Breastfeeding questions answered

I’m ashamed to say it was MONTHS ago I asked on Instagram if anyone had any breastfeeding related questions they would like me to answer in a blog post. I’m only getting around to answering them now. Life has got ridiculously busy since December, juggling a toddler and a newborn is not for the faint hearted folks. I’m going to jump straight into the questions some of my followers asked and answer as best I can. I am no expert but I have overcome a lot of hurdles so I have gathered up a good bit of knowledge (I think!)

What is cluster feeding and how often does it happen?

Cluster feeding initially occurs because a newborn baby is putting in their milk order. They need to be on the breast to establish a supply. It’s exhausting but completely normal, it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong it’s actually a good thing; baby is doing exactly what they should be. Babies cluster feed for lots of reasons, growth spurts, pain relief, comfort, the list goes on. It’s one of the massive benefits of breastfeeding – a boob basically solves all of man’s problems.

How do you get the help you need?

This question was asked by a couple of ladies. When I had Ruby I genuinely felt unsupported in those difficult early days but looking back I probably didn’t push for the help enough. Unfortunately our NHS is pushed to the limit and in this day and age we really do have to push for help at times. I didn’t push first time around so I was much more prepared for my second feeding journey. I hit the jackpot with midwives and my health visitor, each and every one has gone above and beyond; they have been more than helpful and for that I will be eternally grateful because they all played a part in getting us to where we are today. I would say speak up, don’t be afraid to ask for extra midwife visits (I asked and they were happy to accommodate me). Midwives LOVE to see women successfully breastfeed so the majority will do everything they can to help if you reach out to them.

What is tongue tie?

Tongue tie restricts the movement of a baby’s tongue and therefore makes it difficult to achieve a good latch. Lottie has posterior tongue tie which was snipped on day 6. Thankfully baby’s have no sensation in that part of their mouths so it was painless. She didn’t cry (I did), it bled for about 10 minutes and after that she was 100%! Lottie had to relearn how to use her tongue but after about two weeks I noticed an improvement in her latch!

How do you feel about feeding in public?

Initially I was nervous as we could only feed in rugby hold and it was awkward but now I couldn’t care less, I will feed anywhere. It’s no different to a baby being bottle fed in public in my opinion. A hungry baby needs fed, if anyone has an issue with it that’s their problem.

What do I need to buy before baby comes?

Very little, that’s the beauty of it!! I’m planning a ‘newborn essentials’ blog post which you expect to see when Lottie is about 5. The only thing you really need is lansinoh cream (it is wonderful stuff) and breast pads. My mum makes reusable breast pads @babyboosbibsandbobs shameless plug right there!!

How do you know what your baby is getting?

This is a simple one, you don’t. As long as weight gain is good and baby has plenty of wet nappies you are flying. You will know when your baby is satisfied, follow their lead and you can’t go wrong.

Do you have to feed from both sides at every feed?

I don’t think there’s a right or a wrong answer, I personally feed from both sides at every feed because I would feel uncomfortable if I didn’t not to mention being extremely lopsided.

Why didn’t you bottle feed?

Because I wanted to breastfeed.. I don’t really know how to answer this haha. I find breastfeeding so much handier than bottle feeding, I couldn’t be bothered sterilising bottles and worrying about transporting milk for days out. No need to get out of bed during the night too, win win. Oh and it’s free haha.

Do breastfed baby’s sleep less than bottle fed baby’s?

Absolutely not!! I don’t want to put the scud on myself but Lottie has always been a good sleeper. Breast milk is digested easier (and therefore quicker) than formula so some may wake more often but that’s the same for formula fed babies, some are hungrier than others.

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