Breastfeeding – Michelle. Some people find breast feeding very easy, my sister did, she just latched the baby on & never looked back; however quite a number of people do actually find it quite a struggle as did I. Initially I found it quite daunting as I wasn’t quite sure how to know when the Oliver was latched on. In the hospital the midwives were very helpful and assisted me with the latching for each feed, when I had my appointment with a midwife before leaving hospital one of the midwives suggested that Oliver might have a tongue tie, I had never heard of this and a second opinion from another midwife soon dismissed this, so I didn’t worry.
When I returned home I gradually found feeding more painful, Oliver seemed to want to constantly feed and on day four he cluster fed for most of the night. I didn’t even know about cluster feeding and was keen for my husband to get some sleep so just fed through the night until 6.30 am when I broke down in tear and woke him; I was exhausted, thirsty and didn’t understand why Oliver was so very hungry.
When the midwife arrived that morning to complete a routine check she explained that cluster feeding was to be expected at this stage with a new born and it was nothing to worry about. She explained that last night was probably the worst night and if I manage to get through it, everything would only get easier. I’ll admit I wasn’t best pleased that I hadn’t been warned about this in advance. The information on the web is limited; however I see below for the best article on a midwife website (after a 3 hour search – NHS direct have already been sent an e-mail).
The same midwife also confirmed that Oliver did in fact have a tongue tie and that this would need to be rectified to improve his feeding technique (he wasn’t able to latch correctly and was working hard for his milk, hence the discomfort. I had Oliver’s tongue tie treated in hospital as I wasn’t prepared to wait 4 days for the breast feeding clinic (that’s a lot of feeds for an uncomfortable mummy), and I have to say that the feeding became much easier almost instantly (click here to read more about tongue-tie).
I won’t pretend I found breast feeding easy and I would say that honestly it probably took me a good month to find my feet, I attended most breast feeding clinics/ drop-in’s in west Sussex and found that the other mums were just as helpful as the nurses. Everyone was very welcoming and they always had a nice cup of tea and plenty of biscuits on offer. We had about a day a month of the cluster feeding, which usually coincides with the growth spurts but other than those days when I had to calmly change my plans and spend the day catching up on TV (I found it best to get comfy and go with the flow), I personally found it a very lovely experience. Sadly Oliver decided at 7 months that he was no longer interested in breastfeeding, which left me in tears for a few weeks (especially after I had persevered), but after a few bites with his new teeth I took the hint and we moved to the bottle. I expressed for a while and then moved to formula (Aptimal) which he seemed to love.
Cluster feeding The 2nd night after the birth is often a sleepless one! Babies naturally get hungrier after the first 24 hours, and cluster feed to bring your milk in. (Click here for the full article) Below are some other sites I found helpful for cluster feeding and other breastfeeding related queries. Breast feeding problems.com Lactivist Bravadodeigns