So I cannot believe how quickly time has passed and that the little man is already 12 weeks old, growing and gaining weight very well and with lots of smiles and giggles along the way. Having breastfed Mr A until he was 2.5yrs old it was one of those things I was excited to do again as well as apprehensive on how my experience would be the second time round, as they say every baby is different.
Right from the start this time around was a much more calmer and relaxed birth which meant unlike with Mr A, baby G was placed directly onto me for immediate skin to skin, then after all the routine checks when I was being wheeled out of the operating theatre he latched on straight away and since then I have been feeding him on demand.
I do think that having all the experience of breast-feeding my first has helped in making me feel more confident and less stressed the second time around as well as knowing what to expect as all these changes in your body can come at quite a shock. I have also realised how much Mr A's tongue affected him, the way he fed, the amount of weight he put on and explains why by this point we had already had a few ups and downs but with Baby G it's been pretty much problem free since the start, something I am very grateful for.
The one thing with breastfeeding that can make some people become a little unstuck is the fact that it's a full-time commitment, which of course any aspect of parenting is but suddenly you have a newborn or young baby who is totally reliant on you for what it needs and nobody else, which is an incredible feeling especially when you see them thrive. The great thing about this modern world we live in is the easy access to decent breast pumps, something that was a real lifeline to me the first time round as I was still attending Uni two days a week but didn't want to use a breastmilk substitute so expressing became a daily occurrence.
Even though I am no longer at University I am still pretty busy and having some expressed milk stock up int he fridge does allow for some flexibility so I was over the moon to be asked to become a Medela Mum and try out their two pumps - The Electric Medela Swing and the manual Medela Harmony, both of which I have put to the test and have been equally impressed with.
The Swing is a powerful and cost efficient electric pump, which is simple and straight forward to use and is without a doubt the best pump I have ever used and really wish I had had this one the first time round. It has a let down setting to start off with and then different degrees of strength.
The Harmony is a manual pump and therefore requires no electric outlet and is perfect for those on the move or to take with you while travelling or on holiday. It makes no noise although does of course require more work on your side and I found takes longer than the Swing but when we go away later this year I will be packing this for sure. It's also easy to dissemble and clean.
Medela also gave me the chance to discuss any worries or concerns I had with a lactation specialist in the run up to having Baby G, one of my questions was related to when it is a good time to start expressing as it's important to establish breastfeeding first.. this is what I asked
Answer - It is advisable to wait 3-4 weeks before you start to express to build up a store as your body is adjusting to the feeding demands that your baby needs to maintain a supply. If you are full and engorged yes you can express earlier but be cautious as the more you empty the breast the more milk you make and it’s the early few weeks that lay down the blueprint for milk production and storage capacity. Once baby has had their 3 week growth spurt and you feel more confident with feeding you can start to build a supply with occasional expressing to support your breastfeeding.