Two mums chat about getting to grips with breastfeeding
Susannah, Mum to Charlotte and Lucy
'I breastfed both my daughters – my first until she was 14 months and I am still feeding the youngest one who has just turned one. My eldest daughter, Charlotte, was less than 5lb, and was tube-fed expressed breast and formula milk for five days in hospital. I had problems in positioning her correctly and she had trouble latching on. At home, I used a nursing pillow which made feeding more comfortable for both of us. It goes around your waist and the baby rests on it.
My second daughter, Lucy, was also small, but this time it was a better experience. But because I’d had problems with Charlotte, I was seen by two breastfeeding advisors who came to check that she was feeding properly. Some of my friends from my NCT classes went to their NCT breastfeeding drop-in sessions and I think they can be really helpful, especially for first-time mums. I have also found that, apart from all the nutrients the baby gets from breast milk, it’s great for losing the post-baby weight! I would advise any new mum to concentrate on getting their baby in the best position for latching on properly.’
Solvej Biddle, Inventor of Traykit and mum to Andrea Anna and James
'I felt quite confident about breastfeeding in the beginning. I thought that the body is designed to do this naturally, so off we go – nothing to it…But I ended up with cracked skin that was incredibly painful, and no one told me that using barrier cream could have prevented it. You have lots of people giving you advice – your midwife, doctors, NCT classes, but, of course, they don’t want to put you off by telling you any stories of difficulties, which I would rather have heard and prepared for. During the first two weeks after Andrea’s birth, as well as being very tired I also suffered with mastitis. Unfortunately, the antibiotics I was prescribed for the condition caused oral thrush in the baby and she ended up having reflux, too – so things were not exactly ‘textbook’.
When I had James things were much better as I was prepared. I packed barrier cream in my hospital bag from day one, with one tube on one side of the bed and another on the other side. I actually placed them around the house, because I didn’t want to risk letting him latch on without it. The other thing I found is, no matter how much you think you are going to remember which side you fed on, when they grab you later on in the day, you can’t figure out anything because you’re so tired. So right from the beginning with both of them, I kept a little notepad with me and made a note of every feed, for example, “1am, left, 20 minutes”. That helped a lot and stopped me from getting into a panic.’
Written by Tahira Khan
Nursing bra, the-lingerie-box.co.uk
Rainbow muslin cloths (pack of 7), jojomamanbebe.co.uk
MAM manual breast pump, mamonlineshop.com
Lansinoh nipple cream, Mothercare
Cooling gel pads, Mothercare
Widgey support cushion, the babycatelogue.com