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In honour of world breastfeeding week I thought I’d document my journey so far.  Breastfeeding has been one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced with being a mum.  Despite considering myself to be a fairly rational person, everything to do with breastfeeding has played havoc with my emotions and sent me crazy more often than not.

One hour Wow, fabulous hormones zinging around, my doula is brilliant in her support and encouragement and the breast-crawl really does work (with a tiny bit of repositioning by me).  I cannot believe I have a little girl, and my boobs suddenly have a real purpose
One day Hmmm, I’ve had more people look at and touch my breasts than I ever thought possible.  I’ve had a midwife hand express me to try and get some colostrum out and Chublet has been encouraged to feed as often as possible.
One week This isn’t going well.  Chublet doesn’t have a rooting reflex and doesn’t get swallowing on let down.  Her weight has dropped so much she’s back in hospital.  I’ve been loaned an electric pump and told to do my best, but also that it might be a good idea to just put her on formula.
One month I hate the sight of the breast pump.  I’m spending hours on the couch each day with it attached to my boobs for very little result.  Chublet is being supplemented with formula at each feed to try and keep her weight up, and we’re syringing expressed milk through the nipple shield at every feed to encourage her to suck and swallow properly
Two /Three months Things are improving.  I’m able to reduce the amount I pump and we’re also gradually cutting back how much formula is given.  Feeling like we might actually be able to establish a good breastfeeding relationship
Four months Chublet has finally got a good strong suck and has badly cracked one of my nipples. She refuses to feed through a shield anymore, so it’s back to pumping from one side for a few days while the crack heals.  (bloody milkfed baby vomits stink!)
Five months My first experience of a blocked duct.  One quarter of my boob is rock hard and so sore.  Chublet is practically force fed in an effort to relive it.  Two hot showers, lots of expressing and feeding and 12 hours later it clears.  Phew.
Six months Made it to six months!  Chublet is now off all formula supplementary feeds and I finally feel confident that I have enough milk for her and that we both know how to breastfeed.
Seven months B and I both think my breastfeeding boobs are brilliant – no longer am I an embarrassed A cup.  Everything has settled down enough now so that I don’t have to worry about random let downs soaking my top, engorgement making me feel really sore or nipple damage
Eleven months Chublet decides to try out her new teeth.  Lots of biting, scraping and clamping down then pulling off.  Back to cut and bloody nipples and dreading each feed
Twelve months Lunchtime feed is dropped after one too many bites.  Chublet doesn’t seem to miss it and after a few days is very happy with her cup of cows milk instead
Fourteen months Breastfeeding is still going strong.  Chublet has two or three feeds in 24 hours, depending on how her night sleep is.  She gets excited when her morning and night feeds are due, and I am really enjoying being able to have that relationship with her.  I’m considering starting to wean her at 18months if she hasn’t self-weaned before then.