With 4 children I had a variety of different feeding experiences behind me and as aware as I was that each of my babies were different I knew that I wanted to feed breastfeed baby number 5.
I truly believe in the power of skin to skin contact once the baby is born. When my 3rd daughter was born she was placed onto my chest and crawled up my chest and latched onto my breast all by herself and fed for an hr. It was amazing to see and even though I had read about this happening I don’t think I truly believed it until I saw it happen with my own eyes.
According to Unicef there is a growing body of evidence that skin-to-skin contact after the birth helps babies and their mothers in many ways.
- Calms and relaxes both mother and baby
- Regulates the baby’s heart rate and breathing, helping them to better adapt to life outside the womb
- Stimulates digestion and an interest in feeding
- Regulates temperature
- Enables colonisation of the baby’s skin with the mother’s friendly bacteria, thus providing protection against infection
- Stimulates the release of hormones to support breastfeeding and mothering.
Sebastian was born via an emergency C-Section. I had been induced and just as things had started to happen they would ground to a halt. My doctor came in early the next morning and said that he had fully expected to be called in during the night and wanted to take me for a scan to see what was happening with baby.
The scan showed that the umbilical cord was wrapped around his little neck and the baby was bungee jumping in and out of the birth canal. He said that I needed to have an emergency section and he had to be delivered immediately. Twenty minutes later Sebastian was born.
Instead of skin to skin contact he was rushed away. It wasn’t too long before I saw him but I am sure the delayed contact effected my milk supply. As soon as it arrived it dried up and left.
I had this overwhelming feeling of sadness and couldn’t stop crying. My hormones were all over the place and I was exhausted and sore. With every bottle that I gave him I cried more. Not because I am anti formula but because I wanted to feed him. It didn’t matter what anyone said to me, I just wanted to feed my baby myself and even with my wealth of experience of being a mother I could not reason with myself.
A friend recommended a breast feeding counsellor and I was ready to try anything so I went to see a lovely lady called Maria. She spoke to me to first on my own and listened to me as I sobbed. She helped me latch on the baby and said that he was hungry and I needed to give him a bottle to satisfy him as he was a big baby but we would come up with a plan.
She told me to start taking Fenugreek which was known to help increase supply. I was sceptical but willing to try anything and her kind words and reassurance of help really made me feel like this grey cloud was starting to lift. The care she showed me was incredible and knowing she understood made all of the difference to me. I will always be so thankful to her.
I kept putting Sebastian to the breast and giving him a bottle along with taking Fenugreek. Within the next 5 days my milk supply increased daily. I can’t put into words the joy I felt and how grateful I was for Maria’s continued help and encouragement.
My next task was to reduce the bottle and increase the breastfeeding. Thankfully Sebastian loved the breast and within a further 10- 14 days I had reduced the bottle completely and was just breastfeeding. I had a fantastic Dream Geni breastfeeding pillow that wrapped around my tummy, helping my C-section scar and supporting Sebastian.
I truly loved breastfeeding him and our journey continued for the next 14 months. I would feed anywhere and everywhere he needed. I am so thankful that we had that time together and our breastfeeding journey. I always try and offer encouraging looks when I see someone breastfeeding. I don’t know if it’s appreciated or people just think I am odd but it is one of the most amazing experiences you can share with your baby.