The trials and tribulations of breastfeeding in the first fortnight

By the time Peyton was 12-days-old, I was ready to throw the towel in with breastfeeding. I was exhausted both mentally and physically.

Since we brought her home from hospital, at one day old, she has been fed from the boob. And let me tell you, it's bloody hard work.

All the way through being pregnant I said I wanted to breastfeed her. I have always admired people who have breastfed their babies and loved seeing well-known public figures normalising it and not shying away from the fact they fed their babies on the boob. I also always loved seeing women feed in public. It's something I've always been apprehensive of, but I'll come to that later.

I also thought that breastfeeding was the easy option, compared to formula feeding. LOL. How wrong was I.

I thought it would be easier than feeding her formula because it meant no sterilising, no waiting for water to boil and then to cool, no re-heating bottles, no faffing about, no need to worry about going out for the day and forgetting a bottle...

As it turns out, breastfeeding is bloody hard work. And I commend all women who try it, persevere with it and manage to feed their little ones for long periods of time.

When Peyton was born, during our initial skin-to-skin contact I tried breastfeeding her straight away. She wasn't having any of it. She just cried and cried and cried, getting really, really distressed. She just wasn't latching properly and the more I tried, the more distressed she got. We tried through my first night in hospital, with four different people coming to try and help. Each of them told me something different, which made it even more confusing, harder and distressing for us both. In the end, she ended up having the pre-made bottles that we'd taken in with us as an emergency "just incase breastfeeding didn't work".
I felt so relieved when she was guzzling away on the bottle as I could tell she was really hungry. Each time she needed a feed, I tried offering her the boob. We did skin-to-skin beforehand and tried every different technique to get her to latch, but nothing worked.

When we got home the night after she was born I tried to feed her myself again and, to my amazement, she latched on straight away and guzzled away for 20 minutes on each side. I couldn't believe it!

We spent our first weekend at home practising breastfeeding. Basically every visitor to our house got a glimpse of boob/nipple over those first few days. I've learnt it's the quickest way to clear a room sometimes, to say she needs a feed and to start unfastening my top! Her latch still wasn't great, though, and I was starting to get quite sore. A trip to the midwife, armed with pictures and videos of how she was feeding, and I felt loads more confident.

That was, until day 12. Day 12 was horrible. It has been so, so, SO hot and, on the hottest of days, Peyton has been feeding every 45-60 minutes once we pass dinner time. Day 12 was the worst day so far. I was absolutely exhausted - both mentally and physically. In between feeds - that little break I got - she was so hot and over tired that she just couldn't settle. From 9am until 7pm she had two small 30 minute naps and that was it. It was about 4.30pm when I broke down and cried.

I didn't feel like I was producing enough milk for her, and that's why she was feeding so regularly. I couldn't go for a lie down to recharge my batteries, because no sooner had I put her down and got upstairs then she needed feeding again. I was getting so sore again and so, so tired. After she finally fell asleep at 7pm, I felt so much better. I needed the rest (and to keep my boobs to myself for a bit!) I also felt stupid for getting so upset - knowing full well it wouldn't help either of us.

I joined a group on Facebook that was for breastfeeding support and suddenly realised there was nothing wrong with me or Peyton. Everyone on there was saying the same thing - it was the heat. I felt such a weight lift off me and didn't want to let this shake my new-found confidence.

I was trying to build myself up to feeding in public, as I knew that would be a big hurdle to get over.

Last Sunday (11-days-old) we went to Howden Show and I fed her on a bench at a park in Howden. It was probably the quietest place in the whole town - we didn't see a single person. Two days before that we'd been to the seaside and I fed her in the pub we had lunch in. I wasn't overly confident at getting her latched on in public, and we were sat right in the middle of loads of people, so I took her into the baby change to get her latched on. Once she was happy, I threw a muslin over us and carried on feeding outside.

By day 13, I'd turned a corner and fed her in public in the tea room at Yorkshire Lavender. The following day, I fed her in Starbucks (completely on my own this time!)

As I was feeding her, another lady with a pram approached me and asked if she could sit with me and feed her baby, too. Everyone who passed us looked at us and I was worried they'd think we were some sort of breastfeeding mafia taking over the corner of the coffee shop. Instead, they all smiled our way. I felt so much more confident right after that, like I could really do this breastfeeding thing.

The first two weeks have been really hard, don't get me wrong. There have been times I've wanted to just give up and reclaim my boobs as my own, but I'm so glad I've persevered through it. It's still really hard. Today has been another tough one, with it being so hot again. I think I must be one of the only people in the country desperate for it to cool down and rain!!


  1. Writing a blog post about the same thing... Two months in and some days are just so tough...

  2. Well done Natalie you should be very proud of yourself and Peyton. Breast feeding is such a rewarding and beautiful thing to do for your baby and it will get easier and you will be glad you persevered. love Shirley x