It has now been three weeks since our little guy arrived and I can’t believe how quickly time is flying. It feels like an absolute age ago since he was born even though it is anything but. At the end of his first week I wrote a post about our first week of breastfeeding to show what each day looked like for us, and on the whole it was relatively uneventful and straightforward. Week two however, was a different story so I wanted to share our breastfeeding diaries and some of the challenges that we have had.
In our week one breastfeeding diaries I talked a little bit about us having some challenges feeding evenly on both sides. This was still the case in week two and as my milk came in I started to notice a real difference in how much milk I was producing on each side. Both baby and I have a preference for feeding on the left because it seems to be easier and more comfortable. However as I don’t want to walk around with noticeably uneven chest I have been trying to make sure that we get at least a feed or two a day on our less prefered side with a view to increasing this as we get better at feeding on this side. I had a similar issue the first time round with the little lady so I am not feeling too panicked about it at this stage. I know that main thing is to keep feeding on it and try to even out the number of feeds on each side so that I can start to build up a more even supply.
We have very much been spending these last few weeks getting to know baby. Becoming a parent for the second time round I definitely feel like I am more relaxed and am more likely to take the time to observe baby and his cues rather than rush in to placate him like I did the first time round as an unsure and confused first time mum. That said, I am still finding that its difficult at this early stage to tell the difference between when he is hungry, when he has gas or when he is tired or over tired. I suspect that at times he is tired or over tired and roots or shows cues that look like he is hungry and the same applies to when he has gas and his cries sound the same or very similar to when he is hungry which means that there are times when I am probably feeding him when he perhaps doesn’t actually need a feed. I really want to avoid us falling into bad habits really early on so am trying to understand his signals a lot better.
Breastfeeding and Thrush
Early in the week I noticed the telltale signs of breastfeeding thrush on the little ones tongue so very quickly booked an appointment with our GP who confirmed it was and prescribed a weeks course of medication both the little man and I. Although we were lucky not to experience it with the little lady the first time round, thrush is apparently really common in breastfeeding and especially in the first few weeks. Thankfully it can be cleared up relatively quickly and easily and whilst I hated and felt really bad having to give the little one his medication which smelt pretty awful, it’s really important that you both take it to clear it up properly otherwise you can end up passing it back and forth to each other.
Around the same time that I suspected we might have breastfeeding thrush, I thought I may have been unfortunate enough to get mastitis. After suffering for the best part of a day with what felt like a breast that was on fire, later followed by an evening feeling achy and like I was coming down with the flu I was convinced that it was the start of a painful bout of mastitis. Luckily for me most of the symptoms had disappeared when I woke up the next day and our GP confirmed that it was a blocked duct which thanks to lots of continued breastfeeding and massaging as advised by lots of the lovely ladies that I speak to on Twitter had pretty much resolved it.
So week two was considerably different from our first week of breastfeeding. Our first week felt very much like a textbook week, whereas our second week has been full of challenges which as a second time parent I know is very normal and is just part of establishing breastfeeding and a rhythm. However if I was a first time parent it would probably be quite overwhelming and stressful so hopefully this post shows that it can be quite normal for the second week of breastfeeding to look like this. Ultimately breastfeeding will look and feel different for everyone, but the main thing to remember is that it is not supposed to hurt, so if it does make sure you get the right support from your midwife, health visitor or local breastfeeding cafe.
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.