Breastfeeding – My ‘Normal’
I have had two very different breastfeeding experiences with my children. NOM’s was tainted by reflux but L’s has been a much more enjoyable and relaxed experience which I believe is down to me being more relaxed this time round and not putting as much stress on myself to make it ‘perfect.’
Rather than write my experiences down, I thought I would do a video log about them. Please forgive my ramblings and obvious nervousness but please do enjoy hearing about what ‘normal’ breastfeeding was for us:
I breastfed on demand both my children and their ‘normal’s are very different to each other. NOM fed little and often, day and night but L feeds every 2 hours, usually has both breasts and cluster feeds in the evening – totally different from each other yet they are siblings. Each had their own ‘normal’ feeding pattern and behaviour.
As mentioned in my video log, Medela have carried out research into breastfeeding patterns and behaviour.
Every breastfeeding mother will, at some stage, question if she is doing everything ok. Common questions such as, how often do I need to feed my baby or, how do I know if my baby is getting enough milk, will certainly play on their minds. Breastfeeding mothers may also find they compare themselves, wondering why a friend’s baby doesn’t feed as frequently during the night for example.
I definitely recognise those questions myself, especially when I breastfed NOM so it’s good to know that Medela recognises these feelings and constant questioning in breastfeeding mothers and tried to answer them through their research carried out by leading lactation research Dr. Jacqueline Kent:
Dr Kent’s work confirms that in fact there is no breastfeeding norm, no specific pattern that infants will, or indeed need to adopt, and certainly no set of rules that benchmark the right way to breastfeed.
The new research explains that every breastfeeding relationship between mother and baby is unique and that it will adapt and change throughout the breastfeeding period. The differences may appear extreme, but are natural and not necessarily an indication of insufficient milk supply or other problems.
Kent’s findings highlighted varying breastfeeding patterns between infants, but also showed changes in each baby’s individual experience, sometimes changing monthly. Between one and six months of lactation breastfed infants take fewer, faster, larger feeds, but their total daily milk intake is constant.
From Dr. Kent’s findings, Medela have released some great information about what can be deemed as ‘normal’ when breastfeeding your child. It highlights the variations that can be seen through breastfeeding mothers and their infants and offers some reassurance about differences in breastfeeding behaviours and patterns.
I hope my own experience breastfeeding gives some of you some reassurance that ‘normal’ can vary so much in breastfeeding. If you are ever concerned though, Medela have some great drop in clinics over on their facebook page and you can always discuss things with your health visitor or midwife.
*Please note that I was not gifted in anyway to write this blog post. It is of great interest to me personally and I wanted to support Medela’s findings and to help others recognise their own ‘normal’ when breastfeeding*