Week 3 – Baby blues, retail therapy and why I LOVE Dannii Minogue!
This week Shaun went back to work which I found really hard. He was so busy that he was working until about 9pm most nights so I felt very lonely. The baby blues definitely kicked in and as the weather was bad we couldn’t really go anywhere. So, what’s a girl to do when she’s on her own and suffering cabin fever? Online shopping of course!
I treated myself to a few baggy but stylish tops that would allow for discreet breastfeeding when out and about. I find Warehouse tops really good for this; lots of smock and batwing style ones that look great but prove a blessing when feeding discreetly. The nursing tops from Mothercare and Mamas and Papas which have clip down straps and pockets on the sides for your boobs (so you don’t need to take the whole thing up) unfortunately don’t fit me. I’ve tried all sizes and my boobs are just too big! This is the story of my life though, not just because I’m breastfeeding!
Something else I bought in my online shopping spree is my Moby wrap. This is literally one long piece of material that you wrap round yourself enabling you to ‘wear’ your baby. You can also use it to subtly feed in public. I’ve not had chance to do that yet but it’s been brilliant for three reasons. 1) the weather! You can’t push a pram in this! So I’ve been able to carry him round to the health visitor, the post office, the local shop etc. 2) Supermarket shopping. You can’t push a pram and try do a big shop! But you can put him in the wrap and spend a good hour in Asda. 3) I was worried Blake had reflux as he was being sick after every feed. Putting him in the wrap when he’s fed allows me to carry on around the house whilst keeping him upright so he properly gets his wind up. It’s great, I love it.
So, as I just mentioned, this week I was concerned about Blake being sick after every feed. I spoke to Katy from Breast Start who suggested it could be reflux and to speak to the midwife who I was seeing the same day. Caroline, my midwife explained that reflux can be treated with a baby form of Gaviscon but it’s a pain for breastfeeding mums as you have to mix it in a feed. This would mean me expressing every feed which would of course take double the amount of time. On cue, Blake was sick as Caroline was round but she assured me it wasn’t much and most likely that he’d not been winded long enough. She weighed him and I was delighted to see that he was now 8lb exactly! He’s put on over 12 ounces in a week! For this reason, Caroline wasn’t worried and rather than discharging us from her care she agreed to see us next week and see how he was getting on, just to put my mind at ease about his sickness.
This week was the XFactor final. My sister was holding an XFactor party and I was intending on having a drink and expressing but I just couldn’t be bothered in all honesty! It wasn’t worth a couple of glasses of cheap rose wine so I decided to drive and stick to the water instead. Also, Blake is feeding loads this week. Literally every hour or two and I don’t want to find myself in a situation where the amount I’ve expressed isn’t enough to satisfy his hunger and have an upset baby on my hands. It’s very tiring him feeding this often and I’m worried he’s coming down with something. I speak to Gil from the Wirral Mother’s Milk Bank who I’m donating breast milk to and she assures me it’s normal for babies to do this and he’s probably going through a growth spurt.
My sis had an absolute houseful so I fed Blake in the front room whilst watching Xfactor. Everyone was so encouraging and it just makes breastfeeding all worthwhile when so many people around you are so supportive. I’d also learnt that week, thanks to Ms Cheryl Cole that Dannii Minogue is still breastfeeding her five month old son Ethan. Cheryl was quoted saying at the Xfactor press conference – ‘I do not know how on Earth she does it,’ Cheryl told Metro. ‘She’s been great.
“We have show drama in here at rehearsals. I am getting my hair and make-up done, all the girl contestants are getting done up and Dannii’s along there breastfeeding.”
“Then she comes out and looks fabulous. I said, ”I don’t know how you do it” and she said, ”What do you mean?”’
I find this so inspiring. Good on Dannii! I’m at home 24/7 on maternity leave and its hard enough juggling a baby with the household chores never mind working full time on the UK’s most watched TV show AND looking as fabulous as she does every sat and Sunday night! (I’m quite ashamed actually, I’m writing this at 2pm, still in my pyjamas. I’ve not brushed my hair or my teeth yet!).
When I tell everyone at the Xfactor party that Dannii is still breastfeeding all the Mums in the room like me are in awe of her. I think Cheryl’s now my second fave judge. Go team Dannii!
Something else happens at the Xfactor party. Blake won’t settle and is feeding very often but not actually taking any milk – he’s just using me as a dummy! Both my sister and my Mum suggest giving him an actual dummy to save my nipples. Now I’ve always been against this because I think once you give a child a dummy it’s a nightmare to get them weaned off them and it can take years before they’ll give it up. However, if he carries on using me as a dummy I’m more likely to give up the breastfeeding and I really don’t want to do that. I’m concerned that giving him the soother will cause nipple confusion but Mum assures me his latch and sucking is so strong that she doesn’t think it will be a problem. We give him the dummy and as if by magic he sleeps for 4 hours straight! The longest he has gone without a feed this week. When he wakes he feeds as normal and my mind is put at ease.
This week I also had a visit from Katy from Breast Start. She’s based at the Feelgood Factory in Netherton but comes to the house to visit. It’s great for many reasons. She watches Blake feed and checks he’s latching on properly, talks me through the reasons why he could be being sick. After watching him feed she agrees with me that he is a greedy little piglet and the force as which he is feeding is probably to blame for his sickness. The noises he makes are so loud and he literally doesn’t pause for breath! Katy thinks my milk is very fast flowing so suggests leaning back as I feed, using gravity to slow it down. I try it on the next feed and it works a lot better. It’s also quite comfy leaning back, especially in bed so is much better for me. I’ve been leaning over him a lot and hurting my shoulders so this is much comfier. It’s also nice to have Katy visit because it’s nice to have someone to talk to. With Shaun back at work it’s been quite lonely for me this week and Katy’s great fun. She really is so easy to talk to and I feel very glad and grateful I’ve got this kind of support to keep me breastfeeding Blake for as long as possible.
Katy from Breast Start and Blake