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#Momming101: Breastfeeding for beginners

by | Mar 7, 2019 | Breastfeeding, Just Motherhood | 64 comments

This post is not about doing breastfeed “right” or a list of ways to make it work best. Neither is it a breastmilk vs. formula debate. It is however about my experience as a mama of three breastfed babies. All of which differed significantly when it came to nursing. I’m sharing all that I’ve learnt in the hopes that it will help another mama that might be struggling or feeling lost because I sure could have used a “breastfeeding for beginners” blogpost as a new mom.

Collectively I’ve been breastfeeding for 50 months – that’s 4 years and 2 months – and although I treasure my breastfeeding journey it actually began as a horrible, painful, tear-filled (and bloody) mess that I pretty much loathed for the first 12 weeks. Thankfully nursing a newborn got easier with every go and today I’m so happy we chose to stick it out and continue through the pain and challenges.

We went to antenatal classes, watched a dvd or two, paged through “What to Expect when you’re Expecting” and though we had prepared for birth and becoming parents. From breathing through contractions to changing diapers and bathing baby, we though the basics were covered and we weren’t too concerned about breastfeeding… People explained it could be something I’d need to get use to and it may be uncomfortable at first. It’s all to be expected. We grossly underestimated how uncomfortable things could be and it took more than a little “getting use to”!

Breastfeeding for beginners

Let’s start at the beginning…

In hospital

A mother’s body is incredible and we actually start producing baby’s first “milk” – colostrum, weeks before reaching our due date. After giving birth (natural or via c-section) while still in recovery, you’ll usually have an opportunity to feed your baby for the 1st time.

We were lucky, none of the girls had trouble latching right away. Eliana was positioned by a nurse and I was told to keep her nostrils clear by pushing my breast down with my fingers. This advice did not work well. My nipple kept popping out of Eli’s mouth but as soon as I just let her do her thing, snuggled into my breast, she fed. There she stayed for at least 2 hours before anyone touched her.

With Lia I felt more confident and after reading about breast crawling we were determined to give it a go. While in the recovery room I had asked the nurse to lay Lia on top of my chest.. It was amazing to see her instinctively making her way to my nipple in only a few minutes. Once again that’s where she would stay for the first few hours after birth.

Ava followed in her sister’s “footsteps”, crawling up to my chest moments after birth and staying put for hours.

Breastfeeding for beginners

Interesting facts about colostrum we learnt from Sr Maryna Botha:
  • It’s the perfect 1st “meal” for baby and a small amount (about a teaspoon full) is actually more than sufficient at first. Even if your baby shows little interest in nursing, try not to worry. Newborns don’t need much fluid at this stage, rather focus on feeding frequently for long periods of time.
  • We only make a small amount of colostrum because that’s all baby needs. Your breast will stay soft and won’t feel full for the 1st few days but this is normal and actually makes latching and learning to nurse a little easier for baby.
  • Consisting of living cells, a concentrated amount of immunity boosters and white blood cells that work together. Colostrum protects baby from germs and illnesses found outside the womb. It also forms a protective lining inside baby’s gut.
  • Colostrum is a laxative and help clears out your baby’s first bowel movement.
  • It’s easy to digest.

Breastfeeding for beginners

1st days home

None of our babies had difficulties latching but it took time figuring out how to breastfeed with ease. How long should a feed be? Do I feed on both breasts each time? How frequent do babies feed? How do I know our baby’s getting enough milk? Am I making enough milk? All these questions can drive a new mom crazy!

At this point it’s very important to take a breath and realise, all will be fine. You and baby are both learning and just need a little bit of space and time to learn how things work. It’s normal for a baby to lose some weight after birth but as his / her appetite and need for fluids increase, your colostrum will make way for milk.

Within a day or so after arriving home my milk “came in”. We were excited. Everything was going according to plan, the worst was behind us, right? WRONG

Newborn bliss soon turned into one of the most challenging periods of my life.

Breastfeeding for beginners

The 2 week checkup

Life was good, Eliana was the sweetest baby, feeding every 4 hours during the day and only waking once at night. We thought we had hit the jackpot and except for my cracked nipples, everything was going well. We couldn’t wait to see how much she had grown.

You can imagine our surprise when the scale showed that she hadn’t and actually wasn’t even back to her birth weight. The nurse quickly advised us to supplement my breastmilk with formula, telling me she wasn’t getting enough and that’s why she was such a “good sleeper”. We needed to start waking her at night to feed and I should apply nipple cream to help heal my bleeding nipples. On the bright side a lactation consultant had a look at our breatfeeding “skills” and gave Eli and I a thumbs up. She was latching well and sucking strong – I just needed to keep her awake.

Still I was heartbroken. Why had my body failed us? Why wasn’t my milk enough? I couldn’t accept defeat and knew we could do this – We just didn’t do it “in time” and “as expected”. Formula could wait. I went with my gut and prioritised breastfeeding as my number one mothering skill to master. Dammit, I knew we could do this!

Our new approach included:
  • We stuck to feeding on demand but I also woke Eliana every 2 hours during the day and every 4 hours at night.
  • I kept her awake by looking into her eyes, talking to her and wiping her face with a cool cloth every now and again. (Making sure not to startle her).
  • We started logging her diapers, taking note of the amount of wet and dirty nappies she made during the course of a day.
  • Taking care of myself was important. I slept when baby slept, making sure to eat and drink enough too.
  • I also bought a breastpump to see how much milk I was producing. After my 1st pump I was impressed to see how much milk I had. 100ml after a feed was way more than expected.

Breastfeeding for beginners

Breastfeeding for beginners Diaper tracker printable.

Nipple care included:
  • Applying nipple cream – A massive mistake I would later learn.
  • Sitting in the sun, topless for a few minutes after every feed.

We had a followup appointment scheduled for 2 weeks later, this time I was very nervous. The nurse congratulated us on Eliana’s amazing growth spurt and a wave of relief washed over us. This time she was the surprised one – looking at me in total disbelief when we told her we had decided to skip formula and that Eli was still being exclusively breastfed. Eli was still under her expected weight and would continue to gain and grow at a slower pace than expected BUT she was growing and seemed content. She had regular wet and dirty nappies too (8-10 a day). We trusted that she was okay.

Baby was thriving, mama however wasn’t doing so well…

My nipples were torn-up, not cracked or broken… I literally had NO skin left and could see tiny, white strands (later the gynaecologist would confirm these where exposed milk ducts) on the surface of my nipples. I was bleeding non-stop and worried about the amount of blood Eliana was consuming. Would I have to give up even though she was doing well?

No-one knew why my nipples were having such a hard time and everyone I asked for help simply told me to STOP. I would probably have lasting damage to my breasts. I hit a low point, applying “Lennon Staaldruppels” in a desperate attempt to heal. – Massive mistake number 2: The bleeding stopped but it sealed my skin completely meaning no milk could come out. It was my 1st experience with mastitis and I’ll never forget sitting in our shower, crying uncontrollably while scratching off the Lennon layer bit-by-bit.

Breastfeeding for beginners

I hated breastfeeding but still didn’t feel comfortable formula feeding

I wanted to have a choice in the matter and refused to be forced into a decision, even by my own body. At around 6 weeks we were due for another checkup. We decided to skip the hospital and made an appointment at our local baby clinic. There I met an angel. Sr. Maryna. She took one good look at my nipples and suggested I stop applying nipple cream immediately. She suspected I was having an allergic reaction and she was right.

I was in the worst cycle. The more broken my nipples would become, the more cream I would apply. This made my skin react and it became even more sensitive and torn.

New steps needed to be taken towards healing and included the following:
  • Being topless as much as possible.
  • No more creams of any sort. My breastmilk was actually the best nipple cream available. After every feed I would express a small amount onto my fingers making sure to apply it all over my nipples. I would leave it to air-dry completely before closing my feeding bra.
  • While at home I would make use of Rooibos tea bags to sooth my tender nipples. Soaking them in luke warm water and placing them in my bra between feeds.
  • Nipple shields became my new best friends.
  • Laser therapy for my nipples specifically helped the healing along as well.
  • I gave my breasts a rest and would pump. This gave daddy or granny a chance to feed Eliana too.

Breastfeeding for beginners

I also needed to learn to love breastfeeding again.

Breastfeeding wasn’t a pleasant experience for me. I cried every time and worried I would never bond with our beautiful little girl. A mind shift was needed.

  • I joined a mommy-and-me postnatal support group. These ladies saved me and hearing their success stories and words of encouragement week-after-week gave me so much hope.
  • Mr. Perfect was PERFECT! He supported me more than ever. Protecting me from others telling me I should give up. He came home early on days I struggled, prepared dinner for 12 weeks in a row and woke up with me for every feed at night. We’ve never been more of a team and looking back I have the most incredible memories of our marriage during this hard time.
  • We stopped timing feed and logging diapers. We knew Eliana was fine. I needed the extra love and attention.

TOP TIP FROM US: While feeding, find something to take your mind off feeding. We used the FRIENDS series as our “timer” and distraction. One episode per feed. 

By 8 weeks things started looking up…

Eliana was sleeping through the night. She was drinking expressed milk from a bottle ever so often. My nipples had started to heal and was almost fully covered in skin again. Her weekly weigh-ins confirmed our baby was doing well and I felt like I was starting to get the hang of this motherhood thing.

The tingling pain I felt during every let down was also becoming less. As predicted by a fellow mama struggling to breastfeed, I felt “normal” at 12 weeks. For the first time breastfeeding became a natural part of our day. We even left the house and  I breastfed in public. By 16 weeks I ditched the nipple shields.

Breastfeeding for beginners

Today I feel proud of myself and 3 kids later I am thankful to have overcome the obstacles of those first 12 weeks.

Yes, I have scars but looking back 12 weeks of pain is nothing in our 20 months. Never again have I gone through pain like that. It’s as though our bodies remember and when baby 2 and 3 arrives breastfeeding simply falls into place. I’ve also learnt the value of support and having a team of cheerleaders as well as the best breastfeeding aids at your disposal.

Breastfeeding for beginners

For us, Medela is a part of that support.

They don’t just make the best breastpumps but also understand the needs of moms, taking into account our busy lifestyles in every product created. (See some of our favourite Medela accessories here.) Making use of my Medela breastpump didn’t just provide me with peace of mind when wondering about my milk supply, it also gave me a little bit of freedom. I could pop out to the store, take a bubble bath or enjoy a much needed break after a long day while daddy loved getting to bond with baby too.

Tips on expressing:
  • Splurge on the best breatpump you can afford. She’ll be good to you for a while.
  • Introduce baby to bottle feeds somewhere between 4 – 6 weeks. Waiting longer could make things more challenging.
  • Express regularly and freeze your milk. Building a stash takes some time and is worth a lot especially if you need to be back at work soon.
  • Be patient. At first you might not get any milk when pumping but stick to a schedule. Breastmilk increases as breasts are stimulated.

Most importantly, approach breastfeeding with a strong mindset (and even prepare for the worst.) Be confident mama, take pride in the remarkable things your body is capable of doing—and making. Trust yourself!

Breastfeeding for beginners

Now, we want to lend a helping hand to a fellow breastfeeding mama…

GIVEAWAY CLOSED – Congratulations Jodie Petersen

Win a Medela Freestyle double electric breast pump to the value of R7999.00

Hands-down the best breastpump (excluding the Medela Symphony) I’ve ever used  – and I’ve lost quite a bit of cash on breastpumps.

It really is an all-in-one that works hard and packs a lot of power. With it’s signature Medela 2-Phase Expression technology and double pumping, moms express MORE milk, in LESS time. The Freestyle was made for daily use so it’s a perfect option for working moms too. With built in rechargeable batteries you can easily pump whenever, wherever. No plugs needed.

Being small, lightweight and portable means mama can discreetly pump while going about her day giving us some freedom and flexibility in the highly routine driven world of parenting.

Other cool features and extras include:
  • Easy interaction with digital display
  • Increase and decrease pumping power with the press of a button for comfortable, customisable pumping
  • The memory function saves your best expression sessions for you to use again in future
  • Handy timer
  • Cooler and travel bag to store and keep your pump, accessories and breastmilk while on the go.

How to enter the breastfeeding for beginners giveaway:

Help us grow our already amazing community of mamas by signing up to our newsletters. That’s it! One lucky “insider” will be picked as the winner of this incredible prize.

[contact-form-7 id=”13206″ title=”Medela”]

Lastly, we all know how lonely motherhood can be, especially during the difficult times.  Please help us spread the word and SHARE the Breastfeeding for beginners post with all your breastfeeding friends too. Just click on the social media buttons below.

AND if you have a moment,  please leave us a comment below sharing your #1 breastfeeding for beginners tips, your fears, challenges faced or a snippet from your own breastfeeding journey.  You never know who’s reading and the difference your comment could make. Breastfeeding for beginners


  1. Only emails entered above are valid for this Breastfeeding for beginners giveaway.
  2. Competition only open to South African residents residing in South Africa.
  3. Winner must be 18+ years old.
  4. Competition closes on the 31st of March 2019.
  5.  The winner is picked at random and announced via social media and this blogpost. 
  6. This prize is not exchangeable for cash or refundable.
  7. Please enter a valid email and contact info. If we can not get hold of you within 48 hours a new winner will be picked.
  8. The greatest care will be taken when sending your prize but Just a Mamma, Medela SA and Breastpumps + Beyond do not accept any responsibility for lost, stolen or damaged goods.

PHOTO CREDIT | Anje-Ilana van Dalen from Madison & West Lifestyle Division as well as a few from our personal collection.

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  1. Theshnee Reddy

    I can totally get this..
    Unfortunately I did not have a happy ending breastfeeding both my sons.. We had to move to formula.. My second son was born 3.4kg.. And at his 2 week appointment with the doctor.. He weighed 2.9kg… With my eldest, he couldn’t latch at all..

  2. Rebecca

    Thanks for this post, I’m pregnant with our first and so hoping to have a good breastfeeding journey!

    • Heloise Tyszowiecki

      What a great read!! Shame can relate in my own way. My first 4 weeks of Breast feeding was a challenge as I was cluster feeding the entire day about every 1 half hours . I also stopped using nipple cream and used my milk instead and stood in the sun topless . It truly helped so much . My little girl is 3 months old now and I’m soooo happy I pushed through those hard weeks
      Soon is back to work and a bit nervous was I want her to drink breast milk as long as possible

  3. Monique Botha

    I breastfed my boy until 1 year when he weaned himself. It was truly a wonderful experience, tough in the beginning, I will admit, but one thing I learnt was that if you just push through that hard little bit you get to enjoy the true beauty of breastfeeding. And never give up or let people talk you out of it if it is something you truly want to do!

  4. Maaike Badenhorst

    During my pregnancy I was very anxious about breastfeeding because I so desperately wanted to have that special time with my baby. I was so fortunate to have her latch beautifully on the first try. Breastfeeding my little one has been one of the most wonderful things I have ever experienced and I want to give a shout out to all the moms who struggle through all the challenges that goes with it. My top tips would be to express as often as you can to build up a stash for when you go back to work, have a physiotherapist do lazer or ultrasound on your breasts in hospital and I can’t agree more with joining a mommy support group. I have made wonderful new friends who are going through the same things I am.

  5. Puveshree

    So get this…I breastfed M for 14 months until she rejected the breast. We did not sleep at night once I was back at work, she reversed fed. My supply was not great when she was born but I fed on demand and some days she would be latched on for hours. With support from my hubby and mom, it became an amazing experience. I always kept a portable nursing kit which consisted of healthy snacks, water, wipes, a book and thin blanket.

  6. Lindy

    Be sure to have your newborn’s tongue and lips (tongue ties and lip ties) checked. My little one had a posterior tongue tie and lip tie which made breastfeeding super difficult.. it resulted in many days of agony. We only found out at 6weeks that THAT was the issue causing my little one to keep slipping onto the nipple…. eeek the pain!

  7. Sharne

    WoW, wOw, WOW!!!
    What an awesome read.
    I just wish that this was available when I started my breastfeeding journey.
    Never in my whole life I would have thought that breastfeeding can be so difficult, my outlook was that I have two breast and they were meant to feed your little one. oH bOy, was I wrong! If I only knew the struggle then I would have consulted any one and every one before my journey even begun. It doesn’t come naturally to everyone and yes there are some that can’t or some that doesn’t have an interest in breastfeeding. I on the other hand is very much pro for breastfeeding.
    From latching, to low sugar levels, to not picking up weight, numerous consultations further down the line, no dirty nappies only one per week.. But still this mommy didn’t want to give up a special breastfeeding journey. Haven’t had it easy if I can say so myself. Non stop tears, photos taken of my last time feeding as it has become too much but still persevering. The bond that you create is something that you cannot describe to anyone.

    Breastfeeding for me being a working 8 to 5 mommy doesn’t stop at the breast but further struggles of pumping at work.
    Always wonder if I have the correct pump if the journey might be easier, I might even have enough to produce, hand expressing is not the easiest way to go especially if you have limited time away from your desk. This might just be the answer to my prayers.

    Thank you for the read, it was very enjoyable. Will be sharing to all my friends. xx

  8. Hajar

    Thank you for this!

  9. Helge-Mari Rainier

    I had the same weight loss story with our first born, not latching correctly. The nurses at the 2 week consultation were helpful but I wish I made an appointment with a lactation consultant straight away, and not waited longer. It’s ok to ask for help, and a personal consultation always better but telephonically, La Leche League can also asssist. They have monthly meetings, discussing various topics .Thank you for sharing your story @justamamma ?

  10. Lo-Mari

    Breastfeeding sound like a nightmare to me, at first I didn’t want to breastfeed at all especially letting the baby latch on me…

    So I am a first time mommy and were told the scariest stories about breastfeeding, cracked and bleeding nipples, etc. But let me clear that up for you!

    On the 21st of January 2019 I had a scheduled c-section and out came the most beautiful baby girl, Ellie. My first baby.
    I knew my baby would struggle latching, because my dear nipples look like polony… Imagine that, pretty useless. That’s what I thought. So then I bought this wonderful nipple shields. Today I have 6… Weird right? But it works perfectly for baby Ellie and myself! No cracked or sore nipples and no struggle with latching, just those two baby hands wanting to grab my boob when my baby girl is hungry… Ripping my silicone nipple of… Very frustrating
    That kinda makes me wanna lose my head, until she feeds and looks so peaceful.
    I used nipple cream and coconut oil for the first 2-3 weeks to tighten up my nipples for what was coming. No one told me to use coconut oil, I followed my own brain and it helped me with a lot of pain and dried nipples.

    Today I have nipples of steel!
    I’ve been breastfeeding for six weeks, only giving formula with the breastmilk the first week to avoid Jaundice.
    I was so afraid that my 3.29kg girl didn’t get enough milk and the nutrients in the milk wasn’t enough. But I was so surprised by her 6 weeks check up at the pediatrician! She weighs 4.4kg now and we’ve been only breastfeeding for 5 weeks!

    I drink a lot of fluids, eat fruit and bake my own lactation cookies, Ps. that was my first successful batch of any sort of cookies I tried to bake! Most women think it won’t work, believe me its the most affordable supplement to increase your milk supply and its not even expensive or difficult to make.

    I also make a drink that contains a lot of sugar according to very “clever” moms on social media; The jungle juice recipe.
    This juice contains a bit expensive ingredients and meds but it works like a bomb! It gives you a lot of energy and keeps you well hidrated. Especially the first few difficult weeks after giving birth and starting to breastfeed.

    One thing that helps me with milk supply is feeding on demand. I’ll be happy because my supply is like a cow from Clover’s dairy farms and my baby is well fed and not fussy.

    The worst hit me before going for our 6 week check up, I was diagnosed with mastitis. But luckily it was in an early stage and no boob was hard or painful, just bad fever and inflammation in my left boob.
    Even though I am a first time mom my instincts told me to check out my symptoms by the social media doctor, dr Google.
    All my symptoms were related to mastitis, I went to the doctor with the fear of breastfeeding being stopped. My milk supply was so low and my tears high.
    Antibiotics were prescribed and massaging my own breast, how exciting! Its been two days after I started with the meds and my milk is back! Flowing like a waterfall and no more pain or inflammation. The only advice I can give to avoid mastitis is to feed on demand, massage your breasts in the shower when they feel very hard and full and don’t take chances if you have the symptoms go to your doctor. The earlier you pick it up the bigger the chances of keeping your milk supply the way it was.

    So yeah let me come to a conclusion.
    I am a very proud first time mom of a 6 week old baby girl. We’ve only been breastfeeding, she looks healthy no baby acne because mama uses breastmilk for any pimple, craddle cap or scratch! Even on myself and dad! What’s wonderful I am losing weight(not trying just losing, maybe its the breastfeeding you never know).

    Just keep trying even if you cry, feel like giving up, throwing the baby at your sleeping husband 02:00 am and having nipples that look like raisins from Cape Town.
    Just hold on try your own ideas, remedies and motivate yourself! Ignore what people say about your remedies, if it works for you and your baby that’s wondeful! A mama’s instinct is always right.

    And last having empty, flappy grandma boobs after you fed your baby is the best feeling ever!

    Enjoy breastfeeding, keep on trying because that cute baby girl or boy won’t stay little forever.
    This is the breast way(did you see what I did there) to bond with your LO for the next few years depending on how long you want to be your child’s own personal sterri stumpie factory.

    So here is my breastfeeding story and tips from day one until today. Yes I’ve fallen asleep a million times while feeding at night, my small granny boobs leak even if I wear breast pads at night so much that the bed cover is wet…
    In a shop I’ll feel my boobs leaking then I’ll start laughing and my husband will smile cause he knows what is happening.
    But I am a happy 6 week ebf mom and I’ll keep on feeding and pumping like crazy!

    This blog encouraged me more!!
    Well that’s it my hungry little lion cub (that’s how Ellie looks when I’m getting myself and her ready to feed) is waiting for her golden delicous sweet milk!

  11. Megan

    Top Breast-feeding tip: if you feel something isn’t right, seek help. My first few days were extremely painful and I burst into tears each time my daughter latched and in hospital they kept telling me it’s normal. The minute I was discharged I contacted a Lactation consultant who made a world of difference and managed to feed pain free for 14months!

  12. Amina Dindar

    Best advice I can give: keep going – it definitely gets better! ❣

  13. Leandra Krige

    An amazing read, my boy never latched but I expressed exclusively for 6 months!! Then introduced formula. Breastfeeding is definitely not easy!! I did have a medela swing that lasted my express journey and I loved it. Baby no 2 is due end March 2019 and this will be amazing as I believe I will have to express again and I really want to give her breastmilk from the beginning. The mental strain was crazy to make sure I had enough milk for the next feed etc. Sjoe, Congratulations on your achievement for breastfeeding over 4 years in total!!?

  14. Marie Minnie

    Oef, i can relate to this…. I had smooth sailing until my son reached a year. I had terrible pain and cracked nipples that i just couldnt get rid of. I tried every cream on the market and nothing helped. But in the end the only thing is sunlight, as much as possible. When i was pregnant i tanned topless as much as possible to toughen up my nipples. I dont know what happened after 12 months. But i am back on track and back to breast feeding. My son has never had formula, and i dont want him to have formula. They also told me in hospital i need to top up. Thats a load of nonsense… Your body will make what your baby needs. Just keep going. Well done mamma! I am currently expressing with a manual pump… But as hard as it is, i will carry on. Your babies are beautiful and i love following you xxxx Much love

  15. Haarisha Hoffman

    I believe being calm is a very important recipe for breastfeeding… Being back at work I’ve noticed whek I am anxious I cannot express milk and this leads to major anxiety.

    • Jessica

      Thank you so much for this!! I’m a first time mommy and my baby boy is almost 4 weeks old. We have been “figuring it out” to thus far and I also thought we doing great except for the odd hard bump in my boob and sore nipples. I want to make this journey last as long as possible and appreciate this post so much as it has given me an insight as to where to from here xxx

      Thank you mamma

  16. Lindsay

    My one tip is to just percevier, it’s not always easy

    • Beth Koch

      Love love this. When my milk came in with both my girls it was agonising and i seriously reconsidered my breastfeeding aspirations. Having a strong support system and a mother who pushed me to keep going was a saving grace. If you can get as many people in your corner who will support you and drown out the people who suggest formula and bottles. Not that they are bad but if you can breastfeeding will be the most rewarding thing you do. I also unfortunately had to go back to work when my girls where 9 weeks old with a second hand pump, it was hard in the beginning and formula was tempting but i knuckeled down and kept going they are three months old and we are still going string. Also if you belive in co sleeping it helps with breast feeding as you dont get demotivated having to get out of bed you just pop them on while you both sleep.

  17. Sameeha khan

    Best breastfeeding tip . Eat well balanced diet , enjoy the moment , invest in a good pump , Don’t give up !

  18. Seryosha

    Thanks for the useful info! Appreciate it as I’ve been feeling anxious about what to expect when baby arrive in April.

  19. Meenakshi

    I can relate to your experience as well!!!! I struggled fir for the first few weeks but was so blessed to have a great support system at home.. My mum ensured i had all the right food and snacks and water at arms length as well. The support makes a huge diff..

    I am looking forward to my second baby in May this year!!

  20. Bronwyn McPhail

    Unfortunately my breastmilk was too thin and watery for my daughter who had severe reflux and I had to stop feeding her at 15 weeks. I enjoyed the journey though

    • Kelly Hall

      Thanks for the awesome post! I am expecting my 2nd son in 3-4 weeks time and I am very nervous about breastfeeding. My first child was born 6 weeks premature and spent 2 weeks in the High Care unit. I tried unsuccessfully for 3 months to express and to breastfeed him once he was allowed out of the incubator but I struggled to get more than 3 ml at a time which was rather frustrating. I also had to have blood transfusions during my c-section which I have since found out can affect milk supply. I am hoping desperately that this time will be different and that I have a happy breastfeeding journey to share. I will do everything in my power to make it work!!! Fingers crossed xx

  21. Carla Greenland

    I breastfed my gorgeous boy for 13 and a half months – dairy free. I found out I was pregnant and just struggled to balance working, pregnancy and breastfeeding. Was an incredibly special experience and can’t wait to start breastfeeding again next month when my little girl arrives. What an amazing miracle.

    Top tip: eat healthy and lots of protein to up your supply. Stock up with healthy snacks for when you get the munchies.

  22. Leande

    The very first time my little girl latched on I was inlove, I have never felt such a powerful connection in my life. Breastfeeding has been an exhilarating as well as horrifying experience. It has tought me to edure and persevere, something that can be applied in everyday life. I’m so thankful that I stuck it out through the tough times, the bond I have with my little miracle and the confidence I gained in myself is worth all the pain and suffering in the beginning.

  23. Melize Koekemoer

    Reading this brought back all the memories of my own journey of breastfeeding. Like you I was determined to exclusively breastfeed which I have managed through grace from God, flexibility and favour with my employer (who is a man!), a very old Medela model that I loaned from a friend, some Mrs Milk bars and support from hubby (wiping tears and bringing my favourite takeway coffee – decaf) and friends. I am very thankful that I did not end up in such a bad way and literally went for my first physio appointment for laser the day I got back from hospital. Lovely young physio with her own 3month old was so encouraging and kind enough to loan me a hand held chargeable laser to use at home, in between visits. This was my golden ticket. She also taught me how to massage my breasts if they were too engorged to avoid mastitis. Not too much to stimulate more milk, just enough for relief. Caleb is 16months old now and still has a morning and evening feed. So glad I stuck it through. Thanks for sharing your story!

  24. Claire

    Im about 30 weeks pregnant with my third baby. My son and daughter are 6 and 7 so this baby is really a little surprise blessing. I struggled so much trying to breast feed my son and daughter. I tried so hard. With my daughter the nurses told me i was starving my child although she was literally attached to me constantly. We shortly after resorted to bottle feeding her and with my son, we were able to do it for slightly longer but not as long as i would have liked. With this baby, i would really love to get it right. This would really make such a difference and i need all the help i can get. At this stage a breast pump is on my wish list. Fingers tightly crossed

  25. Nashieta

    Perseverance and loads of nipple cream is key ??!!!! Don’t be quick to give up once you get into the swing of things it gets so much better i promise!!!

  26. Shweta

    Very informative. There’s so much to consider and all the tips help for when the big day arrives.

  27. Megan Miller

    Wow. Your story really gives me hope. I was only able to breastfeed my first son for 6 weeks before my milk completely dried up.

    My second son is due in 7 weeks and I would love to breastfeed him. It has been a huge worry for me, but after reading this post I am a lot more positive that it is possible.

    Thanks for the inspiration

  28. Zeenah Rahim

    Investing in an expensive nipple cream helped me with cracked nipples.

  29. Toni

    My first breastfeeding journey didn’t go too well. I had only breastfed my firstborn for 6 weeks through cracked nipples and him pulling off and screaming his head off. Later I figured out he had silent reflux. He was jaundiced from birth and were admitted to hospital at 6 weeks when the doctors were doing their tests and investigations, I was asked to stop for the time being and he was put on Isomil. I had tried pumping with a manual pump but it didn’t make a difference as I had no way of storing the milk. By the time we had been discharged at 10 weeks, my milk had pretty much dried up and I was too stressed to try breastfeeding again. Now I’m pregnant again and I’m really wanting to make a success of breastfeeding again. I loved your post as it gave me the inspiration I needed to really make a go of it.

  30. Ashley

    My son and I are NICU survivors, he was born at 36 weeks and spent 2 weeks in NICU. I knew that breast milk was the liquid gold he needed to get stronger so I was determined to get it right. My milk took forever to come in so I lived on jungle juice and pumped after every feed (I used the Medela Symphony pump provided in hospital- it was AMAZING!!) The combination of staying hydrated and pumping did the trick and soon the milk was flowing. The nurses were great and helped with his latch but my nipples were still sore, I went for 3 laser session and it made the world of difference, I highly reccomend it! My nipples never actually cracked and I’m convinced it was because of the laser therapy!

    My son developed jaundice which we suspected he was getting from my milk (I had no idea such a thing existed but yes babies can get milk jaundice) so I was told to substitute 2 of his feeds with formula. I really wanted to get rid of the jaundice so I gave in and gave him formula. After 2 weeks his jaundice was much better so I dropped the formula and we’ve been exclusively breastfeeding since. If you do go through the same thing make sure to pump during the formula feeds to maintain your supply! My advice to new moms would be to go with your gut, mom instinct is real and you’ll know what’s best. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. There are nurses, Lactation specialists and lots of Facebook groups that are more then happy to help! Good luck with your journey, it’s so worth it!

  31. Sunel Rossouw

    Thank you for sharing your story. My first little is only a few short weeks away from being born and one of my greatest worries now is that I will not be able to breastfeed. I have been filled with fear by some well meaning people trying to prepare me for the fact that according to them I might not be able to because I am on the very chesty side. I’t helps to hear that everyone has their own journey filled with up and downs and with perseverance and great advice obstacles can be overcome. I’m hoping my story has wonderful 2 year feeding ending :).

  32. Raeesa Setar

    I’m 28 weeks pregnant and I have my mind set on breastfeeding exclusively but it’s scary hearing all the horror stories! Definitely going to invest in a breast pump to help me out so I’m hoping I win this (fingers crossed!)

    Thank you for this very honest and raw post, it’s absolutely informative and I know I’ll be referring to it in future! Hoping I have a better breastfeeding experience than you initially did but as you said, I’m expecting the worst lol.

  33. Aarifah hunter

    Wow! This post was really detailed and informative.. Thank you for sharing! I’m pregnant with my first and I hope to have half the strength you did!

  34. Haarisha Carelse

    Amazing giveaway

  35. Anushka Maharajh-Moonilal

    I have a 4 week old baby and am determined ro exclusively breastfeed him. Its exhausting work but so worth it as i see him grow. Ny advice is drink lots of hot drinks with fenugreek. I love the carmien nursing tea. And eating oatmeal promotes milk production. I drink my tea 4 times a day, drink lots of water and try and rest when i can.

  36. Hayley

    Gosh this brought back so many memories 🙁 I am now 28 weeks pregnant with our 2nd child and this was so encouraging. The only advice I can give to any new mom is you are the best mom to your little one! Just keep loving your babies and pushing through the tough times, nothing lasts forever so cherish the good and rough days/nights.

  37. Nicole young

    Wow what an amazing review indeed i heard so much about this brand and im loving it an iv learned so much on this i would really love to win this breast pump for my little one

  38. Camilla Owen-Jones

    Biggest thing I learnt was just because I have large breast doesn’t mean I have loads of milk. First baby I dried up at 4months. Hoping this time I can go for longer. Also my boppie pillow is an absolute must in getting the nipple in the right position for baba mouth

  39. Kim

    My eldest son is 14, I wish I had you to help me back then. Thank you for making a difference ❤️

  40. Dominique O’Neill-Schonken

    My breastfeeding advice is determination. With my second I was super determined to breastfeed and I did. I breastfed her until 17months and only weaned her because I am currently pregnant and it became a bit painful. Moms are tough and we can do this. There are so many solutions to all the breastfeeding problems that come up (which there are a lot of) I found help from blogs, other moms and La Leche League. ??

  41. Tarin

    Breastfed for almost 2 years with my first son. Was a challenge at first but good positioning was what helped my Prem baby. 2nd baby was a breeze but milk dried up after 18 months due to being pregnant with now my 3rd. Hoping it’ll be smooth sailing.

  42. Roslyn

    My tip:try drink as much water as you can keep yourself hydraited

  43. Bhavana Singh

    Thank you for this tips, will need it in my next soon to be breast feeding journey. Would love to Win! Fabulous Page!

  44. Dawn

    Breastfeeding is all about perseverance and not giving up. It is the most amazing bond. Yes it’s sore in the beginning but get some good nipple cream and that will help. I got mastitis at least once a week but I never gave up. I breastfed for 2 years!!!

  45. Ilsa Fredericks

    Thank you for this article… I am a 1st time mommy to be (14 April 2019) and I will sure be using some of the tips. So encouraging and inspirational. I hope i have the same strength as you did to do all this… Thanks Just A Mamma and Medela

  46. Sarika

    My baby girl is 18 weeks and I am reading this post while nursing her. 🙂 Most days I cannot believe I made it this far. Those early days were the most difficult time. There were many days when I literally sterilized bottles and boiled water ready to give her a bottle of formula. I’m happy to say that I still have a sealed can of formula.
    At 18 weeks we are in the middle of the 4 month sleep regression. I have no idea how I would survive this period without breastfeeding!
    I am returning to work soon and I am terrified of how my little boobie monster will get by without me and her boobies. I biggest fear is that she will not want to breastfeed anymore and yet in those early weeks I, admittedly, hoped for it.
    Now I spend most of my day nursing her. Most days she will only nap while nursing.. At this exact moment, she is not feeding but just latched on and dosing blissfully. Its 5am.
    The breastfeeding journey is exhausting and challenging and beautiful and painful. But these little humans will only need us this much for a little time. This bond will however be for a lifetime. Love it and hate it but enjoy it and cherish it..

  47. Zahra

    I have a 4 year old, a 1 year old and I’m with baby number 3 in June. Whilst I’m excited about our new edition to our family, there’s a little fear in me that I won’t have the time to keep to my breastfeeding schedule like I did with my other 2. Here’s to determination to keep up with the best of Milk ie. Breast milk for my little angel!!

  48. Nicole

    I am 31 weeks pregnant with my first baby and I am so looking forward to breast feeding. However i am also nervous of the unknown, or even if my body will allowe me too. Also that baby puts on sufficient weight, reading what you said above about baby still having not reached birth weight after 2 weeks is a scary thought. But i am trying to just be as excited and not stress too much about whats to come but rather enjoy it.

  49. Kira

    This read was amazing! Thank you.. I’m breast feeding my second and going back to work when she is 6 months and really want to breast feed when I’m back at work and express…
    One tip I would give- don’t let breast feeding stop you from going out, there is nothing wrong with feeding in public, your baby also needs to eat and it’s natural. ??

  50. Stacy

    I’m currently breastfeeding and I feel exhausted, however I am just not looking forward to expressing – the thought in itself is daunting. This is a great prize for any mama needing to express.

  51. Trudy-Jo

    This was one of the most stressful experiences as a new mom. There’s so much advise out there and yet you can still feel completely alone and like a total loser when you’re struggling with this… After all feeding your baby is like job description requirement number one. This is a great read for anyone who is starting out.

  52. Rebekah

    This was so great to read! I’m having my first baby in June and it’s extremely encouraging to read people’s journeys and stories with breastfeeding. Knowing there’s a community out there who have knowledge and understanding for when my turn comes and who I can go to for advise is so encouraging as a new mother. Thanks for this!

  53. Cara

    Thanks so much for the encouraging read and motivation! I wish I read this with my first born. I was so stressed round one, trying to make a success of my breasfeeding journey; and ended up breastfeeding and giving top up feeds until 6months. This post puts everything into perspective. I’m pregnant with my second baby, due in 3 weeks. I feel much more confident and at peace that I CAN do this! Push thtough, stay strong and calm and be gentle to yourself! Thanks for the encouragement!x

  54. Chané

    With our first breastfeeding was a complete failure and I am still heartbroken by it. This time round I’ve tried to get a better support system in place and hope to be able to get it right with our Rainbow baby…

  55. Nicole John

    What helped us incredibly, was having friends who brought us dinner every evening for three weeks! Using, they would pick their date and say the meal they would bring, and arrange a time to drop it off. It was so helpful for me and hubby (after working 12 hour shifts and doing nappy changes at night), not to stress about cooking healthy, breastfeeding friendly meals! It also helped my cabin fever by seeing friends!!
    For mommies with babies in the NICU who need to pump from the start, I can recommend skin to skin as often and early as possible. And if you are pumping at home, keep a blanket close that smells like your baba as well as their photo, it really helps to pump out good amounts!
    I can also vouch for Physiotherapy for lasering cracked nipples, massaging and ultrasound for occlusion and pelvic floor rehab postpartum.

  56. Nabila

    This is such an amazing post. Heart wrenching but so warm and fuzzy at the end. I only wish I had ur advice 2 and a half years ago. I took crappy advice from a Paed and it all fell away. My bf journey ended. Luckily, the 2nd time around, I had a lot of support from wonderful friends and I pulled through. 9 months going strong. Well done on such an amazing achievement, yours is really something to be proud of! And hats off you ur hubby for being so so supportive.

  57. Nasstasja Henning

    Thank you very much for this amazing story. We sometimes forget that there are others around us experiencing the same challanges. This has given more hope and motivation on my breastfeeding journey. I am starting work again in May and am dreading not being able to pump at work.

    My boy is 11 weeks, he drinks alot for a baby born 8 weeks premature but has persevered through everything.

    This is going to be the next step will go through together.

  58. Sarah Erdmann-Burns

    This post helped me feel so much better! I’ve been struggling from day one with breastfeeding – Katie just doesn’t want to latch because I have “short” nipples.
    Then I received a second hand breast pump from a friend, which I’m grateful for, but I’m struggling to pump properly as the pump is not totally the best.
    My nipples are completely cracked but on the road to recovery.

    Reading your post gave me such hope that there is still a chance – and for that I’m thankful. Thank you!

  59. Talitha Dias

    Mom should be Patient with themselves.
    Savour the moment and bonding time with baby 🙂

  60. Jean

    My best advice is to try and stay relaxed and don’t listen to negative comments. Take advice from people who have had a positive journey, as you only need encouragement.


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