Friday, 2 August 2013

our breastfeeding story - part II / World Breastfeeding Week

always loved the sight of the milk running down his cheek

so as I told you yesterday, Harry, Dave and I had a rough start with breastfeeding but after a few weeks we were finally "in business". Harry was still relying on the breast shield for his feed though, that meant a lot of fussing, crying, pinching and stress - for the two of us. He would get really upset with the slow flow, grab the nipple shield and throw it far away from us.

One lovely day, after attending a friend's baby shower, we were stuck in the district line for a while, it was hot as hell and little guy screamed for about 7 stops. I thought he was just hot and stripped him down to his nappy. When we finally arrived at the right station to change trains, I finally realise my screaming was in fact hungry and the awful truth hit me; I would have to BF my fussy fidgety baby at the underground platform whilst trains would arrive and leave and people would come and go passed us.

For a second I thought; we can probably make it to home. That thought didn't last as the scream escalated and I realised that it wasn't fair to let my little baby boy cry in hunger just so I could keep my decency. So I set on the bench, grabbed the breast shield and tried to cover up with a large cloth. BIG MISTAKE!!!

As soon as Harry felt something over his head he started to wave his arms and scream even harder. in the blink of an eye the silicon shield was on the floor and no longer had how to feed him. Luckily my mum was still with us then, she grabbed the shield, gave it a clean with hand sanitiser and washed it off with some water we had in our bag then we were stuck at that platform for a good half an hour while Harry gladly enjoyed his milk.

After occasions like that I kept a bottle of ready made formula in Harry's bag, just for emergencies. Of course little guy had other ideas in mind and that "break the Glass" plan never really worked.

When my mum returned to Brasil, little guy was 2 1/2 months and I finally ventured out to our local breastfeeding cafe. I hoped they would be able to help me in teaching Harry how to feed without the bloody shield. The room where they gathered was so so warm, so about 2 minutes from our arrival little guy was already demonstrating the power of his lungs and very soon the ladies running the group realised things weren't as simple as they assumed it would be when I first arrived there. I was offered a home visit but my baby brain forgot to call them back and that never happened.

A couple of times I was told that unless he learnt to BF without the shield by 3 months of age he just wouldn't at all and a few weeks later I proved them wrong!

We used to attend a Sure Start group for new mums, one day I set off with Harry and had this feeling that I have left the shield behind - by now I used to walk around with 2 pairs in his bag to avoid problems. After the playgroup meeting it was feeding time, little guy started his routine and I just did not know what to do. I double checked the bag and just could not find any shields so to try my luck I picked him up and offered the breast...surprise surprise! He had a lovely long feed and I felt like I had just reached a huuuge milestone. I spoke to the other mums about it but don't think they really understood how amazing that was for us.

That day I arrived home determined to carry on BF Harry with no shield. Unfortunately things weren't that straight forward but with a lot of Patience and having learnt to read little guys cues to feed, I took my time and we finally managed it.

I then started to count the days, it was one, two, days and finally I could proudly say; my little guys needs no more shields to feed :-)

Life was now a lot easier, I would feed him wherever, whenever! More! Because he got used to the slow flow from the shield he would now feed in 10 minutes - at first that got me worried as he wasn't even 4 months but after a few phones calls to health visitors we got to the conclusion that he was just good at his job of feeding and got what he needed quickly so as a bonus we no longer had to stay stuck for half an hour every feed time.

The best thing of all? His maaaassive smile - with lips and eyes - whenever he finished a lovely feed as to say; look mummy, we did it!

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