I’m not a milkbar!

The hungry hungry baby that thinks I am a milk bar! Are you feeling like you are breast feeding round the clock every two hours. If so, I have a story for you. I decided to write this article based on my own personal experience on breastfeeding. It might make you feel reassured that you’re not alone.

You’re not alone if you feel like your breasts have become somewhat of a milkbar – the baby that likes feeding for entree, main and desert – oh, did I mention snacks and comfort feeding as well – every 2 hours round the clock!!

My baby boy is a snacker and one hungry hungry boy. If he doesn’t have the breast on demand he gets mad. Really mad!!! It’s tiring, actually it’s exhausting having my baby attached to my breast like he is part of my underwear. It’s especially tough when I have a 2 ½ year old toddler that is also very demanding and keeps pointing to my breasts and reminding me that they are full of milk (silently I find this quite amusing).

The nurse said that my son’s routing reflex was perhaps overactive and I should try using the dummy, which to a degree has helped but then that is another thing to worry about later on…getting rid of the dependent dummy!!! Personally, I believe my son is going to be a big boy and is feeding so frequently because he is growing, perhaps the size of Hercules?

Don’t get me wrong, I feel rewarded being the food source for my baby and providing the best nutrition for him. The weight gains are amazing and make me feel like I am doing a great job but yes it’s a struggle. I have been contending with questions like: is he hungry again, is it comfort, is it a habit, is it that he is going through a growth spurt (like all the time!) – a routine that he has established etc. The list of questions is endless and it may well be all of the above, it may come down to me setting a routine and struggling through it until it is established. But then I debate questions like – he is too young for a routine and I suppose it also comes down to how much I am willing to go through?

Frequent feeding in the first three months according to the Breast feeding Association is very normal – phew!! I have found some comfort in this and I must admit that things are a lot better 11 weeks on – ‘ladies, persevere if you can’. My son has finally stretched himself out and feeds less often and sleeps more often making life a lot easier. Each day my baby grows and develops I understand him a little better and get more of a feel for his temperament, his likes and dislikes.

Feel reassured – there is an ending and things do get easier. You need to do what is right and sustainable for you. Why did I choose to endure being the 24/7 milkbar for my baby? It was aided by the fact that I have a very supportive and active husband who took on a lot of my role for first 3 months. My husband gives me a lot of confidence that I am doing the right thing for our baby. In the back of my mind I have my own limits too and I would make the necessary changes if needed to or need to should my situation change.

One product that I could not do without is the feeding pillow, I found after the first 4 weeks, my arms, neck & shoulders were aching constantly and causing me to have really bad headaches. As soon as I started using the feeding pillow, it all went away, I feel much more comfortable when feeding my baby now, and he has something to rest his body on other than my legs! This was a great pillow for support when breast feeding my newborn son as it kept him at the right height and angle, not to mention me being able to have one hand free, for my Facebook time! As with feeding comes spills, the cover and the pillow was completely machine washable where not many breastfeeding pillows are, this is a must.

I hope that this has brought some relief and confidence to you should you be experiencing the unsettled and frequent feeder and feel a bit more empowered as well. Every baby is different, some will be tougher than others but I hope this story can make you laugh and remind you that you are not alone there are lots of milkbars around.

By Donna Khoo