Wow! What a week. I have been meaning to add another post and never quite got there and then I thought – this is an essential part of being a mum – being busy. With my four kids it never stops…in my case the baby decided to celebrate Mother’s day by going on a week-long non-stop breastfeeding frenzy, which while I know this is perfectly normal to increase supply, doesn’t make it any easier to live through! She was feeding every 1-2 hrs – aaaaaaaargh!
I am however extremely blessed in that my husband is very supportive, this can make a huge difference when you are trying to cope with it all. He is great and will jump in to pick up whatever I am doing when the ever-hungry Princess Selene gives her clarion call.
That’s the thing about breastfeeding…we know it’s important and you really do want to do the best for your children, but it’s hard, really hard sometimes and no-one really tells you that. Or maybe I just didn’t take it in when they did! So it’s important to have good support systems in place.
There are a few things you can do to help you along:
1. Talk to your partner about your expectations about breastfeeding and or bottle feeding before you have the baby.
Knowing there was no pressure either way really helped me to establish breastfeeding with my youngest two children. The eldest never quite got the attachment thing & I was very stressed at the time, which no doubt didn’t help.
It also helped to talk about the help I might need in managing the other kids!
2. When you have had the baby and are establishing feeding ask for help. Often! Every time you try to attach the baby if needed – that is the midwives’ job.
Good attachment is really important as incorrect attachment is excruciatingly painful and leads to further problems, which can affect how you feel about the whole thing. For information about attachment click here, and here.
3. Make it a restful experience.
Sounds easy perhaps or not as the case may be…certainly my daytime feeds can be a little tricky with Master Conor (aged not quite 2) using breastfeeding times as the ideal time to get into mischief!
You can however plan for this…I write down the times I feed Selene, not because I worry about it but more so I know her schedule and can sort of guess (and it is often a guessing game) when her next feed might be. This is also really useful if your kids get sick because the doctors always want to know this sort of stuff and it can be hard to remember when you are panicking about the sick baby! When it is getting close to feed time, I make sure I have water handy and a snack – both for me and Mr Mischief! I also try to have a little activity set up for Conor to do, or in a pinch have been known to resort to “The Wiggles”. Another great idea is to download some of those interactive kids apps for your phone.
At night I have my rocking chair set up next to my bed, dressing gown handy for chilly nights, waterbottle, ipod & speaker dock and a $2 light I got from ikea ( it is LED powered so not too bright but just light enough to check attachment if needed or allows me to look at baby)
4. Take each feed one at a time and try not to stress if it does’nt go to plan.
This really helps to reduce your stress, which is important for milk production. When you are relaxed it is also easier to attach the baby. Remember if a feed doesn’t go well, you can always try again a little later. For more info about milk supply click here.
5. Remind yourself that this stage will pass and give yourself a pat on the back because you are doing a good job whatever you are doing.
Selene got over her growth spurt or whatever it was and life has returned to normal in our house – controlled chaos that is…but I would like to share a great post I saw on Facebook yesterday…
and end by saying that at all times you should do what feels right for you and your baby. By all means listen to advice and read about it, but it is your family and it is important to do what works for you! This is clear in this great story on the Australian Breast Feeding Association website.