I wanted to do another breastfeeding diary for week six as I think it’s a really key milestone when you are breastfeeding. I still remember it clearly the first time round, it was the point at which everything just seemed to get a lot easier and start to come more naturally. I would say that its been similar the second time round too, although its felt like we’ve established a breastfeeding rhythm much quicker and its been a lot less painful, especially once we got past the first week or two. This is what breastfeeding looks like for us six weeks in..
We’re still feeding on demand which means that we don’t really have a feeding routine. I very much follow baby’s lead looking for his feeding cues which seem to be every 1.5/2 hours, sometimes longer, sometimes shorter depending on whether we’re at home or out, and how warm the weather is. This is generally working for us as im pretty comfortable feeding him anywhere and everywhere and have already built up quite an interesting list of places that I’ve fed him when we’re out and about including a photo booth, a train and .
Building Up My Supply
Unfortunately we still have the uneven supply issue and I havent been very good at correcting it up until now. I received some great advice for Medela’s lactation Consultant Sioned on how I can build up my supply on the smaller side, so for the last two days I’ve been making more of a concerted effort to work on this. I had over the last few weeks been trying to make sure that the little man fed on the smaller side a few times a day, but I havent been doing it frequently or consistently enough so I havent really seen a difference. So now im following Sioned’s advice and expressing on that side after every feed. Luckily there is still some milk there, but it’s not very much so I hope I havent left it too late. I’m embarrassed to admit it, but one of the things that has fuelled my latest attempt to even up my supply is our upcoming family holiday. Realising that I’d need to get into a swimsuit or bikini with a very lopsided chest (I’m talking a two cup size difference!) was plenty of motivation to finally fix the issue.
The last four weeks have been pretty much pain free, but as I’ve tried to start feeding the little man on the side where there isn’t much supply after not really feeding on it at all, I’ve started to get a sore and cracked nipple. It feels like the first two weeks all over again but just on that side! Thankfully Medela’s Purelan and my beautifully soft Lanacare wool nursing pads (more to come on those soon!) have really helped soothe and repair it. I’d forgotten so quickly how sore those first few days were!
What started as what felt like a blocked duct on Monday morning actually turned out to be mastitis. It has seriously been one of the worst thing I’ve ever exprienced. I’ve never felt so unwell in my life and ended up in bed for two days with what felt like the flu and a horrendous migrane. Surprisingly paracetamol has been helping to take the edge off it, but im hoping that with regular feeding, massage and hot compresses it will resolve itself without needing antibiotics.
So what have I learnt the second time round? That breastfeeding is still as much an experience and journey as it is the first time round. It’s a new and different baby and you and your body need to learn and build a new relationship. But your body does remember how to breastfeed and is much more efficient at it. It feels like muscle memory, it already knows how to produce milk, how to build up a supply and how to let down. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t take time to get into a new rhythm the second time round, but it is much quicker and easier.
Disclosure; This is a collaborative post written as part of my brand ambassador role as a Medela Mum. However all experiences and opinions expressed are my own.