User-agent: * Allow: /. Would Like To Be A Yummy Mummy: Breastfeeding: two babies, two different experiences

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Breastfeeding: two babies, two different experiences

I have noticed there are quite a few posts about breast feeding around at the moment so wanted to share my experiences with you. I have been lucky enough to be able to feed both my girls without too much trouble. Both girls just latched on no problem.  They seemed to instinctively know what to do and just seemed to get on with  it.  However my experiences of feeding the two of them have been very different.

Poppy was my first and suffered from terrible colic/reflux which did effect the way she fed. She used to feed for approx 40 mins a time during the day, but come the evening I felt as though I could not feed her enough.  I would literally feed all evening in the beginning, then she would projectile vomit all over herself and me before screaming for more food (or so I thought).  I remember getting upset because my book (The Baby Whisperer) said you should feed between 20-40 minutes every 2 1/2 to 3 hours and she wasn't conforming.

I will never forget one evening when she was about 4 weeks old and we had my Mum staying. It had been an awful evening. Poppy had screamed for about three hours and I had been feeding on and off for about four, in between bouts of vomiting. I was exhausted and close to tears. I turned to them and said "that's it, she can't possibly need any more milk, I have had enough, I am going to bed". You can imagine their faces as they looked at each other as if to say "oh no, what do we do now?". I literally took of my jeans, climbed into bed with the rest of my clothes on and passed out. That was it until my Husband woke me up at 11pm to give her the night feed. It was the following day she was diagnosed with colic.

When she was about six weeks old we settled on a routine where I fed Poppy all day but my Husband would give her the last feed in a bottle (still my milk, only expressed). I would then use this time to wind down and have a shower or a bath while he fed her. This worked well as Daddy enjoyed his special time with Poppy and I got to have a break and got my evenings back. We could also see how much she was drinking which made us both happier.

Now I was told you could not overfeed a breastfed baby, however I disagree with this. I seriously believe I overfed her. The signs for hungry, over stimulated and tired are all very similar and if in doubt I fed Poppy. You really should not be feeding all day and all night. I also did not use dummies with either of my children and I believe Poppy used me as a soother. This would make sense because babies with colic/reflux suffer from burning pain due to the excess stomach acid which is temporarily relieved by suckling. Suckling in turn produces saliva which neutralises the stomach acid and soothes the baby.

At five months I switched over to feeding four hourly. Things became much improved (although she continued to suffer with with colic/reflux until she could stand) and only 4 feeds a day meant I got my life back a bit, could plan outings more easily and generally made a huge difference.

Rosie was completely different. Right from the start she only fed for 10 minutes at a time except for the evening feed. This one would last 15-20 minutes. At the start I was worried she might be a "snacker" but she would go two and a half to three hours easily in between feeds and longer at night. I did share my concerns with the health visitor when she came to visit and she told me not to worry because she was putting on weight, she was probably just an efficient eater.

I think this is exactly what she is. At four months she easily swapped to a four hour routine, at seven months dropped the morning feed and  at ten months she dropped the afternoon feed.  We are now down to two feeds, first thing in the morning and after her bath in the evening about 6pm. It takes approximately five minutes, no more.  This is quicker than organising a bottle and feeding her. She is a very happy content little girl and her weight is just below the 91st percentile so I know she gets enough, she also eats well too.

Personally, it was good that I had Poppy first and I learnt a lot from her. With a toddler to run after it was also handy that Rosie was so efficient.  It would be a luxury to have 40 minutes sat on my bottom nowadays. I have enjoyed being able to feed them both and feel as though I have given them the best start in life I could. However, I do believe it is up to the individual and it does not suit everyone.

I hope this has been interesting and maybe even helpful.

Karen x


  1. This is really insightful and helpful. I didn't manage to feed my son but will try again this time. Its interesting to know that it can be so different. Thanks for sharing your experiences x

  2. I am still feeding my 10 month old twins and my little boy definitely uses me as a soother. I know that it is because I encouraged it. And I love it. But now it is going ot be a hard habit to break. My little girl is much more independent and loves (attempting) to drink from a beaker now x
    Thank you for sharing your experiences x

  3. thanks for a lovely post. It can be so different from one baby to the next

  4. This is a great post- I am breastfeeding mads but it's not been without troubles...which I write about regularly! ;) xx

  5. This is a great post- I am breastfeeding mads but it's not been without troubles...which I write about regularly! ;) xx