Breastfeeding Journey – Part One

I want to start of by saying that this topic and my story are, of course, very personal.  I have struggled, not only physically but mentally with breastfeeding.  Please be respectful of the decisions I and my husband made.

As part of World Breastfeeding Week 2018 I’d like to share with you our breastfeeding story so far.  I can see there being three parts to this story, hopefully the first two will be this week and the final one will come in a few weeks.  The second part will cover breastfeeding and mental heath as I have experienced it. This post will be our journey up to today.

Today Aidan is 6 weeks and 2 days old.  We have an appointment at the tongue tie clinic to, hopefully, have a tongue tie division.  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Within an hour after Aidan’s wonderful and beautiful birth I asked the midwife if I should try and feed him.  First we tried a cross cradle hold as this felt the most natural.  My midwife was very supportive and gave me a few tips but Aidan didn’t seem interested. Vicki (the midwife that had taken over after his birth) suggested we try lying down.  I managed to get him latched for only a few little sucks.  He was considered a ‘reluctant feeder’.  He was born at 0640, this first little feed was probably around 0715.  He didn’t eat again until much much later that day.

For various reasons that I’ll talk about in a different post, we were separated around an hour and a half after his birth, and between me being away from him and him being away from me we couldn’t have any more skin to skin until after lunch time.

At no point was I prompted or encouraged to try and feed him again.  Of course I’m aware that he’s my baby and I need to feed him but in retrospect I felt unsupported in the early hours with breastfeeding.  He was known to be reluctant to feed and we had had trouble with latching, I’m very surprised no one came to see us try again.  It wasn’t until we were on the ward that I tried again to get him latched.  It became apparent at the point that it was going to take some time to get him feeding from the breast and so I was encouraged to express into a syringe* in order for him to get the colostrum.

Very late on his first night he was taken to NICU where he spent around 24hrs.  In the morning I didn’t get to him until 11am, I was given some support by the NICU staff to try and get him feeding but again in the end I expressed into a clean syringe for him.  The staff suggested trying to use a machine to express so that we could get a little more into him.  We still used the syringe to give it to him, but this way he was getting close to 5ml a feed rather than 1ml here and there.  Andrew and I were so proud when I started getting serious amounts of colostrum.

Once Aidan was taking around 10ml they suggested we use a cup to feed him instead. Feeding more than 10ml with a syringe isn’t very practical. The cup is just one of those small plastic cups they dispense medication in (a clean one every time).  Its a little bit squishy and your baby kind of laps the milk up like a cat would. It’s a bit scary to do as there is a risk they could breath it in and asphyxiate.  I think I only managed to cup feed him once and not very successfully. Not all the staff were happy for me to syringe or cup feed him unattended and some didn’t want me to cup feed him at all and so they would do it.  The number of different people who had fed him in his first few days was somewhere in the region of ten.  We were told in our parenting classes that the number of feeders should be kept as small as possible. Ideally, in a non breastfeeding situation, it would be no more than mum and dad.

This, along with a very hungry baby, led us to the decision to formula feed him on day 4.  We were warned of nipple confusion and told he might not ever latch if we started with a bottle, but we had seen no progress with breastfeeding and they wouldn’t discharge a baby that was only cup feeding.  I continued to express and we topped up with formula, he very rarely had more formula than expressed breast milk.

This decision was so hard and so easy to make.  Breastfeeding him was so important to me but he needed to eat and we needed to go home.  After a quick trip for Andrew to pick up everything we’d need for expressing and bottle feeding at home we were discharged after 5 days in hospital.

Expressing is hard work, I felt like I was doing it constantly, and it was really tiring.  Expressing took about as long as feeding him would take so it could take me an hour to express but then he’d drink it all in seconds. If people visited I would take myself off to express, sitting alone for an hour every 2 or 3 hours while we had visitors was pretty grim.

After talking to a few friends and getting some advice from other mums on Instagram, we contacted a lactation consultant and asked her to come out to our home to give us some advice.  I just needed to know if I was ever going to breastfeed him, I was still trying and by this point it was just upsetting me and Aidan.  I needed to know if it was worth pushing through or whether it was going to be better for both of us if I just accepted it wasn’t going to happen.

The day before we saw the consultant I spoke with my midwife. I asked her if she had any more suggestions for me. She said that at that point it might be worth giving nipple shields a go. There’s still a risk of nipple confusion but he was already using a bottle so he was likely already confused if he was going to be.

On the 28th of June I sat down with him to try the nipple shields, I was fully expecting it wouldn’t work, at least not first time.   He latch immediately with no problems and had his first proper breastfeed at just over 2 weeks old.  I cried, I was so happy to be feeding my baby boy the way I’d dreamed of.  That night he fed mostly on the breast with the help of the shields and only had a bottle on one occasion.

The following day our lactation consultant came round and she was fantastic, she was so supportive of our decision and felt fairly positive there was still a chance he could feed without the shields in the future.  She referred us to the tongue tie clinic because of a mild tongue tie (which, I might add, we’d been told by a midwife he didn’t have).  The LC recommended waiting until his tie had been cut before trying without the shields, she thought he might find it easier and it would be less painful for me.  When she left she said to try and not give him a bottle unless we really needed too.  I think he had 2 bottles over the few days that followed and since then we have packed them all away.  I did try him on my breast a few times and on occasions he was feeling co-operative we were able to get a good latch and even have a few sucks.

There are definitely times when I find the shields frustrating and want to pack them in and go back to bottles, but all in all they have improved our day to day life.  I feel able to go out for the day, not needing to worry about finding somewhere to express and storing milk.  The shields still needed to be sterilised so sometimes things can get a bit frantic if I’ve been a bit disorganised but we’re getting into a pretty good routine.

I plan on doing a follow up post once we’ve had time to see if there’s been an improvement after his division.

*I was doing this by hand, sucking up any little drops from my nipples with the syringe.

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A scarf would bring this together…

I kicked myself when I got into the city and realised I’d forgotten to wear my new favourite scarf. I think the outfit works without it but the scarf added something… I’m not sure what… oh wait. I know. Warmth!! I was so freaking cold taking these pictures!

This is my first real “put together” maternity outfit. I’ve been unconvinced by maternity wear, not sure if it’s a waste of money. I bought myself this shirt from H&M and I’m so glad I did. Putting on a well fitting item of clothing can really help you feel good. I’ve not wanted to post outfit pics because I’ve not really been happy with what I’m wearing, but on this day I felt like myself again and loved it. I’m not going over the top with maternity wear because I still think it can be a bit of a waste of money (except the jeans, they are so comfortable I just want to live in them forever). But having a few nice items in my wardrobe is going to be important for me I think.

Jeans – Jojo Maman Bebe | Boots (similar)- Clarks | Shirt – H&M | Coat (similar) – H&M | Hat -Accessorise

Lancôme Tonique Confort – Review

Toning was always a step I overlooked.  Recently though, I’ve been taking better care of my skin and adding toning into my routine. Funny thing – my skin is better for it. The extra TLC I’ve been giving it works.

Until recently I was using quite a harsh toner.  It was very drying and although it did help improve my pores and reduce blackheads, it made my face red and patchy.  I hate wasting products but I didn’t want to have come a long way with my skin to just have it be red and damaged by my toner. So I went on the hunt for something better.

I’ve heard a lot of good things about Lancôme skincare so searched the Feelunique website for toners in their range.  They have a lot to choose from but I settled with the hydration tonic.


It’s wonderful.  So refreshing, cooling and calming.  Great after a face mask or exfoliate as it’s super hydrating too.  It’s got a good consistency (think gravy?) and a little goes a long way.

I apply it with my fingers and take some time to really massage it into my skin and enjoy the cooling temperature and calming smell.  On the bottle it says ’tissue off’ honestly I don’t know if that means you need to wipe it off after but I find it soaks in so there’s no need?


I’d recommend not using a cotton pad to apply as you end up losing a lot of the product to the cotton wool.

Autumn Bucket List

I’ve seen a lot of people doing a kind of seasonal bucket list and I really like the idea.  It can be really easy to miss out on the changing seasons, what with work and life taking up so much time.  Having a small list of things you’d really like to do and planning time to do them is a great way to ensure you really appreciate your time.  It can be so easy to make no plans and waste a weekend or day off.  Here’s my Autumn to-do list!

  1. Have a snuggle picnic.  I totally made up the name of this. I wanted to go for a picnic during the summer and never did.  So I’d like to pack up loads of blankets and cushions and snuggle up in a park with an autumnal picnic!
  2. Bake Parkin and/or Gingerbread. Parkin is a traditionally northern English cake or biscuit.  Like gingerbread but made with black treacle.  Perfect for nibbling around a bonfire.
  3. Go fruit picking. Any Norwich based folks with tips on where to pick fruit hit me up!
  4. Have a dinner Party. For me, Autumn feels like the perfect time to fill your house with friends and delicious food.
  5. Carve a Pumpkin. Ok so it’s cliche but I do love carving pumpkins and it lends itself perfectly to my last one…
  6. Make pumpkin pie (and make mum try it). I love pumpkin pie and it shocks me that my mother has never had it. (although that would explain why I never had any until my 20s).  This year I’ll be sure to get mum to try some.  This is my favourite recipe


It’s taken me to the end of this list to see that I obviously like food in Autumn…. All food based!

What’s on your Autumn bucket list?

Favourites September Edition – Summer Memories

This summer brought with it a lot of change and a lot of excitement. Of course my birthday should be the highlight of summer for everyone around me, but this year we had other things to celebrate.

Since I’ve been married I have been sharing my husband with another being.  I think it’s fair to call it a being because it’s taken up so much of his time and energy, has caused us excitements, stresses and disappointments. This summer my husband finished his PhD and is now officially Dr Mundy.  We attended his graduation in Manchester and it felt like some kind of birth/funeral hybrid. 


This trip also brought with it another excitement, driving. Earlier in the year I passed my driving test (second try, all the best drivers pass second time).  We bought an old car from a work friend and the 5 hour drive from Norwich to Derbyshire was the first long drive I made.  I had to do all the driving, it was equal parts exhilarating and terrifying. 

We moved house (again. We have lived in a different house for every year we have been married). Moving brought us closer to our allotment from which we got our first (and last) harvest! We’ll still be eating the potatoes at Christmas.  We also abandoned the idea of an allotment in favour of a container garden.

Plus there was A LOT of great coffees and brunches with Laura from Rose and Weston. More of that in Autumn please!

OOTD – Denim Jacket


This jacket has been one of my favourite things this summer, and I’m looking forward to getting more regular use out of it in Autumn. I bought it the very day these photos were taken.  It was the evening of a work do, when I got into the city and felt that, as comfortable as I was, I look a little scruffy and not good scruffy.  I popped into Next and there was the jacket, on sale, £16 down from £45. What more can you ask for! I got it a size up for extra oversized-ness.  It helped give my outfit a more ‘put together but relaxed’ look.

Jacket – Next (this one is similar)

Tshirt – Levi’s

Jeans – Next (but these are similar)

Brunch – A Wild Thyme

Does anyone not like brunch?  I feel as though everyone must love brunch…  Have a lie in, stroll into the city and eat breakfasty or lunchy foods, depending on your preference! And going for brunch with a friend? Even better.


A few weeks ago a friend and I went to Wild Thyme in Norwich, a great veggie/vegan place.  She’s vegan and I really shouldn’t eat dairy so having pretty much a whole menu to choose from is always a big deal for us.

We stared off with Spice Turmeric, Oat Milk Lattes which were heavenly.  Ten times better than the classic Chai Latte and I’m a big fan of the Chai Latte.

Of course, even in a restaurant with a menu full of delicious vegan foods, we both still wanted things that contained dairy.  Our lovely waitress offered to pop to the shop downstairs and pick up some dairy free yogurt for us.

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Banana Pancakes, Avocado on Toast and Yogurt with Fruit

I’ve eaten in Wild Thyme a lot and I can honestly say I’ve never been disappointed with the food or the service.  It’s a beautiful location and they have kept the ambiance inside in keeping with the courtyard outside.

In terms of price, it is a little more on the pricey side but it’s definitely worth it.  Nice for a date, a meal with the parents or just a fancy brunch date with a bestie.

OOTD – Hat Outfit

I’m still very much in the process of getting my wardrobe together,  I want to have a good basic wardrobe, something capsule like, and then build from there.  Part of this process is putting together outfits, wearing them and seeing how I feel!

I’ve always played it pretty safe, I don’t like the feeling of people looking at me in public so I normally try not to stand out with what I wear.  On the other hand I want to wear what I think looks good and what I feel comfortable in.  I’ll often put an outfit off because I think people will look at me, when in reality people don’t really give a shit what I’m wearing and I should care what people think! So I’m putting together some odd outfits and trying them out, if I feel good in them it’s a success and then I’ll start looking at other ways to style those pieces.

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For this outfit I wanted to style my favourite white shirt with a skirt I rarely wear because I’m unsure if it’s flattering, I wanted to wear boots because I quite like the look of ankle boots with a skirt but I’m worried it makes my legs look stumpy.  Then accessioning, I wore the coat to bring it together a bit, it made to look a little smarter I think, my bag is my everyday brown bag and then the hat.  The hat was the real uncertainty, I asked my mum on her thoughts and she wasn’t convinced and normally that would be enough to send the hat back to the clothes rail, but this time I thought ‘No’.  I wore it and loved it.  Even if it was way too hot for it…

All in all I think this look has an edgy smartness too it, something I’d wear to a nice lunch with fancy people, I feel better about the skirt and the hat so they will move on to the next round of styling.  It’s kind of like a game show for clothes!

Thanks to Laura at Rose and Weston for taking these pics!

I like to add links to the actually items I’m wearing where I can, however where that isn’t possible I will link to a similarly priced and designed item.