Pregnancy Update Week 35 – Breastfeeding 101

Hi D Ho and welcome to my pregnancy update for week 35. This week baby is a about one and a half foot long (getting big) and weighs about 5 1/4 pounds – about the size of a honeydew melon. I can really feel just how big baby is now, its like having a sack of potatoes stuck to your tummy that you have to bend over whenever you need to try and reach for anything (like my toes πŸ™‚ but luckily I can still see them! ).

Pregnancy Update Week 35 - Bump 1 and 2 Photos
Pregnancy Update Week 35 – Bump 1 and 2 Photos

Weight wise  I’m still doing well, 16 Lbs less on so far in this pregnancy than in my last pregnancy at 35 weeks. Its great seeing the pay off in the photos now.

This week was my first full week off work but as much as I just needed to spend it in bed most of it was taken up with appointments. I had a hospital check up on Monday, Pregnancy Pilates Monday and Wednesday, Antenatal Class on Tuesday and a Breastfeeding Class on Friday toped off with Mothers Day on Sunday.

You might wonder why I went to a breastfeeding class considering the fact that I am still feeding my Little Man who just turned two. Well, feeding a toddler is a lot different to feeding a new born and I figured I could do with a refresher course. If your considering breastfeeding its really important to learn as much as possible before the baby arrives. Once the baby arrives your main priority is making sure your baby is fed and healthy, if you run into problems its natural to turn to formula if you don’t have the support in place to quickly address those problems and enable you to continue breastfeeding with confidence.

Now before I get too far into this I just want to say that its up to everyone to decide what is best for them and their families, be it breastfeeding or formula feeding. We are all just parents trying to do the best we can for our children and there is no need for judgment on one decision or another. These are just my random musings of my experience with Little Man and I hope that they might be helpful to others in a similar situation.

When Little Man was born I wasn’t determined to be a breastfeeding mum. I’d taken the hospital breastfeeding class and knew about the health benefits to both my baby and I by choosing to breastfeed. I said I’d give it a try and see what happened, but I would have happily switched to formula if breastfeeding didn’t work out for me. Little did I know that this was probably the start of my hippy parenting ways and transformation into Maverick Mammy  πŸ™‚

I had a difficult recovery after Little Mans birth and ended up in hospital for 6 nights. This was a tough time but it meant that I had 24 hour real life breastfeeding support for 6 whole days and nights. I had been separated from Little Man for 2.5 hours after his birth and this lead to difficulties getting feeding started, by the time I returned from recovery Little Man was no longer looking to feed, instead he just wanted to sleep. He developed jaundice and ended up in the special care baby unit some of the time. The hospital midwives were great though – never pushing formula, always trying to get little man to take expressed breastmilk from a syringe or a cup.

Breastfeeding can be hard to get the hang of, Little Man had 24 hours where he was just fed formula as I wasn’t well and was worried about his jaundice. I remember at one stage saying to myself I’d give breastfeeding another 24 hours and if it didn’t work I’d switch to formula permanently. That night I met a wonderful kind and patient midwife who sat with me for about an hour at 3 o’clock in the morning working on our technique. Something clicked that night and from that point on breastfeeding became a whole lot easier. While it was tough at the time I really think that if it hadn’t been for our extended hospital stay I wouldn’t have been able to stick with breastfeeding.

Back to this week and I think I was the only woman at the breastfeeding class who had any real life breastfeeding experience. While I did get a good refresher on latching a new born there were so many times that I wanted to stop and interrupt the instructor (and occasionally scream) but I did my best to restrain myself as I know theres a lot to take in when your starting to learn about this for the first time.

One of the biggest things I wanted to add to the class was were to find support on line. There are great real life support groups out there but if you end up like me, living in a rural area with no public transport, an unplanned C-section means you can’t drive or leave the house really for 6 whole weeks. Any real life support groups near me all only operated during the week so I couldn’t get to any of them until my 6 week sentence was up and by that stage I had well and truly got the hang of breastfeeding. What I did find however was great support online.

There are wonderful Facebook groups full of both new and experienced mums who aim to make breastfeeding the norm. They are a great place to learn from other mums and ask questions (this is the place to be a 3am if your worried about your baby – theres always someone else up too) and they promote a great culture of normal term breastfeeding. When I first started breastfeeding I only knew of one other person in real life who had done it so groups like these were invaluable to me for making it normal. 

The other two great online resources I found were Kellymom.com and the Dr Jack Newman Videos at www.breastfeedinginc.ca, both of these websites are great for learning about breastfeeding in general and will answer lots of common questions. I think I lived on these websites during the first few weeks with Little Man.

Aside from on line support heres what I would have added to the class if I could:

1. Breastfeeding takes time to get the hang of but it gets easier.

The original class I attended showed a graph of effort required for breastfeeding versus formula feeding over time something like this (sadly this no longer included in the class I attended this week):

Pregnancy Update Week 35 - Breastfeeding V Bottle-feeding Effort
Pregnancy Update Week 35 – Breastfeeding V Bottle-feeding Effort

This graph really stuck with me during the first few hard days of breastfeeding. I remember being overwhelmed by it all but thinking that if I could just hang in there things might seem a whole lot easier in a weeks time.

2. Don’t be afraid to feed in public.

Most people won’t even notice that your breastfeeding. Breastfeeding means you always have enough milk ready at the right time and the right temperature when ever you need it making breastfed babies extremely portable. Just bring a couple of spare nappies and a change of clothes and your out the door – no giant baby bags needed and it doesn’t matter if you stay out way longer than you had planned! In my two years feeding Little Man out and about we have never had a negative experience.

3. You will get more sleep by breastfeeding.

Yes you may be responsible for all the night feeds but you can safely co-sleep with a breastfed baby and sleep as your baby feeds – see the infographic below showing the 7 steps to safe co-sleeping from the La Leche League. Also you never have to leave your bed in the middle of the night to go downstairs and make a bottle for a crying baby.

safesleep7_sweetsleepbookwebsite-3

4. Be careful who you take your breastfeeding advice from.

Unfortunately we have lost generations of breastfeeding knowledge as very few of our Grandmothers, Mothers, Sisters or friends breastfed. Breastfeeding training for our GPs and Public Health Nurses is often very limited and something that they may have completed many years ago. While everyone will be quick to offer advice its really important to get support from specifically trained professions like lactation consultants and/or experienced breastfeeding mothers. There is a saying that there is a breastfeeding solution for every breastfeeding problem so if you run into a problem you want to make sure that you get the breastfeeding solution.

5. Its so worth it!

Once you’ve both got the hang of it, it makes life so much easier. When you go back to work its a great way to reconnect with your baby when your home. Our early morning feeds everyday before I left for the gym and work at 6am meant that I spent time with my son every day – even on the days where i didn’t get home until midnight because of deadlines at work.

So if you could what breastfeeding information would you want to give to new mums or what would you want to know?

On other non breastfeeding related topics this week was also Mothers Day. Daddy and Little Man were very good and treated Granny and I to afternoon tea at the Hotel Meyrick in Galway.

Little Man loved exploring the hotel and watching the piano player. I think he was feeling a little neglected and unappreciated (the piano player not Little Man) as he did play Jingle Bells at one point – I think he was trying to see if anyone would notice. Overall had a lovely afternoon relaxing in the hotel lounge with our tea and sweet treats.

Anyway, thats my little update from week 35, check back soon for my week 36 update.

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39 thoughts on “Pregnancy Update Week 35 – Breastfeeding 101

  1. Aoife

    You look amazing !
    Couldn’t agree more with your breastfeeding comments. It’s so so worth it, you’re doing the best for baby’s health AND your own health. Just as Mother Nature intended.
    I’m happily breastfeeding my 8 month old- our first week was hard though like you, I had a section and he ended up jaundiced. We stuck with it and got some great midwife support.
    Good luck with your new baba !

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Aoife, glad to hear breastfeeding has worked well for you and your little 8 month old, once you get the support you need it really does become so much easier and so worth it in the long run!

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  2. Great update! I love your red dress, you look stunning! The breastfeeding info is really handy! I fed my first little man, it was a rocky start, he had jaundice too but after searching out the right support, it worked out really well. This time around I’m breastfeeding a five month old and really struggling! I need to find a breastfeeding solution asap! I ended up in hospital a month and a half ago where I was told to give him formula. The thing is I love breastfeeding, I just need to find the right support – thanks for t the reminder! Best of luck with the rest of your pregnancy πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Maria, it’s awful that hospitals are so quick to jump to formula. Have you tried contacting a lactation consultant to see if they could help with your current situation? Or attending some of the breastfeeding support groups? Sometimes you just need to surround yourself with the right people but it can be hard to stop and take the time to reach out when your in the middle of it. Check out some of the Facebook groups out there too, I love seeing positive bf stories along with loads of good bf questions and answers all as part of my daily Facebook news feed. Best of luck and I hope your journey gets easier πŸ™‚

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  3. Eileen

    Great post. Am six months into our breastfeeding journey and I was nodding along to all your comments you would add to your class. I did a breastfeeding preparation class too and it was one of the best things I ever did.
    I found the graph very interesting – it’s one I hadn’t seen before.
    I too found batching breastfeeding difficult at the start but once my daughter was diagnosed with a tongue tie and it was snipped at 6 weeks things improved dramatically.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Eileen, glad to hear your getting on so well with breastfeeding! It’s amazing how common tongue ties are but they often seem to take a long time to get diagnosed and resolved. At the class I went to they talked though all sorts of breastfeeding problems but never mentioned tongue ties so I found myself asking the instructor about them just so that the rest of the class would be told about them. Hope you enjoy the rest of your breastfeeding journey!

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  4. A fantastic post! You’re looking great too. πŸ™‚ I breastfed all three of my children, and I’m pleased to say I lasted two full years with my youngest. I think it was mostly because I’m ultimately really lazy and I liked the idea of having milk on tap all the time. I could sleep while he fed and there was no dirty bottles to be washing up!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Elizabeth, once you’ve got the hang of it breastfeeding is definitely the easiest thing to do alright, it’s great not to have to worry about running out of formula or sterilising bottles!

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  5. Thea

    Fantastic article, great read. Loved the breastfeeding advice and info. I’m 8 months now feeding my DD but would’ve loved to have come across an article like this when we were starting out. Your Little Man is only handsome, loving his mothers day outfit!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Great post. I think that the thing you don’t realise before you have the baby is how quickly you have got to get the hang of it. It’s a lot of pressure.
    I’ve stolen the info graphic for another group I’m in. Cheers x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Nia, yep it’s amazing how quickly you have to get the hang of it, I think in one way I was really lucky to have had to stay in hospital for so long, if I’d been sent home after a day or two I’d never have had the confidence to get past the first few hurdles. Glad you liked the infographic!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Double the Monkey Business

    You look fabulous. I love the advice on breastfeeding. I feel like I was just left to it and I really struggled, which I had found an article like this at the time. x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a million, it’s awful to hear you feel you were just left to it but unfortunately it’s very common, so much more needs to be done to support new mums during the first few weeks.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Aishling O'Donoghue

    Great article! There’s so many times I thought why didn’t they tell us this in the breastfeeding class! There is a lack of everyday support in this country but if you seek out your breastfeeding village it’s there in abundance, so it’s important to do some research beforehand. Really recommend going to your local Le Leche meeting before baby arrives.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Aishling, it’s really underestimated how much we need that breastfeeding support village. I was lucky to have the initial hospital support and to find my village on line so I’ve actually never been to a real life breastfeeding group – it’s definitely on my todo list this time around though, hoping to get to some before baby arrives.

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  9. your are looking fabulous.. such a informative post.. breastfeeding really is amazing.. unfortunately it didnt work for me.. nothing to do with lack of effort on my part.. my little girl wasn’t getting enough fluids and hadn’t done her first wee , it was day 3 and the doctor suggested a bottle.. she did a wee and i then switched to bottle..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks One Yummy Mummy, we are all just trying to the best we can for our children and sometimes that’s the way things work out. You never know, you might go again πŸ™‚

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  10. Hannah clancy

    Fantastic, concise article. Fed our first to 18months and currently feeding our 10mo. We love it so much and experience the benefits everyday, just today he fell and bumped his head, made all better by a little nurse. His teeth are at him too and he went off to sleep for the night, happy and comforted by the breast. It’s a wonderful parenting tool. It can calm any situation. We need more people sharing their positive experiences of Breastfeeding like this. Wonderful.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh I didn’t think of going to a refresher course what a great idea I am going to see if I can find any local to me, as out NCT course didn’t cover it all this time round. Thanks for the tip. Looking fab at 35 weeks πŸ™‚ x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a million! It’s amazing how much you forget about feeding a new born but I’m sure it will all come back to us quickly when baby’s in our arms. Best of luck!

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  12. Sarah

    You look so glamorous! Love your post, what great advice for expectant parents….I’d also suggest to expectant mammy’s that they get their support partner (spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, mother, sister, whoever!) on board too before the birth with all the information on the goodness of breastfeeding and what sites to look up, so they are well informed too….nothing better than your partner patting you on the back at 3am in the morning with a snack and telling you you are doing a great job….I couldn’t have done it myself without the support.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Great point Sarah, it’s really important that the people around us understand why we are breastfeeding and are truly supportive. Also at the first class I went to they mentioned how your partner should have an idea of what a good latch looks like and the different feeding positions as they get to see baby feeding from a different perspective and they may be able to spot problems with positioning that we can see.

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  13. Kat

    What I would have really liked support with is feeding when you’ve got pretty big boobs. Like, I was an 40G or something at the time I was breastfeeding and the only position I could comfortably feed was with Evie rugbyballed under my arm and pillows all around us holding her up. I have no idea how I would have been able to feed in public and the idea of it terrified me as I’m not confident with my body and just couldn’t see a discreet way around it. I fed for 10 days exclusively and then we combination fed until she was 10 weeks old, partly from my fear, partly from a health visitor accusing me of not feeding her enough because she wasn’t gaining much weight and my extreme lack of confidence and support, knowledge and being young I guess at the time. I think when I have another I will try breastfeeding again and act more confidently and seek out more support but being the size I am and always having been ‘top heavy’ I have no idea if I’d be able to do it out and about. That would be what I’d want support on anyway! It’s always great to read advice on this because as that infographic says it can be so tough in the early days without the right network of support around you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s an interesting one Kat, I can’t say I’ve been blessed with big boobs but I did use the rugby ball hold for months due to my c-section. I used to bring pillows with me every time we went to visit anyone in the early days and always made sure I had a seat with arm rests if feeding in a public place. Having said that I’m sure there is better advice out there for ladies with big boobs – attending a la leche league or similar meeting before baby comes could help offer practical advice as I’m sure there are plenty of other women in the same boat.

      It’s awful that you encountered the health visitor that you did and shocking how little training they often seem to have in relation to breastfeeding – we really need to improve the support offered to mums to enable them to confidently breastfeed and not give them a hard time for trying.

      Just remember when you have another baby to keep asking for help as often as you need until your happy and make sure that those giving the help are truly trained or experienced in breastfeeding – unfortunately we can’t guarantee getting good advice from our doctors and nurses.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Thanks Eileen, glad to hear your getting on so well with breastfeeding! It’s amazing how common tongue ties are but they often seem to take a long time to get diagnosed and resolved. At the class I went to they talked though all sorts of breastfeeding problems but never mentioned tongue ties so I found myself asking the instructor about them just so that the rest of the class would be told about them. Hope you enjoy the rest of your breastfeeding journey!

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  15. Wowser, you look incredible! Seriously, seriously radiant and glamorous – you are like a walking advert for pregnancy!
    I think its a great idea to take a refresher course on breastfeeding. I breastfed 4 babies and each time was completely different – My milk supply was different and so was each baby’s feeding style.
    Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy, not long to go now, I will keep a look out for some exciting news from you very soon!
    Anna x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Anna, not long to go indeed! Nice to hear how you found breastfeeding different with each of your four children, I’m looking forward to seeing how it goes with my new little one!

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  16. dotmakes4

    Wow, you look stunning! I wish I looked half as good as you when I was pregnant!!
    I never thought of taking a breastfeeding course, but my sister did and it really helped her. I would definitely recommend it to any other expectant mums.
    Laura xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Laura, it really does make a big difference, the more you can learn before baby arrives the better prepared you are for those first few tough nights on your own.

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  17. Not long to go now. I hope you get some rest though, it sounds like you need it. Well done on going to breastfeeding class. You’re right about how different it is, and every newborn is different. Arming yourself with as much info as possible is going to help

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Wow you look amazing, and some great advice there. One thing that I never had any advice on was allergies in babies and breast milk. My little man was constantly feeding then projectile vomiting. I was feeding literally every half an hour and ended up in absolute agony with a very unhappy baby. It was only once we switched to formula that his sickness worsened and the HV started to take my concerns seriously. It turns out he was allergic to the protein in cow’s milk, being transferred from me to him, then even worse through formula. If I hadn’t have switched from breast to bottle I don’t know when we would have found out the severity of his allergy x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Gym Bunny Mummy, sorry to hear about your little mans allergies, hope he’s doing well now that you know how to treat them. It’s awful that HVs don’t take things seriously until things get really bad, they really need a lot more training on how best to support breastfeeding mums!

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