So, on 12th January, our world changed forever with the birth of our daughter. At 8lb 8oz this small creation became our everything, born in the midwife led unit of a hospital she was instantly put on the breast to feed. I remember thinking how incredible it was that this tiny little human who had been in the world a matter of minutes knew how to feed herself and that my body was able to give that to her. As she was born at 10:38pm, so we had to spend the night and before being able to leave I had to show the midwife how I breastfed, she sat for 10mins helping me get her "latched" correctly. Those 10mins were fundamental to my breastfeeding experience, being told that if it hurts - she's not latched on correctly, if you can hear a clicking - she's not latched on correctly and if she only has a small amount of tissue in her mouth - she's not latched on correctly, so her instructions were to use my little finger to break the latch and try again.
The next few days were a blur, feeding for 12-16hrs a day remembering a course provided at my hospital that said a newborn's tummy is the size of a marble so it fills and empties quickly hence their need to feed little and often. I had accepted that this was going to be my life for a few weeks so added multiple series to my list on Netflix and made sure I had endless amounts of breakfast bars in every room around the house.
I've heard so many parents say how their baby lost weight during the 5 day weigh-in... well clearly my all day feeding, endless chocolate consumption and pure sleep deprivation had paid off as our little girl hadn't lost an ounce staying at her birth weight.
Now this all sounds like a dream but a couple of days later a blocked duct decided to end my fairytale... I had a golfball sized lump where my bra was digging in, the heat that radiated from it was like a furnace, I turned to my oracle, Google. All signs pointed towards the start of mastitis, I spent hours crying trying to nurse through the pain, and when I wasn't nursing I was sat in the bath trying to massage the block out. Luckily this only lasted 2-3 days but I could completely understand how this would make someone stop breastfeeding, this pain was worse than labour (I had gas & air to help with that pain) so that was my first week of breastfeeding. I had now joined the 74% of mothers who started to breastfeed.