their forums - it's nice knowing someone is awake and can reply to you at 3am while you are up feeding. 

My first Breastfeeding Journey - June 2013

I was 23 when I had Logan, he was 9 days overdue and I'd had two episodes of reduced movement and high blood pressure and trace of protein in my urine. They made the decision to induce me on Sunday 16th June 2013 - Father's Day. We went in at 8am and the induction started at 9am. I won't bore you with the in-between but it wasn't until 11.55pm he was born. I had actively choose not to have pethidine as pain relief as I had read it can make both mum and baby drowsy and I so desperately wanted to succeed at breastfeeding. I had gas and air but when they checked me around 6pm and told me I was still only 3-4cm I cried. They managed to break my waters and the pain that followed was intense as anyone who has had an induction will know. I asked for an epidural around 8pm but it was shift changing time and by the time someone got to me around 9pm - I was 9.5cm and supposingly nearly ready to push and it wouldn't be worth it. That last bit of cervix didn't shift until around 11pm and I pushed for 55 minutes. Relieved that I'd given birth on fathers day - win! and the birth was over I sat back and was thankful it was all over.   I gave birth on all fours over the bed, so they had bundled Logan up in a towel and handed him to his dad while I moved myself back over. Just the placenta to deliver now - wouldn't hurt much and wouldn't take long - well mine snapped. I have an image of the young midwife holding the end of my cord with a look of horror and me asking was it out? 

It turns out the cord snapping to your placenta isn't great at all. People started coming in and out and talk of 5 minutes or going up to surgery - someone said get her to try and breastfeed to contract it out on it's own. Logan was shoved onto my chest - I caught his little bum in the clasp of my hand and I thought right, remember what the classes taught you. He seemed to have his mouth in the right place but I wasn't sure much was happening - I didn't feel like anything was and I couldn't see much movement on his part. I asked a few of the surrounding midwives - am I doing this right? They nodded and said yes looks fine and continued to faff around me. It turns out I had a really full bladder and they think the placenta had got stuck behind it. Within seconds Logan was taken back off me and put back into the arms of his dad - luckily he had found his hand and all I could hear was his strong suck on his hand keeping him content. Apparently I couldn't get up to go for a wee so they needed me to go in a bedpan. Now this is the girl that struggles to go for a wee outside while camping - I was for sure not feeling like I had to wee nor thought I could go squatted on a bedpan with an audience. They turned on all the taps and left the room - nothing happened. Next plan was empty it with a catheter which seemed to work. A (thankfully) small lady doctor came in and somehow managed to get my placenta out with her hands in what I can only describe as much worse than birth and required a lot more gas and air. Ta-da! I was fixed - except now I needed stitches - more gas and air and by this point I still hadn't held my baby again. Through the high of the gas I remember hearing Ali ask the midwife how to point on a nappy and I was muttering something about remember to take photos of him being weighed. Ali held Logan up in his sleepsuit with his hat on to exclaim our baby looked like a smurf and I remember thinking stitches bloody hurt like hell. 

By the time I was sorted and showered and we got to the ward it was around 4:30am. Logan by this point was no longer content with his hand anymore and was screaming the place down. I can't tell you how happy I was to turn into that ward and realise thankfully I was the only one there with my screaming baby. The midwife on shift took one look at Logan and exclaimed 'no wonder he's screaming, he's starving!' - thankfully this was the only negative comment I received during my stay but it was safe to say did not put me in the best place for my confidence. While I was muttering things about not having held him much yet and broken placentas and stitches, she instructed me to lay down on my side and we got him to latch and calm down and drink. Ali was instructed to leave and I lay alone in that ward crying that I was already failing as a mother. 

As the night went on - two more mothers joined our ward and my baby seemed to be the only one crying. I had no idea how often I was supposed to be feeding him - every time the woman opposite me picked her baby up to feed I followed suite. I messaged my friend who worked on Neonatal unit and was breastfeeding trained for advice and help via text message - she really helped me get through those early hours of the morning. By 7am and overhearing another woman exclaim 'she can't wait to get home because she was simply not getting ANY rest on this ward' I closed my curtain round and cried and called for the midwife. The heavily pregnant midwife that turned up to ask me what was wrong got my full breakdown of upset. I couldn't feed, he kept crying, I didn't know what I was doing. 

She was excellent in helping me try various positions and helped me practice tipping his head back to latch. The newborn hold position felt awkward having to support their neck with one hand and direct their latch with the other. I found laying down to feed the easiest position and the one I seemed to be succeeding most in. I had a flurry of midwives in and out to me that morning to help me to feed him. After a night of crying on and off he seemed settle and very quiet - I was thankful for this but when he was asleep going on 3 hours the midwives informed me we needed to be waking him up to feed, they suggested stripping him off and tickling his feed to stir him to suckle. Ali arrived again at 9am and we spent the entire morning getting him to wake up to feed. Partners were supposed to go home again at 1pm and come back at 3pm but they seemed to leave us to it in the corner - I'm thankful for that. We had visitors from 3pm-7pm and I tried to feed Logan once in-between around 5pm. He was still so sleepy and it was a mission to wake him and keep him awake. 

As the other ladies on my ward were getting discharged, I was informed they thought it best I stay in another night until feeding was established. I cried a lot when Ali left me again at 9pm and I think I even phoned him again in tears at 10pm. The lovely midwife on the night shift checked in on me every 2 hours to prompt me to wake him and try and feed him. It seemed to be working a little better and the next day I was allowed to go home. 

The night we came home from hospital was one of the worst. Logan seemed to cry all night long and our small terrace house seemed to echo these cries. At one point I told Ali I thought there was a dummy in one of the bottle boxes someone had gifted us - it was at the back of the cupboard - he found it and that seemed to settle Logan a little better. 

By this point it was Tuesday night and I hadn't slept since the Saturday night before induction. I actually don't know how I functioned in those first few days. The midwife came to visit us the next day and I broke down crying when Logan was so unsettled during her visit. My stitches were hurting me, my nipples were hurting me, I was so tired. She told me about the Lansinoh cream and I made Ali run into town before closing to get me some. We also realised that Logan had lots of wind - I think in all the worry about him feeding, I hadn't been burping him enough at all, his top lip was slightly blue and she said this could be why he was so unsettled. She watched me feed him and pointed out that in the arm hold position as my stomach was still very bloated that it could be he was too high up and not in the great position to latch - I went back to feeding him laying down and thought I'd never be able to go anywhere without a bed to lay down and feed on. 

The next day she sent another breastfeeding support worker to see me and we worked on positioning. My stomach had gone down a bit more in that day and I finally seemed to get the arm hold position. 

I was getting more milk Coma faces from Logan which reassured me that he was full and content. By this point though I was in a lot of pain from feeding - I would whince and cry every time he latched and the pain was high. I know now that the pain was also from afterbirth pains and my stitches - I learnt after having Evie that I needed to continue the 4 hourly pain meds to control my pain level for a good week and a half after birth. 

I was so worried about Logan that I didn't take the advantage to sleep when he did and I often lay awake watching him sleep worrying about him. We had a vast amount of visitors with him being the first born baby in the family in some time and also us being the first of our friends to have a baby. I was young and didn't speak up and should have put more controls on this. 

After 2 weeks I remember crying so much when Ali had to go back to work - how was I going to cope without him there to help me? I was still in pain from my stitches and Logan seemed to be feeding all the time. 

If this is your first born then I highly recommend my survival plan - get yourself a Netflix subscription, a comfy chair, a drink and biscuit supply and sit back and feed and cuddle your baby all day long and catch up on some great box sets. I did this for the first month or so and it helped my bond with him and our feeding relationship be established. I took him to get weighed every week and it was soon obvious he was getting what he needed and piling on the weight. I finally felt at peace that I was doing this and succeeding. 

I ensured I always fed him before I left to go anywhere to minimise having to feed him on the go and I went to Costa with my friend when he was 3 weeks old and had my go at feeding him in public for the first time. I was so nervous but you know what, no one hardly bats an eyelid, most the time people don't even realise what you are doing. I've always found my local Costa to be so helpful at bringing my order over to the table for me and I find the white noise of the coffee machines and chatter very calming for baby. I spent a lot of time in Costa in those first few months catching up with friends! 

Around 4 months I had my second moment of doubt again about our breastfeeding journey. Logan had been steadily putting on weight and was following the 50th line. Around 4 months I took him to get weighed and even though he hadn't lost weight, he had dropped down to just below the 25th. The health visitor asked me how he was feeding and I mentioned he often pulled on and off and didn't feed for long. I was told I needed to come for weekly weigh ins and told to go and see a breastfeeding support worker at the Childrens centre. 

What I didn't realise was this support worker was present at a clinic morning and the place was packed. I arrived with Logan and as it was winter it was warm inside, everyone had buggys and whinging baby's and there wasn't much space at all. I stood for a few moments feeling totally overwhelmed by the whole situation. I thought how can I sit surrounded by all these people and say 'so they think I can't breastfeed right after 4 months'. I could feel myself getting emotional so I made the decision to pack Logan back into his pram and get the hell out of there. I cried most the way home but decided we would suss this out. It turns out I had a very nosey boy and all he really needed was quiet and no distractions to feed. I started taking him into a different room to feed and turning the lights lower and making sure it was quiet. By the time he was 6 months he was back on the 50th line and doing just fine. Of course if you are struggling then I do believe there is a lot of support out there that can help, just my situation at the time wasn't what I needed. He was feeding correctly, I just needed to look at our environment and my child and adapt for what worked best for us. 

I fed Logan until he was nearly 11 months old. He self weaned in the end after I went back to work and we were only feeding morning and evening. I remember feeling so sad when I realised we were done and I hadn't really prepared myself for it. Our start was a hard one and I still get emotional thinking about it now. When I was in hospital with Evie, there was a lady next to me who I heard breakdown and ask the midwife for help with feeding - it made me cry as it brought it all back to me how difficult these things can be at the time when we weren't expecting it. It doesn't matter how much research you do before hand, the real practice is having a baby needing to feed from you and the greatest help is support from your partner, midwives, family and friends. Don't be ashamed to ask for help and admit you are struggling as it doesn't always come naturally. 

My Second Breastfeeding Journey - January 2017

With an age gap of 3.5 years I was expecting my second baby. I so hoped to breastfeed again and this time I was armed with all the things I had learnt and I was fully prepared for how hard the journey would be. I had my nipple cream in my hospital bag ready to put on from the first feed, I knew the skin to skin techniques and the positions to try, I was ready for the dedication of time to feed baby frequently. 

Evie was born after a very quick labour on Tuesday 24th January 2017 at 4:13pm in the water with the use of gas and air. In comparison to my induced labour this one was lovely (well as lovely as they get - it still bloody hurt!). In my birth plan notes I had simply wrote all the things that I felt went wrong with Logan's birth that I didn't want to repeat with my experience with Evie's. I had a fantastic midwife who read them all in detail and ensured I got my skin to skin with Evie straight after birth - she latched on her own and stayed there for two hours. We didn't even get her dressed or weighed until around 7pm. My placenta was delivered successfully - it was still difficult (why do I have such huge ones!?) and the midwife said she had never been so nervous to deliver a placenta in her life. I still had to have stitches and they will be by far the worst experience I have of my births but I got to hold my baby the entire time and she got to feed and I was calm and happy.

I can't say I did much different - yes I was probably more at ease but I'm not sure whether the lack of medical intervention helped her be more awake and alert to feed or the fact she was just a better feeder in general (still is with her food!) but it all seemed to fall into place and everything I had mentally prepared myself for I didn't even need to worry about.

I used my cream from the start and safe to say I didn't experience much pain at all during those first two weeks of feeding. 

Once home - feeding second time round was a little different - I couldn't sit and watch Netflix all day, I had a 3.5 year old who wanted mummy's attention. We got around this by more screen time (do what you have to do) and very cosy situations on the sofa using involving both children on me at the same time. I had a stack of books by the sofa to read to Logan while I fed and we played board games on the floor while I fed (you get more accustomed to feeding positions as you go). 

I tried to keep the normality of his routine in place and make sure he got enough mummy time but sometimes Evie had to join us at bedtime for stories but he didn't seem to mind. I think it's important we educate our children on the normality of breastfeeding so they understand what we are doing and that you don't need to hide it. 

This time round I invested in a Snuzpod side sleeper and found the night feeds much more manageable - there was something about not having to get out of bed - even to just get up and reach into a Moses basket and get back into bed that made me feel less tired and more at ease with sleeping when she slept as she was right beside me. I highly recommend a side sleeper whether you are breastfeeding or not - it means baby has more space, it will last them longer and you can put a reassuring hand on their stomach if they fuss in the night and you will feel less tired. Evie was actually a much better sleeper - she would often go 11pm - 4am and then wake for a feed and go straight back down again until 8am. 

I followed my own advice and had much more cuddle time with my baby when she wasn't feeding. We used to keep her downstairs with us in the evening in the early days and she would feed and sleep on and off and come to bed with us around 11pm. 

We booked a last minute wedding for the June and Evie would be 5 months old. I borrowed a pump in the lead up to the wedding and made a stash but she refused to take a bottle. In the end I fed her through my whole wedding day - luckily my dress was zip up underneath some decorative buttons. My photographer is also a midwife and she snapped the two beautiful photos I have of Evie feeding on the morning of my wedding. I had a breastfeeding cover to hook over my neck and no one seemed bothered as I fed throughout the day. 

When Logan was a baby - people often thought he was so skinny because I was breastfeeding - it doesn't mean a thing, look at the chunk my baby girl became! I was a very skinny baby and Logan was like me - Evie's dad was a chunk of a baby and she obviously takes after him! Don't let people make you feel like your milk isn't good enough. 

I had the same refusal to bottle feed issues with Evie as I had with Logan as it approached the month before I went back to work. I probably should have introduced one earlier but breastfeeding becomes so easy and practical in terms of no bottles to wash, sterilise and prepare that I was slack with introducing a bottle early on and I had only just got her accepting a bottle the week I went back to work. There was only one occasion that my mum had to bring her to my work on my lunch and HR found me a room to feed her in. Check out your works policy on breastfeeding support - I had no idea our work had a freezer to store expressed milk in or that they could find you a room to express in if you needed too. I put a lot of pressure on myself to get my babies to take a bottle and formula before I went back to work and I could have gone the pumping and expressing route instead. 

Going back to work doesn't mean you have to stop breastfeeding - I used to feed on the morning before I went back to work - they would have two bottles in the day and I'd feed as soon as I got in from work and then again before bed. On the days I had with them all day I would feed as normal through the day. They both seemed to adapt to this quite well in the end. 

When Evie was around 7 months old we made the decision to try for another baby. We wanted them close in age and I read up about trying to conceive while still breastfeeding. It was possible, it just may take longer. Compared to when I was feeding Logan - when my periods didn't return until after I stopped feeding him - with Evie they returned after 3/4 months (maybe because she was going longer between feeds in the night. It took us 4 months to conceive in the end (compared to the one month with both Logan and Evie) but unfortunately our baby was suffering from Trisomy 16, a chromosome condition not compatible with life and they passed away in the womb when I was 13 weeks pregnant. 

When I went in to discuss with the specialist midwife and doctor about inducing the miscarriage to deliver I mentioned that I was still breastfeeding. This is clearly not something that is common because they both had no answer to my question about if I could continue to feed after taking the medication to bring on the miscarriage. At the time of the meeting they suggested until they found out more, to not feed Evie from now until after the birth process (which would be around 2/3 days). At this point Evie was about to turn 11 months and my new goal of a year looked like it might not happen. 

I was so thankful when the midwife phoned me later that day to confirm that I could feed her over the next couple of days but not on the day of induction and delivery. This would be the first night Evie would sleep away from me. My mum would be having her and I knew she was in safe hands but I was worried how she would do in the night. She often still had a feed back to sleep. My mum ended up giving her a few bottles that night to resettle her but when we were reunited the next day she went straight on for a feed. 

My babies certainly helped me through that time.

Evie's first birthday came and I had reached my goal of breastfeeding for a year. The picture above is on her birthday morning after the excitement of opening her presents. 

I found these tops on instagram via Mummasmilk and bought them for myself as a celebration of my journey and reaching my goal of golden boobies. 

Evie and I finished our breastfeeding journey when she was 13 months. After our miscarriage we had been advised to wait two cycles before trying again. I knew last time it took some time while still feeding and so I made the decision to stop feeding her before we tried again. It also came at the same time as a very bad episode of tonsillitis for me, to which I can safely say I felt the worst I had in some time and when the doctor said the best possible antibiotics for me did not recommend feeding as well it seemed a good time to stop. Luckily Evie did not seem affected by the stop in feeding, she adapted well and I thought it would be hard to not get her to latch but she did great. She does still have the comfort of putting her hand down my top and nipping my skin slightly but I'm fine with that if its her comfort. 

I'm now nearly 15 weeks pregnant with our rainbow baby and I hope to have another successful breastfeeding journey. I'm always happy to answer any breastfeeding questions or offer support! Just drop me a DM on Instagram or e-mail me at 

thank you for reading and remember always ask for support! It is key to a good journey.