9 Months Later- What I Have Learnt About Breastfeedingby Jo Townsend
I wasn’t sure if I would breastfeed this time with my little one. Last time I had combined fed my daughter after breastfeeding didn’t get off to the easiest start at the hospital. Once I was home, I found it so much easier to feed, and as time went on, I fed her more than bottle-fed. But doing the two worked for us and I was happily planning to do that again the second time around.
But breastfeeding went really well this time and my baby was keen from the very beginning. She didn’t want to take a bottle so fed from me from the beginning.
Now here we are still feeding at nearly 9 months. I had planned to stop at 6 months then continued to 7 and now I’m thinking I will feed until she’s a year. Here is what I have learnt about breastfeeding since I started nearly 9 months ago.
It's okay to feed on demand
I was worried about timing the feeds last time around with my first daughter. If it had been more than two/three hours I would be quickly making sure I fed my daughter. And if my baby were constantly eating I would be worrying that she was starving. But this time around I have listened to my baby and just let her feed on demand. I find some days she wants to be constantly on while others she feeds a lot less. But she's putting on weight so it's fine to go with the flow.
It's hard to wean onto a bottle/cup
Last time as my daughter fed from the bottle and from the breast, it was an easy transaction to go straight to bottles when I was ready to stop at 7 months. But this time around, she has not been interested in bottles at all. I have tried formula in a cup too but she plays/bites it. I initially was getting stressed out about this but I have decided to just keep trying and will continue breastfeeding for now.
Breast engorgement- it's a right pain (literally)
I never had any issues with engorgement with my first daughter. But this around, I really struggled with it a couple of months ago. I found I was feeding off one breast in particular (the left) and not so much the right breast. I also found that she kept playing rather than having a good feed. This is definitely a no-no and can lead to breast engorgement. One night, the right breast got so painful and hot. It then affected me too. I got chills, felt light-headed and felt pain all over my body. I found that paracetamol eased it a bit but not a lot and a cold flannel helped. The best thing I found the next day was a shower. I have learnt to make sure she has a good, long feed and to make sure I use both breasts.