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Beautiful Breastfeeding Clothes

Blood, sweat and tears

Blood, sweat and tears pretty much sums up my experience of breastfeeding Oliver so far. Yes, literally, all three have featured as we both try to learn breastfeeding (me for the second time, him for the first) and it’s been far from easy.

I have to say I have a real love-hate relationship with breastfeeding which may seem strange coming from someone who has formed a business that revolves around nursing! But I really do. I love the fact that when you crack it, it’s so easy as you don’t have to sterilise anything, your boobs are always handy (!) and that warm, satisfying feeling you get when you know it’s just you giving them all they need to eat and drink. However I hate the fact that it hurts so much to start with – a toe curling pain that makes me grit my teeth. I also hate it that there is quite a lot of pressure to keep trying from people that have probably never experienced this pain and that in the early weeks the milk I produce never seems enough for him (after a 2 hour feed he still wants more and I’m so sore!). Very irrationally it also niggles me that some mums seem to have no pain at all and don’t understand how difficult it can be (sorry, a bit of green eyed monster creeping into my sleep deprived head). I just don’t understand why should something so natural should hurt so much!

In some ways it’s worse as this is my second breastfeeding experience, as I thought it should be easier second time round. Ha – how wrong was I? I breastfed Elsa for 15 months in total but it was only after a very long and painful six weeks at the start before it became second nature. So now I know I probably have to wait another 4 weeks for it to get easy. Is it better knowing this or not? I suppose it is comforting to know it most likely WILL get better.

breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt this much

So I visited a free breastfeeding clinic at my local children’s centre last week just to check if I was doing anything wrong. The lovely ladies there comforted me with tea and sympathy and most importantly told me that breastfeeding shouldn’t hurt this much and certainly shouldn’t draw blood! They said I’d got the latch right but he might be tongue tied (the bit of skin attaching the tongue to the lower mouth was too big and holding his tongue down) and therefore couldn’t open his mouth wide enough. We were suspicious of this because my daughter had the same, so we asked them to check it. But with Elsa it had taken a few more emotional weeks to get it sorted as we’d gone down the NHS route and been told by a rather insensitive doctor that she wasn’t and “being tongue tied is a bit of a “fad” in Cambridge at the moment”. So we then went down the private route. To cut a long story short, this time with Oliver I didn’t want to waste any time and so we booked for a lactation consultant to come to the house the next day and she confirmed he was indeed tongue tied and cut the tie there and then. It sounds pretty drastic but I was at the end of my tether and wanted a solution.

Grinning and bearing it!

Grinning and bearing it!

Oliver seems happy enough!

Oliver seems happy enough!

It has led me to thinking there must be so many mums that struggle to continue to breastfeed babies with tongue ties that are undetected because they are not diagnosed. And even if they are suspected it’s not exactly within everyone’s means to have them diagnosed and treated privately. A friend of mine also struggled with extremely painful breastfeeding but thought it was just because she was a first time mum and more sensitive and therefore put up with it.

Having said this I’m yet to see if cutting Oliver’s tongue tie has helped. Maybe it is slightly easier. But it’s not an instant cure – he has to “re-learn” breastfeeding and it can take one to two weeks to improve. I’ll let you know, but for now I’m just having to grin and bear it and trying to stay positive (not always easy after an average of 4 hours sleep a night!) Wish me luck!

About Me:

My name is Emma and I have three (!) wonderful babies. The oldest is my daughter Elsa, born in 2011 the second is “Milk & Mummy” my online boutique selling beautiful breastfeeding clothes and launched in 2012, and the youngest is my son Oliver, born in August 2014. All three exhaust me, excite me and make me proud on a daily basis and naturally all vie for my attention! But of course I wouldn't have it any other way.

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Milk & Mummy sells stylish nursing clothes including nursing tops and nursing dresses. We have everything from casual breastfeeding tops for a day at home to glamorous breastfeeding dresses for weddings. Many of our nursing dresses are also maternity dresses and we also sell beautiful breastfeeding covers and cute baby dribble bibs.

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Milk & Mummy is a trading name of EG Downie Ltd, a company registered in England and Wales. Company number: 07812071