I’m absolutely in love with our son !! He is such a beautiful & peaceful baby & I have to give thanks for making the start to the journey of motherhood so easy ♥️
So I had my lil man at 11.44pm & he was trying to latch on straight away ! He sniffed & sucked his fingers & lifted his head to find my nipple & as simple as it sounds, it’s so interesting to watch. I would recommend any mummy to do skin to skin if they are able, it is a mind blowing indescribable bonding moment!
That first night I spent at least half the night trying to get him to latch & drink & believed something was wrong with me 😭 The yellowish thick substance that I produced, colostrum, was coming out at such a small & slow rate I was convinced he was starving. The reality is in the first day or 2 they don’t need very much!
*This is only a guide*
So I was panicking for no reason basically! The midwives assured me he wasn’t starving however as a premature baby he needed to maintain a steady weight gain so he was introduced to infant first milk as a top up until my milk came in properly. (formula milk ready made milk, not powder). Day 2-3 were roughly the same and I remember feeling so discouraged and concerned. The midwives had a really blasé attitude which made me more nervous. But my son was a happy and content lil man so I knew he was ok 🙏🏾💙
I did keep raising the concerns & 2 midwives did help, showing me different techniques & positions that did help. Due to short staffing ( the NHS has plenty of it) although they wanted to help they struggled to find the time but if youre concerned please do ask & let it be known you won’t be going home without the proper support in regards to beeastfeeding.
Upon going home, he was latching on but at times found it difficult to suck & it left him frustrated and me exhausted so he was mixed fed. They explained as an early baby, he hadn’t had a chance to develop the sucking technique for the breast (apparently they develop this skill week 38-40) so he was tryin to learn something before his time.
The day after coming home my midwife visited me & I complained of a sore swelling in my right armpit. She confirmed I had a trapped milk duct and I had to massage it in the shower & use a hot rag in a downwards motion to encourage the milk to run towards the breast. It was painful (6/10) & uncomfortable but after following this advice it went down after 3 days. At this point my full milk had come through and I expressed for the first time at day 5.
* First picture is day 5, second picture is day 7*
So as you can see, I pumped 30mls the first time & 10mls the next. Our bodies are amazing ladies & our breasts work off of demand so keep popping your bubba on, it’ll encourage milk production. I realised pumping with lil man near by also helped aswell as having a shower before hand. A lot of ladies give up because they don’t see results straight away but remember, just like pregnancy & labour, we all have different experiences. Some people produce 6oz in a single sessions, some produce 1oz. No matter what just keep going! It sometimes can take 2-3 weeks and even a month the midwife said to produce the right amount. Latch baby on as much as possible & try to feed on demand. I did that after day 10 & felt so much better & relaxed.
Another handy tool that helped with that transition was my nipple shield. This is an absolute godsend. You basically place he shield over your nipple and latch baby on and they are able to suck & maintain latching on. For premature babies like my son it means they find it easier to drink & also relieves pressure on your nipple. Since introducing this I’ve put the formula away & had him completely on the breast! Honestly, I can’t praise these enough!
Another question I didn’t get the answer for until day 8, was, how do I know if my son was full? Babies should leave a small amount of milk in the bottle when they’re full. For example, if you’ve given baby 60mls & they’ve left 50mls then they full. If they drink the whole 60mlms they’re full. On the breast, baby will let go or push the nipple out of their mouth & become uninterested.
Please remember with bottle feeds to burp bubba (although they sometimes take forever or don’t burp) as trapped gas can be painful to watch. Although I haven’t experienced it with lil man (And I don’t want to) I have seen it in other babies. 😭 My lil man farts so much I don’t think he’ll experience it 😂
One thing with formula milk is it causes constipation & breast milk acts in the opposite as a laxative so if you mixed feed try and work out a balance.
You will always know you’re baby better than anyone and if you’re concerned about ANYTHING contact your midwives or maternity triage. Honestly, don’t wait or let google fix your life 🙏🏾
-A Content & Proud Muva Nae 🌸