Our breastfeeding journey so far... six months in!

 Hello, welcome! 

Chances are that if you are here then you will be aware that this week is World Breastfeeding Week and it just so happens that it has fallen on the week when Freddie is turning six months old too (How has that happened?!) 

I thought I would write a whole post about our feeding journey so far... including the struggles, our favorite products (links below), and everything in between. 

Freddie is my second child however this has been my first breastfeeding/pumping journey because when I had Maci I chose to not breastfeed (and that's ok!) but this time round I knew from early on in my pregnancy that I wanted to attempt to feed Freddie. I did a lot of research of my own and spoke to whoever I could find in *real* life that had breastfed and bombarded them with questions. My pregnancy was very turbulent and I was considered high risk after my traumatic birth with Maci which I think was another factor in wanting to breastfeed. I had already felt like my body couldn't manage pregnancy very well so I wanted to try to breastfeed. 

I began pumping a few weeks before Freddie was actually born (he was born at 36+3 weeks) and this was for a few reasons - I was already producing milk so I chose to save my milk by just hand expressing into syringes which we actually ended up using once Freddie was born. There are many mixed opinions about inducing lactation before your baby is born however I was already 'leaking' milk so I collected that. 

When we had the shock that Freddie was coming premature it meant that my body wasn't ready... my milk did not 'come in' until about day two or three. This meant that for the first few days, Freddie had a combination of my previously expressed colostrum, formula, and donor milk from the hospital's milk bank. I had never even heard of a milk bank but I was so grateful for it in those first few days. Milk banks always prioritize the babies in the neonatal unit as they aren't given formula milk only donated breast milk. 

A few days after Freddie was born my milk finally came in and I was certain that I was going to pump every three hours and then feed him from a bottle. I managed this for a few weeks and let me tell you, pumping is intense. Whilst in the hospital we received some help from the lovely peer support breastfeeding volunteers in the hospital because Freddie's latch was slightly wrong and I had no idea how to position him whilst feeding but we soon got into the swing of things and now I can feed him whilst walking and doing multiple things! 

I soon realized that express feeding wasn't for me and I switched to 99% of the time nursing. It meant that I didn't have the hassle of cleaning pumps and bottles. 

Luckily our feeding journey has been fairly straightforward once we got into the rhythm of it (after those first few weeks where you have no clue what you're doing!) I have only had one stint of mastitis which luckily I caught it very early and was given antibiotics. 

We are now six months into our feeding journey and I definitely do not see it ending anytime soon. I really enjoy breastfeeding and Freddie finds great comfort in it. It really has been incredible to see what my body can do and how it can grow and nurture my little boy. Breastfeeding really has impacted my life in more ways than I can list, I have become so passionate about normalizing it and helping support others. I have recently enquired about doing a peer supporter course to help run breastfeeding groups in my local community and hopefully eventually volunteer in hospitals to help new mummies who are embarking on their very own feeding journeys. 

  • Products that have really helped me throughout our feeding journey. 

Juno Jack's (Frankie dress - Gifted)

If you follow me on my socials you would have seen many Juno Jack's products photographed... I absolutely love them. They produce breastfeeding-friendly clothing and are a UK-based small business. They have recently added the beautiful Frankie smock nursing dress to their collection and I am obsessed. I have very kindly been sent a 'Frankie' dress and I'm so excited to share the images and reel with you all over on Instagram. 

Nursing in public wearing Florence breastfeeding dress

Momcozy S12 Pro Pumps

Having an older child and a slightly chaotic life meant that I knew I would not have loads of time to sit pumping. I came across the Momcozy pumps on Tiktok and instantly knew they would be super handy. I personally thought they were quite affordable considering many 'hands-free' pumps are hundreds of pounds. The S12 Pro pumps have a display screen that shows you how many minutes you have been pumping and automatically turns off after thirty minutes. 

Nanobebe milk storage bags

Before this journey, I presumed all milk storage bags were somewhat the same... oh how I was wrong! The Nanobebe milk storage bags come with a plastic 'holder' that keeps them nice and tidy in your freezer. The bags themselves are thick and really nice quality. 

This one is pretty straightforward... 

Hakka manual pump

I heard about the Hakka pumps at a local breastfeeding group and it has become an essential item. I use my Hakka almost daily to help catch any 'let down' or if Freddie goes slightly longer without a feed and I feel slightly full. The Hakka is easier to clean than the Momcozy pumps and is a lot smaller in size meaning you can keep it in your handbag or changing bag easily. 

Breast pads

I do not tend to wear breast pads often anymore as my supply has stabilized however in the early days they were a must-have! The ones linked above were what I used and I never had any leaks. 

I will be sharing more on our nursing journey so keep an eye out for those posts in the upcoming months. 

Thank you for reading!