Wednesday, August 21, 2013

How do you feed your child...

I am lucky. Lucky to have fed my babies with (what I think) is the best food possible, breast milk. But I am also determined and stubborn. Because while breastfeeding seems like it should be so easy, it's hard work. I wrote about my breastfeeding journey back in March 2012, while I was breastfeeding my eldest son, you can read about our journey here.

Since that post, I have fallen pregnant again, weaned James off, gave birth (five weeks early) to another beautiful son Patrick and my breastfeeding journey #2 has started. 

Again I thought it would be so easy, I had breastfed James for ten months, I was a pro at this feeding business. Well just when you think you know what you are doing, life throws you a curve ball. Paddy was born five weeks early. My second breastfeeding journey began not how I envisage, with skin to skin contact and his first feed straight after birth. I couldn't even hold Paddy for fifteen hours after he was born and then it was only for a little while. He was so tiny, much smaller than his brother had been and since our main objective for the first days of his life was for him to gain weight, we couldn't even start trying to breastfeed until he was a day or so old and even then he was so tired all the time that I could only try nursing him every third tube feed! So frustrating.

My home for the first two weeks of Paddy's life

And where Paddy lived for the first two weeks
In all my communication with Paddy's doctor I always said if we needed to put him on a bottle to get out of hospital early, then that was always an option but this was truly a last resort. Every day the doctor would go through Paddy's chart and let us know if we could increase the millilitres he was receiving via tube. It was only after Paddy was weighed (every third day) that I was allowed to increase the number of breastfeeds I could give. I was so lucky that I had such a great supply of milk during all this time (though I was expressing every three hours) it was just working with Paddy and finding our own rhythm that we needed to work on. 

Six months on we are still going strong. All that pumping meant I have plenty of breast milk in the freezer so we have reached the six month mark exclusively on breast milk! My second last goal with breastfeeding now has been reached! My final breastfeeding goal is to reach the ten month mark again, with Paddy. After that time I will be done and happy that I have been able to feed my boys the way I wanted. 


  1. It's amazing how every breastfeeding journey can be so different. I'm curious (and a little afraid) that it will be harder for us the 2nd time around b/c the 1st time was so easy. We shall see! Congrats on making it to 6 months so far!

  2. That sounds hectic. I also had the Medela symphony for my first month because Nicky didn't latch at first, but I'm grateful I didn't have that hospital experience. I'm sure it's only made you stronger as a

  3. As someone who is about to have her second child, it's really valuable for me to see how it can be different the second time, for all manner of reasons, but that it's important to persevere if I know what I really want. Thank you for sharing your story.

  4. Congrats on reaching that second goal! It sounds like you are well on your way to accomplishing the final goal. This was very interesting to read because I figured that if I had a second child the breastfeeding part would be easy because I had BTDT. Good to know I'll still have to be on my toes! ;-)